Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin
Many of us regularly find God in nature – a walk in the woods or a forest – sitting by a babbling brook – watching a beautiful sunset – looking up at the stars on a clear night. – putting our hands in the dirt, planting flowers and or vegetables, for me, sitting near the beehive in my backyard.
The gift of Jesus in the Eucharist is found in two of the most popular staples in nature: bread and wine. The ritual at the “presentation of the bread and the wine” transitions us from the Liturgy of the Word into the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Today we celebrate the memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be canonized in the Church. Orphaned at an early age, she was baptized on Easter Sunday in 1676 and became a Catholic under the direction of a Jesuit missionary. She would go into the forest regularly (in upper New York) to find God and pray. It is also said that she had an intense devotion to the Eucharist. Among other things, she is known as the patroness of the environment and ecology.
Many saints have written about finding God in silence, Saint Peter Julian Eymard and Saint Teresa of Calcutta, to name two. Saint Teresa wrote, “God cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence.”
May we each find today some time to be with God in some quiet place, a chapel, a walk in the woods, or your favorite prayer space. And pay special attention to the words at the Presentation of the Gifts at Mass today.
Let Us Pray:
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness, we have received the bread we offer you, fruit of the earth, work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life. Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you, fruit of the vine, work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.