Follow the standard of the most holy cross courageously and with blazing desire; follow in his footsteps along the way of suffering and of crucified loving desires. For the son or daughter should always be glad to follow his or her father, and the bride her bridegroom, so that if our father and bridegroom is in pain we conform ourselves with him in pain, and if he is joyful we conform ourselves with him in joy. Thus the Apostle Paul, that man in love, said of himself: "I rejoice with those who rejoice, and I weep with those who weep." This is how we act if we are living in perfect charity, and by so doing we realize in ourselves what the Apostle Paul said: that those who share in the suffering, the cross of Christ, will also share in the consolation, will be in glory with Christ. Justly will God give them his inheritance, since for love they have left behind the inheritance and concerns of the world, have given up worldly pleasure and consolation, and followed the cross of Christ crucified. They have embraced pain and disgrace and dishonor for love of him.
This... is the fire in which your souls must burn with enflamed and loving desires. In nothing else must you take pleasure, for every other way is dark and obscure for us and leads to eternal death. So don't be careless. Be conscientious on this lovely straight way, Christ Jesus. He said, "I am way and truth and life. Whoever walks by me walks in the light and not in darkness, and comes to the true life that will not be taken away for ever." Don't let selfish love or inattentiveness take control of you, because this is what keeps us from running, so that we stall along the way and keep turning back to look at what we've already plowed....
I urge you then, for love of Christ crucified - because our good gentle Jesus is so noble and generous - let us dally no longer. Let's keep in mind how short our time is. Let's redeem with holy sorrow and grief the time we have spent carelessly or lost, and in this way we shall regain the past.
- Taken from St. Catherine of Siena, The Letters of St. Catherine of Siena, Vol. II, Suzanne Noffke, O.P., Tr., MRTS Vol. 203 (Tempe, AZ: 2001).