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.