Sunday, December 4, 2016


If a person is not willing to change, why bother to tell them about their faults, or spend useless time focused on their faults as you see them?  It won't change those persons.  You are the only person you can change.  Concentrate on your own faults.  If another person wants to change and asks for advice, opinion, help, then you can bring things up.  You can only help people who want it.  Of course if you don't change then you probably don''t want to either.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Cans can rust.  They is metal.  To prevent rust, the cans are coated on the inside with a plastic based product.  However, the chemicals in the liquid soda drink can react with the plastic coating.  Stuff happens.  It is called chemistry.  It is best to store a can upright so that the sealant of the lid does not interact with the soda itself. Lid interaction seems to especially bad.  The sugar of the soda itself is actually used to keep rust and bad interaction down.  "Rust" is a book by Jonathan Waldman.  See, you don't have to read my blogs just for spiritual issues.  Enjoy your next plastic, I mean soda drink!  Yikes, in Boulder, our rectory stores the cola cans on their side.

Friday, December 2, 2016


"Sobriety" is not a word for drunks only.  It refers to a way of living for everyone: live in the present moment.  Everyone is called to sobriety, but many of us spend time and energy escaping the reality of the present moment.  Addicts do it through their drug of escape.  Others do it through fantasy, or resentments which keep us in the past, and fear which keeps us in the future.  Spirituality is all about getting us anchored into the present moment where God lives and loves.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Who?  A fellow named Exsuperius lived in the 5th century.  He was a bishop so concerned about the poor that he sold off the church's fine vessels to obtain more money to help the poor.  He carried the consecrated host in a willow basket and the consecrated wine in a common glass vase.  Why would God want to dwell in expensive gold while God's people suffered hunger, homelessness and nakedness?  I think that maybe he has a point?  I like it that our Paulist Church here in San Francisco does not have much in altar finery, and that we inconvenience ourselves so that the hungry might be fed through a feeding program that is organized and distributed from here.  Our finances are scary, but we seem to hang on.  Maybe God wants us here?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Empty Pockets

Generosity is not measured by what is in our pockets, but rather what is in our hearts.  It is quality and not quantity that makes for change.  Even if we feel that our pockets are empty, that we do not have much to give materially, we still can give of our hearts.  We can have an attitude of compassion, attention to others, kindness and time.  Too often, do we not pray to have more in our pockets, our material stuff, than to have a change of attitude?  I have the potential for riches of heart more than I have the potential for material wealth.  It is all a matter of banking on Grace, outside help, or inside help, who I call God.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Widow's Mite

The phrase, "Widow's Mite," refers to giving of what we got, or of all we have.  Hold nothing back.  If we give our all, then do we not give both the good and the not so good, or the bad?  Yes.  Some of us think that since we have not much to offer in terms of talents, behavior, or skill, then we offer nothing.  We hold back.  We leave it to others to do something.  I rather like to think that it is better to do something badly, then to do nothing at all.  If you think something is worth doing, then give your all, both the good and the bad.  Your action may not be perfect, but don't let that stop you.  There is a prayer is the recovery program of drunks, that says this exact thing.  They offer their Higher Power, both the good and the bad.  To do nothing is the slippery slope to dark depression.  I bet the widow felt better after she dropped her last two coins into the poor box.  Hope, trust, and a positive attitude overcame  depressing inertia.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Two Solutions

Addiction has two solutions: surrender and death.  You who are not addicted would think that a sane person would go for surrender given the other solution.  Not so.  Very few addicted people go for surrender.  They die by quick or slow suicide.  By the time one is addicted, sanity has long left the scene.  I think that surrender is a miracle.  It seems to show up when least expected, and for reasons the insane addict cannot fathom, they grab on.  With help they begin to recover some sanity and stop the addicted intake.  They work on becoming a better person, facing their character flaws.  But the insanity, like the addiction, is a subtle foe.  It wants the person dead.  How does the insanity show up again down the road of recovery?  The addict thinks that they don't have to do all the things that got them well.  "I am fine."  Soon enough, the second solution to addiction shows up, often unexpected in overdose, car wreck, bullets.  You know people in recovery?  Keep praying for them.