S. Katharine Drexel| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Katharine Drexel
If your father is an international banker and you ride in a private railroad car, you are not likely to be drawn into a life of voluntary poverty. But if your mother opens your home to the poor three days each week and your father spends half an hour each evening in prayer, it is not impossible that you will devote your life to the poor and give away millions of dollars. Katharine Drexel did that.
She was born in Philadelphia in 1858. She had an excellent education and traveled widely. As a rich girl, she had a grand debut into society. But when she nursed her stepmother through a three-year terminal illness, she saw that all the Drexel money could not buy safety from pain or death, and her life took a profound turn.
She had always been interested in the plight of the Indians, having been appalled by what she read in Helen Hunt Jackson’s A Century of Dishonor. While on a European tour, she met Pope Leo XIII and asked him to send more missionaries to Wyoming for her friend Bishop James O’Connor. The pope replied, “Why don’t you become a missionary?” His answer shocked her into considering new possibilities.
Back home, Katharine visited the Dakotas, met the Sioux leader Red Cloud and began her systematic aid to Indian missions.
She could easily have married. But after much discussion with Bishop O’Connor, she wrote in 1889, “The feast of St. Joseph brought me the grace to give the remainder of my life to the Indians and the Colored.” Newspaper headlines screamed “Gives Up Seven Million!”
After three and a half years of training, she and her first band of nuns (Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored) opened a boarding school in Santa Fe. A string of foundations followed. By 1942 she had a system of black Catholic schools in 13 states, plus 40 mission centers and 23 rural schools. Segregationists harassed her work, even burning a school in Pennsylvania. In all, she established 50 missions for Indians in 16 states.
Two saints met when Katharine was advised by Mother Cabrini about the “politics” of getting her Order’s Rule approved in Rome. Her crowning achievement was the founding of Xavier University in New Orleans, the first Catholic university in the United States for African Americans.
At 77, she suffered a heart attack and was forced to retire. Apparently her life was over. But now came almost 20 years of quiet, intense prayer from a small room overlooking the sanctuary. Small notebooks and slips of paper record her various prayers, ceaseless aspirations and meditation. She died at 96 and was canonized in 2000.
Saints have always said the same thing: Pray, be humble, accept the cross, love and forgive. But it is good to hear these things in the American idiom from one who, for instance, had her ears pierced as a teenager, who resolved to have “no cake, no preserves,” who wore a watch, was interviewed by the press, traveled by train and could concern herself with the proper size of pipe for a new mission. These are obvious reminders that holiness can be lived in today’s culture as well as in that of Jerusalem or Rome.
“The patient and humble endurance of the cross—whatever nature it may be—is the highest work we have to do.” “Oh, how far I am at 84 years of age from being an image of Jesus in his sacred life on earth!” (St. Katharine Drexel)
Because we have had our own share of pain, we gain credibilty with those who still suffer. We offer hope in a way that those whose lives have been untouched by pain cannot. We become living examples that heartache, broken relationships, physical pain, and grief are not insurmountable with the help of God.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
You must assure your brothers and sisters that, in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, in this sacrament of love, we have true life, a blessed life and true happiness.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111
This first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction to this book, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.
In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.
The reflections in this first chapter, based on the first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.
Reflection 62: The Small Sacrifices of Life
Do small sacrifices matter? Sometimes we can think that we should try to do great things. Some may have ideas of grandeur and dream of accomplishing some great feats. But what about the small, monotonous, daily sacrifices we make? Sacrifices such as cleaning, working, helping another, forgiving, etc.? Do the small things matter? Most certainly. They are a treasure we give to God like none other. Small daily sacrifices are like a field in the open valley, filled as far as the eye can see with beautiful wild flowers. One flower is lovely, but when we commit ourselves to these small acts of love all day, every day, we present to God a flowing field of endless beauty and magnificence (See Diary #208).
Reflect upon the small things today. What is it that you do each day that tires you and seems boring or unimportant. Know that these acts, perhaps more than any other, present you with a glorious opportunity to honor and glorify God in a magnificent way.
Lord, I offer You my day. I offer You all that I do and all that I am. I especially offer You the small things I do every day. May each action become a gift to You, offering You honor and glory throughout my day. Jesus, I trust in You.