A word from St. Catherine of Siena

“If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire”
– St. Catherine of Siena

I’ve told this to my kids all their lives, even before I knew Catherine had said it: If you do the thing you’re born to do, you will excel, you will excite, you will change things.

“But how do you know what you’re born to do?” they would ask, “If you do lots of things well, how do you know what you are born to do?”

Some of us might not be so blessed, of course, maybe some of us can only do one thing, but we do it very well. I think most people have several things they can do well…but only one thing they do exceedingly well, a thing that, when they engage in it, places them outside of time.

“What’s the thing you can do that you can really lose yourself in – so that when you look at the clock you find yourself surprised at how much time has gone by…and you are not tired at all.” I would ask them. “That’s the thing to look at. If it lifts you up rather than drags you down…if it takes you out of time and into the Eternal – that’s it, that’s the divine spark!”

And it’s not just about life in general, either. It’s about faith, too. And surrender. Think about it.

When God visits you with measureless gifts, let your memory open immediately to receive what your intellect knows in His divine love, and let your will rise with burning desire to receive and gaze at the blazing heart of the giver, the gentle, good Jesus. Thus, you will find yourself burning and clothed with fire, and with the gift of the blood of God’s Son, and you will be free from all pain and unease. This is what took away the pain of the holy disciples when they had to leave Mary and one another, although they willingly bore the separation in order to spread the word of God.

Run, run, run.
— Saint Catherine of Siena

UPDATE: A reader sent me to this website of an 11-year old artist. Seems to fit a bit with this post.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Laura Lee

    This is a beautiful post and so full of inspiration. I remember arguing with God when I was a kid and had learned in Sunday School that our talents and gifts were God given and needed to be used. I didn’t want to do what I felt was my strongest talent, art.

    There is so much here to think about. I actually wanted to be a runner instead of a painter but wasn’t fast enough. My motto though was always why walk when you can run?

  • joeh

    Have you ever met someone that was real? Have you ever met someone that every day loved being in their skin, filled with joy, and at peace? Somehow I think before things moved so fast and we were so caught up in a materialistic society there were more of them. I suspect if you did meet this type of person that you would discover a deep profound love of God over everything else and that from this love they were able to love others in a very special way but also love themselves. At 60 years old, I know of only 2 people in all the world that I truly would put in this catagory and that would be JPII and Mother Theresa. I have been blessed to know others that are close who would never agree because of their inherent humility. I wonder what it would be like to walk around a full day in this state. They are lovable in a childlike fashion. How do I become a child Lord?

  • http://www.marchhareshouse.blogspot.com March Hare

    Ah, Anchoress. God has used you to deliver unto me yet another Clue-by-Four:
    Many thanks, A. You’re gentler than most I’ve received. :)