Wednesday, December 29, 2021


 Dear All of Us,


Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the

 old way can do that.

You cannot hold onto the old, all the while declaring that you

 want something new;

The old will defy the new.

The old will deny the new;

The old will decry the new.

There is only one way to bring in the new. You must make 

 room for it.

                           Neale Donald Walsch

Hopefully a NEW year.

   John Frank


Wednesday, December 22, 2021



Dear All of Us,

My oldest daughter 

just had a birthday.

She asked our family

for a unique present.

Would each of us gift her 

with a time and place

to be together,

to just be present to each other.

I invited her for a leisurely Sunday stroll 

through the National Arboretum here in DC.

The present of presence.

The birth of Jesus is God asking us  

for a unique present,

to be together,

to be present to each other.

The present of presence.


       John Frank


Wednesday, December 15, 2021



Dear All of Us,

A lot of us older folks 

have a hey of a time

convincing our computers

to keep it simple.

Old, young or mid-drift,

("The devil made me do it!')

many most of us 

have a hay of a time 

getting our spiritual lives 

to keep it simple.

Yet simple they are.

Our spiritual life 

is simply to


is simply to



To do that we calm 

into to our deepest.

That takes settling,

stilling, quieting of

all the hurry scurry 

that keeps us stuck

on surface stuff.

We disrobe.

The drapings of the

     False Self 

fear, arrogance, 

  puffy posturing,




  callous individualism -

slowly fall away.

We let go figuring,

construct, control.

So freed, comfortable 

in our naked beauty,

we rest secure, safe in 

       What Is

 in the embrace of 

The Love That Is God

    (1 John 4:8)

   The Ground Of 

     Our Being

    (Paul Tillich)  

      We slowly, 


   more and more 

  become aware of 

 our existence base, 


      God gazing 

       at us

  in sheer delight.

In delighted response,

we join the gaze.

We see as we are seen.

It's a mutuality unto



We see God.

We see ourselves in God.

We see as God sees.

We see God in all we see.

    "But the basic 

     reality of God 

     is plain enough.

     Open your eyes

     and there it is!

     By taking a long

     and thoughtful look

     at what God has created,   

     people have always

     been able to see

     what their eyes 

     as such can't see:

     eternal power, 

     for instance,

     and the mystery of 

     his divine being,"

   (Romans 1:19-20 )

      The Message



As we noted last week:

"Seeing as one with God 

 we see others, nature, 

 all creation, as they are 

 in God's sight. 

 We see them in their 

 fundamental freshness, 

 purity and goodness."

   Happily our spiritual life 

         is simply to


         unto union 

        ALL THAT IS

        We then see 

       so much more,

       ever so much more.

We "see" with all five senses.

We "see" with intellect, intuition,

reflection, experience, memory,

prayer and meditation, ritual.



           unto union

 - we employ a gentle life pace

 - we eschew the blinding,

   distracting glare of 

   trivialized activity

 - we welcome, wide-eyed, 

         WHAT IS 

 - we cleanse the lens

   of perception

 - we look within and beyond

   and all about

 - we open our eyes to surprise

 - we notice so openly that we merge

 - we notice God in all and all in God

 - we eventually notice the mystery,

   the paradox, that we and all that is 

   are God creatively unique in 



We notice the intricate 

designs and varied textures 

of trees, leaves, flowers, 

fruits and vegetables.

We notice the energetic glee 

of children at play.

We notice the dynamism

of sea and storm.

We notice the wisdom of elders.

We notice the marvels

science sees and shares.

We notice the profundity of

scripture and sacred writings.

We notice the consideration

and care of a patient physician.

We notice the majesty of music.

We notice the weave and feel

of a new coat.

We notice from 35,000 feet

the hard harsh beauty of the 

Grand Canyon.

We notice the vigor

of a hearty red paired 

with fresh sauce and linguini

(al dente of course)

We notice the day to day 

and loyal companionship 

of our life partner, dearest friend, 

parents, children.

We notice Empire and its citizens

perverting and polluting creation.

We notice how absolute 

the need to bond tighter in 

the "Kin-domain of God", 

the "Rain Shower of God." 

We notice our shared call 

to be about reclamation.

We notice those devastated.

We enfold and nurture them in

the healing of resurrection care.

We notice so much that we merge.

        The surname for 




It is the aperture opening to



         GOD IS ONE 

          and all is 

        One in God.

      It's "ONE-der-full" 

 for us to be here together,

       seeing God in all,

       seeing as God sees, 

            to simply


           John Frank


       "frankly speaking"

   spirituality for the street


Wednesday, December 8, 2021



Dear All of Us,

When it comes to a vote,

"The ayes have it."

When it comes to 

our spiritual living,




"It all depends on how 

 we see things."

Looking at things in 

fear, anger, lust, 

greed, arrogance, 

dims to darkness

how we see and 

what we see.

We stumble 

in that darkness,

limited and limiting,

hurt and hurting,

lost and losing.

Seeing things as 

God sees them,

or if you prefer,

seeing things 

in the light of 


opens our eyes

to the brightness 

and splendor of


and our oneness 

     in that


So how do we 

get our vision 

adjusted and 

corrected to


We go deep within.

We open the eyes 

    of our soul

    of our inner awareness.

We see ourselves 

   centered in


   centered in 


   centered in 


   centered in

what makes us

   and what 

 makes us go,

  centered in 

   All That Is,

  centered in



  So centered

  we see God 

  "..closer to us 

  than we are 

  to ourselves"

  as Augustine reflects.

  Meister Eckhard said that

  between God and the soul

  "...there is neither 

  strangeness nor distance."

  This oneness with and in God

  is affirmed and clarified

  in scripture: 

  "For by these He has granted 

  to us His precious and 

  magnificent promises, 

  so that by them 

  you may become 

  partakers of the divine nature..."

          2 Peter1:4

  "...your life is hidden 

  with Christ in God."

         Collassians 3:3

  In this centered Oneness 

  we see God gazing at us 

  in delight.

  We accept 

  that gaze, 

  that seeing.

  We join it.

  We see as 

  we are seen 


   The Love 

  Who Is God

This is so clear in

my little grandson.

His parents spend 

lots of attention 

gazing at him in love, 

smiling in delight.

Little as he is, 

he gets it - literally!

He gets their

delighted gaze 

so really that he joins in, 

and all smiles, 

gazes back at them.

It's a mutuality, 

a shared vision,

couple and child,

"a delight to see you"

times two unto


At the deepest level,


Through Paul we see how 

our eyes open to God 

and God's seeing:

  "We don't yet see things clearly.

   We're squinting in a fog,

   peering through a mist.

   But it won't be long before 

   the weather clears and

   the sun shines bright!

   We'll see it all then, 

   see it all as clearly 

   as God sees us, 

   knowing him directly 

   just as he knows us!

   But for right now, 

   until that completeness,

   we have three things to do 

   to lead us toward 

   that consummation: 

   Trust steadily in God, 

   hope unswervingly, 

   love extravagantly. 

   And the best 

   of the three is love."

1 Corinthians 13: 12-13

     The Message

Living and looking 

    like that

we'll see things 

so wonderfully 

real and right.

We'll progressively 

see as God sees,

sharing God's sight.

That will mean 

we bask secure in

God's delighted gaze 

        at us.

God approved, we are 

self-accepting, delighted.

No need "to act out"

or "act up" trying 

to prove anything 

or get approval. 

Seeing as one with God

we see others, nature, 

all creation, as they are 

in God and in God's sight.

We see them in their 

fundamental freshness,

purity and goodness.

We also see 

evil and perversion 

violating this beautiful creation.

We see people and nature

suffering that.

We see them and other people 

working to right it.

We see them as agents of 

God's redemption and salvation 

- the work of loving recreation.

There's marvelously more to see.

Next week let's look closer 

at seeing as we open wide 

      the aperture 



  Our spiritual life is 

  Seeing Eye To Eye,

    Heart to Heart

     God and us,

taking all in together

and seeing all as together.




Thanks for the chance 

to take this look together.

       John Frank



    Please do invite 

    family, friends, 

    and colleagues 

    to take a look at  

   "frankly speaking"

 spirituality for the street


     See you next week.




Wednesday, December 1, 2021


Dear All of Us,

Trying to figure forward, we puzzle:

How do you get there from here?

It could be planning a trip, 

considering a career change, 

designing a project at work,

building a tree house for a child,

planning a dinner party.

The biggest of the big, of course, 

is how do we figure forward 

in life itself so that it turns out 

to be real, genuine, good, 

what it's meant to be.

"How do you get there from here?"

The night before he died

Jesus huddled with the team,

pulled them in tight,

a whole communion,

sharing with them and us

how to figure forward

so that life is real, genuine, good,

what it is meant to be, clarifying

How do you get there from here:

       "I am the way, 

        and the truth, 

        and the life;    

        no one comes 

        to the Father 

        but through me."

           John 14;6


So that's how to figure forward,

not just in our heads, 

but in our total selves, 

and all our living.

So that's how to be in community,

sharing life in the Kin-Domain,

the Rain of God's Way.

Jesus models and shares

how we get there from here.

We live him.

We have a way to go.

We have bedrock truth.

We have a life.

Out here on the street 

of everyday life

we go about it the way 

Jesus taught and lived,

how Jesus offers to live in us

in our here and now.

He is how we figure forward.

We live him.

He is our way of life

our grounding in truth itself,

the life that enlivens us.

Our value system, life style, 

work, relationships, recreation, 

are those of Jesus 

lived in the particulars of 

our here and now.

With us it's not just WWJD,

   What Would Jesus Do.

With us it's 

   What Jesus Wants To Do

in and through us.

Everything is involved.

What kind of housing we have.

What we drive.

What we ware.

What we do with 

our time and money.

What we do to work  

peace in our place.

What we do to reverence

the planet.

What of ourselves 

we share with others.

What forgiveness we ask and give.

What we read and watch.

What way we vote.

What we put into living

in a spiritual community.

What we let go of and 

allow God to in-fold us in 

the deepest of intimate love.

What disciplines and sacrifices 

we embrace to be open 

to God's Love coming to us and

to sharing God's Love with others.

What times and ways open us 

to a contemplative life.

Jesus figures us forward in life itself 

so that it turns out to be real, 

genuine, good, what it's meant to be.

In him, him in us, we fall in love,

we live love, we become love.

We love God, neighbor and self,

most personally and practically

moving forward out here 

on the street of everyday life.

That's how we get from our here 

to our forever there.

           So grateful we can 

             figure forward 


               John Frank

      See you next week here at

            frankly speaking

        spirituality for the street






We figure forward,

move on in life

immersed in the truth, 

the realness of Jesus.

That's how we connect with 

Ultimate Reality - God.

We come alive living 

the life that is Jesus.


Wednesday, November 24, 2021



Dear All of Us,

    "Wait a minute"

is usually a lot more wait 

than it is a minute.

We're a 

       "Hurry Up," 

       "Right Now" 

       "Amazon Prime"

kind of people and waiting scores  

a minus million and more with us.

Yet wait we do on checkout lines

behind sweet souls slowly doling out

wads of coupons, at the airport,

in the doctor's office, trying to get 

our new phone to be smart,

pondering ever more portals, 

waiting for over-stayed company 

to go home so we can go to bed.

Waiting is part and parcel of life.

It's woven into the deepest depths

of our experience all the way out 

to being stuck in traffic.

As such it is very much 

a dimension of our spiritual lives.

Let's wait a bit here and Soul Sense

The Spirituality of Waiting.

Waiting tells us to be in 

the here and now as they are, 

not as we demand they be.

It's a reality check,

a humility billable.

Waiting means presence

to what is, as is, 

preferred or decidedly not.

Waiting is participation in

God's Eternal Just Now 

as it is manifest in this moment 

of our awareness of it.

God is transtemporal and 

paradoxically quite "timely."

God simply 


God is 


What's going on in our 

time-bound perception of it 

is real and really limited.

Waiting means dealing with 





as it occurs in our experience of 

          Right Now

Waiting overrides our 

clocks and calculations.

Waiting means being there

as there is just now.


may be the unfolding of 

    God's Creation

    in our just now 

    and require waiting

    of us.

We wait nine months 

for birth.

We wait a season 

for crops to mature.

Look at the wait as 

the Grand Canyon 

was carved out.

Humanity waited 

millions of years 

to begin understanding 

a bit of astrophysics.


may be the evolution 

of persons and peoples and

mean protracted waiting.

Sarah waited a long time 

to conceive.

The enslaved Israelites 

waited generations to be freed 

and forty more years 

trying to get their 

spiritual GPS functional.

We wait to find our life mate.

Most of us wait a long time 

to see and accept

God's Unlimited Love of us and 

God's Unlimited Love as 

the true dimension of our being,

the bedrock of Actuality.

We're still waiting to get 

Church right and real.

We wait bushels of 

years and experience

to mellow into maturity.

Worldwide we are in 

a dangerously long wait 

to structure our common life on

The Common Good.


may mean waiting in 

a very bad place 

or circumstance

as health and justice 

get worked out.

See Jesus on the cross.

See the months it took waiting

for a Covid vaccine.

See the waiting still 

to admit and correct the evils 

of genocide and enslavement.

See the waiting for a loved one 

to work free of addiction.

Oh yes and for sure,

The Spirituality of Waiting

is dealing with 

what is,

as is, 

in our just now.

It means seeing 

where God is in it

and where we are 

with God in it.

So we pray for all those

stuck with us in traffic.

We stick with our life mates 

in their spin outs. 

We wait it out with 

the forty something at work

who has the emotional maturity 

of a six year old.

We stay the course with

our church that is more

institution than

a community in Love.

We stay open with ourselves 

even when we shut down in sin,

waiting for a season of strength,

of restoration, and of freshness.

Things negative and things positive

require that we wait it out 

as God works it out with us 

and our world.

It means a lot more wait than 

just a minute.

But then we have forever 



Thanks for waiting it out 

through this less than sexy part of 

spirituality for the street.

Out here with you on the waiting line,

                John Frank


           "Wait for the Lord; 

            be strong, 

            and let your heart 

            take courage; 

            wait for the Lord."

              Psalm 27:14




            Every good wish

        as many of us celebrate


      I am deeply thankful for you 

      and our weekly sharing here at

                 frankly speaking

       spirituality for the street.

        This posting marks our 

           fifth anniversary.

         Over these five years 

        we have had community

        with sisters and brothers 


        one hundred homelands.

           That's not a boast.

            That' a blessing.

              Thank You!

           See you next week.

            I can hardly wait.


            frankly speaking

        spirituality for the street



Wednesday, November 17, 2021


 Dear All of Us,


"Build Longer Tables

 Not Higher Walls"

    Jose Andres

Jose pegs it perfectly.

Sadly, many don't,

can't, wont.

We're more and more 

walled in and walled out.

We have walls 

within walls and 

walls around walls 

and they just keep 

getting higher 

and higher,

harder and harder-











    health care ones,

    red ones,

    blue ones,

    school board ones,

    environmental ones...

The Body Public 

is fractured into 

walled segments 

of isolation.

And they are getting

more and more 


Things have gotten 

exceedingly dangerous.

We cannot go on like this 

if we are to go on at all!

It's just that terrible 

and potentially terminal.

It's walled hells

of our devising.

The tragedy of our

plight and peril

right now is that

we are like fingers 

that insist on 

being severed  

and independent 

from the body 

and we wonder

why we hurt and

why we are in danger.

That throws us into panic.

So we wall and weaponize 

ourselves in and others out.

It doesn't have to be so.

There is another way if we will 

         accept it, 

         embrace it, 

         share it,

         live it.

It is the only way.

It is the only way.

It means recognizing

the powerful, spectacular 

paradox and goodness 

that we are 

  unique in unity

  That's bedrock,

  ultimate reality,

    The Reality 

        that is 


 and that we are in


   with all that is.

We are not free floating

entities unto ourselves.

We are individual 

presences of the


that is God and 

 "God is love."

  1 John 4:8

We hear Jesus anew: 

"I am the vine.

You are the branches."

     John 15:5

Same life shared 

in different ways.


Either we are 

in God as God is, 

or we fail and fall 

into nothingness.

We are created 

    by Love,

    in Love,

    for Love,

unique in unity

Asked what is the

foremost commandment,

Jesus said,

"The first in impotence is 

 'Listen Israel:

 The Lord your God is one

 so love the Lord your God 

 with all your passion 

 and prayer and 

 intelligence and energy.' 

 And here is the second:

 'Love others as well as 

  you love yourself.'

  There is no other 


  that ranks with these."

     Mark 12; 29-31

      The Message


Our only reality is to be 

passionate lovers of God

and all that is in God.

Instead of walling in and out,

we joyfully build 

ever longer tables of loving,

vigorous inclusion

where we feast together 

in our shared life and love.

We delight in taking our place

at the table and making room 

for every other one of us in 

          THE ONE

         that is God.

The only way to save 

people and planet 

is to get passionate in


   Then One in the

   Love Who Is God,

we cannot sever, slice 

and box into nothingness

ourselves nor others.

So we welcome 

every sort of person 

to the table just as 

the sort of person 

we are is welcomed.

Once we catch on, 

fire up, we sizzle 

as we welcome 

to the table of shared,

practical daily life 

     the brilliant

     the hurt,

     the gifted,

     the different,

     the black, brown and white,

     the understood and the puzzling,

     the newborn to the dying,

     the quiet and the exuberant,


         unique in our unity

Politicians, pundits, 

power brokers,

popularity, riches, 

military might

can't save 

people and planet.

Only passionate lovers can

as we keep extending 

the family table, freely, 

vigorously sharing 

everyday life.

In reflective prayer 

we see how to be and do that,

how to extend the 

table of fellowship:

     - how re-orientate 

       our reference points

       understanding and practices

     - how this passionate loving

       shapes our life style

       and activities

     - how we deal with the difficult,

     - how we gather in those lost

       in loneliness and pain.

     - how we welcome 

       our polar opposites

       in a mutuality of enterprise

     - how red and blue blend 

        to royal purple

     - how we seek spiritual guidance

       and community

     - how we champion justice

       in our daily doings

     - how to fully free creativity 

       in ourselves and each other

Our current walled off world 

is not far from collapse.

Do let's see that.

We are invited into 

full fellowship with all in 


to passionate loving.

Do let's see that.

We are privileged

to build to ever longer tables 

of inclusion and communion

and exuberant creativity.

All this is far from 

light and feel good fluff.

It is far from a game of

Trivial Pursuits or a

spirituality hobby.

It's dead serious, 

or it's life real.

As it says in Deuteronomy,

  " I lay before you 

    life and death...

    Choose life

    so that you and 

    your children may live..."

     Deuteronomy 13:19

    "Build Longer Tables

     Not Higher Walls."


  Happy to be sitting here 

        next to you!

           John Frank


For Reflection::

        Please see 

    Marcella Kribal's 


for her beautiful painting

  "Build Longer Tables

   Not Higher Walls"

If you have time and interest,

please Google Jose Andres

and see the wonderful ways

he builds longer tables.


   A heartfelt welcome 

      to our visitors.

  Thanks for joining in

          here at

       frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street


Wednesday afternoons

East coast USA time



Sign Up top online version


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  Looking forward to us all 

  being together here at the table

  next week.










Wednesday, November 10, 2021



Dear All of Us,

My daughter caught a cold.

When nursing six month old

Ollie The Younger,

she puts on a mask.

A plus health-wise, 

but not so otherwise.

Ollie loves being held 

and nourished by his Mom.

He also delights 

in looking at her

and her looking at him.

        Love Look

So, Ollie started reaching up

trying to pull away the mask.

The wisdom of the pure.

With a significant twist,

there's a reverse parallel 

in our spiritual lives.

We love being in 

   God's embrace. 

We delight in our

    Face to Face

    Love Look

God to us, us to God.

But masks get in the way.  

The terrible twist is that

God isn't masked at all, 

but we too often 

fabricate masks 

that we then impose 

on God or ourselves.

(Technically, well really,

it's idolatry - fashioning 

our own version of God and 

our presence and openness

to God as God "IS"

and we actually are ).

Those masks frustrate our 

face to face love with God.

They come in all sorts of 

sizes and compositions.

What kinds of masks 

do we and our culture 

put in front of God's face

or our face?

It would be freeing 

to regularly look in 

our spiritual mirrors.

Some examples:

 - Civil Religion, 

   God masked in a flag.

 - Dense Denims of "Ism"  - 

   me-ism, militarism, 


 - Drapings of superficial,

   surface preoccupation 

   and stimulation

   in our life styles,

   dulling to opaqueness.

- Framing God in overly dogmatic, 

  ritual laden religion.

- Self serving feel good religion.

Just a few mask types that  block

         Love Look

Let's take a radically real look

at how we and our culture 

haze over God and our

readiness for clear channel 

        Love Look

Let's do as Ollie does -

pull away those maskings

that get in the way.

Then we can clearly see 

to share in God's 

       Love Look 


Love isn't a controlled or

camouflaged encounter.

Love is face to face 

union and rapture


   "God is love."

  ( 1 John 4:8 )

So we pray and follow

the lead of the psalmist:

"You have said,

 "Seek my face."

  My heart says to you, 

 "Your face Lord, 

   do I seek."

      For sure!

   ( Psalm 27:8 )

       The Lord bless us 

       and keep us;

       The Lord make his face 

       shine upon us,

       and be gracious to us;

       The Lord lift 

       his countenance 

       upon us,

       and give us peace"

        (Adaptation of

       Numbers 6:24-26)

           John Frank

       frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street


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