By the prayers and example of Saint Katherine Drexel,
enable us to work for justice
among the poor and the oppressed,
and keep us united in love
in the Eucharistic community of your Church…
Today is the feast of Saint Katherine Drexel, daughter of a rich Philadelphia banker. But, with his example of daily prayer and the example of her step-mother who served the poor three times a week in her home, she developed a faith that strove for justice.
Alarmed at the poverty and oppression among Native Americans and African Americans, she asked the pope to send missionaries. His response was to the point, “Why not become a missionary yourself?” She did and founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
This morning, the prayer for her feast day noted above, struck me.
We ask to be enabled to work for justice among the poor and the oppressed – not for them, but among them. This is a struggle with them, taking part with them – not as leaders, but accompanying them.
It is also a prayer to keep united in love, in the Eucharist. Mother Katherine Drexel had a deep devotion to the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the presence of Christ uniting us in love with all people.
Justice and the Eucharist – two dimensions of the holiness of Saint Katherine.
Justice among the poor and Eucharist in union with the whole Body of Christ – these are for me, especially as a deacon, the central dimensions of my life.
The image is taken from an article in Franciscan Media, found here.