Thursday, January 28, 2021



Dear All of Us,

Holy Cow!!

For me it looks like insomnia is here to stay. 

Guess it comes with the pile up of years.

So be it.

Come to find out, though, insomnia can actually be

a rather holy experience - a Soul Surprise and that for sure.

           There are many modes to 

                 Holy Insomnia 

                a few examples

"read pray" - "art pray"  -"ponder pray" - 

"gaze pray" - "still pray" - "people pray" -

"poetry pray" - 'music pray " - "study pray" -

For me last night's Holy Insomnia opened into 

                    "Pen Pray" 

It started like all prayer - calming into God's embrace.

As that gentled into awareness of Oneness,

there was this quiet sense that it would be good 

to write as a way to open free flow.

There was something of a cascade of clarity through it.

Please allow me to share what I experienced.

It's unique, personal, and like me, "spacious". 

That may present as "spacey" I admit. 

So, if you're game, let's go.

I have formatted what follows

in hopes of an easier read.

Otherwise it is not at all edited. 

It's this then it's that.

In the God Togetherness 

of the prayer that it was, 

a whole string of graces flowed forth. 

Some sequence.

Plenty of tangents and jumps elsewhere.

It went where it went and I went with it

heart, mind, soul and pen.

I didn't compose.

I noted what was noticed.

We were in a flight over the spiritual terrain.

It was like seeing the skyline of New York 

and the plains of the Midwest

and the peaks of the Rockies 

and the peace of the Pacific

in a wonderful flight of light.

It all started and was sparked by 

an advertising tag line from Xfinity:

      "the future is awesome"

Let's see what you and The Spirit do with it.

Please know it will take 

a lot of editing and personalizing

in your own prayerful God Togetherness.

Please take time with all this admittedly rather rarified reflection.

Please come at it in an occasional and unhurried manner 

over the next stretch of your 

                         "ponder pray"

                    be that day or night.

May this experience of mine encourage you to allow for

"pen pray" if The Spirit suggests it to you.

May some of what was pen prayed here 

pray us forth and fuller. 



                                        12:39 AM 


                                         January 24, 2021

      "the future is awesome."

Well sure it is.

So are the past and the present 

     - an awesome trinity -

however we experience and reference 

         The Always Now

We tend to do that by

measuring motion/movement.

Yet they are but pulsations 

in the swirl of 

             All That

               "IS "

        The Always Now.

It's like driving down the Big Sur 

or strolling through Longwood Gardens. 

We aren't ready to take it all in at once, 

          but the Big Sur 

              " IS "

           all at once 

and so are the Longwood Gardens.

As we widen more to the Fullness of

             All That

             " IS "

       The Always Now

 we are still paradoxically 

     partial and particular

     in our perception of  it.

In mystical moments, though, 

boundaries and differentiation

       relax and blend in 

            All That

            " IS "

The fire of Love melts 

moment and motion,

releases us ever more 

to the vastness of 

            " IS "

     The Always Now

That intensity of Love 

is like fire vaporizing 

the containment of elements.

We are very much 

in a place,

at a time,

in a way.

Way more so 

we are beyond all such in the 

              All of One

          The Always Now

 We are like a town - bound child 

 become world traveler.

The spiritual life is like a baby growing up 

to be a cross country runner.

In the beginning we have to get on our feet,

then practice steps (prayer, meditation, discipline, giving).

We get a move on.

Growing and going ever freer and faster 

we move into the sweep and sway 

of a euphoria not limited to those particulars.

We experience more of 

            All That 

             " IS "

       The Always Now

The mystic makes supper.

The mystic makes love.

Making supper becomes

making love in

   The Always Now

While we are on this earth 

we see and sense,

we experience and understand,

we describe, 

more and more of existence.

Eventually we realize 

it's all but a peep hole

to the limitless vastness of 

            All That

             " IS "

       The Always Now

Thomas Aquinas - a classic example.

That genius of seeing and saying what

                 " IS "

     at the end of his days said:

      " All that I have written 

        is so much straw."

The more we know of God, of what 

                   " IS "

the more we know there is endlessly more, 



Our now is an awakening in

     The Always Now

It's like that old, mellow fellow 

saying to his son:

" After all these years  

  I really don't understand your mother, 

  but boy do I ever love her."

After a while we stop trying to figure and control

and we just let God go nuts on us

as we go nuts on God

in the marriage bed of pure, simple, 

            All That

             " IS "

       The Always Now

In the early days God gives us all sorts of toys and tools,

showing us how to play and ply creation with him.

In the later days little by little 

God takes away those toys and tools, stills us for, 

well happily there are no words for it.

We get stripped to nothing,

readying for everything, for 

               ALL THAT 

                 " IS " 

The darker the night the better to see the night lights.

Holy Insomnia, waking up from much to much more of 

                           All That

                            " IS "

                     The Always Now


Well, if you're still there and my insomnia hasn't put you to sleep,

thanks for your good company, and do you take sugar 

with your coffee??!!

Welcome to all new to our weekly gathering here.

This week we had a first time visit from folks in

the Dominican Republic.  Wonderful! Again, 



                        "frankly speaking"

                     spirituality for the street

(though it was more up in the air than on the street this week)

- it is posted by mid-day Thursday

  east coast USA time

- is available by automatic email deliver each Friday

  sign up top right above

- past posting are available at

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 Wherever you are, however you are,

 how wonderful that we are together

          in the Mystery of 

               All That

                " IS "

         The Always Now

         Holding us all in

      The Love Who Is God

             John Frank


       See you next week!!





Thursday, January 21, 2021


Dear All of Us,

So, how do you do with the "Diddly Does" of daily life?
You know, all those pesky, practical, little didly things that demand doing.
Things like 
              paying bills 
              balancing the checking account
              taking out the garbage
              returning a library book before it's overdue
              filling out forms - lots of them 
              deleting the daily barrage of bothersome emails and robocalls
              remembering each of your 2,900 passwords
              returning a defective product

To tell the truth, they annoy the liv'n heck out of me.
It's like being stuck in the minors when your ready for major league living.
Bring on the majors:  
              time of quiet prayer and reflection 
              reading a good novel 
              a walk in the woods 
              a dinner party with close friends
              an afternoon helping at a homeless shelter
              time with a spiritual director
              an organ concert at The National Cathedral
I want to be swept up into God and the beauties of God's creation - the majors.
The heck with the minors and trying to fill out 
that incomprehensible form requesting past medical records!!

Well, speaking of records, Evelyn Underhill sets the record straight, and me too.

She was a deeply spiritual and soul savvy woman, an English mystic who died in 1941, She was beautifully, fully into real major league living:

               "Never let yourself think that because God has given you 
                many things to do for Him...pressing routine jobs, 
                a life filled up with duties and demands of a very practical sort -
                that all these need separate you from communion with Him.
                God is always coming to you in the 
                Sacrament of the Present Moment.
                Meet and receive Him there with gratitude in that sacrament;
                however unexpected its outward form may be receive Him
                in every sight and sound, joy, pain, opportunity and sacrifice."

                              Life as Prayer and Other Writings
                     ( Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse, 1991, page 186 )

She saw that what's ranked minor league scores major league wins.

In the words of those 70's and so cool commercials for Mennen Skin Bracer,

                                   "Thanks. I needed that!"

I needed to be reminded that not only is God in major league  moments,
but every bit as much in those in pesky, daily and truly divine

                                       DIDDLY DOES

                                           Gotta go. 
                             Time to take out the garbage.

                           Thanks for your good company.

                                 In The Love Who Is God

                                         John Frank


      A heartfelt welcome to all joining in here for the first time.
This week we had our first ever visit from the country of Jamaica.
We are blessed here at

                                  "frankly speaking"
                              spirituality for the street

      It is posted on Thursday by mid-day, east coast USA time

      It is available by automatic email delivery each Friday - 
                                 sign up above right

      It offers past postings at Blog Archive, bottom right column

                Have a great week. See you next posting.



Thursday, January 14, 2021


      This is the twelfth

          and final 

    of our ongoing series


           living out

 The Sermon On The Mount

     Matthew 5:1 - 7:28


Dear All of Us,

So, how about this?

It seems some of the rich and famous 

among us here in the States

are buying up country villas in Italy

and applying for Italian citizenship.

Nice work if you can get it!!

For sure that's top of the line 

dual citizenship.

Come to think of it, 

we of more modest means and of lesser note 

also have something of a dual citizenship.

We live at once in two zones.

They are named and 

experienced variously:

  - the sacred and the secular

  - Empire and the Kingdom of God

 - the world and the reign of God

They overlap and intertwine.

That can trip us up.

Country and commerce 

can become a national religion,

flag and finance for cross.

Or it can flip us the opposite way

into bunker religion, 

disengaged and isolated.

All this gets dicey doubled.

That's because it's impossible to be 

         total to two.

That goes for love of person

or allegiance to domain.

    A split heart means a death.

   "You cannot serve two masters."

Jesus prioritized domain/citizenship

by word and example. He lived 

       Kingdom Life 

simply, generously, 

redeeming damaged potential,

intimate with Abba, caringly close to all,

drawing separateness to union. 

He did that in an occupied country under

unjust, corrupt, violent domination.

He dealt with it, but he didn't 

pledge allegiance to it.

He did not worship at Empire's altar of ultimate.

Heart and soul he lived and preached 

     The kingdom of God.

He didn't try to reform the system.

Empire cannot be reformed.

It can be replaced by Kingdom. 

Until then live Kingdom in the midst of Empire.

That's what Jesus did.

He stopped for red lights and paid his taxes for sure, 

but his life and alligence was centered in

           The Kingdom Of God.

    "Render unto Caesar the things 

      that are Caesar's and unto God 

      the things that are God's." 

He spoke Kingdom Life in word and living.

He prayed to Abba that

       "Thy kingdom come on earth 

        as it is in heaven." 


This is where we come in.

This is where we accept or reject.

This is where we kick into gear or stall out.

And it's hard because most of us grew up 

in terribly compromised churches

that didn't even know they were.

Before ever Constantine stole the church

and sold it to Empire,

the Gospel had been shrunk

to a sliver of itself, passed off 

   - as ideas (doctrines)

     - a belonging system -

     club membership

       active or otherwise, 

       but dues paid,

     - prescribed practices (ritual),

    - a spirituality of personal salvation 

      and private piety.

We have a lot of religion

(Richard Rohr recently termed it

 "Junk Religion," as in junk food -

feel good but not good for healthy living).

A "step back and take a good look" survey 

of many religions sadly sees little actual, for real, 

sweaty, sweet Kingdom spirit 

and the "go for broke" living of it.

Hey, that's a bit challenging!

OK, it's darn strong!

Sure is and we need to face the flaw.

Just check out The Sermon on the Mount

and see how close many-most religions come to it.

It's the gold standard.

It is Jesus' description of disciples alive 

in the Kingdom now and to come. 

We do well to check our priorities, 

our values, our life styles.

Where do we really land and live?

Where is our allegiance and primary citizenship?

Kingdom Life is to be lived right here, right now

in the midst of Empire, radically and really so.

It means big time change in valuation and practice.

It means being counter cultural and taking hits for it

It means coming at life angled by the Beatitudes

not poetically but practically: 

     - simple, uncomplicated (poor in spirit), 

     - non stressed and non stressing (meek),

     - working to get people, place, and

       society turned right and real (righteous),

     - always giving others a break (merciful),

       knowing it'll ultimately come back at us, 

     - putting the pieces back together

       rather than slamming everything and one

       to pieces (peacemaker),

    - taking it on the chin, in the gut, 

      even in the pocketbook, 

      working to right wrong (persecutions)

It means being changed and being a change agent -

     "salt of the earth, light of the world" - 

     "disciple different" and it shows.

It means allowing God to convert the energy of anger 

      to the dynamic of love, 

     hurt experienced to healing returned

     (anger management, non retaliation). 

It means honest plain talk true -

     "Yes, Yes, or No, No",

     not the phony, slick takes and double talk 

     of advertisers, bureaucrats and politicians.

It means loving the socks off the people 

     who would steal the shirt off you back,

     those who plague - pillage us the most.

It means prayerful intimacy with Abba.

It means stock piling in the bank of share and gift

     not with running after Chase or Bank of Anything.

    "For where your treasure is, 

     there your heart will be also."

It means not being a Worry Waste,

     addictively stockpiling stuff.

It means being in Kingdom flow 

    and trusting Abba to provide.

   "But strive first for the kingdom of God 

       and his righteousness 

     (his getting things "righted")

          and all these things

            (our real needs) 

       will be given to you as well."

It means the deal of a lifetime.

      "Don't judge, so that 

       you may not be judged."

       (after the way I've lived, I'm all in!!).

It means the best you want in life 

       is just exactly what you do for others.

      "Do unto others..."

       You'll become the gift you give.

It means being more than talk.

It means being the real deal.

      "Not everyone who says to me

      'Lord, 'Lord'

      (will be in on the win)

      ...but only the one who does 

      the will of my Father..."

Yes, in some ways we have Dual Citizenship,

but in all reality we have only one real homeland,

The Kingdom of God.

Jesus invites us in and active.

He shows and tells how good it is, our


oh so good for sure,

             John Frank



    to our first timers here at

       "frankly speaking"

    spirituality for the street

- it is posted by mid-day on Thursday

  east coast USA time

- is available by email delivery on Friday

  sign up above right

- past postings are available from

  Blog Archive

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   "The Kingdom of God 

    is among you."

          Luke 17:21


Again I ask prayer for us here in the USA.

We are in crisis.

Please pray that we may move free from

these times of turmoil.

Counting on you!




Thursday, January 7, 2021



Dear All of Us,

As little kids we knew just what to do and where to go.

When a terrifying dream would wake us up in the middle of the night

we'd do a quick "get go" right 


to Mon and Dad's room and safety.

They'd have us hop in bed with them, 

hold and hug us as we cried out our plight.

Embraced and snuggle steadied, we calmed.

Mom or Dad would carry us back to our bed.

Tenderly tucked in, we had our parent resting right next to us.

We were lulled into restful sleep -the gentle cadence of a story softly told, 

our hair stroked, the recitation of the rosary, a soothing song - calmed to peace. 

We were safe and secure in our parents' presence.

Their strength was ours.

Lately we big kids have suffered scary dark nights of soul and society.

We have been terrorized - nightmares of disease, confinement,

curtailment, civility and governance demonized, social disorder,

instability all round and Mom and Dad aren't just 

               DOWN THE HALL

Some of us are in denial.

Some of us just simply say and show it.

Camouflaged by denial or not, 

we are weary, worried, scared, disoriented. 

There is a longing for answers, for safety, 

for a return to a past normal 

that down deep we know we'll never have.

Even if things lighten up, we now and painfully realize that  

we stand on a trap door of insecurity 

and that it can fall out from under us any time.

That's the biggest "dis-ease" of our PanProblems.

Social order can corrode and crumble.

The lies we've been told by a sanitized history

are "outed", hard as heck to hear, see, admit.

We have to face our social construct exposed:

genocide, enslavement, racial abuse,

financial inequity, the hoodwink and hoax of capitalism, 

the binge of materialism and consumption, 

political corruption and the prospect of despotism,

a tower of ideological Babel tipping to conflict and chaos,

our planet plundered, microbes that can cripple at will, 

media that egregiously misinforms.

For all those monster nightmares, though,

we big kids do know what to do and where to go. 

          It means a real "get go" 

              DOWN THE HALL

                  of living

to the Source and Center of all that is -

seeking sheer Reality, seeking rock solid Truth and Security.

It means stabilizing by a radical personal and social reorientation -

it's go deep spiritually or stay in the dark alone 

and come unmoored and cascade to chaos.

Routine religiosity won't do - never really has.

It doesn't have enough tread on its tires

to grip the road of REAL and be a "go."

And so we do go, hop in, snuggle up.

  We're welcome and wanted.

       "Are you tired? 

        Worn out?

        Burned out on religion?

        Come to me.

        Get away with me 

        and you'll recover your life.

        I'll show you how to take a real rest.

       Walk with me and work with me -

       watch how I do it.

       Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

       I won't lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you.

       Keep company with me 

       and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."


                Matthew 11: 28- 30

                    The Message

                    That's what's 

                 DOWN THE HALL

              from our nightmares.

It reminds me of some farm families I've meet in Kentucky

and the Amish families I've seen in Pennsylvania.

There is a slow steady to the rhythm of life.

They bond closely, generationally.

They secure each other.

They model and mentor for the young.

The elders share lived wisdom.

The young spill with energy and enthusiasm.

They do it all this better and different than most, much of both.

They're radically rooted in The Real and they live it.

It's a fine analogy for what Jesus is ready to give us.

It means we need to "come" to him - 

a definitive "get go" from the dark of our terror

to his welcome embrace.

It means getting away from the phony bologna 

of arrogant surface rush, grab and stress.

We really will "Get A Life" - God's.

It makes a radical difference.

Like good down to earth and up to heaven farm parents,

Jesus paces us as we walk and work daily living with him,

watching how he does it revealed to us in

scripture, meditation and prayerful reflection.

We catch the Rhythm of Real.

We aren't loaded down with unreal values and practices. 

In company with him, we learn to live freely and fully,

not burdened with the lies and pressures of Empire and ego,

no matter the fright that threatens.

We many not have it easy or trouble free.

We will have strength and stability in the Community of Real.

So we "come" to Jesus.

We come in the genuine closeness of unitive prayer.

We come in a spiritual community of difference.

We come in the slow savoring of the Gospel

and letting The Spirit speak it, apply it in our here and now,

however trying the times.

It's a conversion to a life that will hold up here and lift to heaven,

one not standing on a trap door of ultimate insecurity.

We are safe and secure in God's Presence.

God's strength is our strength.

Yes, we are weary and warn down.

Yes, we've had the trap door 

of social and functional insecurity 

sprung out from under us. 

Yes, we have day and night frights and fears aplenty,

personal and collective.

Yes we can't control much of the conflict and chaos

that scares and terrorizes us.

AND YES, we are stabilized in the midst of instability.

Not easy nor comfortable,

but rock real.

We can be real in the throes of terrifying unrealness.


All of the above was composed beginning last Friday ( 01-01-21).

As I type this late Wednesday afternoon (01-06-21)

the capital here in Washington is under siege.

Our way of shared life, The Common Good, is being raped.

This is not how we are family, how we are in all this together.

There is evil loose in the land.

That trap door of insecurity has sprung open 

yet again and more - horrifically so.

And yes we big kids know just what to do and where to go

to be steadied, center safe and secure at the real core.

I'm not sure how things are where you are and how you are.

I pray for you and us all world-wide.

to get past fear of difference.

Let's help each other be what in Reality we are,

and what sin denies - we are in all reality


Let's  pray and ponder the promise and power, 

not to escape, but to be enfolded, snuggled, 

secured and strengthened in Oneness with God.

Troubled we are.

Alone we are not.

Sure and steady we are

in the safety and strength just



In love and companionship,

         John Frank



We let The Spirit take us through 

the print on the page 

to the power and promise of scripture.

What do we hear at our deepest?

How can it be actual, practical, lived 

in our dangerous, freaky, frightening here and now?

- " Abide in me, and I in you...

     Just as the Father has loved me, 

     I have also loved you; 

     abide in my love."


                           John 15: 4 and 9

- " I am the way, the truth and the life..."


                               John 14: 6

- " Do not let your hearts be troubled; 

    believe in God, believe in me..."


                                John 14:1

- "... I live no longer I, but Christ lives in me..."


                              Galatians 2:20

- " In him we live and move and have our being."


                                Acts 17:28

- " ...That they may be one; just as we are one; 

    I in them and you in me..."


                                 John 17: 22-23


Welcome to our first time visitors.

You are a blessing to us.

Hope you will come back 

and stay with us here at

             "frankly speaking"

         spirituality for the street

- it is post each Thursday by mid-day

  east coast USA time

- email delivery is available Friday mornings

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- past posting are available at

  Blog Archive

  right column


  May we all blossom even if it's winter wherwe are planted.