Vocation awareness: fan into flame that gift that is yours

By Lori Ritz
Special to The Witness

As I sit in front of a blazing fire I am mesmerized by magnificent colors, warmed by its heat and attuned to its crackling sound. The fire is bright, vibrant and energizing. The flames engulf the entire fireplace, and then my eye catches one small flame at the end of the log. I think about that one small flame, separate and unique. That flame will soon be part of a growing fire.

Once again I look at the fiery flames. I see sparks flying in all directions. The sparks catch other sparks, and the sight becomes even more spectacular. The sparks connect. Soon, there is one flame inside another flame. The flames are part of the bigger fire. So it is with God’s love and my faith.

Each of us is an individual flame of this enormous fire. It is like fire within fire. Each of us is a small but an important part of God’s love-fire. Each of us has a flame that is small and unique but can create something new and transform into new possibilities.

How do I live my faith from that fire burning within me? How do I discern what is my gift, my fire? And then I ask, “How do I fan that flame to share in the mission of Christ?” I appear to be small but am an important part of the larger entity, the body of Christ.

This Lent, in the quiet of our lives, let us reflect on our own unique flame. How will each of us “fan into flame” the gift that is ours to share the love of our God?


Ritz is director of BVM life and mission for the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This column is part of a monthly series sponsored by the Dubuque Area Vocation Association.