Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Hi There!

So, we all like a "Rush."

You know, like the rush

the first time you had sex

{ and hopefully many more times since!!),

landing a really good job,

or getting a significant promotion,

inheriting a sizable amount of money,

holding your newborn, 

and years and dollars later

watching her graduate from college

( able  and ready to get herself through grad school !!!),

during meditation, being mystically enfolded

into blissful Oneness with all that is

( doesn't get better than that ).

Rushes like these are expansive, energizing " highs."

There are other " rushes," though,

that don't expand,

but contract,

that don't energize,

but sap energy and leave as depleted:

- pressure for endlessly increased productivity,

  whether on the line or at corporate.

- a schedule that is so packed that it bursts the belt of balance.

- literally "rushing " from intensity to intensity.

That kind of rushing. while promising that we'll get ahead,

trips us up physically, emotionally, spiritually, and every other ","

and lands us exhausted flat on our face.

It's flat out to fall.

It's rushing to ruin.

We live in the midst of a cultural value, even insistence,

that rush is right and the key to " the good life."

In actuality, that cultural value

devalues the quality of life, personally and socially.

Sure, there are times we darn well better rush,

say if the kitchen stove is on fire,

or our child come in from play with a bad cut.

Beyond that level of urgency, though,

there really isn't a  humane need for rushing.

In fact, there is a humane need

to slow down and catch up with

a rich, full, sensitive, connected and spiritual style of life.

It takes sense and guts to go counter cultural,

but that's the price for balance and fullness.

I began, underscore " began," to get all this.

during my student summers.

 I worked at our local cemetery

(  the irony of making a living in the midst of death!)

Well, actually it was a pretty good deal.

It meant being  outdoors all day,

getting paid to work out,

and the gift of meeting  Old Mike.

Mike was well into his seventies,

and had been a laborer all his life.

I was a grad student in my early twenties.

As a young man Mike had immigrated here from Italy

( wonder if he'd get through these days ).

Being a young buck,

I flew into whatever job there was to do.

Mike had a cadence and rhythm to the way he worked.

My rushing propelled me across the surface of things.

Mike took the time to be a "life artist,"

to connect, to be drawn into union

with the beauty and goodness of things,

whether that be digging the earth,

putting on a sweater,

lighting up his stinky Italian cigar

( we teased him that at least it kept the flies away ), or

sculpting a wedge of cheese into bite sized pieces for lunch.

Mike connected and experienced.

He savored life.

There was soul in in how he was and what he did.

Mike was a contemplative,

connected with the extraordinary

through the supposed ordinary.

I was a speed demon,

missing a lot until I began to see Mike,

not just at work,

but at life.

Slowly I began to hear the symphony the birds offered,

to see the marvelous dress and coloration of the flowers,

to feel the hardness of rock,

to smell the earthiness of soil,

to taste the yeastiness of a beer at lunch.

All sorts of beauty and goodness drew my soul

to fuller awareness, often to rapture,

a whole wonderful "Rush" of a higher order,

the "Rush" of truly mystical moments

that where beyond time.

I slowly caught a bit of the wisdom in the old Roman adage,

" Festina lente."

"Rush slowly."

So, instead of rushing the down I-80's of life at 80 miles an hour,

and missing all through which we pass,

let's take some back roads,

enjoy a slower ride,

and everything along the way.

That's spirituality for the street of life,

real everyday life,

and it transports us to true mystical Oneness.

Here are some meditation prompts.

May they help us slow down

so we can mellow into meaning,

and experience a


                                         I would love to live

                                         Like the river flows,

                                         Carried by the surprise

                                         Of its own unfolding.

                                                                                                 John O'Donohue,

                                                                                               "Fluent," Conamara Blues

                                                                                                Cliff Street Books, 2001

                                        In patience you will win your soul.


                                                                                                          Luke 21: 19

                                           A mind that is fast is sick.

                                           A mind that is slow is sound.

                                           A mind that is still is divine.

                                                                                                              Meher Baba

                                          Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush,

                                          anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on,

                                          so the children have very little time for their parents.

                                          Parents have very little time for each other,

                                          and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.

                                                                                                              Mother Teresa

                                        ...learn the unforced rhythms of grace...


                                                                                                                 Matthew 11:29

                                                                                                                The Message

                                           In silence the is eloquence.

                                           Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.


                                                                   Patient Trust

                                           We are quite naturally impatient in everything

                                                       to reach the end without delay.

                                            We should like to skip the intermediate stages.

                                                  We are impatient of being on the way

                                                 to something unknown, something new.

                                                     And yet it is the law of all progress

                                                     that it is made by passing through

                                                          some stages of instability -

                                                      and that it may take a very long time.

                                                       And so I think it is with you;

                                                          your ideas mature gradually -

                                                                let them grow,

                                              let them shape themselves without undo haste.

                                                        Don't try to force them on,

                                                  as though you could be today what time

                                { that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your good will )

                                                        will make of you tomorrow.

                      Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.

                                                Give our Lord the benefit of believing

                                                       that his hand is leading you,

                                           and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself

                                                     in suspense and incomplete.

                                                                                                         Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

                                     Food shall be washed, chopped, sautéed, and baked

                                      with a grateful attitude and with tender loving care.

                   While eating you shall restrict yourself from all actions that distract you from the food,

                                             such as driving, watching TV, or working.

                             Whenever possible, food shall be eaten in the company of others.

                                When that is not possible, eat in the presence of the holy.

                            Light a candle or place yourself in harmony with God's creation

                                by eating outside, near a window, or with a flower or plant.

                               Each eating experience should include a time of centering,

                                             remembering God's goodness,

                                        and offering an expression of thanks.

                           All negative emotions surrounding eating should be avoided.

                             You shall come to God's table free from guilt and shame

                                 and leave God's table filled with the grace and love

                                             God is offering to us in this food.

                             By grace we are given the chance to live each new day

                           in right relationship with God, our neighbors, and our food.

                                                                                                          Ingrid Friesen Moser

                                                                                                                quoted in

                                                                                                           Simply in Season

  Thanks  for the chance to be together here.

  May we all  slow down enough to experience

  expansive, energizing "highs" -  a

        REAL RUSH 

                                     John Frank


                                          A warm welcome to our new arrivals.

                                          Thanks for your company.

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                                              ( for this and all past postings,

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                                                go to Archives,  top, right column ).








Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Hi There!

So, those of us on the east coast are shivering as

we dig out from Tuesday's surprise blizzard.

That not withstanding,

nature is ready to Spring,

to "spring forth" in

fragrance, color, warmth,

unfoldings and flowerings

beyond measure.

Nature's "springing" is

the Energy of the Universe,

the Dynamism of Love,

the Limitless Goodness

we call God,

uncoiling,  bursting out

in a Lover's Embrace of us.

Wonder-filled is Nature's grandeur,

swelling up from the

"...dearest freshness deep down things..."

The poem, God's Grandeur,

celebrates that while noting our violation of it,

our closing off to Love's Embrace, yet 

"...And for all this, nature is never spent...

Because the Holy Ghost over bent

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings."

"Springing" reminds us,

" re -hearts " us,

that we really don't , even can't, find God.

That Goodness is,

and we are invited to awaken to it,

to delight in The Embrace.

Out here on the street of life where

"...all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared...

wears  man's smudge..."

our spirits are lifted, freed, filled

as we unthaw, relax into

The Embrace "Springing " for us.

Hopkins' poem is a marvelous "spring board" for that.

                       GOD'S GRANDEUR

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

   It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

   It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

   And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

   And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;

    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

 And though the last lights off the black West went

    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

                                                           Gerard Manley Hopkins

Thomas Merton echoed Hopkins:

"We are living in a word that is absolutely transparent and

the divine is shining through it all the time."

Rumi reminds us that

" Beauty surrounds us,

but usually we need to be walking in a garden

to know it."

Richard Rohr invites us to  pray,

to resonate with

"...the eternal mystery that

enables, enfolds, and enlivens all things."

God for us, we call you Father.

God alongside us, we call you Jesus.

God within us, we call you Holy Spirit.

You are the eternal mystery that enables, enfolds, and enlivens all things,

Even us and even me.

Every name falls short of your goodness and greatness.

We can only see you in what is.

We ask for such perfect seeing -

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.

Amen ( so be it.)

                          Richard Rohr's daily email, Center for Action and Contemplation,

                          March 10,2017

So, let's take a walk and pray

as we get lost in

God's Grandeur


Thanks for this time together.

Holding you in

God's Dearest Love,

John Frank


New offerings are usually posted toward the end of the week.

For past postings, please scroll down.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017


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

coming to confession when I was a young priest.

Their "impure thoughts" were sexual images and fantasies

sprung from a pubescent "hormonal upheaval."

Well, this 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:


My attention to fundamental, foundation, deep down

Goodness - God -

is blurred to blindness

by an impure haze over my spirit, my center self, my soul.

Its pollutants are pride, selfishness, fear, laziness,

and a batch of not a bit likable "impurities."

It's a  terrible play in too many acts:

- Feigning attention while not really being interested in a person

- Smiling as a defense rather than as a soul stretch

- Saying the right thing for the totally wrong reason

- Planning next weeks schedule at a Bach concert

- Mentally reviewing my investment portfolio while playing with the kids

- Strolling through Lockwood Gardens and brewing up a really nasty response

  to a really nasty relative

- Reading sacred texts to anchor my position

  rather than be treated to a revelation of Goodness.

- Volunteering at Habitat for Humanity to rack up community service points at work.

These "impurities," and their smudged cousins, cause a disconnect

between my real self, my soul self,  my Center Self and

The Good, The God, of Right Now, Right Here.

That Goodness Present, That God Present, is just that

in people, daffodils, indeed all of nature, service, striving for social justice,

sacred texts, work, science, learning, a glass of wine, making love, contemplation and prayer,

the arts - Goodness present in everyone and  everywhere.

The trouble is, I'm not!

My "impurities" haze over this Goodness Present.

All this became ever clearer to me the other day.

I was spending time with a friend.

There's a lot of Good Present in him.

I was missing most of it because I was busy trying to score points

 as a saint and sage with him.

Well, that's this edition of My True Confessions.

Here's the hope:

- To purely, to really notice God Present however, wherever that presence manifests.

- To give "soul attention" (i.e. "Center Self" attention )

   to wherever I may be,

   to whomever I may be with.

- To give myself an Attention Check every morning, noon and night

  ( how real am I at really being present to all that is present? )

- To thank " God Present  " for waiting 'til I get there!!!

Here it is


from my tradition:

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 Promise:

           " Blessed are the pure in heart,

             for they will see God."

                                                                               Matthew 5:8

Let's clean the lens!

" God Present " loves you, and so do I ( Really!)

                                                   John Frank


Please scroll down for past postings.



Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Hi There!

So, remember Flip Wilson?

If you do, I'll bet you're already lightning up

and starting to smile just at the mention of his name.

If you don't, " Get thee to a YouTube."

so you, too, can lighten up

 and start to smile a bit more.

Flip Wilson was an African American comedian.

His show on NBC ran during the early 70's and was immensely popular.

Flip was something of a modern day court jester

( boy, could we use him today!!).

He pointedly poked fun at our pomposity and picadillos

by playing a variety of hilarious characters.

There was The Reverend LeRoy, pastor of The Church Of What's Happening Now

( " What see is what you get!" ).

There was Herbie, The Ice Cream Man with an attitude.

And then of course, there was Geraldine,

 a sassy, assertive, and  delightfully misbehaving woman

and her boyfriend, Killer.

Geraldine would regularly go off the rails and do naughty.

When confronted, she would just rear back

and let you know rather vigorously

"The devil made me do it!"

Way before Flip Wilson, Matthew wrote a gripping story

 about the adventures of a Palestinian Jew named Jesus.

Well into mid-life ( life expectancy in those days was about 45 ),

Jesus emerged into an intense public life for three years.

His kick off was a symbol of solidarity with us and

 the messier parts of our human experience.

Jesus joined the crowds and hiked down to the Jordan River.

There he got dunked in purifying waters by his cousin, John.

As he emerged from the Jordan,

Jesus experienced an intense affirmation

of who he was and what he needed to do.

Before he took off for all that,  he went through a rigorous test flight.

All alone, that took place in a vast desert area over a 40 day period -

reminiscent of Moses's 40 year desert exile as well as

the 40 years his ancestors wondered around in the desert

during their test flight,

trying to work out the kinks as a chosen people.

Jesus' test fight was electrifying.

Negative challenges brought forth positive affirmations.

Put simply, Jesus was tempted not to be who he was and

 not to do what was his to do.

Unlike Geraldine, the devil couldn't make him fall for it.

Jesus' metal was tested in the same ways ours is.

For him, as for us, that testing, those temptations,

are in some form or other an urge  to be unreal

by the misuse of





TEMPTER:    Hey, Jesus, let's face it, you're hungry.

                        Enough already!

                       You've been through a lot.

                       You deserve to feel good.

                       "  IF "
                       you are who  you think you are,

                       just cut short this fasting business,

                       and chow down.

                       Use your app there

                       and in no time a Papa John's Pizza

                       will be delivered  by drone.


                      Get real!


For us it isn't turning stones to bread, or ordering out for pizza.

For us it's being destabilized,

disconnected from our true selves and our life task

by trying to antidote our stresses

with an opiate of misplaced pleasure:

                     Things are pretty chilly in the bedroom most nights,

                     and  is my coworker ever hot and raring to toss the salad.

                     I work hard, so I deserve a lot of toys.

                     I'll feel good if I shop till I drop.

                     I could stop over eating/drinking, even smoking, if I wanted to.



                     Hey Jesus.

                    " IF "

                     you really are who you think you are,

                     let's get some big time media exposure.

                    We pull a number no one else has thought of.

                     We get all the media outlets here.

                    So you jump out of a plane

                    with no parachute.

                    You have this celestial expression on your face.

                     We'll supply the media with sound from Handel's Messiah.

                    We can arrange to have cameras in the plane,

                    on you, and at the, what will it be, "crash/landing" site.

                   There's thousands of feet of free fall.

                    You bless the crowds below.

                   Then a thousand feet from splatter,

                   your team flies under you with a huge net

                   slung between their two planes,

                   and scoops you up at two hundred feet above the crowd.

                   We ramp up the sound track to the Allelulia Chorus.

                   I mean you'll get more coverage  and comment than even Trump.


              Get real!


              I'll take everything I can get as a white male.

             Because I am a big contributor to this

             (church, club, political party, cause ...... )

             I want you to ................,

             or not to..........................

             Hey, I pay the bills around here,

             so I call the shoots, got it?



               Let me tell you Jesus,

               I have enormous holding,

               I out buffet Buffett,

               so I'll deal you in big time,


               sign over who you are and what you do to me

               and my organization.



               Get real!


              You'll have to fit in time with the kids when you can,

              but I need you here early to late, and on call 24/7.

               I know we're cutting a few corners,

               but it has really bumped up revenues big time,

               so just stifle your questions about product safety.

               Hey, those ( name your minority )

               will work their toes off for way less

               than other people I could hire.

                Kiss my, ok, "ankle,"  and I'll move yo to the top of our

                ( church, party, company, college...).

Jesus passed his rigorous flight test.

Basically, he told the tempter  to go to hell!!

He went steady and straight, stayed the course.

He then was able to really take off and soared

doing what he was all about,

because he held true to who he was and what was his to do.

The same can be true for us.

It might be helpful during our

Lenten Work Out

to chronicle the actual temptations we face,

being specific and honest as we do this in our journals.

(Don't forget to keep them securely away from nosy eyes.

It's a mixed metaphor and it happens!!).

We should note:

                    Where do I tend to get unreal?

                    What are my soft spots?

                    When do I tend to cave?

Then to each of those temptation bring an affirmation of

                    WHO YOU REALLY ARE,

                    WHAT IS REALLY YOURS TO DO.

Make them specific and practical

                     " Sure I want to take good care of my family

                        and make a lot of money,

                        but I will not sell my soul to the company store.

                       So, if a different company and a lesser salary

                       means I'm home nights and weekends  with the family,

                       then let's barbecue!!

Our journal entries should be statements of how we express our own

                                 " GET REAL!"

in the face of temptations to misplaced




We all have a unique and sacred self

as well as a creative flow from that center.

A good part of our


is the exercise of affirming them against the temptations

to get talked out of ourselves.

So come on Geraldine!

The devil can't make you do it!!

Here's celebrating the real you

and all the good that flows from you!

I'm praying for all of us.

May we bring vigor to our


So good to be with you!!

Holding you in

God's Dear Love,

   John Frank


New items are generally posted toward the end of the week.

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