Lampstand has published ten books (free to Lampstand members, see https://davidhlukenbill.wordpress.com/category/membership-info-organzation-overview/ for membership info) and each one is a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals.
For nonmembers, links to all of the Lampstand books available at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill
This is an excerpt from Lampstand’s book: Women in the Church, St. Catherine of Siena, Fr. Teilhard de Chardin, & Criminal Reformation, published in 2014.
St. Catherine of Siena
St. Catherine, one of four women Doctors of the Church, was a powerful mystic, member of the third order of the Dominicans, who only lived for 33 years (March 25, 1347 – April 29, 1380) but who, in her short life, exerted profound political influence during a time of turmoil in the Church where the popes reigned from Avignon, France; but she was able to influence Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome, cultivated by the revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, as Gardner (1908) writes:
“Almost immediately after leaving the seclusion of her father’s house, we find Catherine in touch with the politics of her native city, and with the great questions that were agitating the whole church. Not only are the spears and swords of contending factions lowered before her as she passes along the streets of Siena, but the princes and potentates of Italy seem to realize instantly that a new spiritual power has arisen in the land. From Avignon, the pope himself seemed to gladly know that there were secrets Christ had hidden from him, but not from the simple maiden.
This was due, in part, to the effect produced upon Pope Gregory XI’s mind by the revelations of St. Bridget. From the beginning of his pontificate, the Swedish princess had exhorted him to repair the scandal caused by the defection of his predecessor. In a vision she heard the voice of the Blessed Virgin promising that if Gregory would restore the papal chair to Rome and reform the church, her prayers would flood his soul with spiritual joy from her divine Son. If not, the Blessed Virgin communicated to Bridget, Gregory would surely feel the rod of Christ’s indignation, his life would be cut short, and he would be summoned to judgment. (pp. 63-64)
Ott (1909) notes, regarding St. Catherine’s efforts with Pope Gregory XI:
“Like the preceding popes of Avignon, Gregory XI made the fatal mistake of appointing Frenchmen, who did not understand the Italians and whom the Italians hated, as legates and governors of the ecclesiastical provinces in Italy. The Florentines, however, feared that a strengthening of the papal power in Italy would impair their own prestige in Central Italy and allied themselves with Bernabo in July, 1375. Both Bernabo and the Florentines did their utmost to stir up an insurrection in the pontifical territory among all those that were dissatisfied with the papal legates in Italy. They were so successful that within a short time the entire Patrimony of St. Peter was up in arms against the pope. Highly incensed at the seditious proceedings of the Florentines, Gregory XI imposed an extremely severe punishment upon them. He put Florence under interdict, excommunicated its inhabitants, and outlawed them and their possessions. The financial loss which the Florentines sustained thereby was inestimable. They sent St. Catherine of Siena to intercede for them with Gregory XI, but frustrated her efforts by continuing their hostilities against the pope. In the midst of these disturbances Gregory XI, yielding to the urgent prayers of St. Catherine, decided to remove the papal see to Rome, despite the protests of the French King and the majority of the cardinals. He left Avignon on 13 September, 1376, boarded the ship at Marsailles on 2 October, and came by way of Genoa to Corneto on 6 December. Here he remained until arrangements were made in Rome concerning its future government. On 13 January, 1377, he left Corneto, landed at Ostia on the following day, and sailed up the Tiber to the monastery of San Paolo, from where he solemnly made his entrance into Rome on 17 January.” (n. p.)
In St. Catherine of Siena we have an example of a woman who was arguably more of a pope in spirit than Pope Gregory XI, who she essentially told to man up and get thee back to Rome from France; and he did.
As St. Catherine (2000) wrote in her first letter to Pope Gregory XI in Avignon:
“If till now you haven’t been very firm in truth, I want you, I beg you, for the little time that is left, to be so—courageously and like a brave man—following Christ, whose vicar you are. And don’t be afraid, father, no matter what may happen, of these blustery winds that have descended upon you—I mean those rotten members who have rebelled against you. Don’t be afraid, for divine help is near. Just attend to spiritual affairs, to appointing good pastors and administrators in your cities, for you have experienced rebellion because of bad pastors and administrators. Do something about it! And take heart in Christ Jesus and don’t be afraid. Pursue and finish with true holy zeal what you have begun by holy intent—I mean your return [to Rome] and the sweet holy crusade. Delay no longer, for your delaying has already been the cause of a lot of trouble. The devil has done and is doing his best to keep this from happening, because he sees that he will be the loser.
“Up, Father! No more irresponsibility! Raise the standard of the most holy cross, for it is with the fragrance of the cross that you will gain peace. I beg you to invite those who have rebelled against you to a holy peace, so that all this fighting can be diverted toward the unbelievers. I hope that God in his infinite goodness will send his help soon. Courage! Courage! Come, come to reassure God’s poor servants, your children. They are waiting for you fondly, lovingly, longingly.” (pp. 248-249)
Yes, St. Catherine of Siena is a Doctor of the Church and, as Gardiner (1908) notes, one of the most powerful and influential Catholic religious leaders during the chaotic 14th century:
“During the summer of 1370 she received a series of special manifestations of Divine mysteries, which culminated in a prolonged trance, a kind of mystical death, in which she had a vision of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, and heard a Divine command to leave her cell and enter the public life of the world. She began to dispatch letters to men and women in every condition of life, entered into correspondence with the princes and republics of Italy, was consulted by the papal legates about the affairs of the Church, and set herself to heal the wounds of her native land by staying the fury of civil war and the ravages of faction. She implored the pope, Gregory XI, to leave Avignon, to reform the clergy and the administration of the Papal States, and ardently threw herself into his design for a crusade, in the hopes of uniting the powers of Christendom against the infidels, and restoring peace to Italy by delivering her from the wandering companies of mercenary soldiers.” (n. p.)
During the Middle Ages, religion was the only sector of society in which a woman, other than royalty, could exert a powerful influence on world affairs and Catherine was part of that, as Vecchio (1992) writes:
“While the family played an increasingly important part in fifteenth-century culture and ideology, women, who had always been seen within the context of the family, increasingly were afforded little consideration. Religion was the only area in which, at least at a theoretical level, new ground was being broken for them. The debate over the existence of a female renaissance…has shown how women throughout the Middle Ages gradually lost out in terms of status, power, and “visibility.”…one can talk about a female renaissance only in terms of the spiritual charisma accorded figures such as Catherine of Siena, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, and Catherine of Genoa is confirmed by fifteenth-century treatises on the family which reveal only one real novelty, that women had souls.” (p. 135)
St. Catherine was a woman who was clearly able to be a priest, bishop, cardinal, or pope; and when a child, she dreamed of running away, putting on boys clothes and becoming a priest, noted by Undset (2009):
“Catherine was for a time very much interested in the legend of St. Euphrosyne, who is supposed to have dressed as a boy and run away from home to enter a monastery. She toyed with the idea of doing the same herself….” (p. 10)
Kirsch (1909) writes about St. Euphrosyne:
“Died about 470. Her story belongs to that group of legends which relate how Christian virgins, in order the more successfully to lead the life of celibacy and asceticism to which they had dedicated themselves, put on male attire and passed for men. According to the narrative of her life in the “Vitæ Patrum”, Euphrosyne was the only daughter of Paphnutius, a rich man of Alexandria, who desired to marry her to a wealthy youth. But having consecrated her life to God and apparently seeing no other means of keeping this vow, she clothed herself as a man and under the name of Smaragdus gained admittance into a monastery of men near Alexandria, where she lived for thirty-eight years after. She soon attracted the attention of the abbot by the rapid strides which she made toward a perfect ascetic life, and when Paphnutius appealed to him for comfort in his sorrow, the abbot committed the latter to the care of the alleged young man Smaragdus. The father received from his own daughter, whom he failed to recognize, helpful advice and comforting exhortation. Not until she was dying did she reveal herself to him as his lost daughter Euphrosyne. After her death Paphnutius also entered the monastery. Her feast is celebrated in the Greek Church on 25 September, in the Roman Church on 16 January (by the Carmelites on 11 February).” (n.p.)
Lukenbill, (pp. 33-39)