By Alyssa Bormes
I’ve been a part of a few collisions – usually they involve moving vehicles – but today it is something completely different. There is a spiritual collision happening right now.
The Gospel today is a very W.I.N.E. sort of Gospel: I am the vine; you are the branches. In addition to being the branches, if we remain in Christ, we will bear fruit and become His disciples. This is exactly what we have attempted to do, be disciples, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, to make more disciples, who in turn make even more.
We, the Women in the New Evangelization, are emboldened by the many messages of the Gospel, especially Mary saying, “Do whatever He tells you.” Mary was a woman very interested in making disciples. In addition, there have been very many other women who were disciples and who helped to make disciples. Just think of Mary Magdalene, Martha and Mary, and then picture Saints Perpetua, Felicity, Lucy, or even Philomena, whose relic was with us at our last conference!
What was that?
But not of the fender-bender variety, instead it is in the form of encounter!
Not only is today’s Gospel about the vine and branches, but also today is the feast of St. Catherine of Siena! And she was all about making disciples through encounter!
Her life is too full to do it justice here, so I’ll just tell of one small part. When she preached, there were priests who traveled with her. Why? Because those who heard her flocked to confession.
And now with the deepest humility, I will add this. Having had a front row for quite a few W.I.N.E. conferences, and having prayed for the intercession of St. Catherine, I can’t help thinking that her gifts are reaching right through our many speakers. We always have priests join us at the conferences, and the lines for confession are always long.
I’ll never forget being in Philadelphia at the First National Catholic Women’s Conference that happened under the umbrella of W.I.N.E. There was a small break when I was able to walk outside to the sun. There were priests sitting at different spots on the lawn. The lines to confession were the longest I had ever seen. Knowing the time schedule for the priests, I thought that there would certainly be those who wouldn’t receive the Sacrament. Of course, the Holy Spirit had His own plans.
On that day, the priests just stayed. Every woman who wanted to go to confession was able to do so. The women seemed joyful, even while they waited.
So today, remember Jesus is the vine; we are the branches; St. Catherine is one of His beautiful examples of a woman bearing fruit – the fruit of discipleship. It is all about a giant collision, the encounter with Christ. And the best way to take this collision is head on.
No – let me try again – the best way to take this collision is heart on!
About the Author:
Alyssa Bormes is an educator, author, speaker, and retreat leader. She currently teaches at the Chesterton Academy in Edina, Minnesota, writes for the Catholic Spirit, and the W.I.N.E blog, is the host of a weekly show, “Christian Witnesses in the Church,” on Radio Maria US, and is the author of The Catechism of Hockey. You can find her at alyssabormes.com.