Friday, December 14, 2018


                                               10 December 2018

Dear All of Us,

I don't know how it is with you,

but when I go to the doctor's

and have to strip naked,

I feel a lot more than chilly.

I feel vulnerable, exposed, scared.

It means more than dropping my pants.

It means dropping a lot of "covers" I use

to present and protect myself.

It's so private.

I only do it so that the doctor

can see me as I really am.

Well, I ask you to allow me

to bare myself to you,

to expose the most private part of me.

Actually, it's not at all a "part" of me.

It is me -  my core, center, heart.

I really do feel vulnerable, exposed, scared.

It's so private.

Often my sharing with you here

in this blog is quite personal,

but  never private.

This is private.

I only bear myself so you can see me

as I really am and I can then

share something wonderful with you

right from my bared core, center, heart.

For all my sin, conflict, confusion, falseness,

screw ups, missteps, at heart

                    I am in love.

                          I am

                     I am in I AM

                     I am in LOVE

               I AM WHO IS LOVE.

Please let this be what it is -


from me to you because

my heart is full

of joy and gratitude

and I sure as heaven want

to share that with you.

Look, you and I are out here

on the street of everyday living.

We want, oh do we want, to get life right.

For all our wrong turns,

dead and deadening ends,

detours, collisions and conflicts

we know there is a way to go,

a way to, well, we have a lot of names for it -

love, fullness, oneness, goodness,

happiness, enlightenment, The Ultimate,

Perfection, Reality, and most commonly, God.

But how??

What's the way to go??

As a boy,

after a chaotic few years,

I was gifted and graced, invited to

the way of contemplation.

My heart learned that

over time, with growth and grace,

contemplation takes us all the way

to mysticism and Oneness.

Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968 )

reintroduced contemplation to Western Christianity.

It had been fairly much lost for five hundred years.

As a fifteen year old my Spiritual Father,

Father Anthony Vivona, introduced me

to the way of contemplation

and to the writings of Thomas Merton

on the way of contemplation.

I took both to heart and fell in Love.

Today is the fiftieth anniversary

of Thomas Merton's death.

 I am flooded with feelings

of gratitude and joy,

thanks and happiness

for the contemplative way

he opened to me

and which continues

to open me wide, lover like,

to Love.

In a simple, quiet way I love all of us

who gather here weekly

at "frankly speaking"

and share our spirituality for the street,

our seeking the way to go.

So, on Thomas Merton's anniversary,

from my heart to yours,

here is a bit of his

                 LOVE WRITE

"Contemplation is the highest expression

of man's intellectual and spiritual life.

It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active,

fully aware that it is alive. It is a spiritual wonder.

It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being.

It is gratitude for life, for awareness and for being.

It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us

proceed from an invisible, transcendent

and infinitely abundant Source. Contemplation is above all,

awareness of the reality of that Source. It knows the Source,

obscurely, inexplicably, but with a certitude that goes

both beyond reason and beyond simple faith."

                     New Seeds of Contemplation, p.1

"The contemplative life has nothing to tell you except

to reassure you and say that if you dare to penetrate

your own silence and dare to advance without fear

into the solitude of your own heart, and risk the sharing

of that solitude with the lonely other who seeks God

through you and with you, then you will truly recover

the light and the capacity to understand what is beyond words

and beyond explanation because it is too close to be explained:

it is the intimate union in the depths of your own heart,

of God's spirit and your own secret inmost self,

so that you and He are in truth One Spirit."

              The Monastic Journey, p.173

What a way.

What words.

Wonders to pray and ponder,

 to slowly savor

 in Thomas Merton's


Thank you for allowing me

to bare my soul and share.

I pray it encourages yours.

Yes and so " muchly,"

thank you for allowing me

to bare and share such a core blessing

with you in this little

               LOVE WRITE

               from me to you.

               heart to heart.

              Holding one and all

             In God's Dear Love,

                   John Frank


PS: Just want to share with you

 that twice I have had

the privilege and joy of celebrating

The Eucharist with friends in

Thomas Merton's hermitage

out in the woods near the

Trappist Abbey of Gethsemani.


Greetings to those joining us for the first time.


Thank you for the gift of your presence.

To get a sense of what we are about here,

please do take time with




         (right column online)

           frankly speaking

*is posted online each Friday at

   (bookmark for weekly access)

*is available by automatic email delivery

each Saturday - sign up top right online

*past postings are at

                   Blog Archive

           (bottom right online)