And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)By the world’s standards, Saint Catherine’s prediction to set the world on fire would look like a Time magazine cover, or maybe it would mean we would get our own television show like Marie Kondo. So often, that’s what we think of when we imagine someone setting the world on fire. We think of fame, fortune, glory, notoriety, and nobility. We think of flash, not the forsaken savior betrayed by the very people He came to save. We forget the way of Jesus -- the narrow path of his lonely walk on earth; the humility of his birth; the hush in which he performed his miracles – the small ways he made a big difference. Likewise, too often, we don’t think of the meals we cook for our families as significant. We don’t consider the favor we did for a friend. We take for granted the simple kindnesses we spread, not seeing that we have planted seeds of love, mercy, and hope in the most ordinary places. We sometimes miss the sprout, bloom, and even the harvest of the smallest kindness we share, because we think to set the world on fire we have to be a spectacle. When we focus on being the sparkle of a firework, we miss the small spark that may have changed someone’s day. We underestimate the way the acts of love we share fold into the crevice of someone else’s heart. It might not be as neat and tidy as Marie Kondo’s magic, but to touch another life, even in the humblest way, will spark joy. And from there, the world will be ablaze.
Copyright 2019 Lara Patangan
About the Author
Lara Patangan is a freelance writer and mother of two boys. She believes the merits of mercy are among our greatest gifts as Christians. Her first book about works of mercy will be published in the spring by Our Sunday Visitor. Please visit MercyMatters.net to join this community that believes in the power of mercy to change the world.