A Coronavirus Prayer by Kerry Weber

Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.

Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from helping one another.

Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.

Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.

Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.

Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace.

Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.

Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.

Jesus Christ, heal us.

The Cosmic Christ

cosmic Christ

“For in Christ the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
and you have come to fullness in him ….”  Colossians 2, 9-10

 I am writing to you on the Memorial of Blessed John Duns Scotus, November 8th.  This seems a very fitting day to encourage us all to reflect on Jesus as the “Cosmic Christ” during this month of November.

We are moving toward the end of this liturgical year with the celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, on the last Sunday of this month.

John Duns Scotus wrote beautifully of the “primacy of Christ” in the loving plan of God’s creation of the cosmos.  Just as we often speak of a newborn child looking like their mother or their father, our Loving God looks at us and sees the reflection of the Beloved Son.  We each carry the image of Christ, and we are invited to grow ever more into the likeness of him.

As we do this we help “enliven” and “awaken” the human family to our deepest vocation: union with God and the encouragement of all to come into this divine communion.  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), a Jesuit priest and paleontologist who was influenced by Scotus, built on this “love-centered” spirituality and saw in his times this deeper dimension of Christ the King as the “Cosmic Christ.”  Christ is both the image of who we are from the beginning of creation and the One who is calling us into ever greater union as a human family and cosmos from the “end point” of creation.

Christ is the “animating One” at the heart of all of life.  As we draw close to Christ in prayer, we grow stronger in knowing both our deepest identity as “beloveds of God” and our common mission to help “the human family move toward the next step of human evolution in love.”  (Rohr, “Evolving in Love, November 8, 2018)

I have found this image of the “Cosmic Christ” within an evolutionary cosmology where Christ and the Holy Spirit are deeply at work in helping creation come to its fullness to deepen within me the meaning of Christ our King.   Peace!         Fr. Henry

Becoming Pure in Heart

by Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM
Tuesday, October 30, 2018


We can’t risk walking around with a negative, resentful, gossipy, critical mind, because then we won’t be in our true force field. We won’t be usable instruments for God. That’s why Jesus commanded us to love. It’s that urgent. It’s that crucial.

True religion is radical; it cuts to the root (radix is Latin for root). It moves us beyond our “private I” and into the full reality of we. Jesus seems to be saying in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) that our inner attitudes and states are the real sources of our problems. We need to root out the problems at that deepest interior level. Jesus says not only that we must not kill, but that we must not even harbor hateful anger. He clearly begins with the necessity of a “pure heart” (Matthew 5:8) and knows that the outer behavior will follow. Too often we force the outward response, while the inward intent remains like a cancer.

If we walk around with hatred all day, morally we’re just as much killers as the one who pulls the trigger. We can’t live that way and not be destroyed from within. Yet, for some reason, many Christians have thought it acceptable to think and feel hatred, negativity, and fear. The evil and genocide of both World War I and World War II were the result of decades of negative, resentful, and paranoid thinking and feeling among even good Christian people.

Jesus tells us not to harbor hateful anger or call people names in our hearts like “fool” or “worthless person” (Matthew 5:22). If we’re walking around all day thinking, “What idiots!” we’re living out of death, not life. If that’s what we think and feel, that’s what we will be—death energy instead of life force. We cannot afford even inner disconnection from love. How we live in our hearts is our real and deepest truth.

In Matthew 5:44, Jesus insists that we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Once we recognize that whatever we do in conscious, loving union with Reality is prayer, we can better understand what Paul means when he says, “Pray unceasingly” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If prayer is merely words or recitations, such constant prayer is impossible in any practical sense.
Gateway to Presence:
If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation, take note of what word or phrase stands out to you. Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day, being present to its impact and invitation.

Adapted from Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love, ed. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018), 157.





Sacrament of Reconciliation

St. Francis Retreat House / Easton, PA


Monday, August 20: Confessions at 3 pm


Monday, August 27: No Confessions

[Fr. Henry away for vacation week]


Monday, Labor Day: September 3rd

SFRH Closed: No Confessions


Monday, September 10: Confessions at 3 pm


Peace and all goodness to you! 

Conversations Over Coffee

We invite you to join us for CONVERSATIONS OVER COFFEE during the year 2017.  At St. Francis Retreat House we are offering an opportunity for us to come together in coffecupconversations about our spiritual life and our relationships with one another as sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus.  There are no presentations on these evenings, just open and free sharing about our spiritual quests and our heart-felt concerns—our joys and sorrows, our hopes and dreams, and our struggles and doubts as we walk together on our journey of faith.  These will be real conversations with a lot of listening to one another and reverent dialogue.  In this way we learn to appreciate and accept the many differences we all bring to the table as a family of God.  In a world of many divisions, we will do what children of God can and must do, namely, recognize our common life, and come to know and appreciate our brothers and sisters despite the many diverse cultural and educational experiences we have as individuals.

Sept. – May only *Dates to be announced*

We might be surprised about the many helpful suggestions we may hear from one another as we share our strategies and experiences on this topic. Everyone is invited to participate. We will meet in Conference Room A. Please enter the Retreat House through the front portico glass doors. 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. In the upper room at our retreat house. All are welcome to these “Conversations over Coffee.”There is no charge but a free will offering can be made.

Monday Mini-Retreats

Monday Mini Retreat Programs begin with a meal in our dining room at 6:00 p.m. Following the meal, we meet in our main conference room for prayer and a presentation. There is time for discussion before the closing prayer at 9:00 p.m. Registration begins in the lobby at 5:15 p.m.


January 25: We began our series of mini-retreats reflecting on the traditional seven “Spiritual Works of Mercy.”

September 26: “Counseling the Doubtful.”


As the popular liturgical hymn reminds us, “We are companions on the journey.” We do not and cannot walk alone as we seek to be faithful disciples of Jesus. In our fears and doubts, we need the encouragement, support, witness, and consoling words of our brothers and sisters. Presenters: Carol Herman and Diane Rice. Donation: $25.00 Register

October 24: “Praying for the Living and Deceased”

“Praying for the Living and Deceased” is the work of mercy for our reflection this evening. dr-carmina-chappWe are exhorted to pray, but why? We are reminded to “pray without ceasing,” but how? We pray for one another, but sometimes we ask “to what avail?” These questions continue to cross our minds, and we can discuss them this evening. Presenter: Dr. Carmina Chapp. Donation: $25.00 Register

November 21: “Bearing Wrongs Patiently”BishopGainer

Other people hurt us; we hurt others, sometimes without even knowing that we do so. “Bearing Wrongs Patiently” can be a daily work of mercy that will enrich us and bring peace to our hearts. Presenter: Most Rev. Ronald Gainer, Bishop of Harrisburg, Pa. Register

December 14:”Celebrating Mercy with Joy”

As the solemnity of Christmas draws near, we celebrate mercy with joy. This evening we will watch “It’s A Wonderful Life,” the classic film of mercy and holiday rejoicing. Join us for a meal and a movie to prepare our families for the Feast of Mercy, the Birth of Jesus. Register

Monday Mini Retreat Programs begin with a meal in our dining room at 6:00 p.m. Following the meal, we meet in our main conference room for prayer and a presentation. There is time for discussion before the closing prayer at 9:00 p.m. Registration begins in the lobby at 5:15 p.m. The donation for these mini-retreats is $25.00 per person. *Please preregister at least 10 days before the program so that we can know how many meals to prepare and the number of hand-outs we need to print.

May the Lord give you peace!
The Franciscans and the Retreat House Retreat Team.

A Powerful Night on Forgiveness

Thanks to all who made our March 21st  Monday Evening Mini-Retreat a success. It

was on the Spiritual Work of Mercy “Forgiving Injuries” . It was a powerful message. Here are the lyrics to a song used as part of the presentation.

I’m like one of those Japanese bowls

That were made long ago

I have some cracks in me

They have been filled with gold.  (continues underneath)

That’s what they used back then

When they had a bowl to mend

It did not hide the cracks

It made them shine instead

So now every old scar shows

from every time I broke

And anyone’s eyes can see

I’m not what I used to be

But in a collector’s mind

All of these jagged lines

Make me more beautiful

And worth a higher price

I’m like one of those Japanese bowls

I was made long ago

I have some cracks you can see

See how they shine of gold.

-Peter Mayer