Saint Kateri Tekakwitha lost her Christian Algonquin mother and Mohawk father to smallpox, which also weakened her sight. Her uncle, a Mohawk chief, took her into his longhouse and called her Tekakwitha, One Who Walks Groping Her Way. Even though Tekakwitha was not able to physically see as well as others, she developed a keen insight which led her to become a Christian and live a life of faith and service to others.
If we were to take on the persona of Saint Kateri as One Who Walks Groping Her Way through life, how would we deal the hand that has been dealt us? I think we all experience times in our life when we seem to ‘have eyes but do not see’ or turn a blind eye to something or someone we would rather not deal with. Where do we go to find the insight or direction to make the right decision or act appropriately?
Do we sit at the side of the road with Bartimaeus waiting for Jesus to come and heal us?
A life well-lived can be marked by the times our eyes have been opened to see as Jesus sees, to respond in the manner he would respond and to serve with the eyes of love for all. in the beautiful song we often sing at liturgy, OPEN MY EYES, LORD, we ask for help as One Who Walks Groping Our Way with these lyrics,
Open my eyes, Lord. Help me to see your face.
Open my eyes, Lord. Help me to see.
We give thanks this day for the gift of faith that allows us to see the face of Jesus in our sisters and brothers, regardless of color, race, religion, political affiliation or state in life. As we grope our way in faith, may our eyes be opened to the many needs of those around us especially in the poor, abused, lonely, sick and suffering. Lastly, may we appreciate the beauty around us in sunsets, starry nights, the smile of a child and most of all in those we love and who love us.
Theresa Secord is a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.