“How then can we as believers help others to walk the path of freedom which brings fulfillment and lasting happiness? Let us again turn to the saints. How did their witness truly free others from the darkness of heart and mind? The answer is found in the kernel of their faith; the kernel of our faith.” Pope Benedict XVI 4/19/08
What kept Bakhita’s hope alive during her days of slavery and imprisonment? How did she stay on that path of freedom? Somewhere within her spirit was that kernel of faith waiting to be watered and nourished by the Canossian Sisters. Created in God’s image, she longed to know Him even in her youth; surely that innate certainty of a Master of her soul somehow enabled her to survive the darkness she had to endure. “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God”, St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans. “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’”(Romans 8:14-15)
We each contain that same kernel of faith. How do we nurture it? Do we accept with humility the teachings of our Church the way Bakhita did? Do we spend time in prayer and Scripture reading each day, helping that tiny seed to grow? If faith comes from hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), then let us open our ears to listen! Help us, St. Josephine Bakhita, to continue on the path of freedom as you did.
St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for us!