Thursday, April 29, 2021


 Dear All of Us,

"You know what?"

More often than not,

that's way more 

a lead into a statement 

than a for real question.

It sure is right here, right now.

So, "You know what?

We each are a song 

God wants to sing.

In fact, we each are

a song that God 

can only sing through us.

Put another way,

we each are 

a unique incarnation of God.

God wants to happen as us.

Check the blueprint.

      "God created human beings;

       he created them godlike,

       Reflecting God's nature." (1)


We can take that one to the bank!

And we need to draw on that account

in multiples of many 

as we sing out /live out 

       God Sung Self

It takes truck loads of wisdom 

and tons of courage.

The negative that gets into us, 

and the negative that surrounds us, 

try to silence our song,

try to talk us out of ourselves.

Too often we fail falling for it:

    "Man's sin is his failure 

     to live what he is."(2)


It's essential that we be

       - who we are,

       - as we are,

       - where we are.

It's also and 

all so beautifully divine - literally.

To expand on The Bard,

"Who, how, where 

to be, or not to be;

that is the question."

How does God want 

to happen through us?

The wisdom and courage 

needed require 

depth awareness, 

radical honesty, real reflection, 

genuine prayer, honest counsel, 

heart heard scripture, 

constant currents of grace, 

topped with festive delight 

and robust joy in being 

      God Sung Self


As God Sung Self

some "Notes"

to note:

     -  do I understand and treasure

      my body type and 

      personality pattern?

   - what gifts and graces do I have?

   - where and how can they be 

     genuinely shared?

   - how does church and culture foster 

     who, how, where I am?

   - how do church and culture frustrate

     who. how, where I am?

   - am I willing to be unique

     in unity with others?

    - will I flex with ongoing 

     discernment of my

     who, how, where?

   - am I wise to the lies of 

     selfishness, materialism, 

     consumerism, egoism, 

     anemic religiosity,

     Empire in all its forms, 

     manifestation and disguises

   - will I see the evil I have done 

     and the evil done to me

     both erupting from false selves,

     limiting yet redeemable?


We have powerful models

of the wisdom and courage 

it takes to free into being

God Sung Self :

     - Abraham: he got a call back

       in retirement

     - Moses: he had to run away 

       to come back strong

     - Prophets: they spoke

       inconvenient truth and 

       the tab was often their lives    

    - Jesus: he held steady to his song 

       as a kid with the Temple Staff

       and his mom and dad 

       when he got home,

       in the reality check

       of his forty day desert retreat

       under pressures from family and followers 

       to tone down the theme and tempo of

       his God Sung Self,

       the challenge and opposition

       of upright, up tight 

       front office religious leaders,

       facing freight in the Garden of Gethsemane,

       and the horror of his public murder 

       by the local police

     - Paul: a real turn around guy

     - Augustine: did it wrong 

       in spades and with passion,

               got righted, 

       and did it real and right

       in spades and with passion

     - Francis: cut loose selfish ties 

       and soared to ecstatic heights

    - Gandhi and Mandela: jailed, beaten, 

      responded without bitterness and led

      revolutions in peace and love

    - My Mother: she grew deep spiritual roots 

      to hold herself and our family 

      steady and safe 

      right where and as we were

      in a troubled time and place

    - John Wesley: bucked the 

      established church, 

      saved England from social revolution 

      and opened a way to refreshed 

      personal and social holiness.

           So, here's to you,

            God Sung Self

              A Blessing

May God bless you with discomfort

At easy answers, half-truths,

and superficial relationships

So that you may live 

deep within your heart

May God bless you with anger

At injustice, oppression 

and exploitation of people,

So that you may work 

for justice, freedom and peace

May God bless you with tears

To shed for those who suffer 

pain, rejection, hunger and war,

So that you may reach out 

your hand to comfort them and

Turn their pain into joy

And may God bless you 

with enough foolishness

To believe that you 

can make a difference in the world

So that you do 

what others claim cannot be done

To bring justice and kindness

to all our children and the poor. (3)

  In God's Flat Out Joy,

       John Frank


(1) Genesis 1:26, The Message translation

(2) Abraham Heschel, I Asked for Wonder, p.43

(3) A Non-traditional Blessing, Sister Ruth Marlene Fox, OSB - 1985

           Greetings of welcome to our first time visitors.

           Also, this week a word of recognition for 

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           from  right here in the USA, 

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                       Hey, go ahead.

                      Let God sing you forth.

                      For God's sake be you.

                      Nobody else can do it.








Thursday, April 22, 2021


Dear All of Us,

Truth to tell 

and quite (John) frankly,

I am a lifelong, inveterate, 


My quirks are legion.

They come in all sizes and shapes.

On a scale of one to ten

I'm somewhere around fifty!!

Just ask my family and friends.

Transparency is all in these days, 

indeed de rigueur, 

so an example:

I have exactly two wardrobes.

At home it's grey shorts, 

blue tee shirt and soft slippers.

For church, the street and company,

it's khaki pants, light blue shirt,

dark blue sweater and sandals -

preferably L.L.Bean. 

That's it.

That's all and always.

If all that doesn't do it, 

there's more.

I simply must 

get everything done right away 

and I sleep with my toes uncovered.

So there!

I'm outed.

Being a tiny tad more "serious,"

one quirk that I just can't 

let go of is this. 

I like my friends 

to be friends with my other friends.

I just want to share the goodness 

by cross pollinating even though 

it often doesn't work.

Well, here goes a try at it.

Friends to friend.

Hope this works. 

A blessing in my life 

is to be befriended 

by Abraham Heschel 

through his writings.

    "He wrote seminal works 

     on the Bible, the Talmud, 

     medieval thought, 

     philosophy, hasidism, and

     contemporary moral problems. 

     He was a theologian, a poet, 

     a mystic, a social reformer, 

     and historian. Indeed, the best 

     of the whole tradition of Israel, 

     its way of thought and life, 

     found a unique synthesis in him. 

     Rooted in the most authentic sources 

     of Israel's faith, Heschel's audience 

     reached beyond creedal boundaries. 

     He was easily the most respected 

     Jewish voice for Protestants 

     and Catholics: his friendship 

     with Reinhold Niebuhr 

     was memorable and 

     his critical role at Vatican II 

     has yet to be described...

     The years since his passing, 

     far from dimming his person, 

     cast in ever brighter relief 

     the unique role he played 

     on the contemporary scene, 

     a role no Jew, 

     or Gentile for that matter, 

     has since filled. 

Rabbi Heschel sings to my soul

in a song of insights.

Two themes course through

the composition.

First :

I am convinced that 

to be a Christian 

we need to first be a Jew.

Jesus was Jewish.

Jesus lived as a Jew.

Jesus thought and taught as a Jew.

Jesus died a Jew.

To understand him, to follow him,

we have to join him in his Jewishness 

and go on with him from there.

To not know Jesus the Jew 

is to not know Jesus 

and how to take him.

Heschel so well connects us

to the Jewishness in which 

we meet and merge with Jesus.

Second :

He gives profound lead 

to the mystical journey,

lived in community,

seeking justice.

A few Soundings:


     "How shall I live the life I am?"

     "I did not ask for success;

       I asked for wonder.

       And You gave it to me."

      "Prayer is arrival at the border.

       The dominion is Thine.

       Take away from me

       all that may not enter

       Thy realm."

      "The essence of Jewish religious thinking 

       does not lie in entertaining a concept of God

       but in the ability to articulate a memory of

       moments of illumination by His presence.

       Israel is not a people of definers

       but a people of witnesses:

       'Ye are My witnesses' ( Isaiah 43: 10)"

       "To pray is to regain a sense of

       the mystery that animates 

       all beings..."


             - and this -


      "What message have you 

       for young people?" asked Carl Stern 

       of NBC in concluding 

       a television interview 

       with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel 

       shortly before his death.

       Rabbi Heschel replied: 

      "...Let them remember 

      that there is a meaning 

      beyond absurdity. 

      Let then be sure that 

      every deed counts, 

      that every word has power, 

      and that we all can do our share 

      to redeem the world in spite of 

      all the absurdities 

      and all the frustrations 

      and all the disappointments.

    "And, above all, (let them) build a life 

     as if it were a work of art." 

In the hope that you my friends 

may share a spiritual friendship 

with my friend, Rabbi Heschel,

through his writings,

a few sources follow.

Thanks for letting me Quirk away.

Hope the intro works 

to everyone's good.

To sign off this week here's one 

of my most cherished sharings

from Rabbi Heschel:   


             "Man is man because 

              something divine is at stake 

              in his existence."


              Your friend and brother,

                   quirks and all,

                    John Frank


The citations above are from

    I Asked for Wonder,

Crossroads, New York 1996

Also of great depth are

       Who Is Man?

Stanford University Press

Stanford, California 1965


      The Sabbath

The Noonday Press

Farrar, Straus and Ciroux

New York 1993


A warn welcome all the fine folks 

joining with us for the first time.

Also, a shout out to all those 

from all around our planet home 

who are so faithfully part of our

weekly spiritual community here.

Happily this week there was

a significant increase in our gathering.

Among the many, lets celebrate 

our brothers and sisters 

from Maldova and France. 


            Please share

        "frankly speaking"

    spirituality for the street

it is posted early Thursday mornings

east coast USA time

  (easily bookmarked)

an email version arrives Fridays

sign up for it is top right of the online version

retrieval of all past postings is available at

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Happily some quirks are also spiritual quarks.









Thursday, April 15, 2021




Each week our blogs 

are quite different in

scope, style and stretch.

Like people, 

some are long, 

some are short, 

some are full,

some are thin.

This week our blog

is long and full.

It delves deeply 

into the depths 

of our reality.

Please take time 

to gentle through it 

and the extensive 

addendum for ongoing 

reflection and prayer.

There is more than enough 

here for a week of

meditation and prayer.

"Festina lente" -

"Make haste slowly."


      John Frank



Dear All of Us,

"All together now!"

 After all,

"We're all in it together."

 And just as surely,

 together we are 



Yes, I sure as heck

do hear you:

      "Whence and why 

       this philosophical fog?"

Granted and for sure,

it's more than a bit much

for an opener.

But please don't let 

an opaque opener 

blackout our sharing together today. 

Let's move right through the fog.

We can then break into the brightness 

of a most fundamental

       Soul Secret.

It recasts our whole spiritual life

the deeper we fall into its reality.

So, just a bit more fog

before the bright.

Pulsations to particles,

particles to places,

places to planets.

Pulsations to proteins,

proteins to people,

people to peoples.

We - all that is - 

are not only

"Made of the same stuff."

We - all that is - 

all together are

the stuff of the same 



      that which 


       - God -

It's like the varied together 

of the ocean vast.

It swirls, ebbs and flows, 

currents coursing, crisscrossing -

an endless dynamic unity.

How we are in this 

Ocean of Existence just now

is much like a wave surging up 

from ocean depths.

It rolls, building, cresting, 

breaking, returning

to the ocean of itself.

We call it life span.

Yet the dynamic spans 

endlessly more than 

the how of any now.

At heart it's what some call 

death and resurrection,


eternal life.

We all do well to reverence 


as the Mystery of Existence.

Together being the 


that we are and are in

is variously voiced:

              John 1:1-5:

  "In the beginning was the Word, 

   and the Word was with God, 

   and the Word was God. 

   He was in the beginning with God. 

   All things came into being through him, 

   and without him not one thing came into being.

   What came into being in him was life,

   and the life was the light of all people.

   The light shines in the darkness, 

   and the darkness did not overcome it."

                   "...All things..."

                          "...In him..."

       So clearly and beautifully inclusive

            Existence "in" Existence


              Colossians 1: 15-17 

  "He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, 

   the firstborn of all creation;

   for in him all things in heaven 

   and on earth were created,

   things visible and invisible,

   whether thrones or dominations or rulers or powers-

   all things have been created through him and for him.

   He himself is before all thingsand

                  "... in him

                   all things 

                  hold together."

               Creation in Creator.

               Creator in Creation.

               Inclusive and Unitive.  



 "We are the same as plants,

  as trees, as other people, 

  as the rain that falls.

  We consist of that 

  which is around us,

       we are the same 

       as everything."


            Albert Einstein:

         "A human being 

          is part of the whole

          called the universe."


   The First Law of Thermodynamics:

"Energy (pulsations) cannot be created 

 nor destroyed, but only changed in form." 






          - divinely dynamic, 

          - divinely creative,

          - present ever anew,

          - unendingly right now

                and always.

We together are the ocean of what is,

the sea of existence,

actively manifest, current, 

in endless pulsations of energy.

We note and name few some we see -

motions and moments e.g.

Sandy and Tom, Rockies, sodium, symphonies, 

Saturn, molecules, meals, wind, wheat - 

identifiers, localizations of what


             "IS - NESS"

          EXIST - STANCE 



        infinitely diverse, 

        divine togetherness.

Every "other" is us and all that is in an other way.

Every "other" is Existence - variously the same.

The most lethal lie and illusion we suffer 

is one which holds that

we all are not at all 


not diversely one,

but that we are at core separated individuals 

bumping into other separated individuals,

be they people, animals, energies, elements,

                - even God -

all divorced from fundamental togetherness,

unable to be united and excited 

about diversified oneness.

That's a set up for upset.

And upset we have: racial, economic, religious, 

political, ecological, cultural -

trys to divide what is not fundamentally divisible.

It's as crazy as an ocean drop refusing 

to be what it is, water in the sea, 

the sea in the ocean drop (Rumi).

Valerie Kaur masterfully ponders 

the paradox that we are 

in our various sameness.

She shares it in her new book,

                  See No Stranger:

   - "You are the part of me I don't know yet" (p. 6)

   - "I see no stranger, I see no enemy", Guru Nanck (p.7)

   - She invites us to see, sense, scintillate 

     in the wonder of us all together

     in our diversified oneness,

     to be wonderstruck -

   - to love and live the interconnectedness

     and interdependence of all that 


   - It is a Sanskrit truth that 

          - we can look upon anyone or any thing and say:

                  "Tat tram asi"

                                    "I am that." 

    - It is the African philosophy


                                     "I am because you are."

    - It is the Mayan precept


                                      "You are my other me."

                                                                   ( p.14 )

Down deep and for real 

we refuse "e-strange-ment".

Deep down and for real we  

      See No Stranger

so we

       - go hug a tree

       - cuddle a baby

       - play the cello

       - farm

       - drive a bus

       - write poetry

          - make love

       - do science

       - invite a disagreeable neighbor over for BBQ

       - attend a religious service other than our own

       - pray for - hold In The Love Who Is God -

         the people who irk the liv'n hell out of us

       - give the street beggar five bucks for supper 

         and not fuss that he/she might drink that supper

       - use up no more than we need

       - read up, listen up, on the reasoning and feelings of 

         our political, cultural, religious opposites

       - invite them to join in with us for a common cause,

         e.g. spending a Saturday working together at 

         Habitat for Humanity and then going out together 

         for pizza and beer at the end of our day of shared labor and more

         ( if you're from uptown, then host a catered wine and cheese tasting 

          at you place - and be sure to move the Lexus off the drive )

       - when watching the news we really do choose to love

         those crazy bastards that make us nuts


        We're in it together"

        Together we are


        All together now!



          John Frank


            During our quiet time in the days, 

            even weeks ahead,

            here are a few Spirit Springs to imbibe,

            to follow should you care to consider them.

            It's best to not try to push through 

            all of them all at once.

            Better to take one or two at a time 

            - sense it, see it anew and now -

                            PRAY AND PONDER

                  We are one, after all, you and I, 

                  together we suffer, together we exist 

                  and forever will recreate one another."

                            Pierre Teilhard de Chardin



                        My soul honors your soul. 

                        I honor the place in you 

                        where the entire universe resides. 

                        I honor the light, love, truth, beauty 

                        and peace within you, 

                        because it is within me. 

                        In sharing these things 

                        we are united,

                        we are the same, 

                        we are one.

                        The eternal Tao.

                        Prior to time with no beginning, 

                        beyond space with no end, 

                        yet right here in the forever Now; 

                        all prevailing,

                        The great Oneness of the All!

                                Leland Lewis

                      Random Molecular Mirroring


                         Now you are the body of Christ, 

                         and each of you is part of it.

                                1 Corinthians 12:27

                          O Holy Spirit you are the mighty way 

                          in which everything that


                           in the heavens, on the earth, 

                          and under the earth, 

                          is penetrated with connectedness,

                          is penetrated with relatedness.

                                  Hildegard of Bingen

                           Matter is spirit moving slow enough 

                           to be seen.

                                   Teilhard de Chardin

                                   E Pluribus Unum

                                   One from many.

                                   And just as assuredly,

                                   One in many.


                                          Life's real and highest goal is

                              to discover this spark of the divine 

                              that is in our hearts.

                              When we realize this goal, 

                              we discover simultaneously 

                              that the divinity within ourselves

                               is one and the same in all -

                              all individuals, all creatures, all of life.

                                      Eknath Easwaran

                                      ( 1910 - 1998 )

                             By means of all created things, 

                             without one exception, 

                             the divine assails us, 

                             penetrates us, and molds us. 

                             We imagine it as distinct and inaccessible, 

                             when in fact we are steeped 

                             in its burning layers.

                                 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


                            Warmest welcome to all new here. 

                               Thank you for joining in 

                            our weekly gathering here at 

                                   "frankly speaking"

                               spirituality for the street

- it goes online early Thursdays morning

   east coast USA time

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                                  Have  A Blessed Week 

                                   " ALL together now! "










Thursday, April 8, 2021



Dear All of Us,

When you were young,

what were some of 

your favorite activities 

other than doing homework, 

of course!!??

For many of us 

many of them

had great impact 

on our life course 

and development.

As a young teen 

in the early '50's,

I loved to take

the Lackawanna train 

and Hoboken Ferry,

or the De Camp#66 bus, 

from Montclair into Manhattan.

I would roam freely,

one time a tour of the NBC studios,

another to The New York Stock Exchange,

to The Cloisters, 

to Brentano's Book Store,

to multiple many other venues

over those roving, 

learning teen years.

People and place 

fascinated me.

I feel in love with both.

That's carried right 

to this morning 

and a review of the news.

It's been a lifetime 

people watching,

place experiencing,

loving both,

with stops and study 

Manhattan to 

New Hope, Kentucky,

across this land 

and over the seas.

For all the variation 

of people and place,

the constant has been that

all have a part to play and ply

in the fabric of life. 

God is weaving creation.

God counts on us to do 

our unique piecework

as the people we are, 

in the place we are.

A good example of that for me was 

as a teen being mixed into 

the vibrancy of 

The Garment District

there in Manhattan.

The buzz of the handlers 

and their racks of finished goods 

on the streets echoed 

that from the lofts above

as thousands of workers 

pieced together fabric 

into the fashion that 

clothed the country.

Each worker had 

a piece to play and ply

in weaving all that together.

So it is in our spiritual lives.

We all have our piecework.

We are all sorts of people,

with all sorts of potentials,

in all sorts of places,

each with a piece in

God's weaving creation forth.

      "He creates each of us 

       by Jesus Christ 

       to join him

       in the work he does,

       the good work 

       he has gotten ready 

       for us to do, 

       work we had better be doing."

                         Ephesians 2:10

                         The Message

That work works out as teachers, 

bus drivers, farmers, programmers,

parents, line workers, writers, 

corporate leaders, retirees...

That works out in places like here 

in Washington, DC, 

out there in rural Montana, 

at the fish market in Seattle.

That works out in

beautifully varied and vital

people and places.

We are WholeWorkers,

as Lillia Delio aptly words it. (1)

       Our piece 

 works to the whole

 of God's Creation.

At times though and sadly,

we and others 

fail and flaw.

We become Hole Workers,

tearing at the fabric of Creation

by our selfish, destructive workings.

The tares are personal, 

corporate, systemic, 

ecological, social, religious.

Aa a result, 

part of being a Whole Worker

is to repent and repair.

Being a Whole Worker can mean

wishing the store clerk a good day,

to caring for an aged parent,

to cultivating a community garden,

to working for social justice,

to being active in a vigorous church,

to quiet, supportive prayer.

        "And don't hold back.

         Throw yourself 

         into the work

         of the Master,

         confident that 

         nothing you do for him

         is a waste of time or effort."

                 1 Corinthians 15:58

                 The Message


How wonderful 

to be employed together

in the creative, redemptive, 

weaving of God's Creation

with peoples and in places

across world and time as a


             John Frank



    "The whole is more than the sum of its parts."


   The understanding that what one can do 

   many can do better figures in Synergy, 

   Gestalt, non-liner fields.

   Happily, The Creator got there first!!



     (1) Ilia Delio, "Love at the heart of the Universe,"

     The Perennial Tradition, "Oneing" vol1,no1

     (Center for Action and Contemplation 2013): 21-22


Some of us have been gathering here 

weekly for three plus years now.

Others are joining in here for the first time.

This week a shout out for the group 

from Germany who are regulars here 

every week. They sure are a treasured piece 

of our whole here at 

.                "frankly speaking"

              spirituality for the street

               - is posted here online

                 early Thursday mornings

                 east coast USA time


                 (easily bookmarked)

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                          Weave Away!