THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK May 14-20, 2017

Sister Rosemarie Goins, Felician Franciscan


IMG_2106Praise God and give thanks for the wonderful gift and creation of motherhood.  God so valued motherhood that he chose to create one for himself, the Blessed Virgin Mary. This mystery was the downfall of some of the angels, who refused to worship the child of this woman.  This child was to be both human and divine. These angels believed themselves greater than humans and would not accept this seeming humiliation.  From thence, Mary became the enemy of these angels.  We often see imagines of Mary standing on the head of the serpent, the devil. She is the Mother of Mothers and lives as an example of the compassionate, loving woman for whom we give thanks.  This day we also give thanks to the women who gave us life and cradled us in their wombs.  There are also many women along our life’s journey, who have nurtured us.  For them we give thanks, too.


The ordinary stone is used symbolically in Sunday’s readings from 1 Peter 2: 4-9.  It seems appropriate for Peter, who is the “rock upon which Jesus built his church,” Matthew 16:18 to preach about Jesus as the “living stone.”  “Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings, but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house…”  Jesus is the cornerstone that holds up the whole edifice of the church, just as he is the cornerstone in each of our spiritual houses. This cornerstone needs protection through prayer and good works, so that it is not dislodged by the evil one.


John 14: 1-12 gives us the wonderful image of Jesus as, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”  It shows us the timelessness of Jesus – “I Am.”  The path is marked clearly.  No lies distort this journey. It is one of clarity and transparency.  The reward is life here and hereafter – the resurrection.


The Feast of St. Isidore the Farmer is one very beloved by the rural communities. He came on the scene in the 11th-12th centuries in Spain. Because his family was so poor, he was hired out to a farmer, whom he served for the rest of his life.  He was often late for work, because he was serving Mass, but his plowing was done by angels, according to legend, and yielded plentiful crops.  He was highly respected by the other employees and his master.  Miracles were attributed to him of the feeding of the hungry, even birds. His body is uncorrupt.


In 1400 during a terrible plague a young man, Bernardine, approached a hospital in Siena, Italy and offered to care for the sick and dying. He served there for four months and then collapsed from exhaustion. When he recovered, he cared for an aunt. Being of noble birth, he continued his studies after her death. Because he was unsatisfied with his life, he decided to enter the Franciscan Order.  He became a priest and was commissioned to preach, but his voice was too weak and raspy.  He became the head of the order and strove to bring back the original spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.  After this ministry he became healed of his weakness of voice and became a great preacher throughout Italy.  He was hailed as the “Apostle of Italy” and was sometimes compared to St. Paul.  He brought about reform in his own religious community, as well as, the church and the political and social communities of his day.


As we see the working of these “living stones,” Isadore and Bernardine, both peasant and nobleman, we can take heart and be “living stones” today.  Perhaps we are already well on the path of building the “spiritual house” of ourselves and others. May these endeavors be blessed with the “cornerstone – Jesus.”


Your sister on the journey,

Sister Rosemarie Goins, Felician Franciscan


Categories: Reflection | Leave a comment

Readings for May 14th

I was 19 when my cousin came to live with my family. He was just out of the Marines. He was not doing very well and was lost in many ways. When we were children we had been close, but it had been a few years since we had seen each other, and trying to re-establish our friendship was hard.

via Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, May 14, 2017 — CNS Blog

Categories: Reflection | Leave a comment

What is it to “know”

7 If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time […]

via Dwelling place: the Father — friarmusings

Categories: Reflection | Leave a comment

“Do not let your hearts be troubled,

ccccYears ago, while driving home with my family from celebrating a Mother’s Day dinner, there was a beautiful rainbow in the sky. I remembered the quote from this week’s Gospel, which was also the Gospel on that Mother’s Day many years ago: “Do not let your hearts be troubled, where I am you also will be.” (John 14: 1) I told my parents that I thought the rainbow was a sign from God for all the mothers who had lost a child that year. Today, as a grown daughter who lost her very precious and dear Mother a year ago, I know that a rainbow, and these words of Jesus, also may bring comfort and peace this Mother’s Day for children whose Mothers are now with God.  

Perhaps it is because of the recent loss of my own Mom that my attention is drawn to news regarding how our nation is treating Mothers. Is our country seriously attempting to cut healthcare funding for maternity care? Are leaders of our country (i.e. the Attorney General and Homeland Security) having conversations about separating children from their mothers as they flee violence and attempt to enter the United States? Was our Attorney General referring to Mothers (or any human being) when, in his prepared speech to the border control in Nogales, Arizona, he referred to those crossing the border as “filth” (a word he omitted during the actual speech)? How many families are we tearing apart, how many Mothers are we separating from their children (including from at least one special needs child) through deportation?  

St. Francis quoted this week’s Gospel as the first sentence in his Sacred Admonitions: “I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life…” (John 14: 6) Throughout His public life, Jesus gave his disciples examples for all time of how genuine faith leads to action. Our baptismal mandate impels us to take action against injustice shown toward any Mother and toward any human being. This week’s Gospel assures that those who attempt to live lives following His Way, His Truth and His Life “will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these.” (John 14: 12)   As Francis was dying he is attributed with saying to his brothers, “I have done what was mine to do; may Christ teach you what you are to do.” In an Apostolic Letter dated 46 years ago Sunday, Pope Paul VI mirrors these words of St. Francis when he urges “Let everyone examine themselves, to see what they have done up to now, and what they ought to do. It is not enough to….point to crying injustice and utter prophetic denunciations; these words will lack real weight unless they are accompanied for each individual by a livelier awareness of personal responsibility and by effective action.” (Apostolic Letter, May 14, 1971 (48)) May we honor our Mothers today by asking Christ to teach us what is “ours to do,” and by taking effective actions against the injustices shown towards Mothers in our society.  

Sister Maryann Mueller, CSSF
FAN Board Secretary

Categories: Reflection | Leave a comment


Sister Rosemarie Goins, Felician Franciscan

Jesus said, “I came so that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 This gift of life is a cause for rejoicing.  Easter is a season for thanksgiving. Jesus chose to come to this earth as the Shepherd of our souls. He came to find the lost and to restore them to their proper existence. At what cost? His very life. “When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten…he bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness…Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps…you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2: 20-25

Just as Jesus freely chose to offer himself as the “Shepherd and guardian of our souls,” 1 Peter 2: 25 we, too, have a choice to follow him. We can claim the rewards of Jesus’ death and Resurrection, but there will be a price to pay.  We need have no fear of what is to come, because we walk behind our leader, Jesus, the Christ.

The image of Good Shepherd is very powerful one.  It almost cost Jesus’ his life by stoning. John 10: 1-23  We may ask why?  Shepherds weren’t exacting at the top of career choices. Psalm 23 gives the answer, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”  When Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd,” he was claiming to be God.

The Jewish law demanded a stoning to death for anyone who claimed to be God. They even tried to arrest at this time.

This coming Saturday, May 13, is the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima appearance in Portugal.

She appeared to three shepherd children, Lucia, 9, Francisco, 8 and Jacinta, 6. Mary is known by several titles in this apparition – Immaculate Heart of Mary and Madonna of the Rosary. Actually, an “Angel of Peace” appeared to them several times, preparing the way for the “Lady in White” to make herself known to the children in 2016 during the time of World War I. She asked the children to devote themselves to the Trinity and to pray the Rosary daily for the end to war and conversion of sinners.  Mary predicted that more war, starvation and the persecution of the Church would continue through the ages, but that her Immaculate Heart would triumph. It is a good practice to carry a Rosary in your pocket to remind you of the need for prayer and penance for personal conversion and that of the whole world.

This Sunday is also World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Pope Francis in his Sunday Regina Coeli Address, called the faithful to follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd and to beware of the “stranger,” who may lead us away from Jesus with “false wisdom” and distract us from the path through the “gate” of salvation, Jesus.

Devoted to the Good Shepherd, I remain your sister,

Sister Rosemarie Goins, Felician Franciscan


Categories: Reflection | Leave a comment


Saints Philip and James’ Story

James, Son of Alphaeus: We know nothing of this man except his name, and, of course, the fact that Jesus chose him to be one of the 12 pillars of the New Israel, his Church. He is not the James of Acts, son of Clopas, “brother” of Jesus and later bishop of Jerusalem and the traditional author of the Letter of James. James, son of Alphaeus, is also known as James the Lesser to avoid confusing him with James the son of Zebedee, also an apostle and known as James the Greater.

Philip: Philip came from the same town as Peter and Andrew, Bethsaida in Galilee. Jesus called him directly, whereupon he sought out Nathanael and told him of the “one about whom Moses wrote” (John 1:45).

Like the other apostles, Philip took a long time coming to realize who Jesus was. On one occasion, when Jesus saw the great multitude following him and wanted to give them food, he asked Philip where they should buy bread for the people to eat. Saint John comments, “[Jesus] said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do” (John 6:6). Philip answered, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit]” (John 6:7).

John’s story is not a put-down of Philip. It was simply necessary for these men who were to be the foundation stones of the Church to see the clear distinction between humanity’s total helplessness apart from God and the human ability to be a bearer of divine power by God’s gift.

On another occasion, we can almost hear the exasperation in Jesus’s voice. After Thomas had complained that they did not know where Jesus was going, Jesus said, “I am the way…If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:6a, 7). Then Philip said, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8). Enough! Jesus answered, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9a).

Possibly because Philip bore a Greek name or because he was thought to be close to Jesus, some gentile proselytes came to him and asked him to introduce them to Jesus. Philip went to Andrew, and Andrew went to Jesus. Jesus’s reply in John’s Gospel is indirect; Jesus says that now his “hour” has come, that in a short time he will give his life for Jew and gentile alike.


As in the case of the other apostles, we see in James and Philip human men who became foundation stones of the Church, and we are reminded again that holiness and its consequent apostolate are entirely the gift of God, not a matter of human achieving. All power is God’s power, even the power of human freedom to accept his gifts. “You will be clothed with power from on high,” Jesus told Philip and the others. Their first commission had been to expel unclean spirits, heal diseases, announce the kingdom. They learned, gradually, that these externals were sacraments of an even greater miracle inside their persons—the divine power to love like God.

Saints Philip and James are the Patron Saints of:


Categories: Reflection | Leave a comment

3rd Sunday of Easter

Our gospel on this 3rd Sunday of Easter is St. Luke’s telling of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. It is a story about a journey of faith even as it is a journey to faith. The thing about journeys is that you often do not realize that you are on one, or […]

via Where do you look? — friarmusings

Categories: Reflection | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at