Not long after Deacon Greg posted this bit about her singing “Flashdance: What a Feeling”, a friend on Facebook shot me a private message wondering if I was not getting “a little worried” about all of the attention being given to Ursuline Sister Cristina Scuccia, or — as she is known in Italy — Suor Cristina.
“Well, sure. As she becomes more well-known, the world will throw awful temptations her way,” I responded, “so we really should pray for her spiritual welfare. She’s human and we’re all susceptible to flattery and ego-stroking. But she seems to have a solid community supporting her, and she seems very Christ-focused.”
It turned out my friend does not argue, as some do, that Sister Cristina shouldn’t be on television, at all; she was more worried that by the vivacity of the music (“and the dancing on a very secular outlet. Couldn’t she just sing less glitzy songs?”) might “cheapen” the religious vocation in the public’s eye.
I think we don’t have to worry about that. Sister Cristina continually turns the focus to Christ, to God, to the Church, deflecting it from herself, and she does it while radiating great joy. What more can we want from evangelism but a consistent focus on God and a shining countenance?
Let’s pray for her well-being, by all means, but let’s also enjoy her. I think Saint Catherine of Siena would have “gotten” Sister Cristina and the energy and excitement that is surrounding her.
“If you do the thing you are born to do,” wrote Saint Catherine, “you will set the world on fire.
At her first appearance during the blind audition, Sister Cristina said what she was about:
I have a gift and I’m giving it to you, right? [Pope Francis] invites us to go out, to evangelize, to tell people God doesn’t take anything away [from you], rather he gives us even more! I’m came here for this! That’s the way it is!
That’s the way it is. Or, as Saint Teresa of Avila put it: “Everything we gain comes from what we give.”
It is a lesson we all really need to absorb.