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For me, Mondays are always days of new beginnings. Looking back to what has been completed, I take pleasure in crossing items off my “to do” list. Rarely, however, do I “start from scratch” on a Monday but in recognizing what has been accomplished rather than what still remains, I avoid the frustration of the incomplete.

Brian Johnson offered me a smile this morning on his website (Optimize) in speaking of the way that precious gems are produced from pressure and challenge or irritation. Diamonds from pressure and pearls from what we might call being rubbed the wrong way but then find to have been just the right way are both worth the trouble as they often teach us lessons along the way.

It may be a stretch to see a connection here to Catherine of Siena, one of the saintliest women (and finally celebrated as such) in the history of Christianity. Her feast day is today and I see her as a great example of one who was pressured and challenged throughout her short life (33 years) without ever giving up. For her perseverance through constant irritation in her home life and serious roadblocks in her efforts to save the Church from itself, she was finally “crowned” with the title “Doctor of the Church,” one of the few women to be so named even to today. Just a quick read from the “Saint of the Day” section on http://www.franciscanmedia.org seems to me enough to prove my point.

I will take Catherine with me today as I go about my daily tasks and try to follow her example of tenacity, regardless of any jewels that may or may not accrue as a result of what happens as we go.