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Setting the World on Fire

 Sister Maria Hughes, ASC

By Sister Maria Hughes, ASC

August days in the part of the world where I live are usually warm and sunny. They are the last days of summer, holding on to time, wanting just a little more rest, fun, space, and encounters with friends. 

I don’t know about you, but for me, time seems to fill and flow more than I’d prefer. I wonder why that is. Could I be holding on to expectations of things that perhaps call for more of a letting go, letting come? Perhaps there is more “doing” than “being.”   

I was recently reminded of a quote from St. Catherine of Sienna, who said, “Be who you are created to be, and you will set the world on fire.”  

It is part of a passionate plea she made to Pope Gregory XI to return to the Vatican and be who God created him to be in a very complex and polarized world. 

Light beckons, in a world that sometimes feels anxious, uncertain, and disparate.

Light beckons as we embrace an unknown future that seems to stretch us beyond what we perceive as our limits. Light beckons as I try to remain engaged, connected, and trusting as this global pandemic continues to rage and divide us along lines of politics, economics, diversity, geography, systems of belief. 

I believe that God is enough and we are enough, yet I fall so easily into lamenting what I think I don’t have, what I think I need, or even more, what I think I deserve. 

What if the light of these last days of summer are beckoning us to notice the beauty of creation, the gardens of abundance that surround us, the gift of who we are in communion, and how we might be fire for the world?  

How might we be people of light, warmth, trust, confidence, compassion, and courage?  

God’s Providence always provides. We need only to trust. In these last days of summer, perhaps we could choose to let go and let come — to be who God has created us to be, inclusive, loving, liberating, for one another and our world. May it be so.

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