Sunday, December 7, 2014

Loving Their Enemies

Before they arrived, the village had been saved.  The Mohicans had retreated, and the villagers were feasting on one of the Mohicans whom they had captured.

It was too late to do anything about this cannibalism. Father Pierron thought it best to continue on with the two hundred irate Mohawks of the Upper Village whose numbers had been swelled by warriors from Kanawaké, and who were trying to circumvent the retreating Mohicans.  They did circumvent them, captured nineteen scalps which they brought home on a pole, and six men-captives and four women-captives, one of the latter of whom had a suckling at her breast,—a babe born in campaign. Father Perron baptized the suckling before it died. Then he watched the captives—the grown-ones—being made to sing as they marched to Kanawaké. Then he watched them as they were made to perform on the scaffold as Father Isaac Jogues had been made to perform. There was no stopping of these Iroquois ceremonies. All he could do was to instruct as many of the captives as he could in the Faith and baptize them before they were burned. In the flames it was possible for a dying Mohican to recognize Christianity. But the Mohawks triumphant could not catch sight of such a thing. Look how the Black-Robe loves our enemies, snarled a Mohawk. Father Pierron tells us what the answered.
Thereupon I embraced the opportunity to say to our Agniés that I loved their enemies—but with the same love wherewith JESUS CHRIST loves us all—because, as they had souls that were immortal, and so capable of being happy in Heaven, it was part of a Christian's duty to procure the same happiness for them all; that, besides, we were to form in Paradise only one beautiful family of true friends, because there is only one God—Who, loving us all with the same love, unites in Himself all our hearts; and for that reason I was under obligation to love their enemies. But, I added, as for them, besides that common obligation that bound me to love all men in that wise, I had also a very special love for them, because JESUS CHRIST, who is the Master of our lives, had sent me into their country to show them the way to Heaven, and not into the country of the Loups, their enemies.*

* Thwaites,, vo. LIII p. 149.
— Daniel Sargent, Catherine Tekakwitha, NY, 1936, pp. 165–166.