Doctors and Jewels

Mary Carroll’s article in the Spring 2013 issue of Spiritual Life explores a mash-up of two pieces of personal interest. The four doctors of the church who happen to be women. And as the son of a jeweler, gem stones.

Did I say mash-up? It’s imagery that works for me.

Catherine of Siena is associated with the ruby, red like the Precious Blood. She certainly spared nothing in her criticism of inadequate candidates for the clergy:

So great is their foolishness that like blind men then give the office of priesthood to idiots …

The ruby is also associated with the laser, which today brings the image of clarity, incisiveness, and power. That seems to work.

Teresa of Avila, diamond and bride, is next. She wrote about the diamond in Interior Castle:

We consider our soul to be like a castle made entirely out of a diamond or of very clear crystal, which there are many rooms …

My dad loved diamonds most of all, mainly because the very best of them sparkle with many different colors. The Wikipedia site describes another quality:

Diamond has remarkable optical characteristics. Because of its extremely rigid lattice, it can be contaminated by very few types of impurities …

Thérèse of Lisieux is the pearl of the doctors. Sister Carroll’s conclusion struck me:

(She) is the pearl formed by life’s irritants. Her wisdom about the insignificant things form a necklace of love circling our globe.

Enough said.

And Hildegard, it should come as no surprise that she is likened to the emerald. What else? Viriditas!


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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