Thursday, September 19, 2019


Dear All Of Us,

It's great that each week we are "All Together" here at "frankly speaking". 

We come from many lands, ethnicities, cultures, religions. 

For all our variants, we are quite genuinely all together here, 

focused on our spiritual lives.

More properly put, we are focused on living spiritually. 

The limits of language! 

Actually there is no such thing as our "spiritual life," something apart, 

something occasional and distinct from good old garden variety everyday life. 

The spiritual is the energy of our living. 

The Latin "spiritus" means breathing, breath, breeze.

The spiritual is what animates, moves. 

Take it way and you have a corpse. 

Minimize it and you have a stalled soul.

Sure, there are spiritual practices - meditation, prayer, worship, 

lectio divina, fasting, alms giving, spiritual direction. 

They are times and activities to focus, refresh, guide our living spiritually.

So, let's take a closer look as we open ever more 

to the delight, indeed, divinity, yet often difficulty, 

of living spiritually and that


                            All Together.

For better or worse - aware our unaware - at our core and

all the way up  to the surface and immediacy of right now, right here,  

to our sweaty/sweet living on the street of everyday life, we are all together.

The fact that too many are not aware of this basic all togetherness 

is the root of so much of the loneliness, alienation 

and hostility that haunts our streets.

See a spectrum, center to surface, as well as across our living: 

              pain to delight, limit to wide open, 

              minimal to full bore, evil to good, 

              but see us always in life all together.


       - auto accident, man pinned under a car, group gathers to lift the car and 

         free the man - leader shouts "All Together!" - man saved.

       - Great Grandma is turning ninety - the whole "famdamally"

         from Topeka to Hoboken and Albuquerque is at the ready 

         as she enters to shouts of "All Together" 

         and the singing sores: "Happy Birthday To You!"

       - us seeing through the immediacies of pain, ugliness, evil, hurt, 

         joy, creativity, generosity, integrity, to our foundational unity.

       - on the streets of Chicago gangs shooting to pieces community efforts at 

         living peacefully and safely all together. 

       - the coalitions working to erase not so subtle segregation 

         in the school system.

       - all sorts, healthy to sick, living together at The Catholic Worker House.

       - around our planet far right nationalist working in concert (dissonance)

         to resist and stymie diverse peoples from living together cooperatively. 

       - the congregation struggling all together to keep its inner city school open 

         for the newly arrived and marginalized.

       - fifty men going out to the desert of New Mexico

         for a week of retreat and grounding in male spirituality.

       - farmers across the heartland laboring wheat for our tables and living.

       - cloistered monks/nuns supporting souls in a life of solidarity with us 

         and love prayer for us

       - young people catching on to humanity's all togertherness  underneath 
         our many cultural costumes.

       - ourselves realizing that the only thing strange about strangers is 

         our estrangement.

See it or not, know it or don't want to know it, embrace it or fight it, 

we are basically, fundamentally, organically, ontologically all together.

We are One in diverse forms.

We all together spring from the same source.

"In him WE live, and move and have OUR being." (Acts 17:28)

The same life flows through us all together.

The same Spirit vivifies us all together.

Our living, our planet, prospers or pains in proportion 

to our embrace of being and living all together.

To be alive and growing spiritually is to embrace all people and creation

as us in pluriform  -  unique, diverse, one  - the power and paradox 

of being basically all together.

But all is not well out here on the streets of Center City,

and that is where we live spiritually.

Our spiritual living is effected and effects.

World-wide a
ll sorts of systems separate - governments, religions, 

hate groups, political parties, mass media, corporations.

All sorts of persons militate to separate - politicians, media moguls, 

financial and corporate leaders, religious and ethnic terrorists.

It is toxic.

We need to come up for air, some fresh, clean, invigorating air,that of 

The Holy Spiritus, The Holy Breathing, The Holy Breath,The Holy Breeze .

Let's open the windows and let the Holy Breeze blow through us,

cleanse and purify our awareness, give us the runner's second wind.

Feel it in these breaths of fresh air:

          - "The love of God creates in us such a oneing

              that when it is truly seen,

              no person can separate themselves 

              from another person."

          - "In the sight of God all humans are oned, 

             and one person is all people

             and all people are in one person."

          - "By myself I am nothing at all,

             but in general,

             I AM the oneing of Love.

             for it is in this oneing

             that the life of all people exist."

                                Julian of Norwich
                                Medieval English mystic

            - " we, who are many, 

              are one body in Christ,
              and individually we are members 

              one of another."

                                  Romans 12;5

            - "Effortlessly,

               Love flows from God into us

               Like a bird

               Who rivers the air

               Without moving her wings.

               … Thus we move in God's world

               One in body and soul...

               Though outwardly separate in form.

               As the Source strikes the note,

               Humanity sings -

               The Holy Spirit is our harpist,

               And all strings

               Which are touched in Love

               Must sound.

                                       Mechthild of Magdeburg

                                       Medieval Mystic



So, OK. If we all are fundamentally one and I try to live it out, 

say by trying to hug every passenger boarding my flight to Huston,

the TSA people would likely hold me for observation.

Hopefully that kind of oneness will one day 

be cleared for take off.

Between now and when, how do we see and live 

the oneness we are with all others?  

In our prayer and reflection this week let's really open our windows,

invoke and invite The Holy Breeze, ponder and pray over:

                 - what systems separate me from others -

                   my social circle, employment, family systems,

                   religious affiliations, politics, my thinking/feeling patterns,

                   the places where I go for shopping, education, recreation ?

                 - what people in my life militate to separate me from others:

                   family members, friends, my social media contacts,

                   authors, "talking heads," entertainers, the politicians 

                   I support and follow, people at work?

                 - what sort of estrangement makes others strangers to me?

                 - now let's go back over the above three and detail to positive - 

                   name names!! - what and who draw me closer 

                   to realizing and living out our basic all togetherness?

                 - Let's take time with each of the quotes above from

                                  Julian of Norwich

                                  Romans 12:5

                                  Mechthild of Magdeburg

                    What does The Spirit say through them to our spirit?

                    What insight is given?

                    What corrective is there?

                    What encouragement is offered?

                    What widening and deepening is invited?

                               be as specific as 

                               your local librarian,

                               or a data analysist.

                  - draw all of the above into a prayerful love embrace

                  - jot down an action plan for the next week -

                         - what will I do this week to deal with systemic, 

                           separating systems?

                         - what will I do this week to deal with the people

                           who militate to separate me from others?

                         - conversely and positively what systems can I embrace 

                           and support that sustain and strengthen our togetherness?

                        - what can I do this week to connect with people 

                          who live and nurture our togetherness?

All the best at being All Together.

Thanks for this chance to be just that.

Welcome to those joining in with us for the first time.

"How good and pleasant it is when God's people 

live together in unity."      
                               Psalm 133:1

See you next week.

Holding us all together in

God's Dear Love,

   John Frank


      "frankly speaking"

- is posted online each Thursday evening

east coast USA time at


  and can be bookmarked for ready access

- is available by automatic email each Friday -

  the sign up is top right online

- past postings are available at

      Blog Archive
  right column online.

      Thank You!!