It's well known, and with good cause. This single quote seems to sum up the life and message of this mystic saint, and doctor of the Church.
St Catherine challenges all Christians to live a life of discipleship. Of radical trust and encounter. Of mission and service.
Frankly, her words should shake us. They are very bit as radical and terrifying today as they were in the 14th century. The world is different, but her battle cry to all the baptized is not.
By virtue of our baptism, we are all called to "set the world ablaze".
And we are called to do that each day. In each opportunity given to us.
Sometimes, that means speaking out.
And sharing the truth.
It always means cultivating our own interior life of prayer. It always means deepening our relationship with Christ. Sometimes, I think it's easy to get wrapped up in the things that need to be done... and it's so very easy to move the box "God" down further on the list. Maybe that's just like any other checklist I write, where the most important thing is always the thing I put off the longest. But in this case, it never postpones something, it actually slows me down with all the other things! Because the God part of life isn't separate from the rest of life.
He's there, beside us always. Even when we don't sense Him. Even when we are simply so unaware of what the lack of His presence would mean that we just continue on, blithely ignoring Who surrounds us.
Set the world ablaze. You. Me. That guy you see buying the same thing at the supermarket each Tuesday. The girl who walks with her eyes cast at the ground. The little boy playing in the pool. You. Me.
We are charged with setting the world on fire. We are charged with spreading the Gospel. Today. Each day. We can't do that without a fire in our hearts, burning with love for God. We can't do that when we choose to live lives of lukewarm complacency. We can only do that if we commit. If each day we ask God to make the fire in our hearts stronger, so that it cannot be contained.
St Catherine of Sienna, pray for us.