A Spiritual Stigmata … Tuesday, July 2

St. Catherine of Siena

Do all stigmatas show?

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Sorrowful Mystery, the Crowning with Thorns. “Like the Stigmata, the Crown of Thorns is an extraordinary mystical gift of God given to select victim souls, that they might participate more fully in union with Jesus for the conversion of sinners. A good portion of the Stigmatics have also bore the Crown of Thorns, such as St Julian of Norwich, St Catherine of Siena, Domenica Lazzeri [who’s crown of thorns puncture wounds were once counted and there were exactly 40 puncture wounds], Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich and Therese Neumann to name just a few.” (Taken from http://www.miraclesofthesaints.com.)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to bear the stigmata? In this case, the crown of thorns? To have it there, on your forehead, for all the world to see and wonder about? If that happened to me would I stay home so as not to be gawked at? Would I wear some sort of bandaging or a hat? Do you ever feel emotionally put upon by the world? As though your mind was being attacked by all the worldly turmoil and temptations around you? Bombarded constantly by an unseen, by others at lest, assault? Is there such a thing as an invisible stigmata? One that only you can feel and that only God can see? A crowning with thorns via emotional onslaught?  And if there is do we stay at home or wear a hat or bandage up our minds in such a way as to not let others in so they can’t see the wounds? And is this the way God wants us to deal with our own crown of thorns?

Today … Saint Monegundis (Monegund, Monegundes) (died 570 AD) was a Frankish hermit and saint. A native of Chartres, she married and bore her husband daughters. When her daughters died in childhood, she decided to become an anchorite after a long depression, and after receiving permission from her husband. She founded a hermitage, consisting of a private room, at Chartres but later moved to a site near the tomb of Saint Martin at Tours. She acquired a reputation for holiness. There, she was joined by other women, who I understand essentially forced our saint to write a monastic rule that led to the founding of the convent of St. Pierre-le-Puellier. Have you ever noticed how many saints tried shutting themselves away from the world? They weren’t, as the world in its pride supposes, running away from the world. What they were doing was running to God. But they can’t run. People always follow. The fact that they are known to us at all proves that someone followed. If all you really wanted was to be alone with God and other people wouldn’t let you do you think this might be an unseen crown of thorns to bear? And do you think that maybe, just maybe, God let them search you out for a good reason?

Think … How depressing it must be for a saint at times. The “dark night of the soul”, the times when, running after God as hard and fast as they can, they see Him as being further and further away if they see Him at all. Are you ever depressed? Does your mind, your thoughts, seem hemmed in by hurts that are hard to deal with and that take your heart into a downward spiral? Do you ever cry out inside, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Maybe, when we’re faced with these times of spiritual dryness or emotional pain, we could view this as a spiritual crown of thorns and do what Jesus did. Rather than run from it accept it and work with it. Look at all the blessings that derive from His crown of thorns. How many might come from yours?