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Keeping Up Good Company – Weekly Message for 7/14/15
Dear Friends in Christ,
Each year at Christmas our communities have a simple tradition of receiving a patron saint to accompany us throughout the year, so that we might be inspired by their heroic lives of virtue. This year, my patron saint was native American Kateri Tekakwitha, whose feast day we celebrate today. I have found great inspiration in her story of conversion and her witness of courage, purity, and holiness amidst suffering and persecution.
We can so easily be disenchanted, thinking our circumstances or our society pose obstacles to our holiness. If only we could have more solitude, more time, less stress and opposition, and fewer challenges to our religious freedom. Kateri, like many saints, reminds us that holiness thrives through the cross.
But we don’t need to carry this cross alone. Kateri had a strong mother, helpful companions, priests, and friends to support her. When confronted with misunderstanding, rejection, and persecution, they modeled courage with habits of prayer, fasting and alms, trust in God, self-discipline, and charity for their brothers and sisters.
Growing up, I remember my parents encouraging my brothers and sisters and me to choose our companions wisely. They knew that we tend to associate with those we would most like to become, and that our companions reveal the values we hold most dear. As we go through life, we realize how important it is to have true friends.
The challenges of our fallen world are better confronted with wholesome and dependable friends at our side. The more time we spend in saintly company, the more we can imitate and adopt their example of courage, purity, passion, and perseverance in faith, whatever adversity we may encounter.
Our Study Circle Guides, Retreat Guides, and Ask a Priest service are meant to accompany you in your journey of faith. Have you considered that your own relationship with Christ and life of prayer are essential not just for you, but for the people around you? We rely upon each other, just like Saint Kateri needed companions for support and guidance. You can even draw your circle of friends closer together in small group study, by using our guides as a means to grow in spiritual companionship, mutual faith, hope, and love.
Be open to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. How might you be a friend and spiritual companion to others? May God continue to strengthen you with new insights, blessings, and graces. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us and for our country!
With the assurance of my prayers,
Director, RC Spirituality