Wednesday, October 25, 2023


Dear All of Us,


A heads up.

This is going to get 

real personal real fast.



did you ever go on

a blind date?

Admitted or not,

down deep it's freaky scary.

You just don't know 

what the heck 

you're going to face.

It's like so much of life.

You head out to work 

Monday morning and 

there's no telling 

what you'll face

all week.

We check the news and 

it's even more freaky scary.

Look at what we are facing as 

nations and a world?

For all the vagaries,

frights and fears  

in front of us,

it's rip roaring, 

flat out divine 


  Face to Face


God Wonderful 


   in person

  It makes 

   world of 



Please let me 

jump around a bit here.

Concept can convince the mind, 

but never the heart.

Only personal experience does that.

That's why we have Jesus, 

God in person,

rather than some sort of

divine treatise about God 

dropped down 

from the high heavens.

Now, I know tons and tons 

of theology about God.

Good stuff.

Not good enough, though, 

to capture and convince 

         my core

   as in the Latin "cor"


    I am a Christian

 because I have come

     Face To Face 

       with God  

   alive and loving 

      in people



My Mother, my Wife, 

Catherine Craenan, 

farm mother and mentor,

the wonderful and for real 

nuns and priests of

my childhood and youth,

the community of my novitiate 

with the Christian Brothers

at Barrytown, NY, 

the dear souls of 

St. Catherine's , 

the small, black church 

of my deacon apprenticeship 

in Port Tobacco, MD.

None were letter perfect.

All were sweet to salty real,

   God Full Faced People.


with them has meant 

seeing and sharing,

being wrapped into

God lived love,

real, personal, 

practical, communal.

Interfaced with them,

   Cor Convinced

    I wanted in  

 having met God 

   Face To Face.

Given what we're getting

these days more like

night freight,

given what we're facing

in this agitated tumbler world,

a big question and call in 

of our spiritual lives 

individually and 

as a church is  

   When people see us, 

   what are they facing?

Better put,

   Who's facing them?

They so need

people and church




The Love That Is God


   Face To Face

    with God





Folks don't need a lot 

of talk, 

of theology, 

of churchy stuff.

They need God 



      in us

    with us

Together we can then

face up to whatever 

the heck comes our way



God isn't taught.

God is caught

It all happens



      Thanks for making 

our little community possible 

            here at

      frankly speaking

 spirituality for the street

           a weekly


Each Wednesday

Before noon

East Coast USA time


Just scroll well below

the current posting


Each Friday

Sign Up 

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online posting


Nancy Boyer

for her most helpful

editorial help.

Looking forward to us all 

being together here next week.

         Love to all

         John Frank


Wednesday, October 18, 2023


Dear All of Us,

There aren't too many of us left.

We're a vanishing breed.

Most of us have aged out/died.

And most people don't want 

to know about it anyway.

They find the whole thing 

somewhere between 

ridiculous to scarry to dreadful.

Now promise not to run off.

          It's this

I am an ordained exorcist.

It was one of the 

four minor orders 

     Porter, Lector, 

     Exorcist, Acolyte,

on the way to 

priestly ordination years ago.

They are no longer observed.

In a way they, though, 

the good order of exorcist 

is very much current and

good it is in the observance.

There are all sorts of exorcists 

and needs to be.

In a way we all are exorcists.

We have a heck of a lot of 

wrong to be righted, 

of evil to be exorcized.

It's systemic, it relational, 

it's personal, physical, 

ecological, social, corporate,

religious, governmental.

It's critical that we see it, 

say it, not settle for it,

that we excise it.

Evil of any sort 

is a lack of 

God Right Reality.

It's critical that we 

    God's Love 

to clear/clean it out,

replace that lack with

  God Good Order

  God Right Reality

  Fresh Fullness.

That's what Jesus did 

and still wants to do

through us, 

his disciples, 

The Body of Christ.

It's a holy work out.

Because evil of any sort is 

that deficit of good, 

of God's good order 

in creation,

we work to right the wrong, 

to repair and renew the damaged, 

to heal wounds.

Doctors, parents, social workers, 

teachers, pastors, policy makers, 

scientists, writers, publishers, 

environmentalist, therapists, 

attorneys, repair persons, 

restorers, arbitration people,

peacemakers, police officers, 

AA members, foster parents

and nice, just regular folks

like you and i hope me  - 

all sorts exercising good 

to making whole and healthy.

     Each excises evil 
     exercising good.

We all do in our way and place.

A white family welcomes 

and befriends a black family 

in an all-white neighborhood.

Neighbors clear a trashed lot 

and grow a community garden.

A group of residence 

in a senior citizens community 

work hard to incorporate the 

community's "odd balls," 

the "fuddy duddys," 

into what's going on.

Parents organize 

supplemental learning sessions 

when the school system 

denies access to a full 

and truthful curriculum 

in history, literature, the arts, 

science, social studies.

In like manner, groups establish 

a lending library when 

the local one is 


and diminished, 

victim to the area's
restrictive culture war.

Families keep parents

at home and cared for 

in years of declining health.

A politician risks 

votes and office 

to champion 

social justice legislation.

We completely forgive 

a deep hurt.

The family is patient 

with the one of them

who just can't get on

their own two feet - ever!

Gossip stops 

at our hearing 

and we urge the same 

of the gossiper.

We continue helping 

the needful asker 

who never thanks.

We risk a friendship 

in challenging a manifestly 

immoral business practice.

We put our money 

where are morals are 

and stretch to help 

a food pantry survive.

We work to move our church 

from the comfortable pew 

to the streets of 

community service.

We put ourselves 

under the guidance of

The Holy Spirit, 

accepting the wisdom 

to know when and what 

to do or not, 

never getting 

"holier than thou" 

about working to transform 

bad to good.

We are motivated 

and energized 

by God's Goodness, 

never being propelled 

by self-righteousness.

In one way and many we

seam the tear, 

clean the fowl, 

straighten the crocked, 
make whole the holes 

of lack and need. 

Given the bedevilment

in the Middle East just now,

we vigorously support an

immediate cease fire between 

Israel and Hamas

and the development,

no matter the cost, 

of a workable, just solution 

to the evils on both sides.

We light a fire under 

religious leaders to stop 

playing it footsie and 

take a stand for a

global spiritual determination

to finally move past 

the Shoot Outs between the 

Hatfield's and McCoys among us 

and Live God's Love

in justice and peace.

    Each excises evil 

    exercising good.

It's hard work, but then, 

exercise is good for you, 

none more so than the

  "wholely" work out 


        God Good



    So glad we all are 

       here together


       frankly speaking
   spirituality for the street

           a weekly

   Wednesday mornings
    East Coast Usa time


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  Looking forward to 
  being together here 
        next week

       Love to all
       John Frank


Wednesday, October 11, 2023


Dear All of Us,

Some folks from our church 

are all signed up for 

a pilgrimage to the 

      Holy Land.

Not gonna happen!

      Not safe.

      Not a land all that holy, either.

Seething hatreds.

Mass murder and mutilation.

Lots of religious shrines and sights.

Hard to see God, though.

God missing in the action 

across the land fouled evil.

An Unsafe Unholy Land.

      Holy Land Pilgrimage

           A Rethink

           A Redirection

As pilgrims we stop running off 

to where Jesus was.

Rather and better, 

we dig in, hunker down 

lifting up 

     people and places 

in lands where Jesus needs to be.

That's just about everywhere.

The worldwide lay of the land

right now is an unholy landmine.

"Peace, peace, 

but there is no peace."

Rather, things are falling to pieces:

governments and politics,

environmental integrity and viability,

ethnic and racial relations,

vapid, dumbing, soul dulling 

sports and entertainment,

divisive, shallow religiosity,

shell game economics,

compulsive consumerism,

dictators at the door,

some already inside,

social systems rigged

by the few for the few.

We need to face all this.

We need not freeze in fear 

at the facing.

We need to do something 

about it, and we can.

We can go on a 

     Pilgrimage of Place

the place right where we are.

We can band together as

     Pilgrams in Place

living our land into a

      Holy Land.

It's crucial that we not go it alone.

We'll get lost in fatigue and failure.

We need to be together.

We need to be church.

 The root word and reality 

         for church is


       "The Gathered"

Paul reminds us we are integral 

          to each other

       The Body of Christ.

 Jesus draws us together in

         The Kingdom

        and has us pray

     "Thy Kingdom come 

      on earth (the land)

      as it is in heaven.

  Beautiful expressions of

        "The Gathered"

If we are blessed with 

a for real church

where we are, 

together we really 

     "get go" 

   Gospel Live.

If where we are, 

what claims to be 

and fails to be 

    for real


we prayerfully 

band together 

as small home churches.

Either way we live

the Good News

vigorously and fully 

in all we think, do and say.

   Pilgrimage Of Place

Now here comes

the game changer.

We put flesh 

on the bones 

of concept.

We discern as church. 

We get practical. 

We cull 

   The Sermon on the Mount

      and let it live us real 

          in our land

We don't "spiritualize" it.

We don't water it down to 

a comfortable, non-demanding 

collection of pious platitudes.

So, for an example or more:


"For where your treasure is,

   there your heart will be also"


   At the heart of things, 

   what do we really treasure,

   personally and as a church:

   reputation, comfort, 

   supposed security,

   a hefty portfolio, control,


   a simple and sufficient lifestyle,

   the wellbeing of the 

   not at all well off in our land,

   deep, divine intimacy,

   doing what we can for 

   at risk children and 

   ignored elderly,

   using our talents and privilege

   to lift the social, spiritual 

   and cultural level 

   where we land in life,

   at home, at work, around town?

This is grist for the mill of 

personal and communal 

discernment and action.

As we let God piece  together

the things going to pieces 

in our land, we

         Pray Live

The Prayer of St. Francis.

Again and always, 

what does it practically mean 

right here, right now

to live it live in our land?



Lord, make me an instrument 

of your peace:

Where there is hatred,

let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

Oh divine Master, grant that 

I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning 

that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying 

that we are born 

to eternal life.

So true, 

and it will be so,

living our land holy.


Greetings and Welcome


     frankly speaking

spirituality for the street

          a weekly


Each Wednesday morning

before noon

Wast Coast USA time


Just scroll down below

the current posting


Each Friday

Sign Up 

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online posting

Great to be on



helping ours be a 


  Love to all,

  John Frank



Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Dear All of Us,

  Truth to tell

we all have our


our prized people,

our favorite folks,

our "go to's"

who prove true,

our "count on's",

our "come on over's"

our "tight in's."

Jesus sure has his: 


and age has nothing 

    to do with it.

One day, actually

many days, 

the disciples

were jockeying for

standing and status,

one upmanship,

(Yes, they were all men)

being top banana,

kind of like the 

gang of teen-terrors

in the Clown Car 


The Common Good in

The House of Far From

Representative of 

America's best

just now.

When the close-in's, 

got out of whack,

pumped up on 

self-supposed superiority,

Jesus popped their

pomposity balloons

on the spot.

He let them know 

they were rushing 

hell bent the wrong way,

needed to do a three sixty,

a complete

         SOUL SHIFT

   At that time the disciples 

   came to Jesus and said,

  "Who is greatest in 

   the kingdom of heaven?" 

   And he called a child 

   to Himself and set him 

   before them, and said

   to them:

  "Truely I say to you

   unless you change

   and become like children,

   you will never enter

   the kingdom of heaven.

   Whoever then 

   humbles himself 

   as this child, 

   he is greatest in 

   the kingdom of heaven."

      Matthew 18:1-4

How do we translate 

that then to our this now?

We really need 

to figure forward.

For a variety of economic,

cultural and social reasons,

nobody was more a 


than children were 

where and when 

Jesus lived. 

Children had

no standing 



Jesus stood a


in their midst 

and measured  


Counter intuitive then.

Counterintuitive now.

What's so great 

about children 

for God's sake?

Why do they have 

the greatest standing?

Well, because they live 


and we will only be great 

and part of the

kingdom of heaven 

if we do as well.

It's not a matter of groveling, 

not about being put down.

It's living a dear down,

a simple start,

created to grow up

  (L) humus 

an earthiness

of dependence, 

of potential,

a need that 

God can nurture,

fill to unending fullness,

true greatness.

It's living Soul Free,

truly dependent

on God,

an uncomplicated and 

uncompromised openness,

a willingness to be 

growth given.

There's spontaneous

playfulness and joy to it,

centered in true trust.

Children live that 

from the ground ("humus") up

Put another way, 

even God can't grow a

    "just started" 

to its potential fullness  

when it deems itself 

already and 

independently such. 

Only an emptiness 

can be filled.

Only a lowly seedling

can grow up,

lifted to the heights,

certainly not one 

posturing as already

grown greatness.

Put yet another way, 

we're invited to the

Kin-Domain of Goodness, 

The Kingdom of God,

a garden of wonder 

upon wonder,

God's Love 

creatively unfolding,

too God to ever stop.

All we have to do is

stop strutting about on

stilts of arrogant illusion 

and attempted dominance.

God wants to grow us 

to real greatness,

and will if we heed




       have the  


      of a child

with its gleeful openness 

and spacious simplicity.


So, we let God sprout us,

delighted with our unique 

body, personality, spirit,

strengths and giftedness,

our special place in

the garden of Creation.

We go with 

the growth given.

We don't try to tower over, 

but glory in God Good

spread all around 

and shared with  

our fellow children

of whatever age,

sprout-starts all.

We totally depend on God.

We are truly one with the 

        "No Bodies"

of our state, station, location -

geographic, economic, social.

All this seems like

   "Kid's Stuff"

       It is!

    That's the 

point and possibility.

Jesus isn't out 

to impoverish 

or demean us.

Living in the midst of 


has already done that -

deluded, doped, deprived us.

Jesus countermands 

the word, way and world

of Empire with its 

perversion of 

power and position,

its arrogance and posturing,

degradation of nature,

demeaning and death dealing,

dispossessing the poor,

dominance of the 

many by the few,

denial of justice.

Jesus offers us

The Realm of Real.

A hard question and

challenge for us is,

how much of 

our lifestyle

and manner

and means

are sad such,

products of Empire's 

dominating, destructive 

steel fist, 

cloved in the velvet 

of unreflected 

dominance and privilege?

In the best sense of the word, 

Jesus puts us in our place.

A place of 

freeing dependence,

trusting openness, 

joyous simplicity,

spacious growth,

genuine, unpretentious


accepting and accepted,

alive in love of 

God, neighbor, self

So "placed,'" 

we take our place

in life free and real,

be it as a day laborer,

an executive,

chef, teacher, 

partner, parent,

builder, artist.

We are happy to be 

a nobody in Empire

to be a somebody 

in the Kingdom,

delighted to be people




For those open to it, 


Lord, this is tough stuff.

Hard to take.

Hard to be given.

Free us in your embrace

to take to heart and street,

to open wide to your givenness.

"For here we have

 no lasting kingdom, 

 but we are looking for 

 the kingdom that 

 is to come."

   Hebrews 13:14

How much of what 

goes on with us is,

however disguised,

really an attempt 

to establish our own 

heaven on earth?

- career-wise,

- comfort-wise

- as a nation

- as a church


"Do you see 

what we've got? 

An unshakable kingdom!

And do you see 

how thankful 

we must be?  

Not only thankful,

but brimming 

with worship, 

deeply reverent 

before God. 

For God is not an 

indifferent bystander. 

He's actively 

cleaning house, 

torching all that 

needs to burn, 

and he won't quit 

until it's all cleaned.

God himself is Fire!"

Hebrews 12:28-29

  The Message

The heat sure is 

turned up here!

How fully invested 

are we in this 

"unshakable kingdom"?

Any hedging going on?

What kind of thanks 

do we have cooking?

How "brimming"

is our worship 

these days?

Are there things 

in our set up 

that need to be 


Such as...


"So Jesus 

got them together  

to settle things down. 

He said 

'You've observed how 

godless rulers throw 

their weight around, 

how quickly 

a little power 

goes to their heads. 

It's not going to be 

that way with you. 

Whoever wants

to be great 

must become

a servant. 

Whoever wants 

to be first among you 

must be your slave. 

That's what 

the Son of Man 

has done.

He came to serve, 

not to be served - 

and then give away 

his life in exchange 

for the many 

who are held hostage.'"

  Matthew 20: 25-28

     The Message

What are ways we 

throw our weight around?

How power happy/grappy 

are we?

Does that show up in church?

How sold are we 

on being "servants"?

With us is it more fact 

or more fiction?

How do we and 

our church serve 

rather than seek 

to be served?

What are some 

for real examples?

What are some 

for real calls

to serve?


 We welcome each other,

     Kingdom Kids All

          here at

     frankly speaking

spirituality for the street

            a weekly


  Each Wednesday morning

  East Coast USA time


  Please scroll down below 

  the current posting


  Each Friday

  Sign Up top right

  Online posting

You know, 

turns out

humble pie

is really

pretty darn 


Looking happily ahead 

to our gathering here 

next week.

Love to all.

John Frank