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.