Thursday, April 30, 2020


Dear All of Us,

Hey, this current too long 
has been a bummer.
So, so strange, such stress, 
surreal on steroids.
We need a happy, hearty time out.
Yah, a Happy Hour.
Like so much these days,
it'll have to be virtual, of course.
So instead of offering you
a glass of J.Lohr's Seven Oaks 
Cabernet Sauvignon,
I invite you to join my holy high.
And high happy I am!!

Eighty years ago today,
April 30,1940,
at St. Joseph's Hospital 
in Paterson New Jersey 
my Mom 
birthed me to life.
What a giver.
What a gift.
Before Mom 
was birthed into
at age ninety two, 
I used to send her a 
      Thank You 
card every April 30th.
These April 30ths.  
it's a love prayer.

Now, the life and years 
given me are wearing out -
as are my back, and hips, 
and eyes, and ears, 
and allied parts and powers,
but a sense of humor, never!! 
Sooner than later, though,
it will be my turn 
to be birthed into
What a high that will be!!

Over these eighty years of  
                Life Gift
God has given and gifted me
so much, in so many ways, 
and so fully.
Am I ever grateful,
and I sure want to show it.
So how about this?

This Pan Pain has knocked 
just about everything on its ear.
That includes birthday parties.
What the heck.
I'm eighty today.
Let's party.
I'll just throw one myself 
right here, right now 
and you are invited.
(If you are joining in here
after April 30th.,
don't fret - this party's 
still in full swing 
and will be all week!!)

We'll make a real
     Happy Hour
out of it, one with
a happy twist and 
turn around to it.

That's because 
for my eightieth birthday
the best ever gift 
I could receive from you 
would be for you 
to let me to give you these 

They are reflections 
that come from my heart
and are offered to yours.
They are about 
the heart of the matter,
what is at the heart 
of living our Life Gift.
They are all about

So, let's unwrap 
these reflections,
these birthday presents
from me to you.
Here goes.



For God's sake,
for your sake,
for everybody's sake,
be who you are.

Otherwise, and it's not a bit wise,
we are failed actors in a fantasy of futility.
That's because,

            our being is divine

            and all our doing 
            flows from our being.

If that's cockeyed, 
everything we do is cockeyed.
Check out so many 
national and international leaders right now
and see failed fantasy and futility 
center stage and destabilizing. 

I've seen it where 
I've plied my trade as a pastor 
for well more than half a century.
Sadly some clergy dress up 
in robes and roles
that don't fit them
and they play at church,
too often for protection, profit, position.
A fantasy of futility
center sanctuary and desacralizing.
Sadly, at times I've even seen it 
in the sacristy mirror.

That's the negative of what 
God means to be a positive,
and that positive is
    You are a unique, 
     one of a kind 
   emanation of God. 

Again and always Bonaventure 
points to the paradox and wonder 
of just who you are.
  "You are not God and 
   you are not not God."

Take that one to the bank!

           You are 

God happening, occurring,  

in the God Given Human BEING You Are.
You are sacred at your center,
and in all the particulars of your being.

That sensed, embraced, treasured, and lived, 
frees us for our divine being
to flow into divine doing.

God has songs to sing, 
and so the singer.
God has knowledge to share, 
and so the scientist.
God has life to create,
and so the parent.
God has love to give,
and so the life companion.
God has people to feed,
and so the farmer.
God has wisdom to enlighten,
and so the sage.

In other words, be who you are 
in all your uniqueness and particulars - 
be that introvert, extrovert, funny, 
studious, straight, gay, nerd, 
life of the party, organizer, 
free spirited, poetic, jock -
whatever, all and fully.

Don't let anyone ever talk you 
out of being who you are.
We need the real deal, 
      The God Being
        you are by 
 God's Gift and Giving.

                II. DOING FLOWS FROM BEING

Do what you are Good At, 
what you are God At.
Nobody but you can be the singular 
God Being creatively God Doing
that you are.

Don't let power, popularity, privilege
steal you from you,
from us,
from God,
from God's Creation as it unfolds.

Free up for fullness.
No play acting out here on 
    The Street of Real.
We need you as you are. 
We need what flows from 
who and how you are.

Example: as a young pastor
I tried to preach 
as another Fulton J. Sheen.
Unfortunately that was a role
I should never have self cast.
It was not a God Gift I had to give.
A lot of time, church, grace  and blessing 
got blown away by my fantasy of futility.
Eventually I caught on, grew up 
and let her ripe, preaching my heart out 
in my own hookie, happy, God Given way.
It's not for everybody, 
but it's what I've got to give and I give it.
It comes right out of who I am,
My God Doing from My God Being.

Please be happy and grateful with me.

Please accept these Birthday Presents.

       BE WHO YOU ARE  

                        DO AS YOU ARE

Now, it's time for cake and candles.

Blowing out those eighty candles 

will probably take all afternoon

and then mean a nice long nap!!

    Thanks for coming to my 

           birthday party.

        It sure had been a 

            Happy Hour.

    Here's to Being and Doing 

          God's Life Gift,

             John Frank



                  FOR PRAYER AND PONDERING


      "For in him (God) we live, and move and have our being."

                                                                      Acts 17:28

       "Christ is in you, the hope of glory."

                                                                     Colossians 1:27

     "Do you not know that you are a temple of God 

      and that the Spirit dwells in you?"

                                                                     I Corinthians 3:16

     "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me."

                                                                      Galatians 2:20


     "We have different gifts according to the grace given us."

                                                                     Romans 12:6

      "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another 

       as good stewards of God's varied grace."

                                                                      I Peter 4:10

      "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;

       and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord;

       and there are varieties of activities,

       but it is the same God activates all of them in everyone.

       To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit 

       for the common good."

                                                                         I Corinthians 12: 4-7


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