THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK January 22- 28, 2017

Sister Rosemarie Goins, Felician Franciscan

January 22- 28, 2017

imagesMonday is a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.  Scripture this Sunday speaks of the prophesy of Isaiah 8:23-9:3 in Matthew 4: 12-23 about Jesus, “…the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.”  Our land of the U.S.A and the entire world is “overshadowed by death” today.  Millions of human beings have been killed before they even had a chance to breathe the precious air God created. Much of humankind still sits in “darkness.” Perhaps this is why God came as a tiny baby to show the beauty of a new born child.  This Jesus was human at the moment of his conception.  The Angel Gabriel said, “He is the Son of the Most High…” Luke 3:25   Even Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, said, “…blest is the fruit of your womb…but who am I that the Mother of my Lord should visit me?” Luke 1: 42-43 These passages speak loud and clear that the child in the womb is human from conception.

We can only pray with mercy and love in our hearts for those who do not value the life of the unborn.

This attitude and ignorance has led to all manner of disrespect and de-valuing of life at all stages – the elderly, the disabled, the dying, the “different” and all the other people who stand in the way of “selfishness.” Offer all the daily aggravations and disappointments as penance for these sins.  May the Light of Jesus enter all our hearts and bless us with knowledge and generosity.

The Catholic Online, Catholic Encyclopedia continues to provide us with facts about the saints.   St. Vincent of Saragossa, Spain, deacon, was a martyr of the third century.  He refused to burn the Bible or deny his faith in Jesus Christ.  His jailer was converted at seeing Vincent’s tranquility and patience during his terrible torture.

St. Marianne Cope, a Sister of St. Francis of Assisi of Syracuse, was a child immigrant to the United States from Germany.  For a time she was a teacher in New York. Then, she opened the first two hospitals in Central New York in the latter part of the nineteenth century.  She permitted the students from the Geneva Medical Center of New York to work in the hospitals, but said that the patients could refuse their care. This was one of the first times a patient was given the right to refuse medical care. As Superior General of her order, she accepted the invitation to work with lepers in Molokai. She established a hospital and clinics to work with the lepers.  She became known as Marianne of Molokai.

St. Francis de Sales, a Bishop in Switzerland in the seventeenth century, was very strong in his teaching that holiness was for everyone.  He combated the attitude and belief that only priests and religious could be holy.  He laid the basis for Vatican II’s proclamation of the universality of the vocation of holiness in the 1960’s.

The famous Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles and author of many epistles in the Bible, is an encouragement to all of us to get down off of our “high horse” and follow God’s will. Remember this great teacher and saint on Wednesday.

Saints Timothy and Titus, beloved disciples of St. Paul, travelled with Paul on some of his journeys. Timothy later became Bishop of Ephesus and Titus, Bishop of Crete.

St. Angela Merici, a Franciscan tertiary of the sixteenth century, was appalled at the neglect of the education of girls, especially in their religion.  Though nuns and unmarried women were not allowed to teach, Angela organized a group of women to teach in their homes, children who were gathered from the streets. This radical form of teaching took time to catch on.  Angela is credited with the foundation of the first group of religious women to teach publically.  They lived in their own homes and met for common prayer and support.  Angela wrote a rule of life for the Company of Ursula, though it was not approved in her lifetime.  We know them belovedly as Ursulines here in Laredo, Texas.  They were the first sisters to come to the United States.

Last but not least, is St. Thomas Aquinas, Dominican, on Saturday.  He is the great theologian on which much of the Church’s theology is based.  He is the patron of students and teachers.

When we see the accomplishments of both lay, priestly and religious of the past, we can rejoice.  We belong to a company of great people. We have the support and the power to accomplish great things in Christ Jesus.

Sister Rosemarie Goins, Felician Franciscan


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