Lily of the Mohawks
First Day - Union with God
"The Prayer" was the Mohawk name for religion; "praying Indian" the name for a
Christian Indian. All was open in an Indian Village, and the priests had to pray
publicly. Their converts assembled in the chapel for prayer. Prayer is union
with God, and what else is religion?
When Tekakwitha saw the missionaries at prayer in her uncle's cabin, the sight
irresistibly attracted her. It helped to unite her with God, until her life
became an act of prayer, of union with God.
as you were drawn to God
by the prayers of the black robes
who came to your village, now help us
to draw close to God through prayer as well.
You filled your day with prayer
admidst many trials -
help us also to see that prayer
is our refuge for every
difficulty that we face.
Prayer filled you with joy and peace
help us that we may find this same joy
this same peace in our prayers as well.
Grace is the thought that comes with mention of Tekakwitha. Unbaptized until her
twentieth year, through no fault of her parents or her own, she still was a
child of grace, which means that she grew up in God's favor. She did all the
good she could to retain God's favor. Kateri was a child of grace. May we, like
Our Lord, grow in wisdom, age and grace!
Second Day - Grace - A Child of God
your heart was opened
to God's message,
your spirit was receptive
to God's voice,
help us now to find this quiet
space in our paths,
for listening . . .
to wait for direction
and to follow through
with courage and firmness
when the time is right.
Third Day - Holiness - Heroic Virtues
Holy are those whose faith, hope and charity are extraordinary, who cultivate
the virtues: prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, and the good habits which
grow out of these: prayer, humility, obedience, patience, resignation, penance.
In all these Tekakwitha excelled.
you placed the practice
of your faith above all other joys.
Although the price was heavy
your heart was not sad
for you held the joy of God
Strengthen our faith,
deepen our convictions
and pray that we too might
act with boldness in following
in the footsteps of Christ.
- Names of Kateri
All her names inspire admiration and affection.
Kateri, Iroquois form of Catherine, her baptismal name, means pure, and she was
"Lily of the Mohawks." Lily is the emblem of purity.
She is known as "The Good Catherine", because so many have received favors by
St. Genevieve had saved Paris of Old France; Kateri was named Genevieve of New
France after she had saved the mission and the missionaries.
Tekakwitha means "putting things in order", or "moving before her". She put
order among her people, and moves all by answers to prayer.
This flower of our American wildwood is already Blessed; may she soon be named
you made the decision
to move from one village
to another in order to strengthen
your desire to serve God.
Help us to follow through with decisions
we too need to make in our lives
to serve God. Give us the courage
to act boldly - the strength to do it,
and the persistence to follow through
each and every day.
One who is innocent will harm nobody, nor see evil in others; will not shock,
scandalize or grieve them, but give them edification, pleasure, and win their
admiration and affection.
She remained innocent: thought no evil, harbored no suspicion, entertained no
ill-will, as if she were not of this world.
so many times we have
wonderful ideas how we can
offer ourselves to God,
but many times, Gods ways are
not our ways.
You gave yourself totally to God
you embraced the cross in whatever
form it presented itself each day.
Pray for us that we might too
say "yes" each day to the crosses
placed before us.
- The Blessed Sacrament
Out from her Caughnawaga cabin at dawn and straight-way to chapel to adore the
Blessed Sacrament, hear every Mass; back again during the day to hear
instruction, and at night for a last prayer or Benediction. Her neighbors sought
to be near her when she received Holy Communion, as her manner excited devotion.
help us to live with thankful hearts.
Help us to embrace even our greatest weaknesses with confidence -
knowing all can work to our salvation.
- The Cross
Tekakwitha loved the image of the Cross. During the hunt she made an oratory in
the woods by cutting a cross in the bark of a tree. The first picture of her,
the only portrait of an Indian of that long ago, represents her venerating a
small cross. It moved her to do penance in order to imitate Our Lord in His
O Blessed Kateri,
we need your patience and strength
to continue to face the crosses
we meet each day.
Help us in times
of spiritual dryness to know God
is preparing us for better times ahead.
- The Blessed Virgin
The faithful Indian convert women would tell her how affectionate her mother
was. That would help her to know how affectionate the Mother of Christ was and
still is in heaven. The rosary and the Litany were favorite prayers of hers.
More than once she walked or canoed ten miles from her Mohawk village,
Caughnawaga, to Tionontoguen, where the statue of Our Lady was venerated under
the title, Virgin Most Faithful.
O Blessed Kateri,
help us to trust
as you trusted.
Help us to see light
even in our present difficulities.
Help us to know that God
has not abandoned or moved from us.
Help us to know
help us to believe
God is with us.
Although we are not yet permitted to express publicly the belief that Tekakwitha
is among the Saints in Heaven, it is our private belief and we pray that the
Church may soon declare it. While awaiting this, we invoke her aid. Wonderful
are the favors attributed to her. While praying for our own needs, we should
pray for her canonization.
O Blessed Kateri,
now you know such joy
that Heaven alone can contain it.
Open our hearts to be free
and open to this day
and each day given to us.
Help us in our weaknesses
our fears, and our trials
to trust and trust and trust
in the goodness
and kindness of God.
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