Friday, January 25, 2019






             PARTS I and II





           TO THE RIGHT

          ( online posting ).



Hi There !

So, "Smores" on


This time round,

let's see if we can

put some flesh on the

conceptional bones of



What's it like out here

on the street of everyday life

to embrace and live out our

        True Self

and do that with delight?

   - It takes clear thinking

     and gutsy freedom.

   - It often calls us

     to be counter cultural.

  - It takes regular

     reality checks.

  - They depend on

     naked openness to God

     and being energized by

     The Spirit of Truth.

   - Being based in a

     truly spiritual community

     for sharing and support

     is a tremendous help.

    - So, too, is having

      a seasoned, spiritual

      Spiritual Director -

     great care is

     imperative here -

     many so called

     spiritual directors

     get minimal training

     and are credentialed by

     less than sound sources

    - Savoring Sacred Texts

    - Prayer and meditation

    - Living from the inside out

      is essential.

    - Otherwise we fall

      into the foul of the

         False Self,

      we are wasted

      and we waste

      our endowments,

      the gifts meant

      to be shared .

    - In prayerful reflection

      The Spirit shows you

      to yourself

      and gets you,

      not down right, but

          " up right"

      excited to be you

      and about having

      treasures  to share.

   - Let God happen in you

     the way God wants

     to do that.

   - Get "juiced" by

     the electricity of divinity

    flowing through you,

    and that through

    your one of a kind circuitry.

 - Get really turned on

   by turning over

   to others the gifts

   God gives you

   to give away.

Living out our

    True Self

takes things like:

 - being pleased with and

   proud of your body,

   being comfortable

   in your own skin,

   whatever your body type,

   toning and coloration,

   being tall, short,

   of medium height,

   being slender, full figure,

   any wonderful sizing,

   having lots of hair

   or hardly hair,

   very muscular or

   just muscular enough

   to move and

  on a good day be able

  to make a cake,

- to relish your body

  as the unique

  Temple of the Holy Spirit

   that you are,

 - to give your body the chance

    to be and do what it is,

    not what social pressure dictates

            ( as in "dictator" ),

    e.g. diets, weights, abs,

    tattoos or not,  rushing 24/7,etc.

  - to share your body as appropriate

    in real relationships

    and genuine love,

    one way at work,

    another with a child,

     another with a neighbor,

    yet another with your life partner,

  - to use your physical powers

    in the service of people and nature
            - tending a garden,

            - working a part time job

              after your full time one

              to help get your child

              through college,

             - serving at a homeless shelter

            - staying up all night

              with a sick relative or friend,

           - volunteering at

             an animal reserve.

          - whatever your intellectual

            and artistic endowments,

            function on all eight cylinders,

          - being curious -  notice, appreciate,

            be inventive and creative,

            share and serve:

                 - keep the team's score at

                   a baseball game,

                 - write poetry,

                 - be a leader in government,

                 - further the work

                   of Stephen Hawking

                   and go beyond his

                   limited understanding of God

                   with a full, zesty sense that

                   Being, Existence, Reality, Goodness

                   are coded as "God."

                 - show Shakespeare

                    how to write a play,

                  - be fully applied at work,

                  - sing barbershop.


Whatever your endowments and talents

 let them be treasures of creativity

 generously shared.

 Whatever your


  be true to it it.

  It is the channel

  through which your spirit

  flows and communicates.

 To violate it under social

 or other pressure

will thwart your way of being

and your way of being with others.

The American culture is noisy

and  highly interactive.

Extroversion  predominates.

Introverts need

a power plant of courage

to be true to their unique

God given manner

of socializing/relating.

To cave to

cultural preference and pressure

causes an unnaturalness that drags

an introvert into

the lie of a False Self.

It would be like

trying to fly a plane

through a railroad tunnel -

crash and chaos.

I know of what I speak here.

On the Myers Briggs

Personality Profile

I am an INFJ,

and each to the extreme.

We INFJ's account for

a whopping one percent

of the population,

a real minority.

It's taken a lot of

gutsy courage


       BE TRUE

        for me!!

In the spiritual realm there are

 "a variety of gifts...

   services...activities "

 I Corinthians 12:4-6.

One size does not fit all.

For me that means

connecting God and people

through preaching, pastoring,

teaching, spiritual direction,


Could have made

a lot of money otherwise,

but it just didn't add up.

How about you?

What are your gifts of soul?

A good help here is the free, online:

      Spiritual Gifts Assessment -

      The United Methodist Church.


 "You do you."


"Your time is limited,

  so don't waste it living

  someone else's life."

       Steve Jobs


"Here is where

our real selfhood

is rooted,

in the divine spark or seed,

in the image of God

imprinted on the human soul.

The True Self

is not our creation,

but God's.

It is the self

we are in our depths.

It is our capacity for

divinity and transcendence,"

    Sue Monk Kidd

"Each mortal thing does

one thing and the same;/


        goes itself;

myself it speaks and spells,/

Crying what I do is me:

        for that I came."

  Gerard Manley Hopkins

"As Kingfishers Catch Fire"

          Here's to you,

          the real you,


           True Self.

   In God's Dear Love

        John Frank


It would be greatly appreciated

if you would share word about

        "frankly speaking"
     spirituality for the street

with family, friends, associates

              in person

            and through

 your preferred social media.


New folks have recently joined in

with us from The Seychelles

and the United States.

                 Welcome !

Thanks for the gift of your company.

        " frankly speaking "

     spirituality for the street


- posted each Friday online at

 (easily bookmarked for ready access )

- available for automatic email delivery

  each Saturday. Sign up at

  the top right of the online version

-Past Postings available at


available at online version







Friday, January 11, 2019








Hi There !

So, fair warning.

This is going to be

a bit personal.

Well, OK, a good bit more than

"a bit" personal.

Here we go.

When you strip down to your basic self

in front of a full person mirror,

do you like what you see?

     Do you like your body?

     Do you like your mind?

     Do you like your

         temperament and personality?

     Do you like your spirit,

         the spark that makes you go?

     Do you like yourself

         inside, outside, through and through,

         top to bottom and all around?

When you look into

a full person mirror,

do you fear it will shatter

at the ugliness there, or

do you rejoice at the beauty

and love-ability it reflects,

or do you......????

In sheer, naked honesty,

how do you respond?

It's critical.

And words don't do it.

Our real response is spoken

by our spiritual life.

Our spiritual life is before all else

a love relationship with our self.

When I'm comfortable

in my own skin and soul,

I'm free, free to be fully me

in loving the socks off God and neighbor.

To the degree that I regret being me

I am ducking and weaving,

coping and compensating so much

that it limits me in loving those socks

off God and neighbor.

It's just that actual.

Jesus said it simple:

   Love God, neighbor, self.

             Luke 19:27

Our spiritual life,

more fully, our whole life, is a

             Love Life

This love life starts with self love.

That's not a bit selfish.

It's primary and necessary because

who else but a free self is going to be

loving those socks off

God and neighbor?

Decades upon decades of people care

have meant all sorts of

delights and shocks for me.

On the shock side,

nothing has shocked me more

than how many of us down deep

just plain don't like being

who and how they are.

      I'm too:

                - fat/skinny

                - tall/short

                - dumb/smart

                 - dark/light

                 - sensitive/blunt

                 - shy/forward

                 - athletic/artistic


That self dis-ease is

 a major league game changer.

It's like trying to win

the Olympic Fifty Yard Dash

running in a potato sack.

Self Limit.

We need to see self differently.

So, it's back to

the full person mirror

for another look.

Yes, all of us inherited

and have caused limiting mess.

               See it.

And keeping looking deeper.

Mess is like being covered

with dirt after a mud fight.

            Not nice.

      Not neat and tidy.

Not constitutive of who we are either.

Merely a covering over

who we really are.

It's essential to see that

and then get that mess cleaned up.

So, if we have fouled ourselves,

other or been fouled

by any form of abuse,

see it, get help cleaning it up

so we can be free

to see the beautiful, lovable self

underneath hurt and dirt.

Something else we need to see is

the film of fraud

that merchants and media minions

use to blind us to our

unique beauty and love-ability,

and that causes so many

so much self doubt and discomfort.

To make money

the media/merchant crowd

make us feel uncomfortable

because we don't have

the preferred body type

they hype in their advertising.

They set standards

of taste and preferment

that in truth are

stumbling blocks to self love -

you are approved and acceptable

if you ware this, drive that,

eat here, have, own, get -

get what they hawk so

they can get our money

by selling us a bill of

not at all goods.

Their propaganda is

so pervasive and constant

many just don't see it

and consequently

don't see themselves as

uniquely beautiful and

ever so lovable.

It's really a sin!!

By happy contrast,

what a grace to be the self

uniquely created by God

out of sheer love.

          "God is love"


  "So God created humanity

    in his image,in the image

    of God he created them..."

 ( I John 4:8 and Genesis 1:27)

So great and grand !

We just can't let

difficulty or difficult people

talk us out of ourselves

and bind us in self denying constriction.

Next week we'll take a good close look

at the unique and lovable self we all are,

and also at the anti- self

that denies us out of ourselves,

In the meantime,

give yourself a great big hug.

Join God's delight in you.

Happy to be with you and

thanks for letting me be with you.

Holding all you unique,

      lovable selves

  In God's Dear Love,

       John Frank


For the folks new to us here,

glad for your good company.

          Welcome !

To get a sense of just what

we are about here,

please take a little

time and prayer with




      right column, online posting.

          "frankly speaking"

       spirituality for the street

-is posted every Friday online at

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- is available automatically each Saturday by email

  sign up at top right of online posting

- past postings available at Blog Archive

  bottom right column

  online posting

          THANK YOU !



Sunday, January 6, 2019









               IT IS ABOUT THE


                IT IS ABOUT



                 JOHN FRANK

Hi There!
“Ya wanna start somethin?”
That’s a common
playground/bar challenge to fight.
Let’s flip it real and right.

“Ya wanna start somethin”
that will save people and place,
probably the only thing
that will save us as a people and
this our place in the universe?
That’s not a vague rhetorical question.
It’s a question of continence,
to say nothing of prospering.
The current degradation of
     society and planet
     rushes both to peril.

No, my name is not Orson Wells
and no this is not
“The War of the Worlds.”
It is, though, about a war on the world
and those who people it.
And I do mean to name it.
It is a world catastrophe
in the making.
More accurately,
it is a catastrophe
unmaking us as a people and
this our planet place.

Now, you really don’t want to read this.
Quite frankly,
I don’t really want to write this.
We both better.
Dodging what’s going on
between us people and
all around us only hastens disaster.
We need to know and name the problem.
We need to know and name the hope.

First the hope.
And hope there is.
All the perennial spiritual traditions
are one in naming that hope,
in naming what it takes
to save,heal and flourish as
people and planet.
The one world word that speaks
our singular hope is


Compassion means to be so one that we are one.
Compassion means to love to union.
Compassion means full bore care/share.
Compassion means to fully feel/experience together.

OK, what’s that look like 
out on the sweaty street of everyday life?
What is its weave and texture in the fabric 
of our everyday spiritual lives,
be they spun extraordinary to quite plain?

Well, let’s take a look at 
Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz,a warm,
friendly family practice physician in Pittsburgh.
He spent all kinds of time with his patients,
reduced payments for the poor,
even made house calls.
Back in the 80’s he cared for an HIV patient,
actually touched his body (and soul)
when other doctors wouldn’t even see,
much touch and treat, an HIV patient.
Saturday, October 27, 2018 
Dr. Rabinowitz was downstairs 
in the synagogue when he heard 
shots up in the sanctuary.
He ran to help those shot 
and was himself shot to death.
A compassionate Jew just like 
the compassionate Jew, Jesus.
Life for life.
Compassion woven extraordinary.

OK, something a little closer to home, you say?
A compassion textured to everyday life?
My mother cared for, coped with,
helped, danced around, 
a good man, but also 
a particularly difficult man,
a disturbed and disturbing man:
her husband, my father.
She saved a man and a family.
A life-long, right at home compassion.

OK, too tough? 
Want something less intense?
Checkout Ann.
She’s a nurse, a single woman,
and she volunteers 
to work every holiday
so other nurses can be home 
with their children.
Compassion woven into 
the work-a-day world.

Then there’s Bob.
He lives in a pleasant suburb.
Bob spends a lot more time 
than his neighbors caring for 
his lawn,shrubs and garden.
That’s because he refuses 
to use any kind of a supposed
"miracle grow" substance
that is toxic to people and place.
His "round up" of weeds 
is environmentally safe,
most often done by hand.
Ecological compassion.

Consider Martha, 
a home bound elderly woman.
She keeps up with the day’s news,
and responds to it with prayer.
While the caravan from Honduras
was on its way 
to the U.S./Mexico border
she learned of Javier 
while watching the news
and she spiritually adopted him.
He is sixteen and 
on his own in that caravan.
Martha took him to her heart.
She holds Javier
in loving prayer and concern every day.
Caring, prayerful compassion.

For what it’s worth, there’s me.
In no way do I here tout politics
right or left, red or blue.
That said, I say I am appalled,more,
frightened by much of what
increasing numbers of public leaders
and their followers say and do –
the crudity, dishonesty, injustice, violence,
of so sadly much of it.
Rather than rant and rage about it,
I again and again
– a lot of “again and again” –
prayerfully hold them in God’s love,
join in God’s love for them.
I also vote and purchase as close to
The Common Good as I know how to get.
I contact public officials
urging justice to people and place.
I speak out, not for partisan positions,
but for basic humanitarian and just policies.
I financially support social justice
and environmental groups.
It costs comfort and sometimes acceptance.
That’s a bit of this old man’s compassion.

 “Ya  wanna start somethin,”
in fact the only thing that
will save us as a people and
this our place in the universe?
Hopefully we all are committed
and busy at that right now.
In addition, let’s do so together
right here at “frankly speaking.”
Those of us sharing here weekly
come from 62 nations worldwide.
If we continue to commit to a
we will be changed 
and we will change –
in both cases for the better.
This really is
 a matter of life or death,
of a dedication to life and being
in all their forms,
or settling for their demise.

So here’s what I ask and urge.
Attached at the end of this posting
are generous sharings 
of wisdom from our common
perennial spiritual traditions.
The say compassion
in all sorts of wondrous ways.
Let’s not commit 
their wisdom to The Cloud.
Rather, let us commit ourselves
to daily prayer and meditation
over their compassion wisdom
        -  lots and long –
a commitment that leads 
to working for justice,
justice for all 
people and all places!!
Let’s find ways to translate 
their wisdom words into
our attitude and practice.
Let’s see what’s threatening 
people and planet.
Then in our spheres 
and ways let’s see how
we can bring real, 
practical compassion
to our people and place.
Also, every day 
let’s consciously hold
each other in prayer,
in compassionate prayer,
in supportive prayer.
By our living,
and a bit by our words,
let’s invite others
to a life of compassion,
a compassion that
“loves to union”
people and place,
society and planet.
The alternative is
a shredding of society and
the demise of planet earth.

Let’s refuse to be 
intimidated or daunted
by the problem, the peril.
Yes, there’s pollution, 
demagogues, dictators, 
democracies collapsing, 
climate change,
aggressive nationalism, 
white and otherwise.
There’s the astrophysicist 
Stephen Hawkins telling us
we have reached 
the ecological tipping point
and have a hundred years 
before our plane is exhausted.
There’s economic cheating 
and manipulation,
civil liberties denied, hate radio,
nuclear warheads 
and war-heads of state
that can’t be trusted 
to head off an Armageddon,
incivility, starvation, 
slaughtering of innocents, injustice,
a media that finds it easy 
to broadcast and hard
to be real and truthful 
in the casting so broadly,
children maimed and abused in Yemen
(by some estimates 85,000 children
starved to death so far)
and in painfully plenty of other places,
truth perverted, racism, xenophobia
and, and, and…

When tempted to hide, to cave,
to capitulate, to despair,
let’s embrace the compassion of Jesus:
        “In the case of Jesus
         it was God’s feeling
         of compassion 
         that possessed him 
         and filled him.
         All his convictions, 
         his faith and hope
         were expressions of 
         this fundamental experience.
         If God is compassionate, 
         then goodness
         will triumph over evil, 
         the impossible will happen and
         there is hope for humankind.
         Faith and hope are the experience
         of compassion as a divine emotion.”
               Jesus Before Christianity
                      Albert Nolan
                      Orbis Books

We do well to bring to mind and heart
what Jesus and a tiny band of disciples did
to begin a community of Love and Life,
and what The Spirit of Truth
can do through even little old us
right where we are.  

In our place, let’s be sure
to band and bond with people
ready to put flesh and practice 
to compassion,
people willing to stretch,
to touch and connect in compassion.
That could be:
   *consuming less and recycling more
   *praying for the Javiers of this world       
   *taking in a foster child
   *being active in advocacy groups that
    work for social and environmental justice
   *emulating the attitude and action
    of the Pittsburgh Moslems in caring for
    the violated members
    of the Jewish synagogue there in Pittsburgh
   *being patient with the local loud mouth
   *modifying our life style:
                    -  having a more modest 
                       and efficient car
                     forgoing an expensive vacation
                       for a simpler one,
                       contributing the difference
                       to an inner-city
                       after school care center
                    -  organizing a neighborhood co-op
                       to share tools, yard appliances,
                       and labor
     *fact check policies and practices of
      government, financial, media, 
      religious and corporate leaders – 
      post the findings to them and 
      on your preferred social media.
     *in conversation and comment -
      verbal, written, digital –
      communicating in the accent and tones of
           Ephesians 4:29:
          “Do not let any unwholesome talk
           come out of your mouths,
           but only what is helpful
           for building up others
           according to their needs,
           that it might benefit
           those who listen.”

“Ya wanna start somethin”
something to save, 
to heal, and to open
us people and our place 
in the cosmos
to goodness without end?
Then let’s connect in a
here at “frankly speaking”
and right there where
we each find ourselves
here on planet earth.

Thanks for sticking with this long
        and straight up blog.
           Holding us all in
God’s Dear Compassionate Love,
            John Frank



Let’s listen to what The Spirit says to our spirits
as we meditate and pray over
these varied articulations of compassion
from the treasury of our shared Perennial Tradition.
Then let The Spirit show us how
they can be incarnate, practical, actual and active
in our person, our people and our place.

             “In everything do to others 
              as you would have them 
              do unto you…”
                       ( Matthew 7:12 )

              “It is your duty to be 
               exceedingly kind to every human being,
               and wish that person well; 
               to work for the upliftment of society…
               until you change the world of man 
               into the world of God.”
        Abdul-Baha: Selections From the Writings 
                        of Abdu’l-Baha, p.90 )

               “Rage is a powerful energy 
                that with diligent practice 
                can be transformed
                into fierce compassion. 
                However much we disagree 
                with our enemies,
                our task is to identify with them. 
                They too feel justified 
                in their point of view.”
                            ( Buddha )

              “What sort of religion can it be 
                without compassion?
                You need to show compassion
                to all living beings.
                Compassion is the root 
                of all religious faith.”
              ( Basavanna, Vachana 274 )

              “Have benevolence towards 
               all living beings,
               joy at the sight of the virtuous,
               compassion and sympathy 
               for the afflicted,
               and tolerance towards 
               the indolent and ill-behaved.”
                  ( Tattvarthasutra 7.11 )

                “What is hateful to you, 
                 do not do to your neighbor.
                 this is the whole Torah;
                 all the rest is commentary.
                 Go and learn it.”
              ( Hillel, Talmud, Shabbath 31a )

                 “Never criticize a man until
                  you’ve walked a mile
                  in his moccasins.”
                        ( Proverb )

                “I am a stranger to no one;
                 no one is a stranger to me.
                 Indeed, I am a friend to all.”
               ( Guru Granth Sahib, p.1299 )

                “Regard your neighbor’s gain 
                 as your own gain
                 and your neighbor’s loss 
                 as your own loss.”
           ( Lao Tzu, T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien, )

                 “Do not do to others 
                  whatever is injurious to yourself.”
                   ( Shayast-na-Shayast 13.39 )

                  “Conquer anger by love.
                   Conquer evil by good.
                   Conquer the stingy by giving.
                   Conquer the liar by truth.”
                      ( Dhammapada 223 )

                    “Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
                      holy and dearly loved,
                      clothe yourselves 
                      with compassion,
                      kindness, humility, 
                      gentleness, and patience.
                      Bear with one another and
                      and if anyone has 
                      a complaint against another,
                      forgive each other;
                      just as the Lord has forgiven you,
                      so you must forgive.
                      Above all, cloth yourselves with love,
                      which binds everything together 
                      in perfect harmony.”
                           ( Colossians 3:12-14 )

                       “Listen with ears of tolerance!
                        See through the eyes of compassion!
                        Speak with the language of love.”
                             (  Rumi – Sufi Mystic )

                        “Radiate boundless love
                         towards the entire world –
                         above, below, and across –
                         unhindered, without ill will,
                         without enmity.”
                              ( The Buddha )

                        “One should not behave 
                         towards others
                         in a way which is 
                         disagreeable to oneself.
                         This is the essence of morality.
                         All other activities are due to selfish desire.”

                         “Though the mountains be shaken
                           and the hills be removed,
                           yet my unfailing love for you
                           will not be shaken,
                           nor my covenant of peace be removed
                           says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
                                      ( Isaiah 54:10 )

                            The Story of the Prodigal Son 
                                         and the
                               Compassionate Father.
                                     ( Luke 15:11-32 )

                            “Compassion and caring 
                             are the ties
                             that bind us together
                             in mutual understanding
                             and the unified attempt
                             to uncover the Divinity 
                             in each other.
                             Compassion is the most gentle
                             of all human virtues,
                             for it is the outpouring of
                             Divine Givingness through all.”
                                   ( Ernest Holmes )


                            “The necessary detachment 
                             from this ugly and injurious 
                             present political climate
                             depends upon 
                             our inner attachment
                             to the mystery 
                             of God’s unbounded
                             grace and divine, 
                             creative love.
                             That is the foundation 
                             from which we can 
                             witness to truth,
                             nurture community,
                             and build essential bonds 
                             of solidarity
                             with those who suffer.
                             More than ever, 
                             politics which offers redemptive hope
                             will begin with mysticism.”
                           (Richard Rohr, November 15, 2018 email,
                            Center for Action and Contemplation)
                            Richard speaks of mysticism as  
                            an actual awareness/involvement/experience 
                            of/with God
                            as contrasted to just 
                            religious ideas and practices)

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              Thank You