Friday, April 26, 2019





                      SOULFUL SEX.


                    IT DRAWS FROM

                PERSONAL EXPERIENCE,

                     PASTORAL CARE,

                          STUDY -  

                 MUCH OF ALL THREE.



                 THE INTIMATE BOND

                     BETWEEN OUR


                        AND OUR

                  SPIRITUAL LIVES.









                   LIKE ME, IT IS LIMITED.


                 HOPEFULLY ELEMENTS OF IT 


                 IF IT HELPS, PLEASE LET IT.


                  IN EITHER OR BOTH CASES

                     PLEASE ASK YOURSELF



                         JOHN FRANK




Dear All Of Us,

So, I sure hope you're having
a great sex life!
I really mean it.
Pretty sassy, right ?
Well, not really.
Sad to say, for far too long,
far too many have come up far too short
when it comes to having a great sexual life.
Yes, yes, I read the papers, watch the news,
go to parties, walk the streets of right now.
There's a lot going on sexually for sure,
but it does not all translate 
to a great sexual life
for too,too many.
In sad fact, it's just the opposite.

Our sexual life and our spiritual life
are profoundly interwoven.
They are deep down dynamics
of an under-girding whole.
Each profoundly effects the other.
All is not well there.
That negatively impacts self and society,
the spiritual life of both.

This series tries to sort out
just what is sex at its core,
and its interface with soul.
To do that it is important to see 
our current sexual situation,
for what it is and for what it isn't,
and how it got the way it is,
and certainly its effects on soulful sex.
The goal here is to clarify 
and work to an appreciation of
the beautiful, the pure potential of

           SOULFUL SEX.

                PART I


 For starters, let's use the word
as it is currently and commonly
understood and used.
Hopefully as we progress,
we will see sex is a lot more,
and way better than
the going thing in our culture right now.
Regrettably, so too has it been throughout  
much of our history.
Yes and for sure,  
there have been persons
and peoples throughout western history,
as there are many today,
who have experienced a positive,
"whole"some, sexual/spiritual synthesis.
It has meant a freeing fullness,
         a divine oneness.
They are, sadly, the exceptions
that prove the rule of sexual
     and their consequent,
         deleterious effect
                 on life,
         that of the self
that shared as a society, 
and the very core of both,

For the most part, the "going thing"
ever since we humans went agrarian 
and needed offspring
to work and protect the family farm,
has meant a sexuality of
genitals and genital activity,
procreation and pleasure
            - workers for land holdings,
            - pleasure for some sometimes,
male dominated and dominating.
Land rights were passed
by procreation through blood lines.
There has always been 
more of a pleasure focus
for men than for women.

This sense and experience of sexuality
has been analyzed, described, codified,
regulated, ritualized, restricted,
celebrated, in all sorts of ways
by every western culture and religion.
That's where most of us come from and
where most of us are right now as we seek to live
our sexual/spiritual lives out here
on the street of everyday living.
We are effected!!
And we effect!!

Going way back,
and consistently over the centuries,
people have been led down
a road of sexual repression.
Sex is energy.
When energy is repressed,
it builds up stress 
and eventually finds some sort
of explosive release.
In the case of western sexuality,
repression has lead to
a lot less and worse
than was in nature's original blueprints
for natural, healthy sexuality.
The ensuing sexual stress and repression
are now exploding in a sexual obsession. 

Centuries of sexual repression
can be traced back to

    - ancient Greek philosophers,
      - economic needs,
      - civil rulers,
      - and leading the pack,
         so, so sad to say,
         the Christian church.
This repression and stress runs
throughout western history
to our right now, right here.
A few of too many horrible examples:
           - Aristotle, and later Augustine,
              insisted that intercourse
              was only permissible and natural
              for married couples attempting 
          to get pregnant
              ( offspring to work and protect
              the family farm ).
              Any other sexual communion
              was deemed unnatural, a perversion,
              and for Augustine, sinful. 
          Imagine what that did to
              a naturalness and ease
          in marital sharing,
              much less as a door
              to divine ecstasy.
              What about couples
              that just could not
          raise more children?
              What about older couples 
          past child bearing years?
              What about
                        "Male and female
                          he created them...
                   It is not good that
                   the man should be alone...
                          a man ... clings to his wife,
                          and they become one flesh."
                                 Genesis 1 and 2
                           That sure as heaven 
                   does not sound like
                           you can only "cling" 
                   and "one flesh" it
                           to make a baby !!            
                 Seems there were no clocks, calendars,
                 timers or baby counts 
            in the original Genesis blueprints !!!
                 Talk about  "perversion" !
                 Throughout western history
                 coupes didn't have
                 stressful work commutes to deal with,
                 but Aristotle, Augustine and so sadly many 
            made sure that couples  had to deal with
                 stressful sexual commuting/communion.
            The church got into excluding
                 from  communion early on.
            If a couple had relations simply for a pure, loving,
            "clinging," "one fleshing" it a la Genesis 1 and 2,
            and used a contraceptive,
            they were deemed ( dammed ) to be 
            in mortal sin and were exclude from Holy Communion
                How God denying !!
                 Imagine all the marital stress,
                 promiscuity and infidelity
                 all this
                  ( pun and punch intended !).


           - Some of those Greek philosophers
             considered women slightly to decidedly 
             less than fully human.
             For them,
                  women came nowhere close
                  to the rationality
                  and thus superiority of men.

          - Basically women were
            for the pleasure of men and
                 incubators for the male seed,
            which by the way,
                 contained the whole child
                 to be developed and born.

          - Women were basically domestics
                  to look after house and children,
             and to provide comfort in bed for men.
              - The Romans, with their patriarchal
                 social sense and structure,
                 furthered the subjugation of women.
             - With some exceptions, 
            this attitude toward and treatment of women
                 continued right up to recent times.
                 When my mother was born (1912)
                 women here in the states could not vote.
                 Often to own property, or get a bank loan, 
            a male relative had to cosign for a woman.


         - The Puritans have negatively effected us 
            and our culture. They were so tainted by
                sexual "dis - ease" and shame.
           They  spun sex negative.
                  The Scarlet Letter
               and blush deeply in rage at what
           we have inherited and still suffer,
               directly or in reaction.


        - Daniel A. Lord, S.J.:
              he and a host of other
              Roman Catholic writers 
              authored pamphlets
              on sexuality 
          in my youth ( the 1950's )
              for Catholic pubescent boys.
             They unequivocally taught that
             masturbation was a mortal sin.
             Unconfessed, it meant
             being sent to hell after death
         for all eternity.
            That was "the" official teaching of
             the Roman Church.
             Well, let me tell you
            there were long, long lines
            of pubescent boys
            at the confessionals
            every Saturday night!!
            I was one of them
            beginning in 1951
            when I was eleven
         ( got an early start! ).
            We didn't go to confess
         mass murder or highway robbery!
            We grew up feeling dirty,
            sinful and shameful.
            It had a life long, negative and
         terribly detrimental effect
            on generations of Catholic men.
            And yet, we were expected
            to have a close,
            loving relationship
            with God our Father -
            a father who would reject us
            and send us to horrid,
            hellish torture forever
           if just once we did
           what every boy
        in the world does
          a lot more than once
          as  he tries to develop
          his sexual sea legs.
          This ranks as one
          of the worst types
          of sexual abuse
          in the Roman Church.

    - Protestant boys
        didn't fair any better.
        There were all sorts of
        pamphlets and youth manuals
        condemning them as unnatural,
        unmanly, unscriptural  and sinful
        when they fell into the "perversion" of
        pubescent masturbation.
        Again, consider what all this has meant
       for faith in God as Father,
       what it has meant
       for a sense of healthy sexuality
       for millions upon millions of men.
     Ever wonder why worldwide,
     so many men don't go to church very much?.

  - Sexual intimacy,
    or even a vigorous
     desire for/imagining of it,
     were considered
     morally evil and punishable 
    by excruciating pain
     in hell for all of eternity
     in miles more cases than not.

  According to church leaders,
              God and sex
   were not on cordial terms!!
   To have the more common 
  desires/experiences of sex
   outside a narrow corridor
  of marital permissibility
   pretty much cut the legs out from under
   any kind of pure, calm,
   natural sexual spirituality.


This first part of our series
isn't a bit cheery.
But, hopefully it
and what follows
next week will give
context and clarity
to what ruptured into the
pervasive sexual
obsession and chaos
current in western culture.
It is the obverse of repression,
but equally detrimental to
pure, free, health, holy


Next week a bit more on repression
and a long look at obsession.
            "Not Nice,"
but necessary to sort our way through 
how things got he way they did.
Again, that is critical given
the intimate interface of
soul and sex.

After that a look at
what sex is at its core,
sex as creative and wonder filled,
the difference between
sex and gender,
gender fluidity
as we are experiencing it today


the creativity and bliss,
the freedom and fullness,
the spirituality,
the sacredness



Let's wrap up with a

 " Sex is a flame
      which uncontrolled
      may scorch;
      properly guided,
      it will light
      the torch of eternity."

              Joseph Fetterman

See you next week.

Holding one and all in

God's Dear Love,

   John Frank



   If you will, please invite others 

   to join in as we explore


   in this six part series.


Warm Welcome to those new to

       "frankly speaking"

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Friday, April 19, 2019


                                          "The birth, death and


                                                  of Jesus 

                                           means that one day

                                             everything sad

                                          will come untrue."

                                                                                          JRR Tolkin


                                                      Easter Blessings

                                                        John Frank


                                             Friday, April 26th.

                                          and running  through 

                                          Thursday, May 2nd.,

                          we will begin the first of a six part series on

                                            SOULFUL SEX.

                            It will be challenging as we consider

                the intimate connection between sexuality and spirituality


                      that in our history and current cultural context.



Friday, April 12, 2019


Dear All Of Us,




M. Scott Peck began 
      The Road Less Travelled
bluntly stating what 
we all know way too well.
He continues the intensity
by immediately noting 
what we just plain 
don't want to know at all:
there is no way around
life's difficulties.
Absolutely none.
It's straight ahead into them
and through them.
Avoidance systems need not apply.
They literally don't apply, 
they just don't work at all- period!

It's straight into and through.

Holy Week is about that.
That's what Jesus did.
That's what we do
in our spiritual life
out here on the street 
of everyday living -
straight in and through
life's difficulties,
dealing with the gaps,
the "holes", the lacks,
striving for "wholeness."
It's rough, as rough as
The Old Rugged Cross.

Life's difficulties 
come in all sorts of 
sizes and shapes, 
varying intensities, 
modes and manners:
          - brightness darkened
          - order shattered
          - peace denied
          - joy blunted
          - love spun separate
          - hope twisted desperate
          - truth fractured false
          - reality distorted 
          - person dispirited
          - plans thwarted
          - planet in peril
          - culture in chaos

In one way and too many more
life's difficulties are basically
the negation, the lack, of good -
the good that is God.  
They are at core the absence of
that God-Good in us, 
between us and
across all creation.
Paradoxically that "core" 
is a nothingness 
that craves "wholeness."
And "wholeness," 
personal to planetary,
is "holiness."
 ( see Joseph Goldbrunner )

What makes Holy Week 
is Jesus' embrace of 
the difficulties 
and distortions in us 
and in all creation,
straight on, 
right in and through.
Jesus suffers through
the "holes" in us and all else
bringing "wholeness."
He brings good to bad
and makes it good.
He pours himself out, 
pours out who he is - 
Love Unlimited.
That rights wrong.
That corrects distortion.
That fills void.
That makes positive the negative.
That renders the unreal genuine, 
beautifully so.

Holy Week is our annual retreat,
a time to pray, ponder, 
a time of conversion 
and becoming a means 
of that for other,
be that other person or place.
Readings, ritual, reflection,
sacrament, symbol and sermon
  "re-mind" us,
                      "re-heart" us, 
that the only valid response
to evil is to infuse it with good.
We are invited into union 
with Jesus the Christ.
In that union, 
that oneness in his Oneness, 
the difficulties and distortions 
within us are righted real, healed.
The same with those between us 
and those reeking havoc 
in society and  across all creation.
Jesus the Christ has 
a lot more to do, though.
We are asked to give him welcome
and presence where we are 
and how we are.
So one in him, 
he transforms and 
heals life's hurts, 
brings fullness to its potential.
Love Unlimited works wonder 
and paradoxically does so
through us and with our limits.

That does not mean a good try 
on our part wipes out
life's difficulties and distortions.
It means we are a part
of God bringing good 
where there is bad,
right where there is wrong,
wholeness where there are holes.
Sometimes that clears thing right up.
Sometimes not.
Sometimes our part is just that  - 
part of a much longer/larger process
which may require 
all sorts of good infused 
where there is bad,
and a heaven of a lot of time to boot.
Check out how hard and long it was 
for our slaves here in America
to be freed,
and we still don't have 
racial wholeness!!

Jesus doesn't love us to death.
Jesus loves death to life
for us and through us -
limit to fullness,
distortion to beauty,
difficulty to delight.
He wants us in on it all.
Holy Week is a reminder of that
and an invitation to it, 
however difficult it is,
however long it takes.

Jesus does all this 
by embracing the minus signs
of negation and lack in life
with  an upward lift line of love.
That's his cross.
The intersection saves 
the day and all else.
It's a universal plus sign.
Oh yes,
"Lift High the Cross"!!!

Paul says it so well:

       "For in him all the fullness 
        (wholeness) of God
        was pleased to dwell, 
        and through him God was pleased 
        to reconcile to himself all things (Wholeness),
        whether on earth or in heaven,
        by making peace 
        through the blood 
        (outpouring of his very life)
)       of his cross
        (the intersection embracing 
        the minus signs
        with the upward lift line of love)."

                              Colossians 1: 19-20

So, the questions for Holy Week are:
how aware are we of this 
and will we let him do that 
in us and through us?

What would that look like?
What would that mean dealing with
the mean, the difficult and distorted
in us and around us?
         - self doubt
         - inferiority complex
         - self centeredness
         - pride/arrogance
         - anxiety/depression/mental illness
         - bodily illness/disease/physical limits
         - loneliness
         - selfishness
         - greed/acquisition mania
         - sports/media/chemical/food/all addictions
         - pornography
         - lust/casual sex/infidelity
         - job/career before spouse/children
         - racial/sexual/any discrimination/exclusion
         - consumerism/materialism
           (check the closet/garage/portfolio/credit card)
         - political process
         - governance
         - civility
         - tribalism (church, white nationalism,
           any "us in/them out")
         - immigration - local to international
         - planetary survival
         - superficial spirituality/feel good, tribal religion
         - militarism
         - guns and nuclear weapons
         - health care
         - opportunity inequality
         - social justice (real and for all)

The list of difficulties and distortions is a lot longer than just this.

What can you add?

What has been your reaction going through, hopefully not over, 
the above, these 
              "stations of the current cross"?

Yes, Jesus The Christ has a lot to do
for us and through us.
He didn't do cross and done.
His is a Now across all time.

Yes, life is difficult and no avoidance mechanisms allowed.

Yes, it's straight ahead and through the difficult.

Yes, good and only good changes evil, fills the voids.

Yes that can be more than a bit of a crucifixion.

Yes, it's the only way.

Yes, it breaks free and full.

Yes, it means wholeness.

Yes, whatever is down is coming up and staying up forever.


Holy Week is a whole lot more than palms, processions, candles and lilies.
It's about the difficulties and distortions of life faced.
It's about going straight ahead, in and through them.
It's about filling the gaps, the holes, in self, society and place.
It's about reordering the disordered.
It's about the infusion of good where there is evil.
It's about restoring wholeness.
It's about Jesus The Christ sharing himself for that wholeness.
It's about Jesus The Christ asking us in on his wholeness.
It's sure is a Whole Week.

    A blessed week
       to us all, 


    Next posting  

 Friday, April 19th.

     John Frank


                               In two weeks,
 Friday, April 26th., through Thursday, May 2nd.,
  we will begin the first of a six part series on

                       SOULFUL SEX.

         It will be challenging as we consider

           the intimate connection between 

                 sexuality and spirituality


  that in our history and current cultural context.