Thursday, December 28, 2017

St. Catherine of Siena Letters and Anthology Books

Saint Catherine of Siena is one of my favorite Saints. If you take her work the 'Dialogue' along with her collection of letters there is not much in the way of spirituality and theology that is not covered. Catherine was no nonsense and her letters provide the reader with a unique spiritual insight into the lives of people from every walk of life. Catherine writes to "popes, cardinals and bishops, royalty and public officials, family and friends and disciples, and an assortment of others, including allies and opponents, a mercenary captain, a prostitute, a homosexual, and political prisoners." Suzanne Noffke, O.P. is the preeminent scholar on Saint Catherine and she provides the translations of her letters along with a brilliant 'Anthology' which allows you to look up important theological and spiritual topics in the four volumes of letters as well as the Dialogue and her Prayers. Be sure to have a copy of Nofke's translation of the Dialogue and her translation of her prayers so you can reference the passages. For example, in the Anthology if you look up the Sacrament of Confession there are seven letters referenced, one prayer referenced and three passages from the dialog referenced. The text is cited and where to find the entire letter or passage is noted so you can read the quotation in context.

These books are a bit pricey but worth every penny. You may have to make an effort to look at every avenue online to obtain all six books at a reasonable price. In general Amazon has most of them but some are over priced. Try and go to the publisher ACMRS to see which ones they have. The 385 letters are published in four hardback volumes. The Anthology is published in two volumes. The binding is nice and they are a set that can be passed on to your children. So far no paperback versions exist. These books will offer you a lifetime of enjoyment as well an extensive reference point for perennial theological and spiritual insight. I would not waste time in getting them since they seem to be harder to come by as time goes on and I am not sure if they are all still in print.

All Six Volumes

Anthology Volume One
Letters Volume One

All Six Volumes

Noffke's Translation of the Dialogue

Noffke's translation of the prayers.

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