Today being the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena I was reflecting on the fact that she is the only lay Doctor of the Church. Hurray one for our side. Many people don’t realize that St. Catherine was a lay person since she always shown wearing a Dominican habit. She was in fact a Third Order Dominican and it was common in that time that those who were part of a third order could wear the habit of that order. I remember when I first heard that I thought how cool it would be to be able to do that today. After 20 years in the military wearing a uniform and never having to worry about what to wear to work that since I was part of the Secular Discalced Carmelites that wearing the Carmelite habit would be really POD. I can see why they have changed this since it would certainly be abused, misunderstood, and easily leading to the spiritual pride of the wearer. Though the regulations in many third orders allow their members to be buried in the habit of their orders.
Also thinking about the story of St. Catherine of Siena it made me think about how things just never change. Lay people and women just don’t have any power in the Church and certainly wouldn’t be listened to the the Pope or world leaders or be the instrument of reform in the Church. Oh wait I think I got that all backwards.
Update: Jean At Catholic Fire has a great post on Catherine.