Friday, October 26, 2018


Hi There ! 

So, here we go !

Halloween happens next week,

and it happens Big Time for sure.

It rivals our other Fall High Holy Day - Thanksgiving. 

Last year the average per person amount spent on 

candy, costumes, gore, ghosts, skeletons, and such 

"freight for fun" was $86.13. 

Cumulatively that comes out to 9.1 billion -

a mass of money for the macabre. 

So, get the kids (of all ages!) their costumes.

Keep Hershey and M & M Mars stock on a sugar high.

Put the porch light on and it's Show Time !!

A not so High Fall Holy Day gets pretty much lost 

in the shuffle and shadow of this scary show.

It's the day after Halloween/All Saints Day.

It  is so "after" that few notice and fewer bother.

                November second is 

                       All Souls Day

the remembrance/commemoration of

the faithful and not so faithful departed.

In fact, as a young priest, to spring 

the "not so faithful" from Purgatory to Paradise,

 on All Souls Day I used to don black vestments

and celebrate three Masses in a row for them,

as was the custom at the time.

Three portions of sacramental wine before breakfast!!

What were we (not ) thinking?

Right there on the altar were rubber banded packets of 

black and white envelopes listing the names of departed family and friends -

All Souls holy enough not to go to hell,

but still too sinful to pass through those pearly pure gates 

and be home safe with All Saints.

As a consequence, they were doing time (and torture)

there in Purgatory suffering off those sins and stains.

So we tried to rustle up some merit and indulgences

to cover for their transgressions with our Masses,

and all sorts of devotions with high yield 

rewards programs attached to them.

The thinking (???) behind all this goes all the way back 

to Gregory I and Bede ( 672/673 - 735) followed by

all sorts of subsequent  Christian authors.

They taught the dead need to undergo a "purgation"

of suffering for their sins so as to be pure enough to enter heaven.

That is Purgatory.

Prayers, penances, and later the indulgences of others

on earth would shorten their suffering in Purgatory,

help make up for their sins, pay off that sin dept.

In the 11th. century All Souls Day became  liturgically observed

at the Abbey of Cluny in France.

The doctrine behind it was defined

by the Councils of Lyons ( 1274), 

Ferrara-Florence (1438-45), and Trent ( 1545-1563 ).

All this is a bit about the background, understandings

and experiences of my earlier days vis-a-vis

                        All Souls.

Most of the world's religions have their own take and tactic 

on dealing with death and the transition to the after life. 

There is  a spacious  span of understandings, 

expressions and experiences.

Long ago I put away the black vestments 

and indulgence "merit-a-thons."

I would like to share a story that speaks 

my sense and spirit now in old age. 

Please hear this with way more than doctrinal ears. 

It draws from both Eastern and Western mystical traditions

as it tells of our true essence and transition.

It comes to us from Anthony de Mello,SJ (1931-1987),

a masterful story teacher from India. 

It goes like this.

A salt doll spent years and miles on its life journey

until it finally came to the sea.

The salt doll was fascinated by this strange moving mass, 

quite unlike anything it had ever seen.

"Who are you?" said the doll to the sea.

The sea smiled replying, "Come in and see."

So the salt doll waded in.

The farther it walked into the sea the more it dissolved into the sea.

The doll exclaimed in wonder,

                                   "Now I know what I am."

A wonderful, freeing sense for All Souls and our eventual transition 

as one day we exclaim,

                                 "Now I know what I am,"

                                     and dissolve into the

                                           SEA OF ALL.

Being very much an Old Salt myself, I can't wait  for the

                                      SEA CHANGE.


                  With affectionate love, holding All Souls

                                on our way to the Sea in

                                   God's Dear Love

                                       John Frank


Welcome to all of you who are joining us for the first time.

Thank you for your company.

A look at 

            WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?



          (right column online posting)

   will hopefully give you a sense of what 

                  "frankly speaking"

              spirituality for the street

                     is all about.

It is posted online each Friday at

and can be bookmarked for easy access.

It is also available by automatic email

every Saturday - Sign Up top right online posting.

Past Postings are available at

Blog Archive,

right column online posting.

      Thank You!


Friday, October 19, 2018


Hi There !

So, how is it with you?

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Anticipating a party, do you hope it will last forever,

or have you planned the earliest exit possible, and that

a good three days before the party even starts?

Allowing for both, what tips your scale: facts or feelings?

Do you pay your bills the day they arrive,

or just get around to it whenever? 

Not only are there "different strokes for different folks,"

there are all sorts of different folks - all types of us:

     competitive       imaginative        logical

     bold                 emotional           procrastinating

     quick                caring                out going

     sensitive           practical             reserved

                    boxes and bushels more.

As things play out in life, we are a mixture 

of various personality types 

with one configuration being predominant. 

"Typing" people is science and art teaming up.

Their shared enterprise helps us understand, embrace and excel

at being the type we are.

It enables us to extend the favor to all the other types of people

we encounter along the street of everyday living.

Typing is a mixture of science and art that is neither 

rigid measurement (science) nor full expression (art).

Like all good science and art it says a little of a lot more.

It is not an exact science nor finished art.

It is a most helpful indicator when under the direction 

of wisdom and good, old fashioned common sense.

While we all are "one of a kind," we all are also contoured

with a distinctive and discernible personality type.

Type is not so much who we are.

It is more how we are, how we function.

Type is our operating system.

It is how we engage living, our own and that of other types of people,

and all of creation.

God's Spirit flows through us, through our particular personality type.

It is critical that we are open to both the flow and the flow contoured

by our personality.

Both are gifts of God.

Two of the best "typologies" of person that I know are:



It registers

               how we are centered


               how we catch on


               how we decide


               how we expedite


There are sixteen combinations possible.

Our particular configuration is our personality type.


              THE ENNEAGRAM

It describes nine distinct personality types:

                  The Reformer

                  The Helper

                  The Achiever

                  The Individualist

                  The Investigator

                  The Loyalist

                  The Enthusiast

                  The Challenger

                  The Peacemaker 

For more information and details about these two indicators please see 

the Addendum to this posting.

It is not only alright to have a particular personality type, 

it is essential to understand it, to treasure it, to live it,

and that robustly.

Otherwise we get all blocked up, twisted out of shape, 

crisscrossed, compromised, confused and confusing.

A left handed pitcher really needs to throw with his left arm.

If you are trying to broadcast on the AM frequency 

and use FM technology, it's all static.

It often takes clarity and courage to be the type you are.

Some are more preferred and popular than others

in particular settings.

Some are neither.

I know!!

In terms of the Myers-Briggs Profile I am an INFJ -

an introvert, intuitive, feeler, get it done yesterday judger.

Not only that, but the extreme of each.

In the USA exactly 1% of the population are INFJ.

It's lonely out here!!!

I'm not easy to know deeply or figure out easily.

However and forever, I wouldn't trade my type for anything.

It's how I'm wired by God and the Life/Love Who is God 

flows quite fully and freely through those wires.

As a sample of type, here's the thumbnail description of being wired 

as an INFJ from the online offering of The Myers and Briggs Foundation:

             Vision and meaning oriented.
             Quietly intense.
             Seeks harmony, growth.    
             Loves language, symbols.

It's a marvelous way to engage existence.

And every bit as much is your wonderful type.

All the best to us all as we more and more understand and live out 

our way of being a person,

our wonderful personality type. 

                  For God's sake, be true to type.

                  For your sake, be true to type.

                  For others' sake, be true to type.

                  For creation's sake, be true to type. 

Thanks for letting this little old INFJ  try to share and encourage.

Holding each and every type of us in

God's Dear Love,

     John Frank



Online: The Myers and Briggs Foundation

Print: Please Understand Me -Character and Temperament Types,

         David Keirsey, Marilyn Bates, Prometheus, 1984


Online: The Enneagram Institute

Print: The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide

         to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the 

         Nine Personality Types, 

         Don Richards and Russ Hudson, Bantum, 1996


From the heart here is a welcome to those joining us in the last week.

Thank you for blessing us with your presence.

For a bit of orientation, please do take a touch of time and spirit with

              - What's Going On Here?

              - Consider Your Souse

                      both a located in the right column, online posting

                                    "frankly speaking"

                                spirituality for the street

-is posted each Friday at


 and can be bookmarked for ready access

-is available for automatic email delivery each Saturday

                           Sign Up

 right column online posting

-past postings are available at

                            Blog Archive

right column online posting.








Friday, October 12, 2018


Hi There !

No doubt about it.

Food is way better for being well seasoned.

So is life.

Seasonings accent both.

Right now the season of Fall

("autumn," if you're from uptown) 

is a fine example as it offers 

its own crisp, unique flavoring to our days.

Seasons of the Year are a quartet of flavorings.

Each gives variety, piquancy, to our everyday living.

( haven't used "piquancy" in over five years - 

needed to take it out of storage and dust it off!!)

As a kid my buddies and I loved to go skinny dipping.

We also loved to build igloos.

Seasons had a lot to do with how we experienced our

boyhood freedom and liveliness.

No skinny dipping in January!!!


Each season has a distinctive zest to it:

*Spring brightness warming new life,

*sultry Summer maturing growth,

*harvest fullness in Fall,

*Winter's bright stillness 

  and frozen deep dark.

On the inside of our living 

there are ever changing 

   Seasons of the Soul.

As they change, 

           we change -

*word prayer to 

           wordless enfoldment,

*stylized meditation to 

          contemplative awareness,

*ritual to 

          realized experience,

*study to 


*service and solitude


*wondering to 


*activity and Still Point a


Climatologist of the spiritual atmosphere describe triune

                     Seasons of the Soul.

From Evagrius (d.399)and Pseudo-Dionysius (c.550)

up to just now, one way and many, they detail those three 

        Seasons of the Soul:

                    The Purgative Way

                    The Iluminative Way

                    The Unitive Way.


The Purgative Way:

*Beginner Stage

*stirrings, desire  for wholeness

* some soul sense and seeing

*a purgation of limiting negatives

*clearing and seeding the soulscape

*spiritual disciplines 

*prevenient grace

 The Illuminative Way 

*Soul Summer

*light blazes


       seeing like never before

*grounding and rootedness

*growth and maturing



*getting it right

*justifying grace


 The Unitive Way

 *Soul Harvest

*lovers' oneness


*mystic merge

*always one, 

                 one in all ways

*soul seeing beyond eye or mind

*God and Soul: 

                two streams an ocean oneness

*sanctifying grace 

Soul Seasons, like the Seasons of the Year,

are sequential and progressive. 

Unique to them, though, are their 

overlapping and intertwining.

It can snow in July!!

At times there is the 

     paradox of

*verdant freshness

and scorching aridity,

*warming comfort and

frozen hardness,

*sunny seeing


dreadful darkness,

        truly a 

Dark Night of the Soul,

a luminous darkness

 *gentle breezes and

   violent winds,

      sweeps of 
     The Spirit

*wholesome yet impure

*great grace and sin sick.

We don't cause or control the seasons of the year,

nor of the soul either.

We deal with what is given,

           go with it, 

           work with it,

           grow with it.

Of course we can chose to ignore or resist

what is given,

let the weeds grow,

go to seed,

drown or burn to death. 

In any season the weather can be

   unseasonably pleasant 


   unseasonably dreadful.

          So, too, 

The Seasons of the Soul.

   There are times of 

"You couldn't buy this it's so good" 

         -  consolation -

There are also times of

     "Will this ever let up" 

         -  dark agony -

Agony and Ecstasy.

Spirit Powers that

lift, stretch, deepen. 

It's a big help in living 

our spiritual lives

out here on the street 

of everyday life

to be weather wise,

to be soul savvy,

grateful to be well


Thomas Moore was a saint.

He weathered all sorts of life/soul climates -

      power, prestige, position, wealth,

      conflict, misunderstanding, betrayal,

      ultimately death for conscience.


        "A Man For All Seasons."

Here's a prayer and hope

that we each and all may be such like.

Holding the very same each and all in 

       God's All Seasons Love,

                John Frank. 


Thomas Moore is wonderfully portrayed in 

            A Man For All Seasons

           the book, the play, the film. 


Regularly and repeatedly

we are gifted by new folks

joining in here each week.

Welcome and thanks 

for your good company.

To get a sense of what 

we are about here,

please do give a bit of

time and attention to

   * Consider Your Source

   * What's Going On Here?

They are in the right column,


     "frankly speaking'"

  spirituality for the street,

* is posted each Friday at

and can be bookmarked for ready access

* is available by automatic, 

weekly email on Saturdays .

Sign Up at the top right online

* past postings are available at

Blog Archive, right column online.


Friday, October 5, 2018













          JUST GO TO











         IN ANY CASE,






Hi There !

So, on a blistering hot day

we go swimming.

On an icy cold day

we go ice skating.

It's the same water,

but the context

sure makes a difference


 ( intended!! A pun plant!!)

  we do one or the other.



It conditions

attitude and action.

Context doesn't  alter

who we are.

It does effect how we are

and what we do,

and how we do it.

Of course,

that then does have

a lot to do with

who we become,

who we are,

doesn't it? 

We are trying to make

our way spiritually

( and every other "" )

out here on the street

of everyday living.

Our context has changed,

      BIG TIME, 

     and promises

     ( threatens )

to change even more

    and not at all

          in a good way.

See "The American Civil War, Part II,"

by Thomas Freidman, NYT, 10-03-18.

It is cogent, clear and frightening.

The atmosphere is dark.

It's so hard to see where

you are going.

Direction ????

There's collision of:

   Ideas, values, principles,

   economic advantage/disadvantage,

   nationhood, guns and bombs,

   environmental concerns,

   religious practices,

   international arrangements,

   spiritual and sexual orientations,

   minorities and elites,

   marginalized and more than

   a bit of "affluenza" for the few

   and not nearly enough for the majority.

The mood out on the street

is one of fright and anger.

Terra firma isn't at all that "firma."

Rock solid foundations crumble -

    ideological, societal ones.

This context conditions

how we make

our way spiritually.

Right now it is a

difficult and dangerous

"way to go.





 * In Regard To Public Officials:

         Consider our base:

    "Do unto others as
     you wish done to you."

     "Love your neighbor
      as yourself. "

      The "other" is us

       in a different way.

       The "other" is an

      absolute contact

      with the Ultimate,

          with God:

     "Whatever you do
       to others you do
       to me."

        Communicate with

        public officials

        in a non-hostile way.

        Urge them to always reference

          * human made regulation/law

            as just that,

            human and limited,

          * The Common Good,

          * the natural order of things

          * the effects of their governance

             beyond those directly addressed

             For example:

             Immigration is a complex,

             many faceted matter.

             But, it must not be worked out

             by the mass devastation

             and life long traumatizing

             of innocent children.

             They are neither guilty parties,

              nor must they ever be

              political pawns.

              In the natural order of things

              and in terms of

              The Common Good,

              children belong with their parents.

              The family unit is

               to be honored and protected.

               There are exceptions,

               e.g. abusive parents,

               but then the exception

               proves the rule.

               2300 migrant children

               were severed

               from their parents

               at our borders

               earlier this year.

               416 of those children

               have not been reunited

               with their parents.

              Those families

               that have been reunited

              are suffering

              all sorts of trauma.


              "US government accused of

               'devastating damage'
               to families separated at border,"
                      The Guardian,
                    September 14, 2018.

              Beyond this there are currently

              13,000 migrant minors

              in the custody of the US government.

              Many are children and teens

              that came on their own.

             Recently 1600 of them were removed

             from shelters or foster care,

             settings that were licensed

             and monitored by state welfare authorities.

             Schooling was provided.

            Neither is the case as the minors were shipped

            to a new tent city in the Texas desert.

            See NYT, 10-01-18,

            "Migrant Children Moved Under Cover

            of Darkness to a Texas Tent City."

               We need to remember

               and not repeat

               the atrocities of

               the forced relocations

               of the First Americans,

              the internment of innocent

              Japanese American citizens

              during World War II.

              It's a moral matter,

              a humanitarian matter.

              Violation here is

               horrendously sinful.

          * Help them remember that

             human law can be flawed -

             slavery was once

             law in this country.

             When such happens,

             higher law

             must prevail and

             public officials

             need the courage

             to respect that

             in their practice,

             no matter the political

             or career consequences.

             Pontius Pilot was

             a government official.

             He found no case

             against Jesus,

             washed his hands

             of responsibility

             in this case of

             that innocent man,

             "Do what you

             will with him,"


             sentenced  Jesus

             to one of the cruelest

            and most painful forms

            of death ever devised.

            It was perfectly legal,

             perfectly legal!.

          * Ask them to consider what

           "Do unto others..."

           would mean to those public officials

           if they were to have their children

           taken from them and shipped off

           to devastating disconnection.

*An excellent resource and guide is

       the newly published

       "Sacred Resistance,"

   by Ginger Gaines-Cirelli,

      2018, Abington Press

   It' is a vision for living out

        God's way of justice.

           by the pastor of

Foundry United Methodist Church,

           Washington, DC.


*"Love your neighbor as yourself":

Recently Pastor Rob Myallis, of

    St. Paul's Lutheran Church,

             in Lititz, PA,

got at that so well.

He pointed out that

we live a touch screen life

way more than a life

with a personal touch.

He referenced Jesus as consistently

being in touch with people,

having real touch,

personal touch.

He cited the woman

with twelve years of hemorrhaging

and the dead daughter of Jairus.

       ( Mark 5;21-43 )

Jesus' touch healed and revivified.

So will ours, if we really are

personally "in touch":

   * with those "others"

      whom we see as really "other,"

      and not comfortably so,

      and/or those those "others"

      returning  the disfavor -

      not easy but essential -

      we can't stay away

      and be in touch

   * it helps to remember

      that walking is

      the symmetry

      of opposites,

      of a left and a right,

      not the exclusive venture

      of a solo left or solo right

   - left and right opposites

     may not always attract,

     but they sure can help us

     and our society keep balance

     and move forward together

 * what does that mean for being

          personally in touch

             in the realms of

   church, politics, government,

          cultural expression,

        family, neighborhood,

        business and finance?

  * it also helps to remember

     that we are not the trustees

     of total truth in all its forms,

              nor are others,

     even if they think they are.

   * to be in a true healing,

     vivifying, personal touch

     means reconsidering

           our means -

     as noted in Part I

     of this series,

     more and more

     people worldwide

     want to live

     like we do and

    for the whole world

    to live as we do

    in  the USA would take

    the resources of

    4.1 planet earths,

    but we have one

  * to do unto others as we want done to us,

     to actually and practically and personally

     love our world neighbors as ourselves,

     are we willing to significantly adjust

     our life style and our life of privilege ?

   * does heart/soul direct spending?

   * how avoid being a Cadillac Christian,

     a talk liberal, but not be in

     the stretch of sharing,

     the sharing of too much for the few

     and not nearly enough

     for the many?

   * probably the two best ways

     to be present and

     personally in touch

     with others/neighbors

     is to work together

     and to eat together

  * let's get together with those

     we most dislike/disagree with/fear

     and find ways to work together

     for yet others, for those in need, for

     The Common Good.

  * working together,

     shoulder to shoulder

     is "together,"

     does put us "in touch" -

  *here are a few connects

    to touching,

    to working together,

    to being shoulder to shoulder:

        - together establish and

           tend a community garden

           to feed the poor and homeless

           in our immediate area

         - together take

           inner city/poor children

           camping, canoeing,

           hiking, swimming

         - together set up and staff

           after school shelters

           for latch key kids

         - together renovate the houses

           of the needy

        - together organize



       - together celebrate holidays,

         birthdays, anniversaries

         around a table

         of nourishing variety

         and fellowship

      - together go to ball games

        and have a few beers

      - if that's a touch too plebeian,

         get together for wine and cheese

         and then go to the philharmonic !!

       - together develop groups of four

         to regularly visit shut in's

         and sing to them,

         have indoor picnics with them,

         play board or card games,

         and ask the shut in's

         to tell you what

         it was like seventy/eighty

         years ago, be prepared to stay

         and pay attention as they do it,

         and that likely at some length

      - in other words and ways,

        get together for others with others,

        agreeable/not so agreeable,

        but get together

      - working, eating,

      - helping together

        will put us together,

        personally in touch

     - it will make it

        harder and harder

        to hate and hurt

     -  just the opposite

      - it will heal and vivify

      -it will be




*In his book, Exclusion and Embrace,

Bosnian theologian Miroslav Volf

          writes so rightly that,

       It may not be too much
       to claim that  the future
       of our world will depend on
       how we deal with
       identity and difference."

*"By their fruits

   you will know them"


       Sure enough.

That's the litmus test

Jesus gives us.

We need to  evaluate




              by it:

    social media, religion,

    political talks and tweets,

    spiritual communities,

    our words and actions,

    governmental policy

    and practice, life style,

    finance and commerce,

    ecology, entertainment,


        - in all these areas

          are we doing unto others

          as we would have them

          do unto us?,

        - are we loving our neighbor

          as our self?

        - since what we do to others

          we do to God, what are we doing?

                 "By their fruits..."

         Among the "downers," "the fallen "

                 Fruits of the Flesh

               that spoil and rot are

        "... enmities, strife, jealousy,

             anger, quarrels,distensions,

             factions, envy..."

By contrast are

                  The Fruits of the Spirit:

               ", joy, peace, forbearance,

                kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

                gentleness, and self -control."

                  Galatians (5:19 and 22-23)

*The fruits of a life of love for neighbor

and of doing to others

as we wish done to us

are spelled out by Paul:

     " Love is patient; love is kind;

       love is not envious or boastful

       or arrogant or rude.

       It does not insist on its own way;

       it is not irritable or resentful;

       it does not rejoice in wrongdoing,

       but rejoices in the truth.

       It bears all things,

       believes all things,

       hopes all things,

       endures all things.

       Love never ends."

   ( I Corinthians 13: 4-8 )

It would be good

to read those wisdom words

before opening our mouth,

using social media,

making decisions.

*"Whatever you did

    to the least of these

   you did unto me"


   ( Matthew 25: 45)

Sure enough.

"By their fruits

 you will known them."

What a litmus test!

It clarifies and guides.

How are we doing here?

What kind of fruits

are we serving up?

We've heard these scriptures

so often that there can be

a tendency to zip through them.

Given the context of our world

just now, we'd do well

to spend a month with these scriptures

and then come back every week forever.

* "I tell you, on the day

    of judgement

    you will have to give

    an account for

    every careless word

    you utter;

    for by your words

    you will be justified,

    and by your words

    you will be condemned."

     ( Matthew 12: 36-37 )

* " Let no evil talk come out

    of your mouths,

    but only what is useful

    for building up...

    Put away from you

    all bitterness

    and wrath and anger

    and wrangling and slander,

    together with all malice,

    and be kind to one another,

    tenderhearted, forgiving

    one another as God

    in Christ has forgiven you."

      ( Ephesians 4: 29- 32)

* "Let your speech be gracious,
     seasoned with salt,
     so you may know how you
     ought to answer everyone."

             Colossians 4: 6

 These are tones and touches

  of community,

 of how to be and do

 in the distress of

 our world's current context

           by living a




Friends, these four weeks

on how context conditions,

and a non-blinking look

at our current context,

as well as a call for




are hard to write

and I'm sure

they are hard to read.

We all know that what

we need to be and

what we need to do

are even harder.

Hear the honesty,

and commission,

and challenge of Jesus:









     ( Matthew 10: 16)



   LISTEN !"

  (Matthew 11: 15)

            OUR PRAYER


           ACTION PLAN




       (Matthew 6:9-13)


     Holding each and all in

         God's Dear Love,

            John Frank


Each week we are blessed

with folks new

 to our gathering here.

We welcome you

and we thank you for joining in.

To best get the sense of

  "frankly speaking,"

   please check out

"Consider Your Source"


"What's Going On Here?"

They are on the right

of this posting.

"frankly speaking"

*is posted each Friday at

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