Saturday, May 27, 2017


Hi There !

So, over the years- more than many by now -

I've bumped into all sorts of "Public People,"

people in the public eye.

They are as varied as their fields of

politics, economics, philosophy,

journalism, religion, music, sports,

theater, theology, spirituality:

John Kennedy, Jude Wanniski, Gabriel Marcel, Eric Sevareid,

Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle, Dom James Fox, Bishop John Shelby Spong,

Lou Rawls, Judy Collins, Muhammad Ali, Sidney Poitier, Helen Hayes, Katie Hepburn,

Hans Kung, Gerald May, Richard Rohr.

Knowing them from afar was one thing. Connecting with them up close and personal was

altogether different.  Personal encounter transforms awareness, connects, opens a relationship.

So it is spiritually. We can read books, go to lectures, workshops, retreats, even religious services

and end up with "knowledge about" but minus  "encounter with" The Spirit.

We know of it, and that from afar.

The difference is like reading a romance novel compared to falling in love.

Anthony De Mello, S.J. puts it like this.
                                                 No one ever became drunk

                                                 on the word wine.

Wine, not word!!

Getting drunk on wine, falling in love are wonderful metaphors for the mystic.

A mystic is one intoxicated, enfolded into  the "mystery" of it all,

The Mystery of All That Is.

Mystery doesn't mean unknowable.

It means way more than knowable, infinitely more than knowable.

It's like the Atlantic Ocean ( Pacific if you are on the west coast ).

We can grasp a little bit of it,

but we can't grasp much of it with eye, hands, or mind.

There's just a whole lot more to it.

So it is with God.

We can know a tiny bit about God.

In no way, though, can we come within a million light years

of fully grasping  God in our head.

We can, however, awake to the realization that

we are grasped, held, embraced, wrapped into

the Mystery that is God,

the way a lover delights

to be grasped, held, embraced, wrapped into the beloved.

People letting themselves  be loved like that are mystics.

Karl Rahner was one of the most gifted and giving theologians of our recent past.

Even more and better, he was sprung spiritually.

He knew more about God than any twenty of us bundled.

Way more than that, he loved being in Love.

He was intoxicated, awash in God's Love.

Rahner, though, was concerned with "wordy," "busy" religion

passing itself off as spiritual,

and in sad  truth stalling,

if not stymieing,

the spiritual.

He spoke a truth in love.

                                                       In the days ahead

                                                       you will either be a mystic

                                                       ( one who has experienced God for real )

                                                       or you will be nothing at all.

We're there !

Those "days ahead " are today!

How about we chill end distill a bit?

A mystic is not some air head without a day job

sitting in the corner going " OMMMMMMMMMMM "  all the time.

Most mystics are

bread and butter, garden variety,

go to work every day, have a family kind of folks.

They delight that God is passionately in love with them and they are beginning to respond.

They and God are the truest of soulmates.

They share and do everything together.

The mystic lets go of the illusion of independence

and luxuriates in interdependence.

The mystic lets go of self to be  All.

Dom Bede Griffith put it like this.

                                                         I was no longer

                                                          the center of my life

                                                          and therefore

                                                          I could see God in everything.

The mystic encounters God in everything and everyone.

Mystics realize that what appears as particular

is part and parcel of the  universal.

So, changing a baby or a tire, selling furnitureor buying groceries,

voting, going to corporate or your kid's game,

mystics are one in One.

Another way to stutter about it is:

                                   A MYSTIC


                                                                 TO BE

                                                                        A DROP OF WATER

                                                                                   IN THE OCEAN OF GOD.

A mystic is awash in the sea of it all,

The Sea Of All That Is.

Now, in all honesty, bread and butter, garden variety,

go to work everyday, have a family kind of mystics

regularly, consistently, mess up, sin, screw things up.

God just loves on them and says,

                                                        "Get it out of your system. 

                                                         I'll just wait,

                                                         but hurry up,

                                                         because I'm nuts about you

                                                         and I want to make love."

The mystic usually has some "knowledge" about God.

Much more importantly,

the mystic is always  "experiencing"  God,

and that for real,

as Rahner reminds us.,

Yet paradoxically,

that goes without saying

because words don't know how to get there.

The mystic, like Buddha,

wakes up to it - the lights go on.

For the mystic

                                                              The light

                                                               at the end of the tunnel

                                                               is not an illusion.

                                                               The tunnel is.

                                                                                     Author unknown - but so on!!

This awakening is a gradual dawning of the

                                                         RIGHT NOW ALWAYS.

                                                               The journey to God

                                                               is merely the re-awaking

                                                               of where you are always,

                                                               and what you are forever.

                                                               It is a journey without distance

                                                                to a goal

                                                                that has never changed.

                                                                                                A Course on Miracles

This has been great!

I love mixing it up with mystics!!

One last beautiful paradox.

                                   A DROP OF WATER

                                                 IS THE OCEAN.

                                                                  THE OCEAN

                                                                       IS THE DROP OF WATER.

Bonaventure put it like this:

                                    YOU ARE NOT GOD


                                                                           YOU ARE NOT NOT GOD.

Mystics get that!!

All the best!!

(it was described above and we're all invited ).

                      John Frank



Thursday, May 18, 2017


Hi There !

So, it's a whole lot easier to make change at the cash register

than at the many registrations of change

we have to negotiate out here on the street of everyday life.

The currency and valuations are one heck of a lot more costly.

For instance.

My parents were driving away.

I was all alone.

I was also one scared teenager.

I knew absolutely no one at the boarding school.

It was just me and my trunk at the door..

Thank God for " Grippy."

That's really what everyone called him.

He was a short, quirkie, kind, leprechaun-like upper classman.

He took me in tow and said, "Don't worry. I'll show you around and get you started."

Grippy's goodness greased the skids of a huge change for me,

a change that turned out to be very much for the better.

Being at that boarding school changed me from  a confused, conflicted adolescent

into a stabilized, strong young man, eager and ready for adult life,

well, until the next major life change anyway.

So how about you?

What's it been like for you to "make change" in your life?

I'll bet the changes you've had to negotiate are as varied as  they have been for all of us.

Change presents in all sorts of denominations:

fear, joy, expectation, pain, happiness,

surprise, ecstasy and multiples more.

I'll also bet that even  welcome changes have come with a payment plan,

not just a bit of loose change either.

Change there is, welcome or resisted.


Why can't we just work hard, get things lined up and settle down?

Well, change tells us, " You're not finished yet."

Easy or hard, change underscores that we are in process, that we are evolving.

Some folks get it, go along with it, and  move more and more into an evolving fullness,

one that helps society to do the same..

Other folks don't get it, or don't want to get it,

They just slow down the progress. the evolution for themselves and society.

They try to shut down the change making that is integral to life and its expansion.

They want life to be a settled account.

Well, it isn't and they can't.

I guess that's what the scripture from the Christian Tradition means when it notes,

"...for here we have no lasting city..." ( Hebrews 13:14)

Individually and as a people we are invited to be on the move.

Our destiny, our destination, I suspect is not so much  a static, safe final condition or place.

Rather it is an unending "aborning," a continuous breaking through to, not a fulfillment,

but to unending, ever unfolding  Fullness.

Name it as we will, Nirvana, Bliss, Heaven,  The Omega Point,

it's an ever opening, progressive tense adventure.

Happily it's beyond our describing at this stage of our growing up.

And that's what it is - growing up and up and up and up.

We are like a plant reaching for the sun

and offering it the exquisite flowering that we are becoming.

Yet, at times change feels like being short changed, a loss, a downward thing.

That's when the plant is going through some needed root work.

We 'd rather take a pass on this kind of change.

But, as down and dirty as it is, it does root us more firmly and deeply for further flowering.

So we fuss and fumble, grope and grow and glow as we "make change."

Looked at another way,  we are a pilgrim people, a lot like the ancient Israelites.

They were on the move from slavery to freedom in  a Promised Place.

With them, let's take to heart the poetic promise of change:

                    I am about to do a new thing:

                    now it springs forth,
                    do you not perceive it?

                    I will make a way in the wilderness
                    and rivers in the desert."

                                                        Isaiah 43:19

Though we don't always understand it,

we are invited to "make change,"

change that happily amounts to

A Change For The Better.

Glad we can be together like this.

Every blessing!

In God's Dear Love,

    John Frank


Well, really quite a few of them.

Don't forget,

I was a pastor and a professor for years of words!!!

If you have the time and interest,

I'd really like to tell you about Christopher and me.

Christopher is thirteen.

I am a lot of thirteens, six of them minus one year.

Even with a year differential like that,

we really like each other

and share a good bit.

For starters, we share April 30th. as our common birthday.

Every year we wish each other well on that day of aliveness.

These days we are sharing Big Time Change!!

The specifics are age appropriate,

but the dynamic of change is so similar and definitely shared.

Christopher has recently stepped into puberty.

I continue to take more and more steps, often stumbles, into old age.

Our bodies are changing in often surprising, sometimes confusing, and yet truly wonderful ways.

Change in sense of self, social position, relationships, abilities, powers,

responsibilities, emotions, life in God, interests, are fast tracked for both of us.

Christopher has lost his childhood and is gaining manhood.

I have lost the vigor of former times and am gaining peace being in Being.

Christopher will have to deal with all sorts of "hormonal happenings," and the zits that go with them

I'll more and more have to deal with a growing variety of aches and pains and slowness of everything

Christopher has years and years in front of him.

I've got a timeless forever in front of me.

We both are changing into a new kind of aliveness.

Please join me in holding Christopher in prayer.

He makes this old man happy, happy that he is changing into the kind of man so needed today.

Pardon the play on words, but Christopher and I  are  making changes that make more than cents .

They make a lot of sense - definitely a change for the better!!


Here are some Meditation Markers that might help as we ponder and pray our way forward,

and the changes that means.

There are two rules on the spiritual path: Begin and Continue.

                                                                               Sufi Saying

The ocean refuses no river.

                                                                                Sufi Chant

 For surely I know the plans I have for you says the Lord,

 plans for your welfare and not for harm,

 to give you a future with hope.

                                                                           Jerimiah 29:11

 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit

 within you; and I will remove the heart of stone

 from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

                                                                             Ezekiel 36:26

What do sad people have in common?

It seems they all build a shrine to the past

and they go there and do a strange wail and worship.

What is the beginning of happiness?

It is to stop being so religious like that.




Thursday, May 11, 2017


Hi There !

So, Mother's Day.

Cards, visits, flowers, food.

Terrific, yet tough.

As a pastor,  I would struggle every year on Mother's Day to be especially sensitive to

what I said and what we did in church that Sunday.

In the congregation would be many magnificent moms - Apple Pie, All American Moms!

In the congregation there would also be women who so wanted to be moms and couldn't.

I can still feel the pain of Ruth. She would almost skip church as we celebrated  mothers.

Her heart ached because she was never  able to conceive.

In the mix would be Helicopter Moms, who should have been grounded years ago.

Then there were women who mothered, but deep down never wanted to.

They knew, and so did their kids.

So sadly, there were mothers who had lost children

through miscarriage, accident, illness, war or other violences.

There were mothers estranged from their children.

There were mothers who knew they really weren't good at it.

And tragically, there were toxic mothers, who severely damaged their children's heads and hearts.

On top of all this, there were the mothers and their children's spouses, who,

despite hearty posturing to the contrary, were at best a Mutual Toleration Society.

See why I struggled for sensitivity?

Now, honestly I'm not trying to scare anyone off from celebrating something

as primary, pivotal, and wonderful as motherhood.

Yet, whether it's Mother's Day or just a regular go to work day,

sensitivity is so critical to our spiritual lives out here on the street of everyday life.

Sensitivity is not pandering to others' moods and caprices.

Sensitivity does not mean we need to tighten up and walk around on egg shells.

It does mean that essential tones in the symphony of our spiritual lives are

to "sense" rightly and "respond" appropriately to who is actually  there before us.

That calls into play our  mind, heart, and hopefully,

 a savoy psyche, as well as a generous spirit.

In our authenticity we need to tune into who and how the other is,

and interact as close to reality as we can get just then.

Sensitivity doesn't show up high on many spirituality menus.

It's not seen as all that "spiritual."

But is. It conditions the interaction, hopefully the blending, of spirits.

Sensitivity calls for soulful acuity, be that at the watercooler, texting, at a party, greeting the kids

after school - at every personal interface, indeed,  at every "inter-heart."


Last Sunday I was the guest of a dear friend at a lovely English Tea House.

Enter, ever so slowly, the waitress.

I venture she has never heard of soft skills.

Things were pretty arid in the personality department.

She only gave me a needed knife when I asked for it,

and then plunked it down upside down.

It seemed she went on vacation between courses.

All this called for Sensitivity on Steroids.

The more I tuned to the waitress the more I sensed, as in sensitivity,

 a damaged spirit at her center.

Here psychic heart rate was close to coding.

Who/what dulled and dented her I couldn't know.

I did know I needed to gently use the only thing available to me in that setting.

So at each interchange I loved her in my heart and simply spoke thanks,

bypassing her rote, mechanical manner.

Fast forward to yesterday.

Completely the opposite of Sunday and the waitress.

I blew it big time.

I was quite insensitive to the most important person in my life.

Our spirits clashed rather than blended.

How humbling to be blogging on the spirituality of sensitivity,

and be anything but spiritually sensitive.

So, I know of what I speak.

I know of real spiritual sensitivity.

I recommend it.

I know of utter failure at spiritual sensitivity.

Please be a lot more real and really sensitive than I was.

There really is nothing as sacred as a person, whether they know it or not.

We need  to know it  and respond  to each person with a sensitivity worthy of the divine.

In the background I hear the life words of Jesus:

" Whatever you do to another you do unto me" ( Matthew 25:40 ).

We have it  on that good authority that:

"There really is nothing as sacred as a person, whether they know it or not.

 We need to know it and respond to each person with a sensitivity worthy of the divine."


Thanks for the pleasure of your company today.

All the best to you and our whole wide world.

Holding you in

God's Dear Love,

    John Frank

Just a reminder that new postings go up toward the end of each week.

If you haven't had a chance, please do check out

"What's Going On Here?" at the top right here.


Saturday, May 6, 2017


Hi There !

So, last week family and friends showered

Love Words

as my birthday made its annual visit.

I'd like to play that forward

and shower  some

Love Words

of my own

in support of your aliveness.

They come from my journal,

but ever so much more so from

my Center to your Center. 


                                                              Let go of things

                                                              and discover

                                                              that you are already one with


                                                                                                 2 April 2017


                                                              Allow yourself to be seduced  into

                                                              Love's Enfoldment.

                                                                                                  30 April 2017

                                                        MONESTERY MORNING

                                                                    Silent still

                                                                    Steel gray sky

                                                                    Air chilled

                                                                    Fields flowing

                                                                    Monks monking

                                                                    Quests wandering wondering



                                                                     Me musing

                                                                     Some seeing

                                                                     All seeking

                                                                     All sought!

                                                                                                      25 May 2004


   Thanks for your company.

   In God's Dear Love,

        John Frank


New postings offered toward the end of each week.

Some folks have asked about last week's posting, The Real Deal.

You can scroll below for it, or go to the Achieves. April 29, 2017