Thursday, July 30, 2020


This is the third part of our 

      Summer Series.

We are exploring how to


          on living  

The Sermon On The Mount.


Dear All of Us,

Classics and craftsmanship.

They see it right and get it right.

Pure excellence:
   a  perfectly restored 
   1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe

   Andrew Wyeth's Renfield painting

   the Italian stonemasons at
   The Washington National Cathedral

   Suzanne McCarthy's signature dish:
    Pork tenderloin with Blackberry Sauce

    Lladro's Passionate Kiss Couple

   Thomas Merton's
   Seeds of Contemplation

   Bach's St. Matthew Passion
   Nolan Ryan's seven no hitters

In the case of the Peragallo Family,

they not only see it right, 

they hear it right, 

and make it right.

For over one hundred years, 

and now into the fourth generation,

they create and care for pipe organs.

We had one of their classics at 

Assumption Church.

Before high holydays and concerts,

the Peragallo's would come

 to "voice" the organ.

Each pipe was made to play

with the proper onset of sound 

(known as speech), 

sustained tone, and volume.

It was pure excellence -

the organ tuned to respond exactly

to the touch and genius of the organist.


That's what God crafts through the

          BE ATTITUDES. 

In eight classics they play true,

"voice" us, Tune to Reality,

to God and God's wonderous Creation


      "Blessed are the meek,

       for they will inherit the earth."

First off, to fully and freely consider it 

we need to "voice" the word meek.

The modern English "meek" 

altogether misses the the meaning.

The original Greek used 

in this scripture means 

   good will towards others and

  reverent obedience toward God -

"voiced" to Reality,

that right next to us

and on out to its Fullness 

that never finishes - God.

As "poor in spirit" is the opposite 

of proud in spirit, full of self,

so "meek" is the opposite 

in both nature and act

of being aggressive.

The meek are not weak.

The meek are strong enough 

to be gentle.

They are not harsh,

self-assertive, covetous,

do not trample in brute force.(1)

To be meek is to have reverence 

for God and all God's 

people and creation,

to enjoy a comfortableness, 

an at homeness,

a oneness with "Oneness".

The meek are in sync with the sacred.

As a child of the universe 

and beyond without limit, 

they "inherit" all that is.

They don't have to get it.

It is given.

It comes in the union.

The meek are relaxed and at peace,

right at home in Reality.

They are empty of isolating "Self Stuff".

The don't try to "power through"

to domination because 

they are solid and secure 

in the energy and strength  

of Godness.

They accept an inheritance

beyond measure or limit

rather than fighting and fouling 

to the cruel poverty of aggression.

That aggression can be physical.

More often it is social, financial, 

psychic, emotional, racial, religious - 

all manipulation and dominance. 

By contrast, the meek have 

a heaven of a God Time.

They delight in the harmony of Reality.

The meek are free to relish creation

rather than exhaust their being

failing to create one 

of their aggressive dominance.

They don't have to steal 

the other kids' toys

because they have toys 

without limit to share

and they live with 

The Toy maker.

     All the 


invite an approach

that roams free in

Reality as given 

rather than getting wasted 

trying to be a petty god 

founded on falseness,

damaging self and all 

in the futility 

of that frightful folly.


invite us 

to be centered

in the Center,

rather than chasing our tails 

around and around

in a deadening circle zero.

The Peragallo Family 

tune the organ 

to respond exactly 

to the touch and genius 

of the organist.

Through the 


God tunes us 

to respond exactly 

to the touch and genius

that is his.


"Happy" are we,

"Blessed" are we

so "voiced" to


In God's Dear Love,

    John Frank


(1) The first section of this paragraph 
     draws generously and gratefully  
     from The Interpreter's Bible, 
     Volume Seven, Abingdon Press, 
     Nashville, 1951, pgs.282 & 283.


Thanks to all who have been sharing

         "frankly speaking"

     spirituality for the street

  with friends and colleagues.

 We are a little Family in Love,

gathering here weekly from all across

         God's Good earth.

An open hearted WELCOME to all our

first time visitors. Thanks for joining in.

             "frankly speaking"

- is posted each Thursday before dinner,

  often well before that - east coast USA time.

- arrives weekly by automatic email delivery

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- past posting are available at Blog Archive -

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Thursday, July 23, 2020


         This is the second in our Summer Series

                    FOLLOW THROUGH

Dear All of Us,
To grow up the kid in us has to find out two painful things:
 - There really is no such thing as a Santa Claus
 - There really is no such thing as an "ouch-less" band aid

It gets rougher from there.
 - You can't go out and play in the rain
 - your best friend moves to Topeka
 - Your pet fish dies and then it's your grandmother 
 - You have to start wearing glasses at ten
 - Adults screw up
 - You get into some significant sin.
 - You flunk out (beauty pageant, college, marriage, parenting, business)
 - "America the Beautiful" sometimes isn't all that good looking
 - Pastors talk the talk, but some don't walk the walk
 - And speaking of walk, the spiritual life isn't exactly a cake walk
   every day.

Loss and mourning.

                         "GOOD GRIEF!"

Well, grief for sure, but not at all good.
Mourning over pain, failure, loss - a hurt hit!

Then here comes Jesus telling us                

                  HAPPY ARE THEY THAT MOURN,
                  FOR THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED.

The comfort part ok, but "mourning"? 
Forget it. 
And what's so "Happy" about it? 
We're outta here !
And we're not alone.
Our whole culture will go any lengths in pain and grief avoidance.

Well, let's widen the lens and see what we see,
personally and as a person part of a people.  
We're dealing here with loss and consequent pain.
Mourning is both.
And it involves a pallet of pain. 

 We may lose
  - a loved one
  - our temper
  - our virtue
  - opportunities
  - profit or popularity
  - confidence
  - face
   -  patience
  - preference or position
  - our sense of humor
  - the car keys to our faith

As a people we may lose
   - our ideals
   - our way
   - equity and justice
   - common purpose and cooperation
   - prosperity
   - reverence for Mother Earth
   - unity and peace
   - refinement and civility
   - grace and Godliness

Loss, personal or public, leads to grief and mourning.
The root words here are telling
      a sense of sorrow (grief from ME greven)
      a sense of anxiety  (mourn from ME mournen)
Someone or thing vital is lost, dead or dying.
That agitates, saddens. unnerves, disconcerts deeply.
We mourn.
We mourn all sorts of loss.

So, back to Jesus and his beatitude


Our situation is not static.
We're evolving.
We're in the mix and chaos of creation,
in the midst of God's kingdom come and coming.
Leaves bud, blossom, die, decompose  
and over millions of years are pressed into oil.
Neanderthals walked for water, shelter and food
and now we drive to restaurants, and rocket to the moon.
There is gain, yet loss, more gain, yet more loss,
yet ever more gain and growth.

Loss hurts.
Loss loosens to expansion.
Loss frees for evolution.
Loss teaches that we are part, not the whole.
Loss makes us let go of "as is" for what "can be".
We mourn loss and are then comforted 
as we become part of more.

We mourn our sins, the loss of goodness.
We mourn the clashes and conflict of the nations, 
the loss of The Common Good.
We mourn the pain of the ill and suffering, 
their loss of health and vigor.
We mourn the plight of the marginalized, 
their loss of power and opportunity.

Jesus assures us that 
if we face into loss and mourning
and look to the kingdom come and coming,
we will be comforted, 
(Latin com=with and fortis=fortified).
We will be fortified and strengthened 
as we grow into unending more, 
God's evolving Creation, 
the kingdom so far and to come. 

Loss won't let us sit still.
It forces us to let go.
That opens us to evolve.
That is ultimately a blessed and happy thing.
Actually the word used in these scriptures 
for happiness is the Greek for the highest stage 
of  human happiness and well being.

Like the ancient Israelites, 
we mourn, we lament
the present condition of God's people,
of God's way and work in the world
as it is just now.
Like them in their desolation, 
we do not accept things as they are,
nor as final and fixed.
Like them we do lament and mourn 
the mess of the moment.
Like them we mourn 
that God's final kingdom 
has not yet come and that 
God's will is not yet done.
( See Isaiah 61: 1-11)

We are in the already kingdom come
and we are longing for its final and full realization - 
the coming (eschatological) kingdom of God. 

"Happily" we are fortified for the venture,
as we mourn present loss and evolve forward to fulfilment.

It's sort of like the old fashioned Irish Wake.
We're in the front parlor praying and weeping at the casket.
Then we go into the backyard and have one heaven of a party.

                               "GOOD GRIEF!"

                                 John Frank


        A warm (very warm here in DC) summer welcome 
                        to our first time visitors.
             Among them were  extensive groups from 
                     Romania and Turkmenistan.
        It's just great for all of us to be together here.

                             "frankly speaking"

                          spirituality for the street

      - is posted each Thursday well before the dinner hour,
        east coast USA time, at

      - is send out by automatic weekly on Fridays - sign up
        above right

      - past postings can be accessed at Blog Archive, left column bottom

Please consider sharing the above with family, friends, associates. Thanks!

                              SEE YOU NEXT WEEK      




Thursday, July 16, 2020


This is the first of our Summer Series



Dear All of Us,

"What an attitude!"

That can be a complaint or a compliment.

That can be a put down or a lift up.

It all depends.

We can have one hell of an attitude.

We can have one wonderful attitude.

Our attitude can be damning.

It can be redeeming.

Attitude is our approach, our stance,

the trajectory, the angle, the tone of our living.

Attitude is our mode, our manner of

              "be" ing.

It's how we come at life 

and how we position as life comes at us.

Get it right and things are just that.

Get it wrong and that's what we get.

Jesus gets it so completely right.

His character, his living, his teaching

speak it, show it.

They model attitude for us.

These  summer weeks 

here at "frankly speaking"

we survey his Soul Share,

his summary teaching,

The Sermon on the Mount,

and how we can 

Follow Through

by living it.

Before getting into specifics, 

Jesus first sets the tone,

the approach, the stance, 

the manner and mode for living

our Follow Through.

In eight different harmonies

he sings his attitudes on being, his 

         BE ATTITUDES.

All eight are pathways to 

bliss, happiness, blessedness.

Each is a perfect fit for walking life's way.

Each is also so counter cultural that they all seem 

to be like going against traffic on a one way street.

Well, that's so.

Just as so, the Be Attitudes reroute, road right us.

They put us on a completely different life trajectory,

give us a totally new mode of "be"ing.

Let's have a look and listen and a living.


The only way to be filled up is to empty out.

We need to get free from the grip 

of every notion, effort, item, 

person, place or thing  

we count on for basic and ultimate 

security, success, fulfilment.

That leaves nothing, 

making room for everything.

That poverty clears our spirit

for God's fulfillment  -

complete security, 

total success, 

unlimited enrichment -

God based and given.

It means living in the divine zone -

the very kingdom of heaven.

Sure, we buy food, own a car,

enjoy a good show, save for retirement.

They are elements of our giftedness,

not the whole of it, nor our life base.

They are passing immediacies,

part of a whole, 

while not at all the whole.

"Poor in spirit" means 

we do not allow possessions and powers 

to posses primacy of place,

be they emotional, relational, financial, 

intellectual, spiritual, material, 

our talents, capacities or position.

We hold them all appreciatively and lightly,

never trying to parlay them to 

where they can't go nor take us.

We let go pride of place,

ourselves as the center of things

and all our contrivances.

We let go of everyone and everything

we use as our base and surety

and are had and held by God.

This is the hard part and the best part.

Clutching no one nor anything

we are wide open and 

we are ravished in God's Love.

This first Be Attitude is translated 

into contemporary English as:

"You're blessed when you are 

 at the end of your rope. 

 With less of you 

 there is more of God 

 and his rule." 

        The Message

Being poor in spirit is like giving up 

a McDonald's burger and fries

to enjoy a Michelin Three Star dining experience.

God is wildly in love with us.

God wants to sweep us up into 

an ecstatic, passionate divine dance.

We need to make sure there's no clutter

on then dance floor.

Nothing there means everything -

everything out of the way,

everything and infinitely more 

to then be experienced 

in God's passionate embrace.

It's a big day when we trade in 

our security blanket.

That's the day we get wrapped 

into Lovers' Oneness - God

It's an even bigger day,

a life deciding one,

when we resign 

attempting to be 

Number One.

That poverty of position

opens the way to be factored into


          THE ONE GOD

dwelling now in the Kingdom Come

and forever in the Kingdom Coming.

How blessed, blissful, happy 

are we when poor in spirit.


"The Good Lord willing 

and if the creek don't rise...",

more next week on Jesus and his 

     Attitudes on how to Be

             and our 

       Follow Through.

       I pray we all                
           Be Well,

         John Frank



   David Brooks preached
   an outstanding interpretation of 
   our current cultural context, 
   and what is at issue as we strive to

   It is an excellent source for 

   It is available online at
          Washington National Cathedral
          Sunday, July 5, 2020


    My dear friend, Phil Russo, shared
             "Gaudete et Exsultate"
   "On the Call To Holiness In Today's World"
    Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis.

    Many thanks to Phil for this gem.
    It is a superb primer for our spiritual lives as we 
              FOLLOW THROUGH
                    so that
    "I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me. "

     It is available online.
     Print copy is published by 
          Books and Media

       ISBN 10:0-8198-3143-3
               Vatican Translation


It's so good to "be" together here

with new folks each week. 

Among many others this week,

we were  blessed with a large showing 

              from Ireland. 

       Welcome to you and all 

     our other new participants.

          "frankly speaking"

      spirituality for the street

- is posted each Thursday 
  before the dinner hour,
  east coast USA time

- is delivered by automatic email
  each Friday - sign up top right above

- past postings are available at
  Blog archive, lower right column.

          HAVE A GOOD WEEK