Friday, November 16, 2018

YOU COUNT




Hi There !

You count.

You really do!

So does the way you count.

Too often, though,

neither counts for much

in our digitized culture.

In some ways most of us

are more a number

than anything else,

more than even a name,

much less a noteworthy "One."

Our Social Security number is used

to officially identify us

even before our name,

before anything about


the "One" we actually are.

In the doctor's office, or at the pharmacy,

computer at hand, the first question is

the numbers of our birth date.

Then of course, it's the numbers of our

credit, health, ATM cards that identify us.

All this adds up to a deficit.

The net effect of being a number

causes a deep down,

often barely conscious sense

that we don't count for all that much.

Facebook and it's media cousins

make their money

by providing a platform

where a lot of people

who feel discounted can perform a bit,

strut  their stuff in an effort

to count for something,

to count as a significant some-"One."



For all the impersonality

of our numbered culture,

we all count beyond count and cosmically so,

even if we can't count on our numbered culture

to factor us in as of divine significance.

It's essential to regularly take

some Soul Time with that,

to meditate and sense how we really do count

and what that means, means for us,

and what we mean for creation, for others,

and what we mean to God.



John Duns Scotus,

the medieval mystic and theologian,

emphasized that each "One" of us

is deliberately and uniquely created

on purpose by God as the "One" we are.

Now, that sure counts!!!



There was an attempt to cancel out Jesus,

reduce him to a zero,

yet no "One" ever counted more

in all of human history.



Think how much "One" woman counts -

the "One"  who brought us to life.



A healthy, authentic spirituality is founded

on the divine worth of each "One" of us.

It is also based on the divine worth

of every other "One."

We find ourselves uniquely "One"

and essential "One" with all other "Ones"

in the the spaciousness of God's

                ONENESS.

There's marvelous mystery

and divine paradox

all over the ledger of reality,

(or should that be

 "the spread sheet" of reality?)



There's a dear tale that says it

 better than I know how.

It's as simple as the integrity of "One."

It seems our dear friend, Augustine,

sinner and saint, thinker, theologian,

was walking along the ocean shore

way over there in long ago Northern Africa.

Countless star fish had been washed up

on the shore and were dying on the beach

in the bright sunlight.

A young boy was picking them up one at time,

wading into the sea a bit

and returning each one there

 and to continued life.

Given the sheer number

of stranded star fish on the beach,

ever pragmatic Augustine asked the boy

what good was returning this one

and that one to the sea.

The boy smiled and said,

   "It's good for each one saved."

Each "One" counted,

and so did that "One" boy

and his counting.



On the shore and in the sea of our living,

we count, and so does how we count.



Thanks for your good company, every

                      "One."

               Holding you in

    God's Dear and Oceanic Love,

                  John Frank

                     *****


       A pleasant and delicious

              Thanksgiving

        to you and your family.

                   *****






         MEDITATION MOMENTS


"So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up

that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret

that will not become known...

Do not fear those kill the body

but cannot kill the soul...

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?

Yet not one of them falls to the round

apart from your Father.

And even the hairs of your head are all counted.

So do not be afraid...

    (Matthew 10: 26, 28a, 9, 31a)


                   *****


How good to have new folks joining in each week here at

                         "frankly speaking"

                     spirituality for the street.
 
                              Welcome.

           Thank you for choosing to be with us.

                   If you can spare the time,

                  please take that time with


                   What's Going On Here?

                               and 

                  Consider Your Source.


Both are in the right column of the online posting.

      They would give a bit of orientation to

                      
                   "frankly speaking".


* It is posted each Friday at online at

        johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

   and can be bookmarked for ready access.

* It is available each Saturday be automatic email delivery.

  The sign up is at the top right of the online posting.

* Past postings are available at Blog Archive,

   lower right, online posting.


                         Thank You


*********************************************************************************














 







Friday, November 9, 2018

ATTENTION





Hi There !

"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

It's been a week since my last confession.

These are my sins.

I had impure thoughts many times every day."



That was a typical lead for the "soul script"

of teenage boys when I was a young priest

hearing their confessions.

Their "impure thoughts"

were sexual images and fantasies

sprung from pubescent "hormonal upheaval."



Well, this old confessor needs to confess

that I too am plagued with

 "impure thoughts many times every day."



Do I have your attention???

You see, that's my problem:

       ATTENTION!!


My attention to God is blurred to blindness

at times by an impure haze over my spirit.

Its pollutants are pride, selfishness, fear,

laziness, and a batch of

not a bit likeable "impurities."



It's a terrible play in too many acts:

* Feigning attention while

  not a bit interested in a person

* Smiling as a defense rather than

   as a soul stretch

* Saying the right thing

   for a totally wrong reason

* At worship wondering

   about other things

   rather than being in wonder

* Listening to music

   while mentally planning

   tomorrow's schedule

* Reading the Bible

  to anchor my points

  rather than be treated

  to refreshing  revelation

* Pretending to fully listen

to another while  busy

lining up my responses.


These "impurities" and

their smudged cousins

           cause a

disconnect between my
        
         Soul Self

           and the

God of Right Here,

        Right Now.



That God of Right Here, Right Now

is so purely present in prayer, people,

sacred writings, service, work, nature,

the arts, science, learning -

in everyone and everywhere I go.

The trouble is I'm not!



My"impurities" haze over

real attention to the

God of Right Here, Right Now.

Paradoxically my "impurities"

became quite clear to me the other day.

I was doing spiritual direction.

There is a lot of God,

God Right Here, Right Now,

in that wonderful man.

I missed most of it it because

I was trying to score some points,

posturing as a wise sage and saintly soul.

Inattentive and impure

in the presence of

such pure Godness

right there, right then!!




Well, that's about it

for this edition of

"True Confessions."



Here's the hope:

* To purely,

to really give attention

to "God Present"

wherever, however

the pure  presence.

* To give "soul attention"

     (i.e. center self )

to people and place,

to God Right Here, Right Now

so present there

* to give myself

a reality check

every morning,

noon, and night -

an examen -

"How purely am I present?"

* To regularly thank God

for waiting til I get there!!




Here it is

Scripture Straight:

THE POLLUTION:

      " There are those who are pure

         in their own eyes and yet

         are not cleansed of their own filth."

                   Proverbs 30:12


THE PURITY:

       " Blessed are the pure in heart,

         for they shall see God."

                    Matthew 5:8


Hey, let's

cleans the lens!!

Holding you all in

God's Dear Love,

God Right Here, Right Now,

         John Frank

            *****



Each week we are gifted by new folks

            joining us here at

           "frankly speaking"

        spirituality for the street.

This week that new participation came from

                  Thailand.

                 Welcome!

   We are blessed by your presence.

To get a sense of what we are all about here,

please give a little prayerful time and attention to

            WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

                              and

           CONSIDER YOUR SOURCE.

         They are to the right, online posting


             

        "frankly speaking"

-is posted online each Friday at

  johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

  and can be bookmarked for ready access

-is available by automatic

  email delivery each Saturday

         Sign Up, top right, online posting

-past postings are available at Blog Archive,

right column, online posting.

                         Thank You.

**************************************************************************

        


























Friday, November 2, 2018

VOTE



Hi There !

.
So, how are you going to vote?

None of my business you say?

Sure it is.

Why?

Because how you vote will effect me and

               everybody else

                 BIG TIME!!

Bet you're thinking this is about politics, right?

Not at all.

Look, every time we

          think,

                 talk

                      emote,

                                act,

                                     react,

                                             don't act

                  We Cast A Vote

                          and

            Our Vote Really Counts.

That's because these "votes" have a telling impact on

the lives and living of all kinds of people and places as well.

Cumulatively they effect the condition of society,

the course of history, indeed all of creation as it unfolds.





Sound a bit much?

Well, the leaders in Quantum Physics are now convinced that

absolutely every pulsation of energy actually has

cosmic ripples and effects.

That includes all pulsations of energy, every one of them

from having a positive thought about someone

to an ice field cracking open in the Arctic.

Sound far out?

That's the point !!

Everything that is has far reaching effects,

is a pulsation of energy in one form or a constellation of them.

Some are physical, some psychic, some intellectual,

some emotional, some spiritual, some ethereal/atmospheric,

some stellar, some elemental, some we can notice,

most we can't because they are beyond our comprehension and count.

For all of that, they

                    "are."

           They "are" a dynamic of,

                a pulsation of,

             The Energy Field

                    that is

                 Existence,

                   Being,

                   Reality,

                    Love,

                Goodness,

         however we name it,

   the one more popularly called

                    God.
.   
             They are God

                  "being"

                     and

               "happening"   

             and actively so,

      mysteriously, creatively so,

              - pulsating -




We are part and parcel of all this.

                    As

             God Energy,

               "Being,"

          passes trough us,

         pulsates through us,

        we are invited to be

         real and beautiful

    in the transmission of it, of

                 "Being."

               

    
 Everything we are and do is a

                  "vote."

        "To be or not to be..."

      - to "Be" or not to "Be" -

         that is the question

           we're voting on

                for sure.

         Our positive "votes,"

        the ones that affirm, 

transmit positive, creative pulsations of

                " Being."

     Negative "votes" transmit

       positive energy twisted

  into destructive form and effect.

  See the effect of our "votes":

       *a smile contrasted to a scowl,

       *a truth contrasted to a lie,

       *choice for The Common Good contrasted to

         selfish grab and dominance,

       *Creation Care contrasted to environmental trashing,

       *pure love contrasted to lustful looting,

       *contemplative awareness  contrasted to absorption in

        media's trite tired hazing of consciousness.



So, how are you going to vote?

It really counts.

It has a cosmic consequence.



                                         "Be imitators of God...

                                          live a life of love...

                                           Be very careful,

                                                  then,

                                           how you live...

                                         making the most

                                        of every opportunity."      ( Ephesians  5 )

                             ( of every pulsation of who you are )

                          ( of every vote you cast into the cosmos ).



For sure this posting is pretty "spacey."

That's because everything is so far reaching.

Thanks for your company.



Holding all and every bit of each in

          God's Dear Love,

              John Frank

                *****

     



Greetings and gratitude at new participation

from Kazakhstan this week.

          Welcome!



To get a sense of what we are about here,

 please do give Soul Sight to

          - What's Going On Here?

          - Know Your Source

They are in the right column of the online posting.

               

              
              "frankly speaking"

              spirituality for the street

-is posted online each Friday at

        johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

 and can be bookmarked for ready reference

-is available for automatic email delivery each Saturday

                  Sign Up

  top right column online posting

-past postings are to be found at

             Blog Archive

lower right column online posting

             Thank You

************************************************************************************





                                 






























Friday, October 26, 2018

SEA CHANGE





Hi There ! 

So, here we go !

Halloween happens next week,

and it happens Big Time for sure.

It rivals our other Fall High Holy Day - Thanksgiving. 

Last year the average per person amount spent on 

candy, costumes, gore, ghosts, skeletons, and such 

"freight for fun" was $86.13. 

Cumulatively that comes out to 9.1 billion -

a mass of money for the macabre. 

So, get the kids (of all ages!) their costumes.

Keep Hershey and M & M Mars stock on a sugar high.

Put the porch light on and it's Show Time !!



A not so High Fall Holy Day gets pretty much lost 

in the shuffle and shadow of this scary show.

It's the day after Halloween/All Saints Day.

It  is so "after" that few notice and fewer bother.

                November second is 

                       All Souls Day

the remembrance/commemoration of

the faithful and not so faithful departed.

In fact, as a young priest, to spring 

the "not so faithful" from Purgatory to Paradise,

 on All Souls Day I used to don black vestments

and celebrate three Masses in a row for them,

as was the custom at the time.

Three portions of sacramental wine before breakfast!!

What were we (not ) thinking?

Right there on the altar were rubber banded packets of 

black and white envelopes listing the names of departed family and friends -

All Souls holy enough not to go to hell,

but still too sinful to pass through those pearly pure gates 

and be home safe with All Saints.

As a consequence, they were doing time (and torture)

there in Purgatory suffering off those sins and stains.

So we tried to rustle up some merit and indulgences

to cover for their transgressions with our Masses,

and all sorts of devotions with high yield 

rewards programs attached to them.

The thinking (???) behind all this goes all the way back 

to Gregory I and Bede ( 672/673 - 735) followed by

all sorts of subsequent  Christian authors.

They taught the dead need to undergo a "purgation"

of suffering for their sins so as to be pure enough to enter heaven.

That is Purgatory.

Prayers, penances, and later the indulgences of others

on earth would shorten their suffering in Purgatory,

help make up for their sins, pay off that sin dept.

In the 11th. century All Souls Day became  liturgically observed

at the Abbey of Cluny in France.

The doctrine behind it was defined

by the Councils of Lyons ( 1274), 

Ferrara-Florence (1438-45), and Trent ( 1545-1563 ).

All this is a bit about the background, understandings

and experiences of my earlier days vis-a-vis

                        All Souls.




Most of the world's religions have their own take and tactic 

on dealing with death and the transition to the after life. 

There is  a spacious  span of understandings, 

expressions and experiences.




Long ago I put away the black vestments 

and indulgence "merit-a-thons."

I would like to share a story that speaks 

my sense and spirit now in old age. 

Please hear this with way more than doctrinal ears. 

It draws from both Eastern and Western mystical traditions

as it tells of our true essence and transition.

It comes to us from Anthony de Mello,SJ (1931-1987),

a masterful story teacher from India. 

It goes like this.




A salt doll spent years and miles on its life journey

until it finally came to the sea.

The salt doll was fascinated by this strange moving mass, 

quite unlike anything it had ever seen.

"Who are you?" said the doll to the sea.

The sea smiled replying, "Come in and see."

So the salt doll waded in.

The farther it walked into the sea the more it dissolved into the sea.

The doll exclaimed in wonder,

                                   "Now I know what I am."




A wonderful, freeing sense for All Souls and our eventual transition 

as one day we exclaim,

                                 "Now I know what I am,"

                                     and dissolve into the

                                           SEA OF ALL.


Being very much an Old Salt myself, I can't wait  for the

                                      SEA CHANGE.



               

                  With affectionate love, holding All Souls

                                on our way to the Sea in

                                   God's Dear Love

                                       John Frank

                                               
                                            *****



Welcome to all of you who are joining us for the first time.

Thank you for your company.

A look at 

            WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

                               and

             CONSIDER YOUR SOURCE 

            
          (right column online posting)

   will hopefully give you a sense of what 

                  "frankly speaking"

              spirituality for the street

                     is all about.



It is posted online each Friday at

  johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

and can be bookmarked for easy access.



It is also available by automatic email

every Saturday - Sign Up top right online posting.


Past Postings are available at

Blog Archive,

right column online posting.

      Thank You!




************************************************************************************
































Friday, October 19, 2018

TYPE




Hi There !

So, how is it with you?

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Anticipating a party, do you hope it will last forever,

or have you planned the earliest exit possible, and that

a good three days before the party even starts?

Allowing for both, what tips your scale: facts or feelings?

Do you pay your bills the day they arrive,

or just get around to it whenever? 



Not only are there "different strokes for different folks,"

there are all sorts of different folks - all types of us:

     competitive       imaginative        logical

     bold                 emotional           procrastinating

     quick                caring                out going

     sensitive           practical             reserved

                    boxes and bushels more.



As things play out in life, we are a mixture 

of various personality types 

with one configuration being predominant. 

"Typing" people is science and art teaming up.

Their shared enterprise helps us understand, embrace and excel

at being the type we are.

It enables us to extend the favor to all the other types of people

we encounter along the street of everyday living.

Typing is a mixture of science and art that is neither 

rigid measurement (science) nor full expression (art).

Like all good science and art it says a little of a lot more.

It is not an exact science nor finished art.

It is a most helpful indicator when under the direction 

of wisdom and good, old fashioned common sense.



While we all are "one of a kind," we all are also contoured

with a distinctive and discernible personality type.

Type is not so much who we are.

It is more how we are, how we function.

Type is our operating system.

It is how we engage living, our own and that of other types of people,

and all of creation.

God's Spirit flows through us, through our particular personality type.

It is critical that we are open to both the flow and the flow contoured

by our personality.

Both are gifts of God.



Two of the best "typologies" of person that I know are:

                         

            THE MYERS-BRIGGS PERSONALITY PROFILE 


It registers

               how we are centered

                                      introvert/extrovert 

               how we catch on

                                      sensate/intuitive

               how we decide

                                      thinker/feeler

               how we expedite

                                      judger/persever

There are sixteen combinations possible.

Our particular configuration is our personality type.



                 

              THE ENNEAGRAM


It describes nine distinct personality types:


                  The Reformer

                  The Helper

                  The Achiever

                  The Individualist

                  The Investigator

                  The Loyalist

                  The Enthusiast

                  The Challenger

                  The Peacemaker 




For more information and details about these two indicators please see 

the Addendum to this posting.



It is not only alright to have a particular personality type, 

it is essential to understand it, to treasure it, to live it,

and that robustly.

Otherwise we get all blocked up, twisted out of shape, 

crisscrossed, compromised, confused and confusing.

A left handed pitcher really needs to throw with his left arm.

If you are trying to broadcast on the AM frequency 

and use FM technology, it's all static.

It often takes clarity and courage to be the type you are.

Some are more preferred and popular than others

in particular settings.

Some are neither.

I know!!

In terms of the Myers-Briggs Profile I am an INFJ -

an introvert, intuitive, feeler, get it done yesterday judger.

Not only that, but the extreme of each.

In the USA exactly 1% of the population are INFJ.

It's lonely out here!!!

I'm not easy to know deeply or figure out easily.

However and forever, I wouldn't trade my type for anything.

It's how I'm wired by God and the Life/Love Who is God 

flows quite fully and freely through those wires.

As a sample of type, here's the thumbnail description of being wired 

as an INFJ from the online offering of The Myers and Briggs Foundation:

             Vision and meaning oriented.
             Quietly intense.
             Insightful.
             Creative.
             Sensitive. 
             Seeks harmony, growth.    
             Serious.
             Loves language, symbols.
             Persevering.
             Inspiring.

It's a marvelous way to engage existence.

And every bit as much is your wonderful type.




All the best to us all as we more and more understand and live out 

our way of being a person,

our wonderful personality type. 


                  For God's sake, be true to type.

                  For your sake, be true to type.

                  For others' sake, be true to type.

                  For creation's sake, be true to type. 



Thanks for letting this little old INFJ  try to share and encourage.

Holding each and every type of us in

God's Dear Love,

     John Frank

        ***** 



  ADDENDUM


Online: The Myers and Briggs Foundation

Print: Please Understand Me -Character and Temperament Types,

         David Keirsey, Marilyn Bates, Prometheus, 1984

                                      *****


Online: The Enneagram Institute

Print: The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide

         to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the 

         Nine Personality Types, 

         Don Richards and Russ Hudson, Bantum, 1996

                                         *****


From the heart here is a welcome to those joining us in the last week.

Thank you for blessing us with your presence.

For a bit of orientation, please do take a touch of time and spirit with

              - What's Going On Here?

              - Consider Your Souse

                      both a located in the right column, online posting


                                    "frankly speaking"

                                spirituality for the street

-is posted each Friday at

               johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

 and can be bookmarked for ready access

-is available for automatic email delivery each Saturday

                           Sign Up

 right column online posting

-past postings are available at

                            Blog Archive

right column online posting.

******************************************************************

 

                           











       

           
















                   

              











Friday, October 12, 2018

SEASONED




Hi There !

No doubt about it.

Food is way better for being well seasoned.

So is life.

Seasonings accent both.

Right now the season of Fall

("autumn," if you're from uptown) 

is a fine example as it offers 

its own crisp, unique flavoring to our days.



         
Seasons of the Year are a quartet of flavorings.

Each gives variety, piquancy, to our everyday living.

( haven't used "piquancy" in over five years - 

needed to take it out of storage and dust it off!!)

As a kid my buddies and I loved to go skinny dipping.

We also loved to build igloos.

Seasons had a lot to do with how we experienced our

boyhood freedom and liveliness.

No skinny dipping in January!!!



 

Each season has a distinctive zest to it:

*Spring brightness warming new life,

*sultry Summer maturing growth,

*harvest fullness in Fall,

*Winter's bright stillness 

  and frozen deep dark.




On the inside of our living 

there are ever changing 

   Seasons of the Soul.

As they change, 

           we change -

*word prayer to 

           wordless enfoldment,

*stylized meditation to 

          contemplative awareness,

*ritual to 

          realized experience,

*study to 

          wisdom,

*service and solitude

          blended,

*wondering to 

          wonder,

*activity and Still Point a

           unity.






Climatologist of the spiritual atmosphere describe triune

                     Seasons of the Soul.

From Evagrius (d.399)and Pseudo-Dionysius (c.550)

up to just now, one way and many, they detail those three 

        Seasons of the Soul:

                    The Purgative Way

                    The Iluminative Way

                    The Unitive Way.

  
   

    
The Purgative Way:


*Beginner Stage

*stirrings, desire  for wholeness

* some soul sense and seeing

*a purgation of limiting negatives

*clearing and seeding the soulscape

*spiritual disciplines 

*prevenient grace


    
    
 The Illuminative Way 


*Soul Summer

*light blazes

       enlightenment

       seeing like never before

*grounding and rootedness

*growth and maturing

*fecundity

*contemplation

*getting it right

*justifying grace


   

 The Unitive Way

 
 *Soul Harvest

*lovers' oneness

*inter-mingled

*mystic merge

*always one, 

                 one in all ways

*soul seeing beyond eye or mind

*God and Soul: 

                two streams an ocean oneness

*sanctifying grace 





Soul Seasons, like the Seasons of the Year,

are sequential and progressive. 

Unique to them, though, are their 

overlapping and intertwining.

It can snow in July!!

At times there is the 

     paradox of

*verdant freshness

and scorching aridity,

*warming comfort and

frozen hardness,

*sunny seeing

          and

dreadful darkness,

        truly a 

Dark Night of the Soul,

a luminous darkness

 *gentle breezes and

   violent winds,

      sweeps of 
  
     The Spirit

*wholesome yet impure

*great grace and sin sick.





We don't cause or control the seasons of the year,

nor of the soul either.

We deal with what is given,

           go with it, 

           work with it,

           grow with it.




Of course we can chose to ignore or resist

what is given,

let the weeds grow,

go to seed,

drown or burn to death. 




In any season the weather can be

   unseasonably pleasant 

               or

   unseasonably dreadful.

          So, too, 

The Seasons of the Soul.

   There are times of 

"You couldn't buy this it's so good" 

         -  consolation -

There are also times of

     "Will this ever let up" 

         -  dark agony -

Agony and Ecstasy.

Spirit Powers that

lift, stretch, deepen. 



It's a big help in living 

our spiritual lives

out here on the street 

of everyday life

to be weather wise,

to be soul savvy,

grateful to be well

   SEASONED.
.



Thomas Moore was a saint.

He weathered all sorts of life/soul climates -

      power, prestige, position, wealth,

      conflict, misunderstanding, betrayal,

      ultimately death for conscience.

Truly

        "A Man For All Seasons."

Here's a prayer and hope

that we each and all may be such like.





Holding the very same each and all in 

       God's All Seasons Love,

                John Frank. 

                    *****

Thomas Moore is wonderfully portrayed in 

            A Man For All Seasons

           the book, the play, the film. 

                     *****


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we are gifted by new folks

joining in here each week.

Welcome and thanks 

for your good company.

To get a sense of what 

we are about here,

please do give a bit of

time and attention to

   * Consider Your Source

   * What's Going On Here?

They are in the right column,

             online.


     "frankly speaking'"

  spirituality for the street,

* is posted each Friday at

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

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******************************************************************************