One of my favorite spiritual guides is Catherine de Hueck Doherty, known to many as “The Baroness”, or affectionately, “The B.” Catherine lived an unbelievable life – full of adventure and sacrifice – from wealthy aristocracy, to war refugee, to waitress, to career woman, to voluntary poverty. Despite her fantastic life, Catherine remains relatable. She had all the ups and downs of life that “the rest of us” experience. She experienced many failures – of relationships, of her work. She had moments of desperation and confusion, times of financial ruin, doubts about being a good mother. Once she stood on a bridge in New York City and came very close to jumping off. But Catherine believed she saw the face of Christ in the water, and she kept on living. Even though she was not always certain of her path, she kept chugging, and the trajectory of her life resulted in amazing things.
Catherine Doherty – like her contemporary and friend Dorothy Day – is now honored with the title “Servant of God” as the cause for her canonization is officially underway. I’ll be posting more about her life and spirituality, but if you’re interested in learning more, you’ll find information about her life and excerpts from her writings at www.catherinedoherty.org. And if you’re looking for an insightful read that just might change your perspective on prayer, I highly recommend one of Catherine’s classics: Poustinia.
Below is a photo of the young Catherine taken by Thomas Merton!