posted on: Monday, October 05, 2015 by: renaebauer
With our sights set on heaven let us listen
to Jesus' words
A man who observes God's Commandments asks Jesus if he, the man,
will inherit God's Kingdom. Jesus tells him and us that the
treasures of this world are not the treasures of heaven.
- Do I know and practice the Ten Commandments?
- Have I generously shared with others what God has entrusted to
posted on: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 by: renaebauer
Pope: St. Francis helps us hear & see
God's goodness through nature
by Sister Rose Jochmann
Sunday, Oct. 4, is a special day for us Franciscans. It is
the Feast of our community's patron, St. Francis of Assisi.
Appropriately, this Sunday's first reading is from the Book of
Genesis which states, "the Lord God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air ..." St. Francis
had a great love and care for all creation. He saw creation as
God's gift to us.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, recognizes St. Francis' love and
care for creation in his recent encyclical letter, Laudato
Si. The first line of this letter is "Praise to you, my Lord"
which is taken from St. Francis' Canticle of Creatures. Pope
Francis dedicates a section of chapter 1 to St. Francis of
Assisi. He states, "Saint Francis, faithful to Scripture,
invites us to see nature as a magnificent book in which God speaks
to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness."
In his letter, Pope Francis challenges us in many ways including
saving natural resources, evaluating whether we are compulsive
consumers, and learning how climate change affects the poor.
- How can I show a greater concern and respect for God's gift of
earth and all creation?
- In what ways can I reuse rather than buy new and "throw away"
- Am I planning to read Pope Francis' letter, Laudato
Si, found at your local bookstore, on
Amazon, etc. NOTE: it is very easy to read!
posted on: Thursday, September 24, 2015 by: renaebauer
Our lives are an opportunity to say 'thank
you' for God's goodness
by Sister Francis Bangert
"Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets. Would that
the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all!" (Nm 11:29)
From the time of Moses in the Old Testament to the time of James
and Mark in the New Testament, we hear the timeless message.
Avoid thoughts, words and actions that flow from a heart that is
jealous, intolerant, unjust, arrogant and greedy, blocking the work
of the Spirit. Be like the Holy One who, though just, also pours
out loving kindness on those "who have their heart in the right
- In my family/home, in my workplace or school, in my social
life, how do I build walls that create suspicion, separation and
- How do I intentionally search for ways that reach out, pardon,
include and understand the other?
- Am I as eager to forgive and show loving kindness to the other
as the Spirit of Love does for me?
"For the love of God is broader than the measures of
And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind
If our love were but more simple we should take him at his
And our lives would be thanksgiving for the goodness of our
("There's a Wideness in God's Mercy," verse
posted on: Thursday, September 17, 2015 by: renaebauer
'The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace'
-- James 3:18
Sept. 21 is International Day of Peace. The word "peace" appears
in the Bible approximately 250 times. In the New Testament, Jesus
gives us peace and sends us forth in peace time and again.
- How do I give peace in home and neighborhood?
- How do I support peace on a global level?
posted on: Thursday, September 10, 2015 by: renaebauer
Authentic discipleship is to surrender what
is valued here for what is valued by God
by Sister Annette Koss
Mark is writing to his Christian community about the true
Messiah and what it means to be a servant disciple. Messiahs were
common and often political against Rome and the wealthy Jewish
class that supported Rome. So, Jesus raised the question, "Who do
you say that I am?"
Jesus lived in a climate of political unrest and social
disharmony. He walked headlong into situations of confrontation.
What was different is that Jesus chose the path of a non-violent
servant. By being powerless, a new power emerged from within --
that of non-violent resistance. By taking this posture of
non-violence, Jesus maintained his spiritual power and ransomed
future victims from the same violence. To gain one's self is to put
one's self at risk to interrupt the flow of violence.
This is a threshold moment in Mark's Gospel. The disciples
slowly acknowledge Jesus as Messiah and the true identity of Jesus
is slowly revealed. Jesus is not a political messiah but a
non-violent servant who reveals what it means to be a disciple.
In the remainder of the Gospel, Mark defines the way of
discipleship -- to deny oneself, to take up the cross, and follow
- Who is Jesus for me?
- How do I follow?
posted on: Thursday, September 03, 2015 by: renaebauer
How can we better respond to Jesus' blessings
in our lives?
by Sister Agnes Fischer
Sunday's Gospel tells us that Jesus opened the ears and loosened
the tongue of the deaf mute. We pray:
- Lord, loosen our tongues ...
- In defense of someone we hear being defamed or being blamed for
something they did not do
- To speak a word of forgiveness when we have been offended
- To pronounce the magic words "pardon me" when we have
- To speak words of gratitude and praise to our children and/or
- ... and open our ears ...
- To the trusting voices of children
- To the silent complaints of our immigrant families
- To the call for help of the hungry and homeless
- To the clamor for justice of the oppressed
- To the hopeful voices of those looking for work
- To the Word of God proclaimed in our church and whispered in
You who make the deaf hear and the mute speak, hear our
posted on: Thursday, August 27, 2015 by: renaebauer
4 R's of back-to-school plan: Reading,
'riting, 'rithmetic & religion
Gaze upon the passage from Psalms in the picture below. Then
consider one or both reflective questions.
- In the past year how have I grown in faith? What is one
concrete way I can deepen my faith in the coming year?
- How do I share our Great Teacher's lessons with others?
posted on: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 by: renaebauer
How do you answer Jesus' question: 'Do you
also want to leave?'
by Sister Margaret Mary Halbach
Sunday's first reading from Joshua and the Gospel from John have
a common theme. They are both about serving the Lord.
Joshua tells the Tribes at Sheckem to "decide today whom you
will serve. ... As for me and my household, we will serve the
Lord." We all know that serving the Lord is important. Growing up
in a German family, our attending Mass and receiving the Sacraments
were vital. As for our family, "we will serve the Lord
When I grew older and attended the Convent, the Gospel of John
was read, taken apart, discussed and more thoroughly explained. We
were taught how the Word of the Lord was to be deep in our hearts
and lived with truth and enthusiasm. Sometimes, like the disciples,
I complained about how hard it was to live the Word of the Lord but
making the effort has enriched my life.
Some of Jesus' followers left Him because of their lack of
belief. Jesus gave them a choice, "Do you also want to
leave?" Peter, who was the spokesperson, answered Him.
"Master, to whom shall we go? You have the Words of Eternal Life.
We have come to believe and are convinced you are the Holy One of
This weekend, as you hear the readings proclaimed, consider the
depth of your faith in Christ. Is your faith strong enough to
wholeheartedly accept the Words of Eternal Life and commit to them
in your life? Picture the Lord asking you, "Do you also want to
leave?" Is your response, "Lord, to whom shall we go?" He is our
God and our All and we will cling faithfully to Him.
I will remember you each in my prayers this week as you reflect
on the powerful readings of this Sunday. Blessings be
posted on: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 by: renaebauer
Jesus: 'Whoever eats this bread will live
by Sister Jacqueline Capelle
Jesus told the crowds, "I am the living bread that came down
from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the
bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
What is the "flesh" that comes to the world? It is a gift from
God, given to us in bread and wine. But they are more than symbols.
When consecrated they are the Real Presence of Jesus, our
sustenance for everlasting life -- the heart of our Catholic
Being fed by the Real Presence, how are you called to share
Jesus with others?
posted on: Thursday, August 06, 2015 by: renaebauer
Prayer, community life and ministry all begin
"So be imitators of God -- and live
in love." (Ephesians 5:1)
by Sister Elise Cholewinski
One of the highlights of the summer for our Sisters is the
celebration of Jubilee Day. As we participate in this joyous
occasion, we are invited once again to consider the meaning of the
commitment we have made. St. Paul says it very well in Sunday's
second reading: religious life is a life of love.
A Sister in her 90s enters the convent chapel in the evening and
kneels on the floor before the tabernacle. She spends the last few
minutes of her day in communion with her Beloved. Religious
life involves a deep, intimate, personal love of Jesus Christ.
Personal prayer is at the heart of a Sister's daily routine.
A Sister attends her mother's funeral two weeks before
Christmas. She spends several days at the convent during the
holiday season, praying, visiting, sharing meals with the Sisters,
and repeating her story yet one more time. As she drives home to
her mission, she tells herself, "I feel so loved." Religious
life is about sharing joys and dreams, burdens and pain, with a
group of women who inspire and encourage, befriend and support each
other. Being bonded with her Community, a Sister is assured
that she never has to walk the journey alone.
A Sister returns home after school and announces that although
she has reached the retirement age, her parish will do anything to
keep her there. She has made such an impact on the children and
their families that the administrator will create a new position
for her. A Sister serves in many ways, through education, healing,
and related ministries, but her presence goes far beyond the
particular work that she does. She is remembered primarily for the
love she has shown.
Prayer, community life, ministry -- these are the pillars of
religious life and they are all dimensions of that one commitment
to love. Jesus is the center of that one dedication. As a Sister
moves into the future, her only goal is to fall more deeply in
love. Why? Because she knows that God has first loved her with an