Friday, January 26, 2018


Hi There !

In Latin it's "cor."

In English it's "core."

After dinner it's a "cordial."

In conflict there is "discord."

When nations and equations agree, it's "accord."

In one way or many, it all has to do with the center of things -

essence - the heart of the matter.

In Latin "cor" means just that - "heart."

"The heart of the matter" makes all the difference

 in the orbit of our world, personal or public.

For all our variants of ethnicity, spirituality, sexuality,

economics, politics, and personality,

if at the "heart"of things, at the "core," we are one,

we can make our way together out here on the street of every day living.

"If your heart is as my heart, take my hand." ( John Wesley )

If not, we have the discouragement of Kim Il un

and Donald J. Trump poised to annihilate,

couples ready to nuke marriage and family,

zealots terrorizing difference,

middle school "mean girls " ( and bully boys)

devastating victims of their insecurity

and self- centeredness, wealth forcing poverty.

On a more singular level, there is the teen

with zits and mood swings,

the elderly dealing with multiplying infirmities

and diminishment of abilities.

Public or private, but all  just takes the heart out of people.

A real, healthy spiritual life gives us a heart for the hearts of others.

It propels us into "en - 'cor' - aging" all sorts of people in all sorts of major and minor ways,

some obvious, some more subtle, always sensitive to person and situation.

"Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."

( 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ):

    - leaving a 25% tip for the waitress/waiter

    - quietly smiling as we hold the door for another

    - asking the cashier at the supermarket, "So how's it going today?"

    - sending a "Care Package" of treats to a college student

      or military person from the neighborhood

    - letting a family that can't afford a vacation use your summer place for a week

    - back at the supermarket, letting the person behind you with just a few items

      go before you and you very full cart

    - actively listening to an elderly person tell you about the good old days

    - take a pass on starting a power keg  political conversation

    - find something affirming to say to the new person at work

    - surprise your spouse/partner with dinner out tonight

    - share the driving with your spouse even though self rated

      and convinced you are a much superior driver!!!!

    - become a Big Brother/Sister to a child who so needs

      the encouragement of adult attention and affection

    - welcome an inner city child into your home for a week

      in the summer ( Fresh Air Fund )

    - give a listening ear and a warm heart to someone

       who just needs to unload a U-Haul of feelings

    - text a faraway friend just to say you are thinking of them.

Recently at our local library a  down at the heals young man needed a certain book.

He was not allowed to check it out because of $24.00 dollars in past due fines.

He needed that book.

An older man overheard all this,  discretely took the young man aside

and asked if it would be alright for him to cover the fines?

The young man lit up like a Christmas tree.

By the way, turns out the young man's name was Josh.

Joshua in Hebrew means Jesus.

 At our local "Y" pool there is a man

who always goes over to the teenage life guards

and  thanks them before leaving.

Because of a birth injury my left arm

is shorter than my right arm.

One muscle is non-functioning.

As a kid I was ridiculed and excluded

because I was not good at baseball and basketball,

sports that need two good arms.

It was painfully discouraging.

Father Joe Sheehan, our parish priest,

was a man's man with heart.

He got a hold of me and said,

" Mac, you have really strong legs.

Let's get you into soccer and cross country.

And your right arm is impressive.

Let's get  started with tennis."

Kids took the heart out of me.

Father Sheehan put heart right back into me,

and that in multiples.

Not to crow, but I turned out to be way better

at soccer, cross country and tennis

than the kids who mocked and excluded me.

Besides sports, Father Joe Sheehan taught me encouragement.

           " Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

             the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,

             who comforts us in all our troubles,

             so that we can comfort those in any trouble

            with the comfort we have received from God "

            ( through the encouragement

            of people like Father Joe Sheehan) - 11 Corinthians 1:3-4

At the heart of things, it's always about just that - heart-

and putting heart into others.

It's right at the cor of our spiritual lives.

A personal note:

The fact that you choose to be part

of our weekly gathering here at

"frankly speaking" is definitely an encouragement to me.

From my heart to yours,

Thank You!

See you next week.

In God's Dear Love,

    John Frank