Thursday, August 22, 2019


Dear All of Us,

You know, it's important to know what's important.

We sure don't want to get short changed by spending our lives 

on less than the important.

Plus, what's important to us says oh so much about 

who and how we are just now.

OK, so what are we talking about here?

Etymologically, the word important means, 

              "to import, to bring in"

           (L) in means just that, "in" 

            and  portare means " to carry," "to bring" -

            thus to bring in, import. 

No, let's not talk about tariffs.

Let's talk about what's so valuable that we do well to "import" it,

"to bring it in" to the living of our very selves whatever the cost.

So, what is truly important to this living of our very selves:

career, wealth, family, friends, sex, reputation, the spiritual/mystical,

education, exercise, entertainment, sports, politics, social justice, abs,

saving planet and civilization, the arts, community, smoking, popularity,

porn, power, alcohol/drugs,  trying to be stress and pain free, 

romance, health, - what?

About n
ow a little calm, quiet, honest reflection 

might just be a great big plus.

It'll give us some space and time as we review

what's important to us

not what we say is important, 

but what is actually, practically, 

functionally important 

in the living of our very selves 

as is and right now.

What are we importing?  

Let's pray for light and courage.

Let's pray that for each other,

and do that right here and now

for a little while.

             Let's pray.

Next let's focus on what is most important 

from someone who missed it for years.

Let's ponder the learned wisdom of Theresa of Avila.

For years she lived a rather shallow, superficial,

self referenced life as a cloistered nun.

Taking it easy, having it easy was important to her.

One day the cards got really shuffled on her big time.

That changed everything.

She played a whole new hand.

A friend gave her a painting of the Suffering Jesus.

It got to her like nothing ever before.

It was a break through.

It spoke limitless love to her,

limitless love for her,

limitless love for all people,

limitless love for all that is.

It opened her to a whole new awareness of what is important.

Import that love she did, and that to ecstatic, mystical heights.

She was in Love.

That's what was important.

This bright, well educated  woman shares what's most important with us all:

                 "The important thing is 

                   not to think much, 

                   but to love much;

                   do then, 

                   whatever most arouses you 

                   to love."

Thinking is just fine thank you.

It is also limited.

Do what thinking is necessary and helpful,

but don't get trapped in the head.

Go where there are no limits.

Import the Love Who Is God,

which really means let Love in.

Do that by "whatever rouses you to love."

It could be gazing at a picture of the Suffering Jesus.

It could be taking in a foster child.

Just do what opens you to Love, 

"whatever rouses you to Love."

If you will, please permit me to share some of the things 

I do that rouse me to Love.

In no way do I suggest they are universal, preferred or prescriptive.

They are simply and uniquely mine.

I offer them in the hopes of encouraging you to take time 

to see what are your wonderful, unique openings 

through which Love can enter in, can be imported, 

so as to see what's ultimately important and what opens you to it. 

Some of the rivulets through which Love pours into me,

some of the things that "rouse me " to Love are:

         - gazing at a child

         - reading a novel by Morris West

         - helping the hurt

         - holding hurters in God's Love

         - quieting up to the Still Point

         - caring for my family and friends

         - writing this blog for you

         - being swept upward in a Bach chorale

         - spending a day at the National Gallery of Art

           and the next one at the National Cathedral 

         - deep listening to others

         - immersion in sacred wisdom writings

         - spending an evening with its sunset

         - people watching with God in the supermarket 

           and at Holy Communion

         - letting the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins 

           take me to the deep down beauty of things

         - grieving the rape of Mother Earth and helping in her healing

         - having a date with a flower

         - feeling the passion in a Rodin sculpture

         - doing a road trip with nature

         - a retreat at The Abbey of Gethsemani

         - a wedge of sharp provolone wedded with a classic Chianti

         - happily and endlessly more.

Enough about me.

How about you?

What is it that "rouses you to love" and the doing of it?

That question is a helpful prompt to personal prayer and reflection.

That question is pen worthy for those who journal.

That question is discussion ready with a spiritual director or Soul Friend.

That question is action ready and ever so important answer actively.

However we notice and note 

"whatever most rouses you to love"

            may we 


            just that - 

         "love much."

          Of all that is, 

          it is the most


Thanks for doing this spiritual exercise together with 

all the rest of us whether we are in 

the USA, South Africa, India, The Neverlands,

Russia, Nigeria, India, , Australia, Canada, South Korea 

(the countries online for "frankly speaking" at the moment)

 and all the other homelands from which we gather here each week.

I pray for us all each day and hope you do as well.

                       In The Love Who Is God,

                              John Frank



A "Real Find" that links to numerous and varied sites and sources

supporting our spiritual life out here on the street of everyday living

is available at 


                      - click Topics of Interest 

                            the tag at the top

                      - click Spiritual Life/Prayer

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                        "frankly speaking" 

               is posted every Thursday evening,

                     east coast USA time.

                        See you next week!