Today the Catholic Church celebrates the memorial of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, who was beatified in 1980.
Kateri was raised in a Mohawk clan in New York in the middle of the 17th century. Deeply affected by the preaching of Jesuit missionaries, she converted to Catholicism when she was nineteen years old.
Her conversion made her life very difficult and she was treated no better than a slave until she made a 200-mile journey to a Christian Native American village near Montreal, where she lived a life of prayer, charity and penance.
Kateri understood far better than most of us that once one we turn our life over to Jesus, we don’t really need much else. In Kateri’s words:
I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love. The state of helpless poverty that may befall me if I do not marry does not frighten me. All I need is a little food and a few pieces of clothing. W ith the work of my hands I shall always earn what is necessary and what is left over I’ll give to my relatives and to the poor. If I should become sick and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross. He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure.
Blessed Kateri, pray for us.