In our world, there is division, un-love, and un-forgiveness. The challenge and wounds can go so deep that we are tempted to accept the status quo of division rather than engage in the hard work of reconciliation. Let us choose to Love and Forgive. For otherwise, the insanity continues…with the same results. There is only one way. The red road, the sacred path of righteousness. Imitate the life of Jesus Christ through Humility, Love, and Forgiveness. “Father forgive them for they not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Forgive the unforgivable.
In the Lakota language, Tunkasila translates to Grandfather or Creator. Whereas, Wakan Tanka translates into the divine, sacred or “The Great Spirit.” The Indigenous people of this country are the first Nation, the first to imitate the life of Jesus and the path to peace. Jesus walked the Americas. Many Native American legends describe the “saintly white teacher,” who performed miracles with healing and control over the wind, water, and other natural elements. Common to almost all was his message of love and peace.
Oglala Lakota Chiefs’ Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Black Elk were great leaders and modern-day prophets. In many ways, their culture reflected their love and understanding of the Creator. The Lakota lived the sacred path of righteousness or the red road and this is what made the Lakota Nation great. Red Cloud’s famous quote, “I am poor and naked, but I am the Chief of the Nation. We do not want riches but we do want to teach our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches, we want peace and love.”
Crazy Horse’s 7th generation prophecy, “…I see a time of seven generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again. In that day there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things, and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom. I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am that place within me, we shall be as one.” We are now living in the 7th generation.
Nicholas Black Elk, Lakota Spiritual Leader, Medicine Man, and catechist served God in traditional Lakota spirituality and through his Catholic faith. On October 21, 2017, at the Holy Rosary Church on the Red Cloud Indian School campus on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Bishop Robert Gruss celebrated a mass to open the cause for canonization for this holy man and mystic. Chief Black Elk was blessed with a vision as a child on the highest peak in the Black Hills. This peak now bears his name-Black Elk Peak. In the October 2017 edition of the West River Catholic, Deacon Marlon Leneaugh, the director of Native Ministry for the Diocese of Rapid City states that his vision is that “we must live together like one being. He will continue to unite people from different cultures and backgrounds and bring them to the one Lord of us all.” This truly is a historic event for the world to witness Nicholas Black Elk’s legacy to unite all people in love.
The stage is being set. The energy in western South Dakota is palpable. In the past five years, the following Godcidents have occurred (there are no coincidences): Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized the first Native American Saint. Harney Peak renamed Black Elk Peak, unveiling the statue of Dignity in Chamberlain, the coming together of humanity during the Dakota Access Pipeline protest and the open the cause for canonization for Nicholas Black Elk. Let us learn from these great Oglala Lakota prophets and live each day sacred. Let us walk the red road on the path to peace and honor Crazy Horse’s prophecy: the Lakota’s manifest destiny to bring peace and unity to a troubled world. The sacred path will once again make the Lakota Nation great. Let us choose to love and forgive. For when kindness and truth shall meet, justice and peace shall kiss. Psalm 85:11.
Dr. George J. Ceremuga, II, DO
Ambassador for Christ