Try to imagine this young woman as she lived her life in her own family and community. Imagine her thoughts and feelings, her daily routine and the defining moments.
As a very young girl, it’s easy to imagine Tekakwitha living a happy and charmed life. Her people were prosperous and powerful; her family was respected and influential. Especially close to her mother, as all young children are, she heard something of the love that Jesus had for her, which would stay with her for her whole life.
When we pray to St. Kateri Tekakwitha because we need something our parents cannot give us, she understands.
It breaks my heart to imagine four-year-old Tekakwitha seeing her parents taken away from her, learning to live without the all important love they had for her. Today, St. Kateri Tekakwitha knows what it is like when we somehow lose our parents. Maybe our parents have actually died, or maybe our parents are unable or unwilling to be there for us, for whatever reason, it doesn’t matter. It still hurts.
Picking up and moving suddenly leaves a person disoriented and hesitant. No matter how good the reason was, it was difficult for a four-year-old girl to understand why she had to leave all that was familiar. Today, St. Kateri Tekakwitha understands what we are feeling when we have to move away from our home and friends to make a new home and new friends.
When we pray to St. Kateri Tekakwitha for courage and companionship in a new place, she understands.
When we pray to St. Kateri Tekakwitha for the strength to love and heal a broken culture, she understands.
Finally, beyond our personal tragedy, when we look around and see our strong and proud community experiencing huge misfortune and sadness, it can seem impossible to remain hopeful. St. Kateri Tekakwitha saw her entire society undone and struggling with heartbreak, and grew up amongst hurt people. Today, in our society, we see hurt people all around us, and problems which seem so big they might overwhelm us.
You came with love to the First Peoples
And raised up your precious daughter Tekakwitha
To the glory and happiness of Heaven.
Through her prayers and love for you
May we become more like her
Strong and dignified in a world that hurts
And one day rejoice with you and her
In the father’s Kingdom,
With the Creator Spirit,
For ever and ever
St Kateri Tekakwitha, Pray for us