Friday, June 28, 2019
Dear All of Us,
Most mornings it's coffee and Rohr.
That's Aldi's Classic Roast and Richard Rohr's daily email meditation.
Sometimes the coffee tends to strong and so does Richard.
That was the double header in spades this morning. (1)
Between the two of them they curled what little hair I have left.
I don't know how to digitalize the coffee for you,
but here's Richard's "Waker Upper",
and watch out for your hair:
I'm convinced that beneath the ugly manifestations
of our present evils - political corruption,
ecological devastation, warring against one another,
hating each other based on race, gender,
sexual orientation, religion, or nationality -
the greatest dis-ease facing humanity right now
is our profound and painful sense of disconnection.
We feel disconnected from God, certainly,
but also from ourselves (especially our bodies),
from each other, and from our world.
Our sense of this fourfold isolation is plunging
our species into increasingly destructive behavior
and much mental illness.
Forget more coffee.
I was almost tempted to head for the bed,
connect with my pillow,
pull the covers over my head
and wait to wake up in heaven.
How 'bout you?
Actually, that's not the idle question it might seem.
Richard is right about the wrong that threatens us.
"Us" is civilization and planet.
Do nothing and we're done.
The threat is this lethal disconnect he cataloged above.
Disconnect life support and we're dead.
Disconnect a phone call and we can't communicate.
All the more,
- Disconnect from ecological correction and the planet fails.
(The scientist tell us we have less than a hundred years on that one).
- Disconnect from The Common Good and it's all sorts of hateful militias,
poisonous politicians and sick social media prying us away from
our basic oneness, destroying our unity - civilization cancelled.
- Disconnect from each other and we sentence ourselves
to a solitary confinement and its certain madness.
- Disconnect from our bodied selves and we go into
self loathing and perverse acting out.
- Disconnect from God and we have no Being in which to "be."
"To be or not to be".
That sure is the question.
How will we "be" based or not?
Should we take time out for a coffee break?
Better and hopefully let's continue with Richard's meditation:
Yet many are discovering that the Infinite Flow of the Trinity -
our practical, felt experience of this gift - offers the utterly grounded
reconnection with God, with self, with others, and with our world
that all spirituality, and arguably, even politics, is aiming for,
but which conventional religion and politics fail to access.
Let's be among those rediscovering that Infinite Flow of the Trinity.
It will give us a solid base, centers and rights us.
It will connect us to our true, fullest, freest self and to All that Is.
There is this absolutely divine inner cohesion,
infinitely loving connection within God,
and God is The Ground of our Being.
That's where we want to be.
It's the only place where we can actually "be".
Awaken to this and we don't have to go back to bed,
pull the covers over our head and wait to wake up in heaven.
OK, OK, I hear you!
How do we do that?
Well, check this out.
Way down deep in us and in all of creation
there is already and forever bedrock
It's what we are and what holds us in existence.
It's the Infinite Flow of Love.
It's the Infinite Flow of the Trinity
It's there, but are we?
We simply need to wake up to it,
go deep into it,
be centered there,
live out from there.
That's not happening a lot for a lot.
The Captains of Empire have tricked
so many so much into living on the surface,
rendering them baseless, disconnected - chaotic.
It also gives the Captains of Empire
the power and money they crave
and by which they disconnect us even more.
They seduce with appeal
to superficial satisfactions -
bread and circus, non-stop trivia,
stuff, soul self sold for sensations,
trashing truth and each other.
It's a self and social stupor that blinds
to the profound Godness at our core
and at the core of all that is,
the core where in our very "being"
we all are one, divinely
See it, celebrate it, be at home there,
radiate out from there
and everything begins to go real and good.
So, that means:
- being counter-cultural
- often and deeply going quiet in prayer so God
can show us ourselves and all else as one
- in that prayer letting God draw us
to the limitless depths where in reality we all are
- practice to see that in right here, right now awareness
- touching a rose petal unto felt oneness
- looking at a really disgusting person and see yourself another way
- look at a really gorgeous person and see yourself another way
- singing a song with the wind and "winding" into oneness
- walking along the beach and blending with the power of wave
and the immenseness of horizon
- mixing it up it up with the marginalized and making margins dissolve
- soaking in sacred writings as they reveal ever more all as
- picking the politician of your greatest displeasure
and keep looking til you see God and yourself there
- caring so much about others that we only take
what we need of food, vacations, clothes,
entertainments, stuff, adult toys - not what we want,
and not what the Captains of Empire want us to want and grap
so that we loose touch with the realness of being
- have dinner parties or cookouts and invite others
who really aren't - Jews, Muslims, Conservatives, Liberals, ,
the noisy neighbors with the trashy yards
- find a spiritual home community that isn't fixated on
Church ABC's (Attendance, Buildings, Cash)
- find a spiritual home community that is focused on
Church D and E's ( Discipleship and Evangelism) -
Discipleship as in learners of a way and life - that of Jesus,
Evangelism as in sharing that Good News
not by marketing but by lived to believable witness,
community and service.
- when sick and suffering realize solidarity with the sick and suffering
spanning globe and history and see that Jesus, The Suffering Servant,
suffers in solidarity with all, and that in a redemptive way.
Maybe after all we've dealt with here today,
it's time not for a cup of coffee, but rather for a glass of wine
to celebrate our woven wholeness, our "being" together, our basic
Grateful that we are
FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION
Jean Vanier recently died. He spent his life connecting special needs adults
and helpers in loving, family communities around the world.
Here's a little something he wrote about "being" blessed
in a woven wholeness, about "being"
We feel small and weak, but we are gathered together
to signify the power of God who transforms death into life.
That is our hope, that God is doing the impossible:
changing death to life inside each of us, and that perhaps,
through our community, each one of us can be
agents in the world of this transformation
of brokenness into wholeness, and of death to life.
From Brokenness to Community
(1) Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation, Center for Action and Contemplation, Tuesday, May 7, 2019
We are so fortune to have had new folks join with us this past week.
A special welcome to our first time participation from Taiwan.
You are welcome and we are happy to be CONNECTED.
The next posting will be online from Friday, July5, 2019
to Friday July 12, 2019.
Postings are mid-day, east coast USA time each Friday.
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at 5:56 AM
Friday, June 21, 2019
Dear All of Us,
In more than many ways
life is like river rafting.
You never stay put.
There's this flow to it.
It takes you, ready or not,
and right now.
It takes you to the excitement,
the rush, the turbulence
and sometimes the risk
of white water rapids.
It takes you to stretches
of river rock, boulder strewn.
It takes you to
the sweeping swiftness
of fast moving currents.
It takes you to the still serenity
of calm waters.
It takes you.
River rafting is
an experiential metaphor
for all of life,
and certainly so
for our spiritual life.
The trick is to recognize
where you are
and what's going on,
deal with it,
and go with the flow.
River rafting is
an adventure for sure.
Not only do we never stay put,
but we need constant
and vigilant flexibility
to negotiate its flow.
That flexibility means responses
intense to gentle
and numerous sorts of adjustments
and calibrations in between.
So it is with life,
and ever so essentially
with our spiritual life
and its flow
Old Father Albert,
our seminary rector,
told us that
to successfully negotiate
the waters of life's flow
adhesion to God (Reality)
spiritual and all sorts of
- And one hell of
a sense of humor!!
That old man sure knew
how to row right,
how to flex and really
go with the flow
in its right now!!!
Speaking of flow,
the years certainly do
and now it's my turn
to be an old man.
For a while
I thought that meant
adjusting to old age
its unique spirituality.
Come to find out
we don't get old.
What we do is
get older and older
Like all of life
and its spirituality,
old age is not a set
and settled thing.
Dante's unbleached word for it -
is actually dynamic and progressive.
In its own way it calls for
the asceticism of
ongoing flexibility and embrace.
The specifics sure as heck
are particular to it.
I'll spare you the details -
(well, ok, just one -
going to the restroom
at restaurant only to discover
you have your boxer shorts on backward -
I know of what I speak!!!),
For the old the ongoing flow
is the very same one
we all share,
whatever the immediacies
and circumstance of the moment,
whatever our age and stage of life,
whatever the flow just now.
Consider the launch.
It took us all nine months
of rapid, evolutionary flow
to go from a one celled being
to the marvelous
billions upon billions of celled being
we were on the day of birth,
that launch to a whole new span
and way of life.
Whether it's birth,
going to kindergarten,
mid-life and drift,
we don't stay put,
we move to more,
we are swept along in life's
hopefully doing our best
- to be faithful to God (Reality )
- to be flexible -
spiritual and all sorts
of varied dexterities
- to have one hell of a sense of humor.
Tell you what.
Let's all get out paper and pen
(opps, showing my age),
get to the keyboard
and detail what those three
mean in our spiritual life, in its
Let's pray and ponder
right here in that
Let's compose a word picture
and see how it reads,
what it shows and says.
It's the only place
and way we can
It's where we experience
Are we adhering to God (Reality)
in our current
whatever the turbulence or peace of it?
How are we doing with flexibility,
spiritual and all varied sorts,
given whatever we are going through in our
Are we having one hell of a good belly laugh
after another one hell of a good belly laugh
at the wonder, surprise, fright,
beauty, paradox, pain, mystery
of what's going on and most of all
at ourselves, plunk in the middle
and often muddle of our
Spiritually and much otherwise,
we are constantly dying to what just was and
we are being born to what is just right now.
We are being born along in life's
Do we recognize where we are,
are we dealing with it,
are we going with it,
or are we trying to stay put
in a past that isn't present,
or are we trying to cascade into
a future that just isn't right now,
or are we trying to ignore our present as is,
or are we trying to embrace
a present that sure is and as is?
The mystery in all this is that God is the
That's where and how we meet,
mix and merge with God
right there in the flowing right now.
God is in the experience of living,
the process of it all.
God is in the flow.
God is the flow.
Our spiritual river rafting
is ongoing baptism.
We find ourselves drenched in
- ever changing experiences
of prayer and contemplation,
- new and demanding ways
of serving The Common Good,
- Lectio Divina spinning
our head and soul,
- the wonders of nature
slowing us to rapture,
- straining to carry
the emotionally crippled,
- stretches of spiritual confusion,
- a rush of ecstasy,
- the challenge of change
- hitting hard up against
our own rock rough ego,
- being spun out in the turbulence
of a friend's betrayal,
- cascades of love making,
- surges of debilitating pain
as we strengthen forward,
- being swamped by systemic evil
- spans of inability
and utter dependency,
- pools of peace.
Our spiritual river rafting
speeds and frees us
until we finally flow into
The Ocean of Fullness.
Before we go, a personal note:
MANY THANKS FOR MUCH
Joe publishes a wonderful resource:
It is a rich and varied site supporting
an informed and vigorous living of
the spiritual life in the tradition of
Vatican II Roman Catholicism.
Recently Joe offered counsel and guidance
for our little gathering here at
Joe's expertise and encouragement,
shared in his generous and brotherly way,
is both helpful and greatly appreciated.
So long for this now.
See you right here next week.
Have a great trip!!
and river mate,
Our next posting here
will be up from
Friday, June 28, 2019
Friday, July 5, 2019.
The weekly posting
by mid-day Friday,
east coast USA time.
So good to have folks
new to our gathering
join in this week.
A special word of welcome
to our first time participants
this week from Tanzania
Welcome to all!
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-referencing the Blog Achieve
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at 7:38 AM
Friday, June 14, 2019
A FOREWORD ABOUT THE WORDS THAT FOLLOW
This week there's a plentitude of words in this posting.
Hope they speak The Spirit to your spirit.
In effect, this week's posting a "Two-Fer."
So there are two sections to it.
If you're in a hurry, section one is for you.
If you've got interest and time for more,
then treat yourself to an extra
cup of coffee/glass of wine now,
or some other time this week,
and enjoy section two.
It's an Addendum that follows.
Just thought I'd give you a heads up
and that chance for a second
cup of coffee/glass of wine!!
Hey, glad you're here!!
Dear All Of Us,
Among pastors there is an expression:
"That's a story looking for a sermon."
And those stories almost always find one by the next Sunday!
You know, something happens that's irresistibly engaging,
tickle humorous, poignant, parabolic, noteworthy -
somehow or "tuther" it gets you big time
and you want to keep the "get" going.
A number of years ago at Panera's one morning
I was mistaken for Dick Chaney.
OK, I was a bit chubby, balding, slightly stooped,
waring my best pinstripe,
and topped off in rimless glasses.
But, come on!!
I know I don't qualify for a reincarnation
of John F Kennedy, but Dick Chaney?
How about at least Jimmy Carter, or either Bush?
See what I mean?
That story just had to find a sermon to go with it
and it sure did the very next Sunday!
In many ways the story is the sermon.
Somehow or other I saw a dimension of the divine in what happened,
a connect with our everyday spiritual living,
and that was the sermon the story was looking for.
By the way,
a Secret Service agent
was in the congregation.
He came up after church and
offer to drive me over to Panera's
in his big black SUV!!
How about we have a go
at a variant of all this?
Please let me share another little story.
It's a gem looking for a good setting.
Then let's see what kind of a message,
what kind of a Soul Story,
it might shine on our spiritual lives.
So, let's see what we can do with it
and what it can do with us?
It happened last Sunday.
In our church children are about seven when they begin
to receive Holy Communion.
Well, every Sunday whole families come up
and knell together at the rail all the time.
That's a good start on a Holy Communion.
Our pastor is quite good and caring, especially with the younger set.
He takes time with each little one too young for the sacrament.
He bends over says a little prayer for the child
and then makes the sign of the cross on the child's forehead.
Well, that was decidedly not enough Jesus
for a frisky little three year old boy last Sunday.
It was not good enough, either, for the boy's accommodating
seven year old sister kneeling next to him.
The boy wasn't at all satisfied with just a prayer and the sign of the cross.
And he let it be known.
He wanted full communion.
His sister didn't go for it either.
As soon as she received the bread she quickly put her hands
down low in front of her, broke the bread in half.
Then ever so subtlety and quickly she passed a piece off to her waiting brother,
who's hand was under the rail (and radar) at the ready.
With gleeful relish and smiling delight he took Holy Communion, literally.
Yes, a gem!
What does it say to our spirits?
In prayerful reflection this coming week let's soul savor this story.
What sermon is the story?
What does the Spirit share through it
with us way inside,
with us way down deep?
How does the heart of it interface with
what's going on within us,
what comes forth from us,
what's stirring around us?
Let's be as personal and practical as we can be.
How does this story shed light on the sermon of our living?
If a few prompts might help to get us started,
as well as some further reflections on a fuller sense of
Holy Communion, they are include in the Addendum
that follows in Section II.
Thanks for letting me share this Soul Story with you.
If you care to, I'd really appreciate hearing about one of yours.
See you next week.
Holding one and all in
God's Dear Love,
- Let's go slow and sense all the tones and touches (literally "touches")
of this holy communion between Jesus and children, and hopefully
our inner child:
And they were bring children to him so that he might touch them;
but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant
and said to them, "Permit the children to come to me; do not hinder them;
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you,
whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child
will not enter it at all. And he took them in his arms
and began blessing them, laying his hands on them.
New American Bible
Jesus handed himself off to the little children the way the sister
handed the Jesus Bread off to her brother.
She wouldn't let anything stop her brother from a Holy Communion
as Jesus wouldn't let the disciples keep him from
his Holy Communion with the children.
Who/what is keeping me from a Holy Communion - the one in church
and the numberless ones out on the street of everyday life?
How/when do I keep others from a Holy Communion
of whatever occurrence and elements?
Who is handing off some form of Holy Communion to me
"under the rail (and radar)"?
How/when am I doing so for others, or afraid to do so?
Children were the most under valued people
in Israel at the time of Jesus.
Who are the most undervalued people in our society, right where
I live and work, in my family, and among my friends?
Am I Jesus-like, insisting on preference, contact,
and communion with them?
How aware am I that "... it is to such as these
that the kingdom of heaven belongs."?
Do I keep company with them?
Am I one of them?
Children are wide open to good.
Then we grow up (?) and closed off to so much and many.
Makes communion of all sorts difficult and limited.
How about the brother and sister at the communion rail?
They were so wide open to communion and determined to be so.
Who's really grown up around here?
How's it going with my growing "open"?
- Another story:
Paul Warhola and I were buddies back in graduate theology days
at Catholic University. Paul was eastern rite, I western rite.
He was also a lot of fun, and he was Andy Warhol's nephew
(lots of stories there for another day!).
With a knowing smile he would often tell me
something like this:
You damn westerners are trapped in your heads
and so is your religion.
You measure everything by your brains.
While brains are just fine thank you,
that's not our center and it's not where we live.
We in the east know enough to use our brains
but live from our hearts.
You westerners get all tied up in logic and concept -
how many angels can you get on the tip of a pin?
Well, what the hell difference does it make and by the way,
it's pathetically besides the point.
And so much of your theology and religion are as not so well!
They just miss the point of the spiritual life.
We easterners can out think the best of you,
but home base is the heart.
Logic, rationality, fine as far as the go,
and quite frankly that isn't very far down the road of reality.
What gets you going and gets you were you're going is
divine, holy mystery - and we have it in spades.
Divine Mystery: a reality so vast the human mind alone can't grasp it.
Like the ocean, you can't "grasp" it, but you sure as heaven can jump in
and never finish, immersed in God's Love.
You say a child has to be about seven to take Holy Communion,
because that's the age of reason (the brain stuff again!!)
The child can then recognizes the presence of Jesus in the sacrament.
Come on now!
Child to elder we only know "about" Jesus,
just a little from/around/about the edges of the Divine Mystery.
But what we can do is mix it up with him in mystery.
So, we give Holy Communion to babies and children.
The good involved doesn't depend on their brains
or our brains in later years.
The good depends on what God is doing
not on what is mentally grasped by us.
Sort of like holding a baby and loving it
and not putting that kind of communion off
til that baby has a Ph.d and can recognize
a sliver of the love we have for them.
Over the years I more and more realize how spot on Paul was.
Roman and northern European theology
are a head trip and they trip us up.
So, our spiritual lives are like lovers more than academics.
We know a thing or three about the beloved. Just a bit.
The beauty and mystery is that there is no limit or end
to our mutual melding, to our
Three year olds are into it and we can be as well,
and it is oh so well.
"And a child shall lead them."
Let's go for it and let it get us!!
Have a great time this week getting
wrapped up in the limitless forms of
Greetings to all joining in here with us for the first time.
Thanks for the goodness of your presence.
A special welcome for our first ever participation
this week from Malaysia.
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at 6:48 AM