Friday, July 27, 2018


Hi There !

So, being thoroughly


have you ever groused,

"I still haven't found

what I'm looking for,"

to only find that

the hat

you were looking for

was right there

on your head

the whole time?

  I sure have.

In a wider sense,

I too often look

out there

for what is actually

right here,

       but I'm not !!

I go round and round

to nowhere.

My theme song is

the classic lament of U-2,

   "I Still Haven't Found

    What I'm Looking For."

For years I counseled

a psychotherapist.

He changed

one persona,

one purpose in life,

one project,

one cause,

one spirituality,

one lover,

to another,

to another.

It was like trying on

one ill fitting suit

after another

in hopes of finding

one that would

 "be him,"

that would fit

and feel just right

when in fact

he wasn't

at all comfortable

in his own skin

in his right here

and right now.

He, too, was part of

the chorus lamenting

  " I Still Haven't Found

    What I'm Looking For."

More and more I realize that

we all get drawn off center

         by incessant

       "Looking For"

completion, perfection

out there somewhere

completely overlooking

that they are

right here right now

at our Center.

It all started

at our start up.

The story of

Adam and Eve

tells the tale.

Pride snaked

into their spirits

with the tempting lie

of independence

and omnipotence.

They were  blinded

 to the fruits

and fullness

of Paradise

right there

where they were.

They lost their Center

and cascaded into chaos.

Pain for an out there

that doesn't exist

replaced Paradise

right where they were

right at their Center.

There's a family resemblance.

Like them,

we too are seduced into

         "Looking For"

           more and all

out there somewhere in nowhere.

We lose balance,

spin into endless seeking

for what isn't out there,

but now we are

in the maddening wasteland of



becomes isolation.


 becomes flaccid impotence.

It is critical to get our bearings.

We originate in

The Creative Love Energy

that is God.

Our existence,

our very being,

is centered there.

It is an ever expanding,

centrifugal experience

      of goodness,



As Bonaventure says,

  " God's center is everywhere

    and perimeter is nowhere."

We get in on that.

 "Going  it alone"

 (so called "independence"),

     "Looking For"

     more and better

out there somewhere in the nowhere

(so called "omnipotence"),

dislocates all but our basic existence,

dislocates, de-harmonizes,

defiles us so  much

that we need to cover it over

with our own style of fig leaves.

Off True Center,

we spin out into

embarrassed absurdity.

As bad as that is,

it gets" bettered,"

bettered up on a hill

at the cross road of history.

There on a cross

Jesus didn't have a fig leaf,

just naked love stretching

to gather us back into our

        True Center.

So bettered, so Centered,


     "find ourselves,"

and all else we are

      "Looking For"

right where we already are,


  in our here and now.

    Buddha tells us to

         "wake up"

       to being here.

      Jesus rights us,

         centers us:

   "The kingdom of heaven

           is within you."

                    Luke 17: 20-21

    "...the spring within you will

       well up unto eternal life."

                             John 4:14

            True Center

      is not out there nowhere.

      It is right here, right now.

Put a whole other way,

we can only be at home

          at home,

centered in just that,


    Center and Source

our right here and now.

There we experience

unending, creative expansion.

Relaxed and right at home

in our True Center,

we see what is in plain sight

        in our here,

    and all our "nows"

    as they "now forth."

       We break out,

     not in a lament,

but with an anthem of joy:

  "I Finally Have Been Found

   By What I Was Looking For."

Answers to life questions and quests

         show up right here,

   not out there where we aren't,

             nor are they.

        That's the kind of

           "Looking For"

that sees, finds, is enlightened.

So, "Here's to here!"

and free fall into it -

a life of participation,

right here right now,

       centered in

The Center and Source,

in primal communion,

    ever evolving forth,

rather than trying to straddle

       the gap between

      Now and Only If


     getting spaced out

     "Here's to Here!"


   never settled,

        spiraling forward

             n ever expanding


        As The Brits say,

        toasting the good,

       " HERE HERE!!"

See you next week.

Holding on and all in

God's Dear Love,

      John Frank


Sincere and generous thanks

to all who have shared

"frankly speaking"

with family, friends, associates.


For those new to "frankly speaking,"

it is posted online each Friday at

and can be bookmarked for easy access.

It is available each Saturday by email.

For automatic, weekly delivery

please see the sign up at the top right

of the online version.

Past post are available at Blog Archive

found at the bottom right of the online version.

                  Welcome !!


Friday, July 20, 2018


Hi There!

So, here's a totally unscientific, non-academic,

take it or leave it, yours for free, observation

on how 'tis with us out here

on the street of everyday living.





That works havoc for our spiritual lives:

        - sensory overload

        - physic scramble

        - emotional aloneness

        - frigid isolation

        - soul starvation


       - Chatter pollution.

       - Digitally disturbed.

       - Squak Radio.

       - Truth twittered away

       - Facebook that doesn't face up.

       - 24/7 news noise.

       - Words on buses and dinner place mats.

       - Junk mail.

Lots of words that don't talk.

Communication Separation.

Happily, though, we are already one.

One at base and core.

Bedrock being shared.

Connected at The Source.

Silence hears oneness.

A new psalm:

    "Be still and know you are one."

A sacrament reclaimed:

     Holy Come Union.

 Thomas Merton pegs it and points to promise:














                            The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton

How's that for a week's worth of meditation,

well, at least for starters?


         - observe a Silent Sabbath

         - talk less, say more

        - turn off talk radio and listen to a brook

        - skip the cocktail party,

          get down on the floor

          and play with a baby

        - spend an afternoon in an art museum

        - "Watch the way you talk...

           Say only what helps, each word a gift."

                           Ephesians 4:29

                           ( The Message )

          - "Let me tell you something:

             Every one of these careless words

             is going to  come back to haunt you.

             There will be a time of Reckoning.

             Words are powerful:

             take them seriously.

             Words can be your salvation.

             Words can be your damnation."


                    Matthew 12:26-37

                        The Message

             - Go Square Dancing

             - Take a Sunday ride in the country

                 with the kids -

                 be sure to stop off for ice cream.

              - Share The Sounds of Silence

                with those closest

              - Compile a family history

              - Have a Family Night twice a week

                (everyone home, supper and dishes together,

                board games and cards).

              - Find ways to connect with neighbors

              - Hug a tree, kiss a flower

              - Adopt a college student in your area

                 who comes from a far away place

                  ( invite in for dinners, holidays,

                   ball games, concerts,

                   a home away from home,

                   a family away from family ).

                 - Do the same with a lonely resident

                    of a nursing home.

                 - Be a pen pal with a service person

                   or missionary over seas.

                 - Connect with a distant relative.

                 - In prayer warmly hold all peoples,

                   especially those of a different culture,

                   religion, political or sexual orientation.

                  - Sit on a park bench and People Pray

                  - Go to church early and stay late

                    for some Holy Smoozing.


Good luck with the "start."

Be sure to keep going.

What we have to be is what we are.

How wonderful to share

this Come Union

together here each week..

See you next time round

 ( as in unity ).

Our newest participation

here at "frankly speaking"

is from Denmark.

Welcome !!

In God's Dear Love,

     John Frank


   "frankly speaking"

-posted online each Friday at

  (book mark for easy access)

-available for automatic delivery

  each Saturday by email  -

  sign up top right online version

-past postings available at Blog Archive,

 online version.




Friday, July 13, 2018


Hi There !

So, I woke up this morning.  Been doing it for years -

though in my youth not always in the morning !

Miles of mornings later, now at mile marker "Old Age,"

I not only woke up , but I could actually get up.

Rather wonderful. Quite grateful.

Next, made the bed, successfully negotiated

the the ritual toiletries.What wonders:

dental floss, an electric toothbrush, Crest

and Irish Spring plus hot and cold water.

Then on to coffee and watching God

color exquisite shy tones with Brother Sun.

More coffee, spiritual reading and reflection.

Divine embrace given and received

at once and as One.

Am at an age when

it's happily obvious that all this is

a good bit more than

"to be expected" routine.

It's morning miracle. Such gifts.

Marvelous !So grateful !

On with the day. Got dressed.

Fibers from all around the world

fashioned by people all around the world,

comfortably all around me,

and that before 5:30 A.M.

Oh yes, up early.

It's a residue of those

seminary/monastery/parish years

of greeting, sometimes waking, Brother Sun.

Next it was time to blog. That always starts with

prayerful attention to God and to you.

It is so good that we get to gather like this weekly.

Over time "we" are from fifty three countries.

I say that not to crow, but to voice praise to God

and thanks to you. It is a gift from both of you

for me to be able to compose this blog support to our

shared "street spirituality." I feel freight trains of gratitude.

The early morning writing is in the new Blog Notebook.

I got it from Staples for twenty five cents.

How about that!  And no tariff on it either

 (could have resisted that, but what the heck!!).

The pen being used is the best ever

since those glory days of the classic

 Esterbrook fountain pen.

It's a Pilot Precise V7 fine point.

So easy and smooth.

 It comes from Staples as well.

A disclaimer: no commercial connection to Staples,

but definitely a connection with God,

one of notice and appreciation

for the treasure chest  of blessings.

From the Blog Notebook the transition to computer,

to Internet and global connection with all of us. Wow!!

So fortunate and blessed.

 Mid-day off to the "Y" for water exercise group.

The transition via our iridescent blue '13 Honda Civic.

All it took was a turn of the key, put it in drive

and in less than ten minutes a ride that would take

an hour by foot and one my "foots" can't huff anymore.

Along the way there treated to paved streets,

passing grand houses, lush gardens and majestic trees.

Gift upon gift. So thankful.

At the "Y" there was Elizabeth at the front desk

and a friendly "Hello." Locker room with a mix of men

new to the road and those of us with lots of miles on us.

Large pool, community of vigor, so toning and refreshing.

Next huddle with my sauna buddies, shower and off to Aldi's

 (food store). If it was my childhood, that vast array of foods

would have been seen as a marvel. It still does for me.

The miracle of growth, all those farmers,

all that transportation, warehouse workers, clerks,

all making possible this bounty of nourishment.

As many African Americans  say: "Thank you, Jesus!!!"

Spent time with a dear "Twenty Something"

as she seeks to see herself and

her way more clearly.

You know, it really isn't that

"The devil is in the details."

It's "God that is in the details"

of ordinary, everyday life.

Our spiritual lives are in large part meeting God there,

in people, in our deepest parts, and

in the plenitude of occurrences and objects that God

so lavishly shares with us,

and then being a humming bird of gratitude..

The afternoon meant paying bills

and house chores, followed by

phone calls, emails and texts.

A technological holy "communion."

Then it was time for reading,

another holy "communion,"

this time with gifted scholars and artists.

Skimmed The New York Times,

checked MSN and Fox.

"Diversity" on steroids these days !!

Looked west and watched God and Brother Sun

outdo their morning sky artistry.

Dinner quests, breaking bread,

fine food, worthy wine,

delightful and stimulating conversation -

Holy Communion around the table of

Life Communing. 

Later, after turning the tableware over

to the wonders of the Whirlpool dishwasher,

 it was a cultural nightcap

with Simon Schama and his "History of Britain, "

courtesy of the BBC.

Such a God Gifted Day!!

Ever so full of gratitude!!

Francis of Assisi once said that the only prayer you need

is the prayer of gratitude. He sure knew his God and our souls.

May we as well.

When we count our blessings

we run out of numbers,

but never blessings

and hopefully never gratitude.

Thanks for tagging along for this

 "A Day in the Life of...,"


 " A Day in the Life of Gratitude."

Hope you will compose your own version.

A wonderful spiritual exercise and refreshment.

Now, it's time to wrap up this

holy communion here among us

and get this blog posting airborne.

Thanks for letting me chronicle

umpteen GodGifts, GodPresences,

a day busy in appreciation and thanks.

Next and final for me will be

a quiet time just being in Being,

divine "enrapt-ment."

Then it's off to bed,

 being full of


      Gratefully holding one and all

             In God's Dear Love,

                 John Frank


              OUT TAKES

         Here's a little extra for

         prayer and reflection

         should you wish it.

 Prayer of Gratitude

                     St.Francis of Assisi

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,

to you all praise, glory

and honor and all blessing;

to you alone, Most High, they belong

and no one is worthy of naming you.

Praised be you, my Lord,

with all your creatures,

especially Milord Brother Sun,

who brings day,

and by whom you enlighten us;

he is beautiful,

he shines with great splendor,

of you, Most High, he is the symbol.

Praised be you, my Lord,

for Sister Moon and her Stars:

in the heavens you formed them,

clear, precious and beautiful.

Praised be you, my Lord,

for Brother Wind

and for the air and for the clouds,

for azure calm and for all climes

by which you give life to your creatures.

Praised be you, my Lord, for Brother Fire,

by whom you enlighten night:

he is beautiful and joyous,

indomitable  and strong.

Praised be you, my Lord

for Sister our mother earth

who nourishes us and bears us,

and produces all kinds of fruits,

with the speckled flowers

and the herbs.


"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,

give thanks in all circumstances;

for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus for you."

    I Thessalonians 5:16


"Laborare est orare"

"To work is to pray."

Rule of St. Benedict


"Each small task of everyday life

is part of the total harmony

of the universe."

  St. Theresa of Lisieux


"I love Him (God)

while I ply my needle."

Elizabeth of the Trinity


"O give thanks to the Lord,

  for he is good;

  his steadfast love

  endures forever"

       Psalm 118:1


A warm welcome to those 

recently joining and

welcoming us from Poland,

Bangladesh and Trinidad Tobago.

There's holy communion aplenty!


           "frankly speaking"

- is posted online each Friday at

  and can be bookmarked for ready access

- is automatically delivered by email

  each Saturday - sign up is at

  the top right of the online version

- past postings are available from

  Blog Archive, bottom of right column,

  online version

Friday, July 6, 2018


Hi There !

So, some family

and friends

do Yoga.

I dare not.

I'd snap in two,

fall to the floor

a heap of parts.

In my own way,


   I do share

Yoga's practice of


It's the Hindu greeting,

fingers pressed together

like a church steeple,

held at the heart

and then extended

toward the heart

of the other and saying


 "The divine light in me


   the divine light in you."

        God in me


       God in you.

 You and I are sparked

       into being,

   sustained in being,

        by God -

    the divine light.

The deepest in me


the deepest in you

     are divine.

   At our core,


we are splendidly one

         in God.

     We grow out

uniquely and divinely

       from there.

   We are like a tree.

The same life branching out

so variously and magnificently.

 "I am the vine, you are the branches."

                                            John 15:5

The same and different.

 One and yet unique.


an apparent contradiction

that happily just isn't.


God in me recognizes

all that in you - in us.

This "recognizing"

is way more than

notice and nod.

It is an expansive awareness

of our base and unity -

a divine recognition of itself

that we sense and express.

It is an acceptance and embrace

of our "us-ness" in God,

a loving and a living of it -

God happy to be us, and

 "the feeling is mutual."

The divine in me recognizes

    that every being is


in a singular, creative way.

More and more I try to greet

everyone and everything with

my own modified version of


 "The divine light in me recognize

        the divine light in you."

Let me underscore

"...with my own modified version..." 

Quite frankly,

greet children in the park,

or the crowd around you

at a Yankee game,

in the Hindu mode

of "Namaste"

and it might just get you

 a black eye,

or a ride in The Paddy Wagon !!

Partly that's because we are at such

 an embryonic stage of evolution,

of consciousness, of awareness

and of sharing divine recognition.

In our embryonic stage,

both soulful unity and real difference

scare us a bit to a bunch.

Sometimes we throw up walls,

push, punch, call the cops.

More often and operative, though,

it is simply a matter of finding

a culturally appropriate,

personally apt,

mode of expression

to say and show soulful recognition.

As we mature and mellow spiritually,

we find ourselves in God and God in us

in two basic ways.

The terrain of the first is a nothingness,

no need of thought or word,

the naked abandon of being in Being,

the enfoldment, the flowing into each other,

the "inter curro" of  oneness.

We're darn lucky if that happens

every third Tuesday!

The more everyday experience of

God recognizing "Self in Other"

happens in our fusion with God present

in all people and all things -

loving, treasuring, serving,

sharing, caring for them

right out here on Main Street.

So, how do we deal with

this more common way

of divine recognition out here

on this street of everyday living?

We wake up.

We lighten up.

We let go.

We freely and fully flow

with God's recognition in us

and in the other.

We see self and  God

          in all,


        with all.

Then we let that recognition

be expressed in the manner

best suited for the "Other Self."

So, we don't launch into

a metaphysical discourse

on divine oneness and recognition

with a ten year old.

We play checkers with the ten year old.

That allows for a "recognition"

in practice and personal experience.

Most folks would run for cover

if I walked up to them,

folded my hands at my heart

and then extended my hands

 toward their hearts and said


Culturally, socially, practically,

I find it best to express


not in the Hindu manner,

but through a smile, a hand shake,

a look of recognition and/or appreciation,

a wave, a greeting as simple as

"How's it going today?",

"Good to see you,"

"How's your baby

(new job, college, mother in law)?"

Often a simple "Hey!",

a high five, a hug does it.

Packed into whatever

the mode of connect

is God's  recognition

and mine of

the divine in them,

and our union there.

Sometimes there doesn't seem

to be any awareness or response

on the part of the one greeted.

That's rather rare.

It's amazing how often people

in their own way gesture back,

recognizing the divine in me

and our union there.

Hardly ever would it be put

in those words,

but what those words mean does happen.

It's mostly quiet, subtle, understated,

and so, well,

delightfully divine!! 

Soulful contact is made,

often in an indirect,

almost subconscious,

but real way,

Sensitivity and authenticity

are the keys here.

So, with people

of completely different

politics, religion, life style,

we go for a hike and a picnic supper.

That being together "speaks " together,

recognizes something good ( God ),

not fully, but we're on our way.

There's unspoken,

but real recognition and union.

When someone is boring us,

or boring into us,

we face that and keep at it

until we face, we recognize,

the divine in our discomfort or pain.

In these sort of situations,

when someone is hurting us,

returned recognition is often denied.

So, we just "love on 'em"!!

The best ever model of


that I know is Francis of Assisi.

He lived a lie for years -

arrogant, selfish, abusive.

When he "woke up" to Reality,

he dropped his phoniness,

fashion fixation, selfishness.

He fell in Love, as "God is love."

He was "in" Love

with everyone and everything.

He delighted as the divine in him

recognized the divine in other and all.

It wasn't always sentimental and sweet.

Often it was sweaty and smelly.

He sought out, embraced and cared for

the rejects and lepers of his day.

He washed them, fed them,

spent time and self on them.

Messy and divine. 

He recognized God in them

and his union there.

Francis found God

in all of creation.

The divine in him recognized

the divine in them

and their foundational oneness.

He sang with the birds,

was on a first name basis with

 "Brother Sun," "Sister Moon."

He got excited about every form of being.

His example invites our excitement

at recognizing the divine in "things" -

a sunrise, a dandelion, a poem, our supper,

a pillow, an airplane, the internet, a novel,

our lawnmower, a painting, an ice cream cone,

a quiet meadow...

It never stops and we don't have to either.

Our everyday spiritual life is

mixing it up with everyone

and everything,

as the divine light in us

recognize and connects

with the divine light in them.

They may or may not respond,

but we get to recognize union,

and be there, be one in/with God

        at the center of

every person, place and thing.

More and more we find ourselves

in the midst of God and

God in our midst.

This is the mystical life

out here on Main Street.

We are are filled

with wonder and gratitude,

all wrapped up in God

present in all around us

and within us.

It might be a friend.

It might be the fibers of a new coat.

It might be a symphony.

It might be our supper.

It might be The Eucharist.

It might be holding a baby.

It might be supporting  the fourteen year old

shattered at his parents impending divorce.

It might be the digital pulsations

that get this blog from me to you.

The joy is that what might be can be.

It's a wonderful Trinity -


three ways of being one.

Definitely a higher math.

What a recognition.

Before we go,

a word of welcome to

our newest participation

from Croatia.


"The divine light in me recognizes

    the divine light in you."

            John Frank


If you're up for more, here it is.

If not, see you next week.



 Reference to Francis:

"He sought out, embraced,

cared for the rejects and

lepers of his day."

  ( this issue of "frankly speaking" )

Some of the Rejects and Lepers of Today:

     - the thousands in Africa  being dumped

        in the desert to die because

        they want to migrate to Europe

      - the many more thousands drowning

        as the try to migrate

        from northern Africa to Europe

       -the 700,000 Rohingya men,

        women and children escaping

        ethnic cleansing in Myanmar and

        living in squalor in Bangladesh

      - those migrants walled off from

        their children at our border

        and where are those children?

      - right now, according to the

       United Nations Refugee Agency,

       there is the highest level

       of displacement in the world

       on record  - 68.5 million

       forced from home,

       25.4 million refugees,

       half of them under 18 years old

  - it's a huge issue with many elements,

    and no simple, quick fixes.

 - are we concerned and requiring

  our religious and government leaders

  to address remedy rather than

  just reject and exclude?

- "I was a stranger, and you welcomed me."


               Matthew 25:35

 -"When an alien resides with you in your land,

    you shall not oppress the alien.

    The alien who resides with you shall be to you

    as a citizen among you; you shall love the alien

    as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt:

    I am the Lord your God."

                              Leviticus 19:35

 - Does the divine light in us recognize the divine light

   in these millions of suffering people,

   recognize it enough that we will do all possible

   so that the need is addressed and worked on,

   even if it means we might have to

   significantly modify our level

   of economic advantage

   and our life of privilege???


- "Recognizing" the divine

   in another

  when it's hard to see it:

  How about that pesky neighbor

  who parks his "shuttle car"

  (the one he uses to get

  to the station work days),

  that junker 1992 Oldsmobile Achieva,

  right in front of your house

  not in his own driveway.

 Can we come up with

 the clarity and openness

 to see the divine in him

 and  our oneness with him there

 and have him over

 for a beer once in a while?


Rather than sit home

and stew about the world order,

o.k., "disorder,"

we want to recognize the divine

in all sorts of people

out there,

whether they do or not.

We want to be one

with them in God's Love,

praying for them :

   - Valimir Putin, Xi-Jinping,

      Donald Trump,

      the world's power brokers

   - The media merchants polluting

     minds and spirits with trivia,

     distraction, shallowness,

     "Unreality" shows

   - The folks responsible for hate radio

      and those duped by them

    - Religious leaders attempting

       to build shrines

       to institutional success

     - Gangs, cartels, terrorists, all abusers

     - Some corporate and political leaders

       favoring the few,

       forgetting the common good,

       raping Mother Nature.

    - All the children of the world

      as they start to bud and blossom

    - College students and young adults

       trying to figure out themselves,

       life and purpose

     - Those working to build

       relationships and families

     -"Forty Somethings" trying

       to re-calibrate their lives

       and relationships

     - The elderly as we decline so as to ascend.


God in Us and Us in God:

- " Do you not know that you are

   a temple of God and that

   the Spirit of God dwells in you?"

            I Corinthians 3:16

- " For we are the temple of the living God."

           II Corinthians 6:16


A Touch of Theology

Pantheism: The understanding/belief

that God and the universe can be equated;

that God is the universe.

Panentheism:The understanding/belief that

all is in God, that the divine

interpenetrates all aspects

of the universe and transcends it.

Panentheism is

the theological understanding

operative in this blog.


"frankly speaking "

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