Yesterday in the newsroom where I work, much attention was focused for a few hours at midday on the royal wedding in London. I followed along with my colleagues, watching on a live stream on the Web or, very briefly, on the television. It was like sitting with my eyes open, just being present with whatever was arising at that moment.
The bride was beautiful, wearing a lovely dress. The prince seemed at ease in his red officer’s uniform and also delighted to be marrying the woman he loves. Everyone else, from the family and the guests to the public and my colleagues, seemed to be as if in a bubble. I wondered if anyone was really hearing what the priests were saying in the ceremony. It occurred to me that if even half the millions of people around the world watching actually listened and truly heard it, then the world would be a different place.
So it was, things running perfectly along like a Hollywood production, just as planned, when suddenly I heard the priest say, « Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire. »
What a stunning thing to hear at that moment, in that place, in that context! What could be simpler? What could be more true and to the point? You, just as you are, completely, totally as you are, are magnificent. No need for a fabulous dress or a dapper uniform. No need for titles or an absence of titles, no need for ranks or fame or fortune. None of that will set the world on fire. But you will.
The priest said the quote was from St. Catherine of Siena. It was her feast day yesterday. I’m glad that it was. And I’m glad that I was watching and listening to whatever arose at that very moment.