Today, April 29th is the feast day of St. Catherine of Siena, the patron saint of this blog. I take this quote from today’s “Meditation of the Day” in Magnificat. It is put along side the passage John 3:18, where Christ tell Nicodemus that he must be born again by water and spirit.
I remember what Jesus once said to one of his servants. She asked, “Once you were dead, why did you want your side to be opened and to pour out such a torrent of blood?” And he said, “There are many reasons, but I will tell you two important ones. First of all, I wanted this because by having my side opened I showed you the secret of my heart. For my heart held more love for humankind than any external physical act could show. The other reason was the baptism that was given to the human race because of the merits of my blood.” You know that he poured out blood and water. The water was Christian baptism, which gives us the life and form of grace, and which divine eternal Goodness provided through the merits of the blood of the Lamb as a remedy for our poverty and ignorance.
And for those who might not be able to have baptism by water, he instituted the baptism of blood and fire. Their blood would be their baptism, as it was for the holy innocents. It would have for them because of the blood of God’s Son; I mean the martyr’s blood had and still has worth because of his blood.
There is more, but I’ll only quote the first two paragraphs. She is such a brilliant woman, self-educated, self-motivated. I have no idea who she is referring to that's Jesus' servant who asks him the question, or where she gets Christ's response. Magnificat cites from The Letters of Catherine of Siena, Vol 1, Suzanne Noftke, O.P. translator.