FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
September 30-October 6, 2018
Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF Director
In many parts of the United States nature is showing off its beautiful foliage. These autumn colors remind us that God created a variety of colors in this world for our enjoyment. This is true with the creation of human beings, too. Why can we not enjoy the variety of colors that human beings come in as we do the trees, flowers and other creations? Why do we become upset, if we go to a party and another woman has exactly the same dress? We are so contrary at times, as humans. We need to look closely at our harboring of prejudice against people of color. We often feel threatened, if someone is different from us, whether it is race, culture, religion, politics or whatever. An examination of conscience would be a good practice to root out these attitudes. They have been learned and taught, but they can be unlearned.
All are children of God and there is but one race, the human race.
In this Sunday’s readings we hear very harsh words about wealth, jealousy and the hereafter. In the Book of Numbers 11:25-29 Moses is covered by the Lord with the spirit and this blessing falls on many others with him. They prophesied. Too bad we don’t know what they said. However, some men in the camp also received the spirit and prophesied. Joshua was indignant and told Moses to stop them. Moses recognized this suggestion as one of jealousy and berated Joshua. Moses wanted this spirit to be bestowed on everyone. This is a strong foreshadowing of Pentecost and the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation.
James 5:1-6 calls on all who have wealth, position and power to examine their lives. The manner in which people use these gifts, will determine the manner of their eternal judgment. Jesus’ words are even stronger in Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 when he speaks of sins that will merit being thrown into Gehenna. We don’t like to think of hell and at times we pretend it does not exist. Would a loving God throw us into hell? However, it would not be God who throws one into hell; the human being makes the choice, so freely walks into this place of punishment.
In this same reading we see jealousy raise its head in the words of John, the apostle against a man who drove out demons in the name of Jesus. Jesus says, “…there is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, will surely be rewarded.”
St. Therese of the Child Jesus is a woman who endured the jealousy and spite of some of her own religious sisters. She responded gently and learned patience from everyday aggravations. She wanted to be God’s little ball that he could bounce anyway that he wants. She showed us that we don’t have to do great astounding things, but take each day and offer ever moment as a gift to God. We call it her Little Way to Sanctity.
Tuesday offers us a day to thank our Guardian Angel, since God has bestowed one of these precious beings to guard and bless each of us. Some say it is a good idea to give this being a name, since naming is very personal.
We Franciscans are looking forward to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on Thursday. He is a man who realized his use of wealth and manner of living was not pleasing to God. We might say that he went a little bit to the extreme, but the result was an astounding, loving, gentle man who taught us how to live the Gospel. He said, “I have done what is mine to do; now, you do what is yours.” Yes. We each have a unique path to living the Gospel. Daily, we search for this treasure in the manner we choose to li
Sister Rosemarie Goins, Director