Because of its rebellion against God, here are the devils, holding this sheep as their own possession. Then along comes God’s infinite goodness and sees the sheep’s sorry state its ruin and damnation. He knows he cannot use wrath or war to entice it away from them. Supreme eternal Wisdom doesn’t want to do it that way, even though the sheep has wronged him (for humankind, by its rebellion in disobedience, was deserving of infinite punishment). No, he finds a delightful way – the most sweet and loving way possible; for he sees that the human heart is drawn by love as by nothing else, since it is made of love. This seems to be why human beings love so much, because they are made of nothing but love, body and soul. In love God created them in his own image and likeness, and in love father and mother conceive and bring forth their children, giving them a share in their own substance. So God, seeing that humankind is so quick to love, throws out to us right away the hook of love, giving us the Word, his only-begotten Son. He takes on our humanity to make a great peace….
This Word played life against death and death against life in tournament on the wood of the most holy cross, so that by his death he destroyed our death, and to give us life he spent his own bodily life. With love, then, he has so drawn us and with his kindness so conquered our malice that every heart should be won over. For a person can show no greater love (he said so himself) than to give his or her life for a friend. And if he praises the love that gives one’s life for a friend, what shall we say of the consummate blazing love that gave his life for his enemy? For through sin we had become God’s enemies. Oh, gentle loving Word, with love you recovered your little sheep, and with love gave them life. You brought them back to the fold by restoring to them the grace they had lost.
Saint Catherine of Siena +1380