By Claudio Lavanga, NBC News
sourced from http://worldnews.nbcnews.com
VATICAN CITY - She was known as Lily of the Mohawks, or the Pocahontas of the Catholic Church. But on Sunday, Kateri Tekakwitha went down in history as the first Native American saint.
Born more than 300 years ago in the Mohawks village of Ossernion - today Ausierville, forty miles from Albany NY - she was one of seven people canonized by Pope Benedict XVI Sunday in an open-air ceremony held in Saint Peter's Square.
One of the remaining six was also American: Mother Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who cared for leprosy patients in Hawaii.
Kateri had a short life – she died at 24 – and yet, as for most saints, her devotion to Christianity, sacrifices and "heroic virtue" were so inspirational that her legacy survived for generations.
Her mother was a Christian Algonquin woman who was captured during a raid and given as wife to a Mohawks tribal member. She was born in the middle of the 17th century, a time of infighting between rival American tribes, deadly diseases and colonization. And a time when French Jesuit priests preached in the area, trying to convert locals to Christianity.
Come to the quiet
These 3-Minute Retreats from the Loyola press invite you to take a short prayer break right at your computer. Spend some quiet time reflecting on a Scripture passage.
Knowing that not everyone prays at the same pace, you have control over the pace of the retreat. After each screen, a Continue button will appear. Click it when you are ready to move on. If you are new to online prayer, the basic timing of the screens will guide you through the experience. click here or on the image to begin your retreat.
3-minutos de retiro
On Pentecost Sunday, God breathed the Holy Spirit into the apostles to remind them that they were not alone. Jesus had died, risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven. Jesus' followers were afraid and unsure of their future. The Holy Spirit came to comfort them even though Jesus wasn't there to physically comfort them any more. What does the Holy Spirit mean to us today? Much the same thing it meant for the apostles. We too are recipients of the Spirit, given to help us in our lives. According to Judeo-Christian tradition there are seven Gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, understanding, right judgement, knowledge, courage, reverence, and fear of God. The best part is that you don't have to be religious to use them. These gifts are not beyond us or waiting to be found. They lie within each person waiting to be retrieved and used. And they can be reordered to act as a kind of guide to living out one's life and making decisions. Who doesn't needa little help with that?
Awe (Fear of God)
This is the gift that comes to us when we see the beauty of God's creation around us: a child splashing in a puddle on a sun soaked day, the beauty of nations coming together in peace at the Olympics, the grandeur of a snow-capped mountaintop. The gift of awe lets us see God in all things. It gives us that feeling of hope for our life and world. Maybe I get that feeling when I hear a good song, and I sigh feeling grateful for all God has given me. This is where our lives should start.
That awe brings me to my knees in reverence. It's a moment of surrender, like sharing a moment of awe with a friend — words fall quiet. There are no words to describe what you're experiencing. With the challenges of everyday life, the gift of reverence places God immediately in our lens. "Do not let your hearts be troubled," Jesus said. Suddenly we can find in our hearts a real trust and reliance on God. We want to be holy and live a better life! Anxieties and fears seem to melt away. Remember, this gift exists within us already. The only way to let it emerge is by pausing and being attentive to how awe-some creation can be (see previous gift). When this happens, reverence moves us to desire something greater, beyond us, and to find deeper meaning. It's like falling in love.