Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blessed Kateri



At prayer this morning I was wondering if the Jesuits had welcoming Masses for the Native Americans?
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Answering my own question first - baptism and confirmation is the traditional form of welcome to converts - although today RCIA - the Rite of Christian Initiation has become the formal process of welcome.   That said, when Blessed KateriTekakwitha entered the Church, like all sincere converts, she entered to gain Christ.  In the process, she was pretty much rejected by her own people, 'she endured the hostility of her tribe'.  In her embrace of the Catholic faith, Kateri renounced her very self, her former way of life and adhered to Christ alone in love, despite great 'opposition and hardship'.  Layered upon such sacrifice and renunciation, she embraced an even greater penitential life, while devoting herself in service to the aged and infirm - her spirit nourished by Jesus and him crucified, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.
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The Christian life calls us to conversion.  John of the Cross expresses it so eloquently, "Oh if only souls understood the renunciation our Lord wishes of us, this negation must be similar to a complete temporal, natural and spiritual death - that is in reference to the esteem of the will which is the source of all denial."
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Blessed Kateri may be a good example for men and women leaving the gay lifestyle.  For many they endure the opposition of gay friends and coworkers who do not accept the teaching of the Church.  Despite the hardship, the mockery, these people renounce their former way of life to live according to the Gospel, regardless of the hostility of their former acquaintances, family and friends. 
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Whatever gains they had, they consider as so much loss because of Christ.  More than that, like Blessed Kateri, they consider everything as loss because of the supreme good of knowing Jesus Christ.  For His sake they have accepted the loss of all things and consider them as so much rubbish - in order that they may gain Christ and be found in Him. (see Philippians 3: 7-10)
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Through the intercession of Blessed Kateri, let us pray:

For those who are fearful of conversion because of its price:
- grant them the courage to choose you regardless of the price.
Lord hear our prayer. (Magnificat)
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Art: Los Angeles Cathedral tapestry depicting Bl. Kateri.

6 comments:

  1. I guess that depends on what you mean by a "mass of welcome." The Jesuits asked for and received permission to say the Mass in the native languages- an exception that was rarely granted to missionaries. Fwiw.

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  2. Austringer12:28 PM

    Marvelous, marvelous post. I'm going to print this out and have it with me.

    Terry, have you ever thought of writing a book?

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  3. Ditto, Terry.
    This is a keeper.

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  4. One bio of Blessed Kateri I read said that she was severely disfigured by smallpox she contracted as a child...her parents both died of the disease and she was adopted by an uncle..part of her rejection by her tribe may be in part that potential suitors rejected her because of her disfigurement..and an unmarried young woman is a financial liability to her family. So unable to get married she turned to the church for family, love and support.

    When I was in Saudi I was told by several local guys that "unattractive" young women were encouraged to become nuns, rather than face continuous rejection ( and potentially VERY EXPENSIVE dowry)..extreme financial burden on the girl's family..

    Just my thoughts...

    Sara

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  5. Austringer10:31 PM

    "So unable to get married she turned to the church for family, love and support".

    Ahh....so it was all a kind of self-help therapy, and not about the love of Christ?

    Sounds like a secular explanation to me -- you know, religion is for people who "need" it (secularists cannot understand loving Christ, so saints need some other explanation).

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  6. Catholic converts--and Kateri was a convert from paganism-- are led to the Church by many paths and for many reasons...most do not go to bed at night not Catholic (or not even Christian) and wake up the next morning Catholic.

    My own journey "crossing the Tiber" was almost 15 years...and I am no where near being a saint..and at least in the US you couldn't become Catholic (as an adult, full communion) instantly even if you wanted to....there's this almost year-long process called RCIA...

    Blessed Kateri--pray for us, and thank you for your example of your life and the crosses--physically and emotionally-- you bore..

    Sara

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