Thursday, February 4, 2021



Dear All of Us,

No doubt about it.

"You had to be there."

And was I ever!

Saturday morning,

May 31, 1969,

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Newark, NJ

In the midst of that magnificent gothic structure

and in the richness of ancient ritual,

my name was called out 

as one to be ordained a priest.

Before Archbishop Thomas A. Boland

and the throng gathered I responded 


          (I am present)

      "You had to be there."

         And was I ever!

That's how it is with prayer.

     Prayer is Presence.

       God and we are 

profoundly present to each other.  

        For both it is 


      (I am present)

The presence is so powerful 

that where one ends and the other begins 

are blended to insignificance with the intimacy.

From the moment God 

     - The Creative Source and Base of WHAT IS -

shares us into being we are totally present to God - to The Good.

What we call prayer is our catching on to that

and being ever more purely present/given to that Goodness.

We wake to it.

We respond to it.

We embrace to embrace.

It's presence.

Presence is Prayer.

What paradox is at play here.

Our creation is God emanating in the person we are.

The Being, The Existence, The Energy, The "Is-ness",

The Love, The Mystery that we call God is dynamic 

and thus we are.


We are what God is as a ray is what the sun is.

As Bonaventure spoke the paradox:

            " You are not God 

         and you are not not God."

As we clear to consciousness of this we sense and delight

in the mutuality of our presence to each other -

a presence, a Oneness, closer than any lovers ever know.

The presence that is prayer means we don't have to find God.

          "God is closer to us than we are to ourselves."  


That's what we have to find out and find ourselves in that presence.

           " I am as sure as I live that nothing is so near 

             to me as existence depends 

             on the nearness and the presence of God."

                                                             Meister Eckhart

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

                                                             Acts 17:28

            " I live now not I but Christ lives in me."

                                                             Galatians 2:20

Prayer means we become aware of where, who and how we really are -

        God happening in the one we are.


Out on the street of everyday living this presence unto mutuality

plays out in all the actualities and practicalities of our days.

Whatever the circumstances, the activities, the being and doing

of those days can be prayer, can be

                presence times two unto One

Prayer Presence plays out wherever and however we are:

   driving, working, paying bills, raising kids, 

   working for social and environmental justice,

   going to church, enjoying some fine wine with good friends,

   bearing the results of disorder and distress caused by 

   the refusal to wake to embrace, being lost in the beauty of nature and art, 

   in the quiet of meditation, in the trance of holy stillness...

   all of it present to God and accepting God's presence to us.

   However it is and happens, we live out as One our  


                          to God and 



                              to us.


                     Prayer Is Presence.

Because we too often fall asleep to Rock Reality, 

fail to be fully present to it, 

present to God in our waking hours, 

we need to regularly pause to "pray",

to reawake, respond a new, embrace the Embrace afresh.

Our Prayer Life is simply a Life of Shared Presence.

God is already in and with us - present.

We offer ourselves completely to God - present.

Prayer Presence certainly means times of quiet, mystical union.

Prayer Presence certainly means lextio divina.

Prayer Presence certainly means a contemplative seeing.

Prayer Presence certainly means meditation.

Prayer Presence certainly means shared vocal prayer and worship ritual.

Prayer Presence certainly means we companion each other, 

              are present together to What IS: 

    awake, asleep, in mystic moments, changing diapers, 

    walking in the fields, watching children teach us how to play, 

    full tilt at doing our life's work, 

    one with One as we participate in God's creative explosion of Love   

            -  the Big Bang in our right now  -

    just being in Being, greeting others on the sidewalk, 

    caring for the young and the old, befriending a poor or minority family

    and happy to have them over for dinner and games, 

    getting lost in scripture, putting energy into nurturing community, 

    sticking with that absolutely obnoxious so and so in our extended family,

    joining a singing group, asking old timers about the old days 

    and staying attentive for the next long time while they do just that, 

    hosting a spirituality sharing group, and..., well, 

    intimately present in each other we fill in the blanks to Fullness.

All that can mean moments of ecstasy, struggle, distraction, creativity,

pain, boredom, fascination, achievement, failure - 

the whole enchilada of Right Now Rock Reality Living.

At times we are thinking about presence.

At times we are too busy living it to be thinking about it.

Prayer is living all that so present to the God-Me that we are One

in our distinctive, unique selves.

It's paradoxical.

It's presence.

It's prayer.

It's our lived 


Thanks for this time together.

                 John Frank

Speaking of "together", we had first time visitors 

from Lebanon this week. Welcome and we pray 

for your country in its travail.

To you and all new here, please come and stay.

How great to be present to each other in The Presence.

              "frankly speaking"

              spirituality for the street

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