The Holy Father On The Doctors Of The Church
One of the great gifts in our Catholic faith is the Communion of Saints, and within this great cloud of witnesses, 33 of them are set apart as Doctors of the Church. This title is bestowed on them by Holy Mother Church because of their holiness and also their important teachings and writings which can help lead us to holiness.
I have read and attempted to read several of the works of these great saints, as I am sure some of you have as well. They can be very difficult to read and assimilate into our everyday lives. (Still worth the effort though.)
The Holy Father, Benedict XVI has been giving a series of talks on the Doctors of the Church during his Wednesday audience in Rome. In them he highlights certain aspects of the particular saint and Doctor's life and teaching while helping us to see how we can learn from them. His latest talk was on St John of the Cross. The Pope explains while this man rose to the heights of holiness, it was no easy trip! He endured ridicule from his own order, imprisonment, and illness which eventually claimed his life.
Listed below are links to the three other Doctors of the Church the Holy Father has covered so far.
On a personal note I can tell you that I have learned much from these great saints and continue to do so. I have been reading Ralph Martins book, The Fulfillment of All Desire. Dr. Martin uses the works of seven of the 33 Doctors of the Church throughout the book. I can't say enough about this book and how helpful it has been as I continue to strive to grow in my own spiritual life. The wisdom of the Doctors has been instrumental in this.
Pope Benedict also wants us to learn from them. Let us not miss out on this great gift of God and His Church.
St Catherine of Siena
St Teresa of Avila
St Peter Canisius