Friday, October 27, 2017


                                                        PLEASE NOTE

                                            Usually a new posting goes up here

                                            .         on Friday Mornings.

                                          Next week the posing will not go up on

                                                    Friday, November 3, 2017.

                                              The next posting here will go up on

                                                         Sunday afternoon,

                                                         November 5, 2017

                                                           Thank You!!

                                                 And now, on to this posting!!


Hi There !

So, what are you going to be for Halloween this year?

Remember all he different costumes you wore as a kid

"Trick or Treating" around your neighborhood?

And how about when you got home with enough candy

to flip the entire NFL into insulin shock?

A note here for those of us who live in lands beyond the USA.

Halloween has become so popular in the states

that it ranks second only to Christmas.

Even beats out Mother's day!!

Over the years,

like Christmas and Easter,

Halloween has been captured and repurposed

commercially and socially.

From a holyday eve,

it has morphed into something between

the macabre and ghoulish.

Guess it has become a socially acceptable way

to let surface and act out

all sorts of spooky stuff

that is usually confined to our psychic sub strata,

and have some fun in the process,

to say nothing of the candy to be had!!

In its origin and purity

Halloween was a festive celebration of

ordinary people, living ordinary lives

and coming to extraordinary holiness

right out on the street of everyday living.

Back in Medieval  Europe,

November first was a holyday,

All Saints Day.

People dressed in the garb ( costume )

of their life work:

homemaker, farmer, professor, midwife,

black smith, baker, doctor, potter and so forth.

This reminded all that their holiness

would be lived out right where and as they were.

There would be a High Mass in the cathedral

and then a joyous  procession through town

celebrating that all are called to be saints,

whatever their life and place in society.

Thus "All" Saints Day.

There was music and food aplenty.

The next day was yet another holyday.

Again there was a High Mass in the cathedral

followed by a procession, this time  to the cemetery,

there to remember all the holy souls

who  helped them walk the way of holiness.

Thus "All Souls Day."

Both holydays underscored

the spirituality of  ordinary people,

and their call to wholeness,

to holiness,

to be "hallowed,"

as the Old English put it.

Over time the Eve before All Hallows

became Hallow Eve,

later Halloween.

Way back when and right now,

too many people assume "holiness"

is just for spiritual superstars -

Augustine, John Wesley, Mother Theresa,

and happily legions more.

For us rather regular, ordinary people, though,

All Saints Day and All Souls Day

affirm the call of us all

to fullness,

to wholeness,

to holiness,

to be saints.

As a matter of fact

the word "saint"

derives from the Latin "sanctus,"

which means sacred,

full, whole, and thus "holy."

In the Christian Blessing,

we hear Jesus offer

fullness, wholeness, holiness:

                                    "I have come that you might have life

                                      and have it to the full."

                                                                           John 10:10

Jesus offers himself as the way to fullness:

                                     I am the way, the truth and the life."

                                                                           John 14:6

The "way" 
                                   He can be our "way"

                                   to navigate everyday life to wholeness.

The "truth"

                                   He can be the "truth,"

                                   the reality undergirding who we are

                                   and how we are

                                   as we come to wholeness.

The "life"

                                  He can be the very "life"

                                  that energizes, "en-livens" us 

                                  as we come more and more to wholeness in him.

We can live fully in union with Jesus,

he in us and we in him.

His life happening in and through us:

                                  "Abide in me as I abide in you...

                                    my Father is glorified by this

                                    that you bear much fruit..

                                    As the Father has loved me,

                                    so I have loved you; abide in my love...

                                    I have said these things to you

                                    so that my joy may be in you,

                                    and your joy may be full,"

                                                                   John 15: 4 & 8, 9 & 11

Union, shared life , fullness. wholeness, holiness, saints all

in ordinary, everyday life.

All Saints
              All Souls.

Now most of us "saints" aren't going

                                     - to write profound spiritual treatises

                                        (certainly not here anyway!!)

                                     - die at the stake for our faith

                                     - found religious orders or movements

                                     - or walk on water.

Our life of wholeness will be a "garden variety," rather ordinary and practical.

It will be in the spirit and way Paul encourages:

                                       "So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,

                                         do it for the glory of God."

                                                                                  1 Corinthians 10:31

Our "doing" will  happen in all sorts of ways:

                                         - changing a flat on the way to the airport

                                         - being in labor for sixteen house

                                         - being soul soaked in scripture

                                         - going to a job that qualifies you as a Job

                                         - making love like it's the Fourth of July,

                                           and other times when it's more like a firecracker that didn"t

                                         - living with  fearful ambiguity about governments and economies

                                         - quieting down into our Still Point

                                         - teaching a little girl to swim

                                         - struggling to break free of an addiction to

                                           alcohol, drugs, porn, work

                                          - being part of a religious/spiritual group

                                            that rocks and rolls,

                                            rocks to heaven some days,

                                            and then other days,

                                            rolls down to hellish disappointment

                                          - lending a friend fifty dollars

                                            and knowing you'll never see it again

                                           - taking your mother/father-in-law with you on vacation
                                           - reading a great book

                                           - sticking your neck out for racial and environmental rightness

                                           - having a brew with a good friend

                                             (who never asks for fifty dollars

                                             and is eager to pick up the tab for the brew !)

                                            - washing the car

                                            and all such everyday modes as God's Life surges through us

                                            filling us unto wholeness.

It's a joy to celebrate that kind of holiness, truly an "All Saints Day."

It's also such a boost to call to mind and heart those good souls who nurtured and nudged us

along the street of everyday living to "whole-ly-ness,"  to  again and again be guided by their

witness and influence - truly an "All Souls Day."

So, what are you going to be for Halloween this year?

How about:

                   - being refreshed and recommitted as the "saint" you are invited to be?

                   - being grateful  "For All the Saints Who From Their Labors Rest"

                     and vigorously drawing from the endowment of their influence?


Our little circle of sharing here is blessed to welcome new members from Belarus and Ireland.

So good to be with you.

Thanks for the gift of you.

Have a wonder filled  week one and all.

See you a tad later than usual next time with our next posting on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

I am most grateful to you for making our sharing here a

           Communion of Saints!!

You certainly are

             " Saints Alive !!"

             Holding you all in

              God's Dear Love,

                John Frank


                                                      MEDITATION MARKERS

" The challenge of the saints of the twenty-first century

  is to begin again to comprehend the sacred

  in the ten thousand things of this world;

  to reverence what we have come to view as ordinary and devoid of spirit."

                                                               Edward Hayes in Secular Sanctity


"All of the places of our lives are sanctuaries;

  some of them just happen to have steeples.

  And all the people in our lives are saints;

  it is just that some of them have day jobs."

                                                               Robert Benson

                                                              Between the Dream and the Coming True


                                                  FRANCIS OF ASSISI

         - " I have been all things unholy.

              If God can work through me,

              He can work through anyone."

          -  "Start doing what's necessary;

               then do what is possible;

               suddenly you will be doing the impossible."

           - "It's no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is preaching."

           - " To Saints, their very slumber is prayer."

           - "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words."












Friday, October 20, 2017


Hi There!

So, greetings from Washington, D.C.

Am visiting family, soaking up cultural excellence, and being treated to some fine dining.

Being on holiday, I will be a bit short this time round - just this one time!!

Washington is my favorite most city in all our wonderful U.S.A.

There are people from all across our land and from just about every land as well.

There are all sorts of neighborhoods, architectures, dinning adventures,

cultural centers and offerings,  universities, museums,

libraries, monuments, government activities, religious centers.

There is a wonderful "buzz" to this lively and enlivening place.

I started coming here as an eleven year old, no, not when Lincoln was president.

Actually Dwight Eisenhower was just getting stated, though.

I stayed with my Aunt Dorothy. She took me out and about to the wonders of Washington.

I was hooked.

Years later I returned for three years of graduate study in Theology.

Then and now, my two center points in Washington are

The National Cathedral


 The Mellon Art Gallery.

They are my spiritual and esthetic Mecca's.

Just spent the better part of a day at each.

These "center points"  ground me in wonder.

I end up soulfully inebriated by the beauty of it all - a bit of God

reflected on canvas, arched in stone, etched in wood, glass and metal,

celebrated in rich ritual and lifting music.

For all the "buzz" and beauty of D.C., though.

I need quiet and an even deeper, an ultimate, center point.

We all have such a soul quest.

In the Bill Moyer's P.B.S. series "The Power of Myth,"

featuring Joseph Campbell, Campbell  says the same

in his own marvelous, expansive manner.

He is plain and simple in stating that for all the "buzz" and beauty of life,

as well as all the pain and suffering of it,

we need to be still and go deep, as deep as deep gets.

We need a spot of place and stretch of  time

each day to  be moved beyond both.

Campbell urges an hour each day,

no 24/7 news noise, no attention to gas bills or politicians

(more than  a bit of a correlation there for sure!),

no concern about what to ware to work tomorrow, or have for supper,

or how to deal with the in-laws' next visit.

He also advises that in the beginning the whole deal will be a bust.

We will feel as though "nothing s happening."

As we stay with it, though, there is a freeing from immediacy and its case load of concern.

Gradually we are ushered into a new realm, to our center, to our

                             STILL POINT

 as William Johnson, S.J. names it.

It's where the essence, the mystery of who we are

is one with the Mystery we call God

( or, if you prefer, Reality, Love, Being, Existence )  -

                              WHAT IS

             And IS Beyond Name Or Notion.

From there on it is a wordless, concept free immersion in

                               WHAT IS

down deep, deep as deep goes, and deep doesn't have a bottom.

Take the ten best love making moments of your life,

multiply by endless

and we are just getting started.

It is ecstatic rapture surging past itself.

Afterwards, returning to the immediacies 

out here on the street of everyday living,

it's a lot easier to see them for what they are and are not,

how they flow from our Still Point,

or are static on surface stuff,

that which foxes us up

and by which we fox up other people and places.

Quite liberating!

Give it a go and be gotten,

as in begotten.

So, words stop here.

Invitation is wide open and beckons beyond its articulation:

                                 "Be still and know that I am God."

                                                                                    Psalm 146: 10

Oh my, looks like I have forgotten how to be "short,"

except when I stand before the mirror of course!

All the best as we chill to Still.

Welcome to our new participants in France and Canada.

Thank you for joining in.

See you all next week.

Holding each and everyone of you in

God's Dear Love,

     John Frank


                                                    MEDITATION MARKERS

                                                             STILL POINT

- T.S. Elliott

                                                              Burnt Norton


                     At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;

                     Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,

                     But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,

                     Where past and future are gathered. Neither  movement from nor towards,

                     Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,

                     There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

                      I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.

                      And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

                      The inner freedom from the practical desire,

                     The release from action and suffering, release from the inner

                      And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded

                      By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving.

                                        Collected Poems, 1909- 1962

                                                    T.S. Elliott


                                                 Harcourt Brace

-  Still Point, William Johnson, S.J., 1970, Fordham University Press

                     A comparison of the principles and practices of Zen and

                     Christian mysticism.

                     Draws from both into an enlarging unity

- Stilling Prayer

                                        In a quiet place and way,

                                        breath slowly and deeply.

                                        Let The Spirit speak you spirit

                                        to wordless centering, to your

                                                       Still Point

                                        starting with the words of Psalm 146:10.

                                           "Be still and know I am God."

                                                                                             ( generous pause )

                                            "Be still and know that I am..."

                                                                                             ( generous pause )

                                                  "Be still and know..."

                                                                                              ( generous pause )

                                                           "Be still.."

                                                                                               ( generous pause )


                                                                                               ( generous pause )












Friday, October 13, 2017


Hi There!

So, welcome to our first ever wine tasting.

May it lead to a divine intoxication for us all.

Please savor this sampling of seven outstanding "spirits."

I heartily recommend them.

Over the years they have helped inebriated me

to the point of  wild abandon in Love.

I pray that may be your "high" as well.

For most (all) of us, Chateau Lafite Rothschild,

at a thousand dollars a bottle,

is out of range and reach.

So, too, "spirits" like:

                                 - John of the Cross

                                 - Teresa of Avila

                                  - Meister Eckhart

                                  - Hildegard of Bingen

                                  - Julian of Norwich

                                  - Moses Maimonides

are frequently a bit too rarified and complex  for daily imbibing.

On Wine Spectator's Scale they would surely  be  in the  (95 - 100 range),

"Classics: the great wines."

More to our palate and price would be 

a bottle of "spirits" like St. Francis Sonoma Red

at twenty dollars a bottle.

It's in Wine Spectator's Scale of  (90 -94 range),

"Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style."

The "spirits" here for our tasting certainly are "of superior character and style":

                                             - Thomas Merton

                                             - Bede Griffiths

                                             - Gerald May

                                             - Richard Rohr

                                             - Rob Bell

                                             - Rumi

                                             - Hafiz

Here's a :"taste" of each.

It is accompanied with a recommendation for a fuller portion

should you wish to imbibe even more after our little "tasting" here

(the recommendation is  not necessarily the source of our tasting here ).

                                            THOMAS MERTON

                                   " Every moment and every event

                                     of every man's life on earth

                                     plants something in his soul."

                                      New Seeds of Contemplation


                                            BEDE GRIFFITH

                                 "Above all we  have to  go beyond

                                  word and images and concepts.

                                  No imaginative vision

                                  or conceptual framework

                                  is adequate to
                                  the great reality."

                                           Return to the Center


                                                GERALD MAY

                                "I would prefer  a thousand mistakes

                                  in extravagance of love

                                  to any paralysis in wariness of fear."

                                            The Awakened Heart


                                                RICHARD ROHR

                                         " We do not think ourselves

                                            into new ways of living,

                                            we live ourselves into

                                            new ways of thinking."

                                                All Things Belong


a daily email from

                               The Center for Action and Contemplation



                                                     ROB BELL


                                           "I like to say that I practice

                                            a militant form of mysticism.

                                            I am really absolutely sure

                                            of some things

                                            that I don't quite know."

                                                 Love Wins


a weekly podcast,

                                               The RobCast




                                             "Let the beauty

                                              of what you love

                                              be what you do."

                                           The Essential Rumi



                                            "The heart is a

                                             thousand stringed instrument

                                             that can only be tuned

                                             with love."

                                                   The Gift


Glad we could share a taste of these good "spirits."

With bottled spirits, excess is a danger.

The danger for the spiritual is being cold sober!!!

"Taste and see the goodness of the Lord." (Psalm 34:8)

Here's to you!!

Let's  hold in Love the people of California's wine country

as the suffer devastating fires.

A warm welcome to our newest participants here from Kenya and Romania.

Glad we can share together!

Our circle widens.

What a blessing you all are!

All this reminds me of a prayer  we used to sing in Gregorian Chant back in seminary days

( it was sixty six years ago and of course in Latin ):

"Ecce quam bonum et quam iucundum habitare fratres in Unum."

"Behold how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell as one."

                                                        Psalm 133:1

See you next week.

In God's Intoxicating Love,

            John Frank











Friday, October 6, 2017


Hi There!

So, another mad mass murder.

Starting to loose count.

Listening to a lot of different sorts of folks since the Las Vegas Massacre,

I hear variations on a theme:

          - "I'm afraid to be in a crowd."

          - "Our country is  going to hell in a basket"

          - "We need/don't need more/less gun control."

          - "Why?"

          - "With so many severe earthquakes and devastating hurricanes,

               with nuclear North Korea, Washington craziness, war rumors and threats of war,

               data hacking, these mass shootings, are we close to the end of the world?"

           - "I feel so sad."

           - "We need to do more about mental health."

           - "I just don't feel a bit safe anymore."

and a whole lot painfully more.

Underneath it all, presenting in different ways,

I sense  a destabilizing, pervasive fear

at not knowing how to deal with dangers that keep compounding.

The danger of mass shootings is one part of an ooze of fear spreading over

and suffocating our spirits.

So, what's our "spirit"uality out here on the street of everyday living when

The Route 91 Harvest Festival

on the streets of Las Vegas

was as far from festive as a birthday party is from an execution

and "harvested"

58 dead bodies

and 500 plus shot up music lovers,

and millions upon millions of ever more fearful people ?

How do we get a handle on this and so many other dangers

that just keep piling up on the streets of our everyday living

and causing a destabilizing  fear?

              - pain meds that dope to death

              - escalating childhood and adolescent suicide attempts

              - gun danger

                 ( Since 1968 more Americans have been killed by guns

                   than the total number of Americans killed in all of America's wars -

                   Nicholas Kristol, The New York Times, August 27, 2015 )

               - forks 

                  (with more than 35% of us obese and a total of 70% of us overweight - CDC)

                - racial strife

                -  an epidemic of depression and anxiety

                - frustrations around economic opportunity and justice

                - environmental and sustainability threats

                - acerbic public discourse and vacated  civility

                - misinformation/fake news

                - ubiquitous media trivia and violence

                - disintegrating family life

                - gender conflict

                - international nuclear, trade and military threats

                - health care that isn't either for too many

                - democratic process challenged by election interference and blatant gerrymandering.

Is it to be fearful fight or flight?

Or, is there a spiritual reset that will open a  fear free way forward?

Let's explore and opt for the latter.

First off, and painfully so, we need to

                                                    FACE THE FLAW

We are damaged and damaging goods.

             "If only it were so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously

              committing evil deeds, and it is necessary to separate them from the rest of us

              and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts right through

              the heart of every human being."

                                                                 Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Early on, Christian thinkers said the same thing in a different way.

They called it Original Sin.

It means that from the "origin" of humanity

we beautiful people have taken serious missteps

that throw off our balance.

At times we stumble into damaging conflict with who we really are,

with one another,

and with nature itself.

People playing God is a job we just can't handle.

Trying to play God throws people, social process, and nature off kilter, causing chaos and pain.

In the earliest days of Christianity Paul admitted:

                               "For what I do is not the good I  want to do,

                                 no - the evil I do not want to do  -

                                 this I keep doing."

                                                             Romans 7:19

The Flaw causes fearful things.

                                       EVOLUTION HAS A WAY TO GO

We have evolved out of the caves,

but we have not yet evolved away from

 many primitive attitudes and behaviors.


                                    - bullying to genocide,

                                    - hoarding to mass starvation,

                                    - murder to the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Individual consciousness, societal values, nature itself

are working free from dark chaos

to lightsome fullness,

buts a lot of the lights aren't on yet,

much less fully so.

Check out

Odisse Mourns America's Lost Innocence in the New Video, 'You Grew Up.'

In this animated video, the emcee critiques how society socializes us

from innocent adolescents

to lost, even monstrous adults. ( NPR online, 10-03-2017)

All this is genesis for a bevy of terribly fearful stress.

Are we stuck with it?

Not really, if we'd do just that, really

Get Real.

                                           FEAR FREE FORWARD

In Reality,


Once we "get it,"

or as much as we "get it,"

we are freed of fear and can

forward to fullness.

                                    "We are many faces of

                                              The One

                                                who is

                                             All That Is."

                                                             ( Author unknown, but a truth worth knowing)

                                        "All separation,

                                          every kind of estrangement

                                          and alienation is false.
                                         All is one..."

                                                              ( Sci Nisargadatta Maharaj )

                                         "So we, though many,

                                           are one body

                                           in Christ,

                                           and individually

                                           members of one another.

                                                                 ( Romans 12:5 )

There is an underlying, bed rock oneness

to all that is

The universe and beyond is waking up to itself,

to its oneness,

and that includes us.

In the meantime,

and it can be mean at times,

there will be stress and suffering on the surface of things

as we stumble out of the dark.

We and all nature are like a woman giving birth.

The stretch to bring forth hurts a lot.

Yet, what is brought forth is beautiful new being -

a fresh fullness.

Yes, growing free and forth from "flaw" hurts.

See Jesus on the cross.

Talk about birth pains!

Talk also about a liberating new life -

a fresh forward to fullness.

                          "For in Christ

                            all the fullness

                            of the Deity lives

                            in bodily form."

                                                   ( Colossians 2:9 )

Yes, evolving into what we are is at once painful and liberating.

Here, too, is a birthing,

a stretch to fresh fullness.

To put it too simply,

there may be an ouchless band-aid,

but there is no such thing as an ouchless 

freeing from flaw,

or evolution to fullness.

Accept that and we are freed forward.

Tighten up and we freeze up in fear.

Just as matter cannot be created or destroyed,

so too for us.

We are and always will be.

Yet, we can evolve into All more and more,

a realized All.

Stretch pass "as is"

and we come into our own,

into a fresh fullness -

and it just opens to more and more.

All this takes courage.

"Cor" in Latin means "love."

In the Christian Blessing,

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

So this freeing from flaw,

this evolution into All,

is simply to

"Fall in Love."

That's the base and expanse of All.

So, yes, we have lots of terrible troubles right now.

It takes courage - Love accepted -

to fearlessly grow through them.

Many of us have had our

1950's expanding and suburban middle class life,

our Leave It To Beaver days,

our supposed safe Red, White and Blue era destabilized.

If we are honest, those days had their fears:

                           - school air raid drills that caused many to fear an atom bomb attack from Russia

                           - the Korean War

                           - The Vietnam War (resistance movements, demonstrations, political upheaval)
                           - the whole Hippie era ( sex, drugs, rebellion, tradition smashed )

                           - the Civil Rights Movement ( racial violence, riots)

                           - churches and their traditions upended

So, now we have our particular pack of  fearful troubles.

It's our turn to see things for what they are, and aren't,

go deep and go on.

That "deep" is

"Falling n Love."

That's the Reality Base.

It frees and strengthens:

                              "God is love.

                                Whoever lives in love

                                lives in God,

                                and God in that one...

                                There is no fear in in love.

                                But perfect love

                                drives out fear,...

                                The one who fears

                                is not made perfect in love."

                                                              ( 1John 4:16-17 )



This coming week, and much after that,

 let's ponder, meditate on and contemplate

the lead of spiritual lights as we

face flaw,

evolve ever more,

fear free forward

to fullness.

May the

Meditation Markers

that follow

get us off to a good start.

Again and always thank you for the privilege of sharing together.

Also, welcome to our little gathering here to new members in

Argentina, Spain, England, Australia.

I look forward to us all  being together next week.

In God's Dear Love,

   John Frank



- " Peace I leave you;

    my peace I give you.

    I do not give to you as the world gives.

    Do not let your hearts be troubled and

   do not be afraid."

                            ( John 14: 27 )

- "Teach this triple truth to all:

    A generous heart,

    kind speech,

    and a life of service and compassion

    are the things which

    renew humanity."

                           ( Buddha )

- "My soul honors your soul.

    I honor the place in you

    where the entire universe resides.

    I honor the light, love, truth. beauty and peace within you,

    because it is also within me.

    I sharing these things

    we are united,

    we are the same,

    we are one."

                         ( Namaste  - Hindu Greeting )

- "Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society."

                        ( Francis of Assisi )

-"I wish I could show you ...

  the astonishing light of your own being."

                         ( Hafiz )

-"Peace comes from within.

   Do not seek it without."

                        ( Buddha )

- " Do not become overcome by evil,

     but overcome evil with good."

                        ( Romans 12:21 )

- "Chaos is inherent in all compounded things.

    Strive on with diligence."

                         ( Buddha )

- "For I am convinced that neither death nor life,

    neither angels nor demons,

    neither the present nor the future,

    nor any powers,

    neither height nor depth,

    nor anything else in all creation,

    will be able to separate us

    from the love of God

    that is in

    Christ Jesus our Lord."

                          ( Romans 8: 38-39 )