Friday, December 29, 2017


Hi There !

So, look what I got for Christmas.

Yes, please do just that.

Look at this wonderful gift.

Look at it with the eyes of your soul.

Take time with it.

Give it a speciousness of spirit.

It is quite a gift,

and a gift to share:

undergoing god

Your life is not about you;
you are about Life.
You are an instance
of a universal, even eternal, pattern.
The One Life that many of us
call "God" is living itself in you,
and through you, and as you !
This realization is an earthquake
in the heart, a Copernican revolution
in the mind, and a monumental
shift in consciousness.
Yet most of us do not seem interested in it.
It is too big to imagine
and can only be revealed slowly:
You have never been separate from God
except in your mind.
You gradually recognize
that the myriad forms of life
in the universe are completely diverse
and utterly one at the same time -
just like the Trinity,
which might be called
"Diversity in perfect love with itself,"
which creates Oneness.
We are all "undergoing God,
whose supreme job
is the "oneing" of all reality
Oneing is a wonderful word
I borrow from Lady Julian of Norwich's
Middle English to describe
the process of overcoming
dualism and divisions
artificially created
by the ego and the mind.
This should be an enormous weight
off your back.
All you can really do
is agree to joyously participate!
Life in the spirit will feel like
being caught much more than
being taught about any particular doctrine.
Henceforth, your very motivation
and momentum for the journey
toward holiness and wholeness
is simply immense gratitude -
for already being there!

 just this, Richard Rohr
                                                                                                                                                               CAC Publishing, 2017, pg45

Richard's latest book was the first and best gift I received this Christmas.

It is a small compendium of his seminal sharings.

A gift in more than a few ways!!

As we close out 2017, a warm welcome

to new participants from Algeria and Sweden.

Delighted to be "ONE' with you.

Given the busyness of the Christmas celebration,

if you haven't yet had a chance to read the last posting,

"Portals," December 22, 2017,

please just scroll down here if you are online,

or if you receive this by email,

just go online to:

and scroll down.

It is a gift I so want to keep giving.

Every good wish for 2018.

May all awake to our "Oneing."

Happy New Year!!

See you next week.

In God's Dear Love,

  John Frank




Friday, December 22, 2017



Hi There !

       So, if we all piled into a great big room and stripped naked, you know what we'd find,
       after more than a few good laughs that is?  We'd see that we are all the same
       ( no, I didn't fail Anatomy 101 ). But, and do pardon the pun, we really are all the same!
       Sure, there are all sorts of body types and condition and color tones,
       and there are gender and genital variations for sure. But if that is all we see,
       we need to strip more and look deeper. There are all sorts of personality types,
       competencies, and personal histories. But we need to strip even more
       and look ever deeper, discarding every psychological contrivance, cloak and cover.
        Ah! Now there we are, bare and all the same! Our deepest selves crave, ache, pulsate
        for perfect love.  That's the same and deepest truth for us all. We so want to meet,
        merge and meld.  There at our deepest, we desire to pour ourselves
        into the other and be filled by the one who is and is no longer the other. For sure,
        it's physical, but even more surely it is emotional, intellectual, psychological, soulful
        to the point beyond any point.  It's mystical.

        The good news is that there really is perfect love. " God is love " ( 1 John 4:8 ).
        Whatever is ultimate, that fires up being, is love. Of course  all this means that love is God.
        Find some love and you've found God to one degree or other.
        The hard fact, though, is that none of us have completely connected
        with The Fullness of Love that is God.

        So how do we put all this together? Well we don't and can't. It's just the state
        of our evolution to this existential moment. Hopefully, more to come!!
        But, how about now? What's our status report? Well, if we are eight years old
        and have a best friend, we think we're there.
        But that only last a while and the ache is still there, too.
        We could be a young person romantically and sexually tossing and turning
        with our first love. As good as that is, it eventually burns off
        and the ache presents even stronger.  There's marriage for most, affairs for many.
        For some there is meditation and prayer, seeking a perfect spiritual love.
        But always and for all, the ache for more, better, perfect love.
        By the time we are old it occurs to some of us that it all works  differently,
        that love presents, penetrates, draws in all of who we are, opens wide  and takes
        all of us all the way in, and that in a way  we didn't expect.
        ( Pretty sexy, ugh?  Actually I'm just a piker. Check The Song of Songs
        and the mystics for the really good stuff!! )   Here's the deal.
        Paradoxically, the fuller comes through the partial.
        It engages us and draws us into itself through portals of the partial.
        The tone introduces the symphony and draws us into its majesty.
        Color and form catch our eye and bear us into the magnificence of the painting.
        Please let me share a little story about this paradox from my own life.
        I was first semester graduate student far from home. The academics
        were more than worthy. Not so the social. My social " circle "
        was lower than a pregnant ant. Truth to tell, my social " circle "
        was a great big " circular zero."  It was December, dark and dreary, and so was I.
        More out of desperation than desire I headed out to a shopping mall,
        not usually one of my preferred destinations.  At least there would be
        lights and buzz. Well, I didn't find a perfect lover just sitting there in the food court
        waiting for me. It went the other way round. Enlivening love came to me through
        a little portal and drew me into a moment of unitive ecstasy. I was just making busy
        at a clothing  counter. A woman joins in a few feet away.  I look down and there is
        her little son, four- ish, cascades of blond locks, pure complected, radiant eyed.
        He looked up at me and let loose the purest, warmest, most accepting
        and inviting smile in all of creation. Love presented through the portal of
        a little boy's to die for smile. In less than half a second I was drawn
        into utter goodness, merged with pure love. Through the partial came the fuller.
        Pretty wonderful!! It was like noticing a ray of light and being drawn into the sun.

      If we stop demanding full and perfect love right now and always, and are sensitive
      to portals of the partial as they open to us and open us, we will be drawn into oneness
      with fuller and fuller love. It might happen with a little boy's pure smile, a lover's caress,
      taking in a Shakespearean play, working out a mathematical formula,
      trying an innovative science experiment, quiet prayer, giving a dinner party,
      spending at day at the shore, making a spiritual retreat, going for a horse back ride,
      harvesting a crop, being in communion through the Eucharist,
      and wondrous portals without end.

     Richard Rohr puts it a bit differently and better. 

                                                   " Contemplation
                                              is the end of loneliness
                                                   because it erases
                                             the separation between
                                                   seer and seen."

  So let's " see" with our eyes and ears, our touch and taste, our very spirits. The contemplative
  does that, "sees " all the way into what is, to the core that is Love, and starts with all those 
  portals of the partial that invite into fuller and fuller love, the love we so crave. So,  really get 
  into taking that hot shower, savor your chicken cacciatore ( now you know my favorite, but feel 
  to free to insert  your particular favorite right here _______________ ), really cuddle that baby,
  give music a clear channel, take a chance on a new relationship, run real, working for social and
  ecological justice, soak in wisdom reading, stop texting and give full attention to family and
  friends, go to a museum, and if you have the bucks, head for Tuscany. In short, and I I am,
  except here!!, let's truly be open to the portals of the partial.
  They usher us into fuller and fuller love.

  This week we celebrate The Fullness of Love as it aborned  in the Babe of Bethlehem.
  He grew to be the one whom many of us know as Emmanuel , God With Us,
  Love With Us. In Him we see, feel, experience Full Love personalized
  in the most human of ways. Following the story line of the nativity, I expect
  the wise men and the shepherds just saw a little baby for starters.  That was their portal.
  They opened to it and were drawn into a whole lot more.  As we go encounter our portals,
  I hope I will do that, too. I hope you will as well. I recommend it.
  I've never been to Bethlehem, but I did meet a beautiful Christ Child in a mall out in St. Louis!!
  And it was Love at first sight!!

                                                Thanks so much for considering all this.

                                                          Merry Christmas!!

                                                             John Frank


Friday, December 15, 2017


Hi There !

So, it's that time of year.

The nights are early and long.

A lot of darkness in December.

That could depress and deaden.

Around here, and across our dear land, not so.

Folks aren't settling for any hibernation of spirit.

My neighborhood is a good example.

Driving into this development of townhouses in December darkness is actually a delight.

The place is like one great big, bright, beautiful Christmas tree.

House after house variously, imaginatively strung with all sorts of Christmas lights

being beautiful bright together in December darkness.

As mentioned here three blogs back,

for all our various religions/no religions/spiritualities,

Thanksgiving is our national

                                        Holy Communion.

In the same manner and spirit,

December is our national

                                         Festival Of Light.

We find a way - all sorts of ways - to be bright in the dark for each other.

Paradoxically, for all our disconnectedness, it's so social.


Most of us here in my development don't know each other, or connect at all.

Yet we come together to "enlighten" each other in our shared space with this

                                        Festival Of Light.

Out here on the street of everyday living

we also deal in a very real and telling way with light and dark

as we make our way spiritually.

In our own particular ways, we all are in the dark.

In our own particular ways, we all are enlightened.

So, let's string our "lights"  for each other

and then take a ride through our spiritual neighborhood and

 be brightened, indeed, "enlightened" by our neighbors -

Jews, Muslims, Christians, free thinkers, nons, atheists -

however they shine.

In the dark we can give a light and get a light.

No matter how deep dark it gets, that sure makes for a spiritual

                                     Festival Of Light.

Thanks for allowing me  to shine "this little light of mine" here each week.

Every good wish and blessing to those of us celebraing Hanukka, Diwali,

Kwanzaa, Lunar New Year, Zoroastrian Solstice,

their Festival of Lights.

Our weekly gathering here continues to be blessed with new participants.

We welcome into our sharing those new to us from Sri Lanka and The Netherlands.

"Bright On" one and all.

Holding each and everyone in

God's Dear Love,

   John Frank

Friday, December 8, 2017



                                             This week's offering is rather full.

                                              That's because it both addresses

                                              the context and conditioning

                                              of our individual spiritual lives

                                              and also that of our current shared one.

                                              It would be best to work through

                                              the material prayerfully and slowly

                                              over a period of days.

Hi There !

So, how do you do with change?

Like it?

Hate it?

Just go with it?

Resist it?


react as we will,

change is a constant.

Change runs

from fresh sheets every Friday to a new job,

from growing up in the Bronx

and moving to Bardstown Kentucky,

from unawareness to enlightenment,

from birth to death.

Where I live on the east coast of the U.S.,

autumn this year was an unusually warm and extended season

that just plain took its sweet time

shedding leaves and changing into the denuded and cold atmosphere of late fall,

but change it finally did.

Perhaps the change of seasons can show us

a thing or three about life/soul change.

                                                         We live in place.

                                            Seasons are the atmosphere of place.

Seasons change life in its particular place.

That is certainly so with  Soul Seasons.

                                                        SOUL SEASONS

                                          Soul Spring delights with a freeing

                                          into spacious fields of budding promise.

                                         Soul Summer sweats and labors,

                                         growing to abundance and  fruitfulness.

                                         Soul Autumn harvests and shares

                                         ripened richness.

                                         Soul Winter diminishes what was

                                         and waits for what will be

                                         with a new Spring.

Atmospheres of  our soul place.

                                                     LIFE SEASONS

                                                                              SOUL LIFE

                                Please take some time here and allow for ease of reflection.

                                It would be best to move from top to bottom,

                                then across from side to side

                                Doing so, what is your Soul Season just now?

                                How are you with that?

                   Spring    - warm  - start       - birth          - child  - dependence

                   Summer - hot      - grow      - work         - adult   - strength  

                   Autumn - cool    - mature    - diminish   - elder   - limits

                   Winter   - cold    - complete - death        - sage   - dependence

                                                                                                  ( and Depends!!)

Our spiritual lives certainly are seasoned

with all sorts of change.

At times we are awash in consolation and euphoria.

Then there are those seasons when everything is arid

and nothing feels good.

Jesus share that holiness ( wholeness )

means being profoundly in love,

love of God, neighbor and self.

A trinity of oneness.

In our changing spiritual seasons,

we at times over/under do

one or more dimensions/spheres of this "triunity."

That throws us into a season of unbalanced climate change.

John Wesley sees three seasons of spiritual growth and change:

                             Prevenient Grace  - prepares us for God

                             Justifying Grace   - sets us right with God

                             Sanctifying Grace - unites us with God.

The description of three seasons of spiritual change and growth

 by church fathers/mothers and theologians

goes all the way back to Pseudo Dionysius ( c. 550A.D. ).

They are typically named:

                               The Purgative Way    

                                                        - freeing from sin

                               The Illuminative Way

                                                         - enlightenment by grace and contemplation

                                The Unitive Way

                                                          - mystical oneness with God.

                                                        SEASONED CHANGE


                           Again and more, lets take time and allow for ease of reflection.

                           What time, what Soul Season, is it just now for each of us,

                           and for our cultural l context,

                           and how goes that ?

                                                There is a time for everything,

                                       a season for every activity under the heavens:

                                                 a time to be born

                                                                     and a time to die

                                                 a time to plant

                                                                     and a time to uproot

                                                 a time to kill

                                                                     and a time to heal

                                                a time to tear down

                                                                     and a time to build

                                                a time to weep

                                                                     and a time to laugh

                                                a time to mourn

                                                                     and a time to dance

                                                a time to scatter stones

                                                                     and a time to gather them

                                                a time to embrace

                                                                     and a time to refrain from embracing

                                                a time to search

                                                                     and a time to give up

                                                a time to keep

                                                                     and a time to throw away

                                                a time to tear

                                                                    and a time to mend

                                                a time to be silent

                                                                    and a time to speak

                                                a time to love

                                                                    and a time to hate

                                                 a time for war

                                                                    and a time for peace.

                                                                                                  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Yes, "The times they are a-changing."

"There's a time for everything,

a season for every activity under the heavens."

The sheets get changed,

and so do jobs, addresses, awareness,

indeed, life itself gets changed.

Our Soul Sojourn

across the years

threads through 

many seasons of change.

Here's a prayer that we all may be


It's a joy to welcome new folks from Germany to our little sharing here each week.

Thanks to those who sent along their responses to last week's request.

See you all  next week.

Holding each and all in

God's Dear Love,

     John Frank



In just about everything we can get rather theoretical and removed from the actuality of

how it really is out here on the street of for real, everyday living.

We can collect  baseball cards and never go to a baseball game.

That is certainly true of spirituality.

It can become an indoor sport rather than a sweaty, lived experience.

What follows here is an effort to apply and actualize what was treated above about

                                             LIFE SEASONS

                                                                   SOUL LIFE

to what's going on with us right now, right here in our place this season..

Let's give it a go.



Right now those of us who live in the U.S.A.

are suffering a season of sadness, indeed,

a season  of  social and individual threat.

It is compounded and doubly dangerous

because so many of us just do not see it,

even will not see it.

There are tragic parallels in other lands.

For all the blessings of our dear country,

we  here in the U.S.A.

are captive to a season of national

                                                    SOUL SICKNESS:

blatant disregard for truth, incivility, abandonment of a dedication to the common good,

rampant materialism, excessive self centeredness, ever expanding militarism,

soul sucking consumerism, inequality, media distraction and distortion, addictions, racism,

deep and seething anger, ecological and environmental degradation,

and a many headed monster of violence.

All are plunging us into peril.

We have suffered four  mass murder in two months.

Sexual harassment and abuse abound

and are being "outed' daily..

Our best scientist say and prove that we are destroying the earth and its environment.

We tolerate college students abusing and killing neophytes.

Huge athletic industries make millions upon million in body violence that literally destroys brains.

We are living our spirituality here on the street of everyday living,

and it has become a difficult, dangerous, mean street.

Given  worldwide interconnectedness,

our self destructive drive collides  with people on streets other than ours.

It's getting to be quite a pile up, a demolition derby.

This is not the time to be quiet about it.

This whole peril is because of a

                            LACK OF LOVE.

That's not some sort of a soft, wimpy platitude.

At issue is a foundational sink hole.

As we saw  above,

Jesus shares that holiness

( wholeness, as in holding a person or a world together )

means being profoundly in love,

love of God, neighbor, self.

Reality is  Love.

Love is Reality

It's the fundamentum of existence,

the bedrock of our being,

the energy of the universe

and whatever is beyond that.

It's the core of everything from

 molecules to Mozart,

psyche to sunshine.

And that core, that Love, is divine.

"God is love."
                   ( 1 John 4:8 ).

To be real,

to be healthy,










Will we ?

             Will we get


                                         Really in Love?

"To (BE) or not to (BE)

( profoundly, delightfully, unequivocally in Love, in God ),

that is the question" for sure.

It's not primarily a matter of politics, government, finance or social ordering.

It is a matter of foundational Reality.

Will you and I get real, and profoundly love God, neighbor and self.?

It means getting off the couch of

               "as is and usual,"

and get going to

             "as can be and needs to BE."

Will we actually move on from religion to what religion should encourage,

to letting God love us to life?

Profound, personal, actual "Spirit-inter-course."

That's where it starts,

and without it there is no start

to redirecting our drive to  disintegration.

So, how about it?

Will we accept and embrace a season of refreshment and renewal?

That will mean a lot of change in the atmosphere of our place here and now.

Will we actually, personally, and collectively let God love us through

                                The Purgative Way

                                The Illuminative Way

                                The Unitive Way?

Will we allow ourselves to be radically loved and thus radically changed?

 Will we let go of any kind of cautious, tentative, play it safe and be comfortable spirituality?

Will we let ourselves be completely absorbed into the Sun of Love ?

If you do, and I do, and many of us do,

then social ordering and shared life

will be refreshed, redeemed and renewed as we are

into a new season/atmosphere of goodness (Godness)

out here on the street of everyday living.

This seasonal change is nothing less than a radicalization to

                                    Right and Real

                                    Foundational Love


No matter how you do with change,

change is happening.

Currently we  are being changed into a terribly sick and sinful way as a people,

plagued by a season of

                                     Soul Sickness.

Will we accept a change literally for the better?

As in all human love, this change means letting go of how we are

and letting The Lover God

have every bit and all of who we are.

It means surrendering self interest and  control.

It means having the socks loved off us.

It means being divinized.

                              To borrow from  Gandhi,

               Be changed and be the change that will change.

That requires a seasonal change for starters.

Thank you for staying with all this!!

Holding one and all in

         God's Dear Love,

              John Frank










Friday, December 1, 2017


Hi There !

So, there I was at the "Y" with my Sauna Buddies.

We were happily baking away at two hundred degrees Fahrenheit, freely sharing stories and opinions.

Each and all starkly, if not stunningly, appointed and appareled as on the day of our birth.

Enter a "newbie," a young Latino American.

He sat next to where I was.

There was an ease and pleasantness about him.

Conversation was spontaneous and wide ranging.

No politics, though.

It was plenty hot enough in there already!!

Turns out Miguel is a new  pastor.

Those "Birthday Suits" don't give even a hint of occupation.

In the course of things it came up that I had recently retired after fifty years of ministry as a pastor.

Later, showers and dressing completed, Miguel came over to my locker and asked:

"What advice can you give me to be a good pastor?"

I was taken aback by the simplicity and humility so obvious in Miguel and his question.

With no chance of forethought, I found myself pointing to my heart,

saying what came right from there.

I told Miguel it all starts all the way in at center self.

Get it right there at the center, and things will truly be "all right" from there on out.

Sadly, too many church leaders don't do that.

They are frenetically maneuvering, manipulating and marketing,

trying to get takers for their product.

No good, no God, comes from that.

Inauthentic from the get go.

Rather, go through the ordeal and liberation of accepting God to be who God is,

your core and Center.

That will change you and everything you do.

You will be "Centered"  and energized  in The Source.

Only the transformed can transform.

Only the transformed can transform!!!

Give yourself to God, work generously, and God will do wonders through you

that no PR person, Church Growth Guru, or ecclesial executive could ever cook up.

Miguel smiled, said "Si, Amen !," we shook and off we went.

He's going to be the kind of pastor we so need today.

Well, we're not in a sauna here, but we certainly do share away here every week.

Hopefully with something of the simplicity and humility of Miguel,

I have a question for you.

                                        What is the single most important

                                                   SOUL SECRET

                                         that frees and fires you spiritually

                                                    so far in life?

I ask for two reasons.

The first is for you.

Go as deep and honest as you can.

How are you doing with what's there?

The second is for me.

Please share your gift with me as I tried to share mine with Miguel.

It will light the way spiritually for me out here on the street of my everyday living.

I would so appreciate it if you would email your sharing to me at:

This week marks the first anniversary of "frankly speaking."

Thanks for your good company.

Also, we are blessed to have folks from Slovenia and South Korea now part of our gathering here,

blessed indeed.

See you next week.

Holding each and all in

  God's Dear Love,

        John Frank


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