At prayer this morning I was wondering if the Jesuits had welcoming Masses for the Native Americans?
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.
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."
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.
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)
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).
Art: Los Angeles Cathedral tapestry depicting Bl. Kateri.