I have always loved Catherine of Siena, and now that I teach at a Dominican institution, she takes on special meaning. For me, the attraction has long been her reform-minded approach to church politics (along with her gutsy involvement in them!) and her spirituality firmly rooted in God's love. I nearly always include a bit of her writing in teaching church history.
Here is one of many quotations that I love:
“In this mortal life, so long as you are pilgrims, I have bound you with the chain of charity. Whether you want it or not, you are so bound. If you should break loose by not wanting to live in charity for your neighbors, you will still be bound by it by force. Thus, that you may practice charity in action and in will, I in my providence did not give to any one person or to each individually the knowledge for doing everything necessary for human life. No, I gave something to one, something else to another, so that each one’s need would be a reason to have recourse to the other…. Could I not have given everyone everything? Of course. But in my providence, I wanted to make each of you dependent on the others, so that you would be forced to exercise charity in action and will at once. I have shown you my generosity, goodness, and providence toward people.”
From Dialogue, 143