featured image

Maria V. Gallagher finds words of comfort in God’s dialogue with a beloved saint.

I have to admit, I am the master of the monologue when it comes to prayer. 

The first thing I generally do when I sit before the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration is to recite in my mind a litany of my problems. 

And I am never experiencing a shortage of problems. 

My spiritual advisor has recommended that I engage in active listening when it comes to my prayer life. After all, what God has to say is infinitely more important than my ramblings. 

Saint Catherine of Siena was a master of the listening ear. So much so, she was able to record the distinctive voice of the Deity. Her work, titled The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena, is considered a Catholic classic. 




I read the dialogue long ago, when I was first feeling my way through time-honored Catholic writings. But I was motivated to pick up The Dialogue again after learning that it had recently been released by Tan Classics. 

I must preface my comments by saying that this is not the type of book you can read on the run. It is something that must be savored, like a fine wine (or luscious piece of chocolate). The depth and breadth of The Dialogue demand careful reading and meditation. 

Many gems can be mined by a reading of this powerful work. I particularly appreciated the Lord’s stirring words on prayer: 

Oh how sweet and pleasant to that soul and to Me is holy prayer, made in the house of knowledge of self and of Me, opening the eye of the intellect to the light of faith, and the affections to the abundance of My charity, which was made visible to you, through My visible Only-begotten Son, who showed it to you with His blood! 


I also found much hope in the following lines: 

I tell thee that she arrives at perfect love by means of perseverance, barring herself into the House of Self-Knowledge, which knowledge of self requires to be seasoned with knowledge of Me, lest it bring the soul to confusion, for it would cause the soul to hate her own sensitive pleasure and the delight of her own consolations. 

But from this hatred, founded in humility, she will draw patience, with which she will become strong against the attacks of the devil, against the persecutions of man, and towards Me, when, for her good, I withdraw delight from her mind. 


The words of The Dialogue have left me much to ponder—and to wonder where God is leading me next in my spiritual journey. 

My guess is the journey will include a whole lot more listening and less venting!    

Ask for The Dialogue of S. Catherine of Siena at your local Catholic bookseller, or order online from Amazon.com or the publisher, TAN Books.


20230710 MGallagher  IG


A note from the publisher:

The Commentaries is a podcast series from TAN in which you’ll learn how to read and understand history’s greatest Catholic works, from today’s greatest Catholic scholars. In every series of The Commentaries, your expert host will be your personal guide to not just read the book, but to live the book, shining the light of its eternal truths into the darkness of our modern trials and tribulations. Future seasons of The Commentaries will delve into The Interior Castle, St. Augustine’s ConfessionsThe Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena, and many more.   

To download your free Classic Companion PDF and for updates about new seasons, expert scholars, and exclusive deals for The Commentaries listeners, sign up at TANCommentaries.comAnd for more great ways to deepen your faith, check out all the spiritual resources available at TANBooks.com and use Coupon Code COM25 for 25% Off your next order. 

Copyright 2023 Maria V. Gallagher
Images: Canva