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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Getting Back to Our Roots

 St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
     Today's mass was the feast of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. She is the patron saint of immigrants. Born one of 13 children she wanted to become a nun but her poor health prevented it. One day a priest asked her to teach in a girls school and that six year tenure let to her founding Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children. At the request of Pope Leo XIII she immigrated to the US with six nuns in 1889 to work among the Italian immigrants. With her deep faith in God and blessed with administrative ability she soon founded schools, hospitals and orphanages in this new, strange land and with the aid of Italian immigrants and their children,  saw them flourish. Today's readings are congruent with being a stranger in a strange land. To try and reach out in gratitude to those that welcome the new in helping them understand new cultures, languages, traditions.  Having gratitude for guidance, healing and support along new pathways. Each time we are an immigrant, whether it is to a new land, or a new city, or a new job we are the foreigner. Unaware of the operations of our new environment we are vulnerable. Only in our vulnerability we also become sensitive to things we may not have noticed before.  We become sensitive to the needs of others in our own need. As God followers we are chosen to follow the examples in the word, to love one another, especially those hurting, suffering and vulnerable. In watching my online community of nail technicians over the past several weeks I have been ashamed of the actions of a few toward the many. I recently saw a post by a new person in our world that was questioning her move to this industry. She thought she had found a warm welcoming new world only to see horrible, vicious behavior. This shook me to the core. What has happened to our community? What had happened to the idea of welcoming the foreigners? Of guiding them in their new journey as they are vulnerable and insecure. How have we come so far away from our own foreign roots that we are no longer sensitive to the needs of our own community?  I know some may not agree with the deep roots of this lesson and skip over the faith implications and that's fine. Every day, every situation offers us the opportunity to do the right thing, to love and not hate, to lift up not cast down. I am nowhere near perfect, but I pray every day to be a better person and pray for the wisdom and grace to help others be better as well. There is strength in a shared struggle. I don't have any real call to action here, just wanted to put this out here. To ponder.

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