Friday, June 15, 2018


               This time last week

               it seemed this posting

               would be delayed a day.

               Happily, here we go

               right on time!

Hi There !

So, come on.

Let's count 'em up,

because they sure do


Let's count up all those


of this world who have made

all the difference in the world

to us in our spiritual lives.

Honestly, right here, right now,



 our for real "patron" saints,

the whole ones, the holy ones,

who have been our spiritual patrons,

our spiritual benefactors,

those who have endowed us so richly

by their lived example and sharing.

As a prompt, please permit me to share

a few examples from my own long  


of  my patron saints and benefactors.


               WHO REALLY


 My Mother

-She didn't talk it, she walked it.

- She was the real deal,

  really and truly

  rooted, centered in

"The Love Who Is God."

- So centered, she was energized

  to raise eight children and

  one husband.

- Steadiness, generosity, hard, hard work.

- The good of all others always first and foremost.

 - Encouragement, high ideals

   blended with workable practicality.

 - A warm, nurturing way.

 - Found beauty everywhere.

 - Knew how to laugh.

 - Knew how to cry.

- A right at home mystic.

        Brother Marius

- The care taker and handyman

   at the seminary.

- So singularly, totally in full focus on God.

- A mystic on a lawn mower.

        Father Anthony Vivona

- A quiet, not much noticed priest.

- Had the courage to be

  who and how he really was.

- Introduced me to

  the contemplative, mystical life by

  his passionate love affair with God.


         The weekly greeting here at

               "frankly speaking"


                   "Hi There !"

           comes from Father Vivona.

       That's how he always greeted me.


         Rita "Ma" Willett

- Rough, tough widow.

- Raised thirteen children

  in extreme poverty and

  with a determination

  of steely faith.

- She wasn't pretty or poetic,

  but she sure was beautiful.

     Father James McMillan

- The greatest thinker and scholar

               I ever met.

- Taught in an obscure setting.

- Introduced me to the intellectual life,

               one with soul,

      one open to unendingness.


- Strong, vigorous farm woman.

- Robust of spirit.

- Generous to a fullness.

- Could laugh at a bug walking backward,

  and most of all at herself.

- Free and freeing soul.

- Contagious zest for life,

  life received, life given.

OK, time out.

Let's list the


of this world

who have made

all the difference

in the world to you

as you have come alive spiritually.

                  LIST OF


              WHO REALLY


Let's think and pray, then name the top six,

 and reconvene in ten








           Ten Later

Pretty counter intuitive, right?

And there's the paradox.

         Those named

so different and delightfully so

           than the

       "Big Names,



of commerce, politics,

entertainment, the academe.

         Try this on.

When we come to die,

          who will


            for us?

Bill Gates or our own Father Vivona?

Well, before we get there,

we have a lot of living to do

right here, right now.

So, over the next week let's focus

on those dear ones who are

our spiritual patrons saints



Let's let them be present to us anew.

It will  renew and refresh us.

It will redirect and reconstitute our spirits

out here on the street of every day living.

Like most of them, we don't


        in the public eye.

          Thank God !

One less illusion and distraction.

Happily, though, we are invited

        to what really does


in the long ( forever ) run -

free, full, open, joyous,

rambunctious, expansive


     received and given,

    and that without end.

Numbers just can't go that high,

            but we can.

     We are meant to really


 As my dear friend, Bill Engisch say,

             "Love to all."

              John Frank


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