Friday, March 31, 2017


I am reminded that in baseball you get three strikes before you are declared out.  That is, you can make two mistakes and still be at bat.  Three mistakes, and you don't get to first base.  Think about that.  Baseball is more forgiving than most people.  How many of us let someone make two mistakes as they apply to our relationship, before we say, "You are out of my life.  You don't get to first base with me."  Some of us are so intolerant that one mistake is all it takes to dump someone, or write them off.  Someone said forgiveness is to be done, "Seventy times seven."  Only God could do that.  But at least it is a goal.  One and done should only be for March Madness in basketball or the final sixteen teems in Soccer World Cup.  Ok in sports, but not so good in human relations, and personal growth.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Distance

People might ask me if I am a Christian, or a Believer, or go to church, but never am I asked if I am a disciple.  Why?  I suspect that it was different in the early days of Jesus' followers.  Peter, the first pope, was asked if he was a disciple, that is, a follower of Jesus.  He said no a few times.  No one asked if believed.  Belief was not an issue back then.  Did you do as Jesus did was the issue.  In time, belief trumped following as the focus.  With the development of dogma, came heresies, that is, dogma debates.  People stopped asking if you were a follower.  They wanted to know what you believed.  And as we came to see in history, you could believe but not really follow Jesus in your actions.  Peter gives us an example of this behavior.   He was counseled to listen to Jesus.  To be a listener, one must stay near to the teacher.  Jesus did not write books.  When Jesus was arrested, it says in the gospel that Peter followed him, AT A DISTANCE.  This is the key.  It became the problem with Christianity and probably faith in general.  People would commit with their heads to a belief, get baptized or whatever, but their bodies, their actions would not be what Jesus counseled.  There became lots of believers, but from a distance, so that they would not have to hear Jesus.  Is that why Catholics like to sit in the back of church?  I struggle with this distance issue myself.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


The Catholic Church has a saint for everything.  The saint for those who have a continual struggle against alcoholism is St. Matthias.  His feast day is the anniversary of my ordination, May 14.  He was chosen by the original followers of Jesus to replace Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus.  Matthias was one of two choices.  Both he and the other fellow were quite upstanding.  What to do?  The community decided to give up control over the choice and then to take action.  So they caste dice.  It is called "casting lots" but basically it is the same as when you play the craps table at a casino.  Who knows what numbers will come up?  But you throw the dice anyway.  This is what they did and Matthias' number came up.  He was chosen.  What better person to be the saint for alcoholics.  They are supposed to give up control over their drinking, but take action.  This is trust in the higher power. Their own personal power was nil.  They could not stop drinking on their own.  The action they take is to get involved in the twelve steps, meetings, and being of service.  Just because you have no power, does not mean you do nothing.  Thank you St. Matthias, among others.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Faith And Love

Faith versus Love.  Which will change you?  I think it is love that leads to change for the better.  I meet lots of people who say that have faith that Jesus is God, or no faith, or strong faith or weak faith.  What they all have in common, if it is just about faith, is the way they live their lives in relation to this Jesus and one another.  They all think Jesus is nice and his teachings commendable.  I have seen some atheists and agnostics be better followers of Jesus' teachings than believers.  What brings about change for the better, from mediocrity to selflessness, is love.  So for me, the Christian, the question is: "Do I love Jesus?"  It is not do I believe.  Yes, I believe, but this in itself does little than make me feel better about God.  Each day I have to ask myself, "Do I love Jesus?"  Sometimes, no.  There are vast amounts of time when I hardly think about Jesus at all.  He is not on my radar.  If at any of these moments you were to ask me if I believed, I would respond "Yes," right away. If you asked me if I loved Jesus at that moment, I would be enveloped by silence and embarrassment.  There is a good chance that when my heart is ignoring Jesus, I am not at my best behavior or attitude.  There are many believers but few lovers.  Love changes for the better.  Faith?  Not many followers of Jesus based on faith alone.  Now I wonder if my mailbox has cobwebs on my birthday?  If so, my life is filled with heartless believers.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The One Step

I think it is a lot harder to be a Christian than to be sober, as someone reminded me.  In recovery programs you get twelve steps.  They are sequential and you can move along little by little.  The steps are a schema, a program leading to sobriety.  It is hard or else more people would be sober today than are.  But in Christianity there is only one step.  "Follow me," is what Jesus said.  This is why there are so few Christians.  Yes, there are a lot of baptized people, white-knuckling it, or just plain non-followers.  Jesus did not give much preparation.  Just put down your life as you live it and follow him.  Change.  The Christian Big Book is the Bible, more specifically, the New Testament.  Some read it, but few really follow it.  I find it easier to be sober each day than to live as a follower of Jesus.  I want to be happy, jouyous and free.  Take up my cross?  Help!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Gift of Listening

At times, before and after mass, people come up to me who want to talk.  "Do you have a minute, Father?" In fact they often want more than a minute.  Plus, if I know them from previous encounters, I might think to myself, "Oh, this is a crazy person."  Maybe they are mentally ill, but I have judged them.  This is a moment of "Holiness" for me.  Don't let my judgment direct my action.  Stand there and listen.  This might be a rare moment when the mentally challenged person finds someone to listen to them.  Really listen.  Drop the impatience energy.  Does not everyone need someone to listen to them?  Maybe they have something to share that will benefit me.  But even if I have no answer or solution, should they want one, I have given them my time and a listening ear.  Now, all you people who come up to me or email me or call on the phone, asking for listening time, you might be asking if you are considered one of the crazy ones in my life.  I won't tell.


This evening I was sitting by an open window when into the room flew a witch on her broom.  Now a witch is someone between a human person and a devil.  A witch is not bad enough to be a devil, but not good enough to be a human person.  This would be like my sister, Maureen.  Indeed the witch announced herself as "Witch Maureen."  Witches have power only over bad boys and girls.  I am good, so she cannot hurt me.  Not directly.  "Is not your birthday in two days?" She asked.  "Well yes it is," I replied.  "I suppose you expect the children at the Catholic School across the street from where you live to make up birthday wishes with paper and crayon?" She asked.  "Yes," I said, "And fill my mailbox at the office with love."  "And you expect cards and treats from others?" She continued. "One can only hope, as I believe I am loved," I answered.  "Forget it," wicked Maureen witch said.  "With my magic broom, I will place all the children at the school under the spell of forgetfulness and harden their hearts.  I will drain all the love from the hearts of your friends, and they will think nothing of you.  Your mailbox will be filled with cobwebs.  Empty and barren like the spell I will put upon the hearts of those who once loved you."  This made me very sad and lonely.  As the witch flew out the window to spread her broom magic all over the school and neighborhood, I looked up to heaven and asked God, "Why?"  Only silence.  Will witch magic overcome Grace? I guess I will know by my mailbox on my birthday.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Garden

A monk pointed out to me that the soul is like a garden.  It must be watered, and attended to with some silence.  In silence and solitude the garden will produce flowers and flourish.  But while waiting for the flowers to grow, the weeds grow more immediately and quickly.  Weeds are thoughts.  They must be pulled out time and again while we wait for the slower growing flowers to bud forth to beautify our garden soul.  Some mornings I wake up with many weeds and some mornings hardly any.  Stuff happens while we sleep.  My meditation methods are the weeding times.  If no weeds, or thoughts to interrupt me, I do not need to methods to weed my soul.  I just sit in silence and solitude for my meditation time.  Hopefully, my blogs help in some way to encourage you in your soul-work.
     Now I have a particular trouble with thoughts because I have an evil sister who is a witch.  Witches never sleep.  Their brooms are ever ready to travel into the interior world.  While I sleep, Witch Maureen sows many weeds of thoughts into my garden soul.  I often awake crazed with thoughts, anxieties, and fears.  Why does Maureen do this? Well, besides being a witch, she is afraid that if I have an uninterrupted path to deep prayer, I will grow holy and go to heaven.  She is jealous.  She cannot go to heaven because she is a witch.  One of my thoughts is that God loves even witches and hopes for their conversion.  Now if Maureen stops messing with my soul, and becomes a good witch, she too will go to heaven.  I don't want to go where she goes, so I am really glad when I wake up crazed because then I know she is still a bad witch and has no chance.  I suffer thoughts that the witch might burn.  Oh, I guess that is a bad thought!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hat Check

God is like a coat check girl.  I come in to the theatre and check my coat.  She gives me a claim ticket.  I go into the theatre of prayer, fasting, holy reading and meditation.  When I am finished, I think I have had a fulfilling performance.  I leave and go to claim my coat.  The girl says, "I gave your coat away to someone who had no coat and was suffering."  I am enraged.  This is an injustice.  "Now what am I supposed to do?" I shout.  "Oh," said the coat check girl, "Did you not get the point in the theatre?  You are supposed to trust in Me."  God comes in various disguises, including a coat check girl.  What good is all this ascetical practice, prayer and meditation, if I still come away with the idea of justice being all about me and "fairness," with no trust in the power of God?  The spiritual life is more than performance.  Prayer is just the beginning of letting go.  We tend to wear our egos sown to our skin.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Bear Is A Bear

How does a bear know that it is a bear and not something else?   C. S Lewis says that is knows by interacting with friends who are people.  The bear in this friendly atmosphere will then come to know it is a bear and not a person.  So what? So what, is that we need to discuss religion, our beliefs or lack thereof with others who are friends but are not just like us, or else we will not know what we truly believe.  We have to hear other ideas and argue points.  In this way we come to a better understanding of what is wheat and what is chaff in our religious world.  Too often believers and non-believers hunker down with people who they see as just like themselves.  This is lazy thinking, maybe safe, but ultimately banal, and mediocre.  Why do people say that they never want to talk about religion with those who disagree?  Unpleasant?  What might be unpleasant is the underpinnings of our system will be shown as lite, weak, and not likely to change us for the better.  Sometimes people say that they are non-believers, atheists, believers in one religious path or another, because it is the easier and softer way.  I like to read people and listen to people who challenge me.  If I dismiss them too quickly, it is probably because fear has come up.  A faith that is mediocre will be lived by a life that is mediocre.  I prefer more depth and meaning, something worth dying for.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

An Egg

We are each like an egg.  C. S. Lewis helped me here.  An egg is suppose to hatch in its proper time.  If it does not hatch it rots.  If it breaks before its time, such as Humpty Dumpty, it is broken.  It cannot be fixed.  Some of us, me for sure, was once a broken egg.  I tried to hatch before my time.  I was not ready but self-will and impatience took over.  I rolled around thinking I was living life fully, when in fact I was simply rolling around.  Eventually, I broke, not in a natural fashion where I would become all I was supposed to be, but in a fallen and unnatural way.  This is the Fall.  Oh, maybe the Bible is not so off track?  I could not be put back together.  A mess is still a mess even patched together.  I needed to be remade.  I could not do this, and that is a good thing.  Left to my own devices, I was just going to be broken or a patched mess.  The solution is a spiritual one, and in my case, it is God as I seem to have discovered.  God took the best of me, my God-ness, and encircled me in a shell to incurbate.  The shell is Love.  There I waited, because self-will only ruins Love.  Eventually, in God's time, my waiting in prayer, patience, trust and hope, I broke out of the shell of protective Love, and began to live, to be this Love in my own unique way.  I start small, needing God, but trust that I will fly, even soar.  When I stay God-connected I soar best.  I am always becoming all God meant for me to be.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mean But Not Mean

I heard something that pertains to me.  Say what you mean but don't say it meanly.  Too often I say exactly what I mean, and I say it in a snarly way that puts people down, makes fun of them, and is about my ego advancement.  In fact, silence would have been better than the manner in which I said something.  The words we use are only part of the message.  This is why I have to work so hard on being even keeled.  Keep a balance in my life.  If I feel rushed, tired, fearful, anxious or resentful, then I will say "whatever" with an attitude.  The meaning will be buried beneath the meanness.

Monday, March 20, 2017


I like this one.  There are twelve hours on a clock.  No one can skip an hour.  You cannot say you'll do something at 10 but skip 11 and just go to 12.  Even if you sleep, or sit staring at a wall, you go through hour 11.  A really useful and full life is to have something positive for each hour, such as 7+ hours of bed rest at night, or a nap in the afternoon.  Where is this all going?  It goes to recovery programs in which there are 12 steps.  You cannot skip a step or jump around.  They are sequential for a reason, just like a clock.  You skip or ignore steps at your own peril.  I have found it so.  Addicts beware!  and for the rest of you, what are you going to do for yourself that benefits a world larger than yourself after you finish reading this blog?  Deleting me is not a benefit.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

St. Joseph

In my church today is the feast day of St. Joseph.  He is the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  I like St. Joseph.  He is needed by Jesus and Mary, but Joseph does not call attention to himself nor make a big deal about himself.  Also, he is at times clueless as to what is going on.  But he sleeps well anyway because he has dreams and remembers them.  So he get good REM sleep.  His life has problems, questions, difficulties, but he does not take them to bed with him.  All this I like.  I want to be needed and on days when few read my blog I wonder.  But I try not to be self-important.  Joseph is the model.  He did not need to be the center of attention.  Play you role in life, when you find it, and you will be comfortable in your own skin.  Then, it is OK not to know what is going on all the time.  You don't have to compensate by being a helicopter dad or priest or parent or lover.  I figure if I am supposed to know, I will be told somehow.  With all this, I will sleep better.  Plus, now I have a CPAP machine.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Broken Heart

When your heart is broken by love you might think it is the end of the world.  Certainly you feel very badly and may wish bad things on yourself or the one who broke your heart.  But wait.  A heart cannot be broken unless it has been taken out of its shallow world of separate self and brought into the world of the truer, and more real self that has experienced oneness.  Most of us, outside of love, go around in the world of dualism.  Everything is separate, mundane, ordinary, and unsatisfying.  There is never enough "more" to fill us up.  Then you fall in love.  Suddenly, your are surfeited with more then enough.  You experience a deeper sense of self.  You see everything as if for the first time in all their beauty.  You are happy.  Only love can do this, show you a way of seeing and being that is always possible.  Love unlocks the possible.  The broken heart means that you at least have had this wonderful experience of life in depth.  So I rejoice in the women who broke my heart.  They gave me a great gift and for a time I was enough for them.  Spiritual depth is to be in love with the world around me, to see people even as they may not see themselves.  May my actions toward and with them give them a glimpse of The All that is within them.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Better Past

Why do some of us, not you of course, wish for a better past?  Is this not a form of selfishness, thinking about ourselves unduly, wishing we had been better?  We cannot change our past, but we waste useful energy thinking and wishing about it.  My escape from this is to put some action into today, and focus some of this action in being useful to others.  It can be as easy as taking out the garbage, cleaning up shared space, gasing up the car.  Good and useful things unless I do them with resentment while I sit on the pity pot.  Today, action and attitude are what will make tomorrow be filled with peace and serenity.  And wish someone Happy St. Patrick's Day today.  Stay sober and tomorrow you won't wish for a better yesterday.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

St. Patrick

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day.  The school across the street from where I live in Boulder is called a Catholic school.  But it is not.  Why?  No day off for St. Patrick.  Capitalism has won out.  We are into productivity and work.  It was not always so.  If you lived in the 18th century, the Catholic countries has 80 to 120 days off for feast days, usually associated with saints.  Now the farmers had to work anyway, but still, it was a bit of work-lite.  In Protestant countries, they only got 15-25 days off for holidays.  In part they did not truck much in all this Catholic Saint and Mary feast days,  But it was also the work ethic of capitalism.  Days off cut into productivity and profits.  Karl Marx thought it nothing but greed and avarice.  Whatever.  But Catholics were good at parties then, and not much into capitalism.  When I was a boy we had St. Patrick's Day off.  But Catholics have become good capitalists and much more productive and workaholic.  I try to uplift the old days when Catholics were into parties.  I will work little and play much tomorrow.  I will be a witness to the children hard at work at their desks across the street.  Oh, I forgot.  I am in Vero Beach, Florida.  Anyone for golf?  Or I can go and witness to the children at St. Helen's school down the street in Vero, chained to their desks as Patrick and the Irish weep.

Bernard Ryan

My Dad died at this time 13 years ago today.  I was with him when he took his last breath.  It was a precious moment for both of us.  I hope someone who loves me is with me when I take my last breath.  I wonder if I will be incorruptible?  I am working on getting holy.  My Dad died holy.  I am a witness to that.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Maureen The Vamp

One of the ways you knew someone was a saint is if you dug up their grave and the body was "incorrupt."  They were called the "incorruptibles."  But not all incorrupt dead bodies were saints.  Think Vampires.  Vampires were people who in life were rather evil, like my big sister, Maureen.  Vampire bodies remained incorrupt after death and of course at night they got up and continued to do evil.  We like to think that when evil acting people die, good riddance.  They stop with the evil.  Not so with vampires.  Now, if fans of Maureen were to dig up her body, I suspect they would find it incorruptible.  Then they would say to me, "See, she is a saint because she put up with you Terry when you were her bratty, selfish little brother."  I of course know her fans to be all wrong.  She is incorrupt because she was evil and now she is a vampire.  This is why I take garlic to bed.  Maureen hated garlic, as do all vampires, I guess.  Anyway, I hope she goes and bites all those who think she is a saint.  Just sayin'.  My Chicago friend, Sheila, needs maureen stories in my blogs from time to time.  It's her fault.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tree Weeps

In Florida, after a rain, the trees continue to drop raindrops onto the ground beneath.  I have found this out when I jog in a tree filled area.  Usually one tries to get under a tree to get out of the rain, but in Florida, when the rain slows down you want to get away from the trees.  I think of the trees as crying tears of gratitude and joy at the water come down to feed the tree roots and the ground.  After the rain stops, the trees continue to give thanks with their tears of joy.  Then I think of me.  How unlike a tree I am.  If I say thank you at all, and I often do, it is an immediate thank you for something, and then I move on to whatever is next.  Not the tree.  It continues to show gratitude long after the rain has stopped.  Maybe the tress have souls?  If so, why chop so many of them down?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Will Power

Not everything can be done with will power and self-discipline.  This is very hard for people like me to accept because I can do so much with self-discipline and will power.  I do this blog everyday.  I exercise and eat properly.  I can walk away from sweets and glutin.  I can look at chocolate but not eat it.  I meditate and attend to friends, spiritual path and otherwise.  But I cannot do sobriety with my will power and self-discipline.  Know thyself!  Everyday I have to accept this, be grateful, and take action so that I don't get onto the lonely road of "being dry."  If you have something that you cannot do alone with your own will power, you are not a bad person.  You are human.  Accept limits and then connect with others to help you.  If I am honest, like in my blogs, and with friends and helpmates, I enjoy good and sober days.  And on not so good days, I still enjoy the sober part.  This means that no days are all bad!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Feel Right?

I have heard people say that they walked into a room full of people, and said, "It did not feel right to me."  Then they go on to tell me what was wrong with the people, the room, the atmosphere and so on.  They never say that anything is wrong with themselves.  What I have found in my own experience is that when I say a group does not feel right to me, the real issue is that I do not feel right with me. How do I know this?  Because when I keep going back to the same group of "not right" people, listen, interact, say hello, simple stuff, after a while, the "not right" people begin to be plenty right enough.  Did they change?  No. Guess who changed?

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Augustine felt that marriage was necessary to overcome the temptations to lust.  Rather pessimistic.  Then along came the Catholic Reformation and the Council of Trent, which ended in 1563.  Trent was more optimistic and even believed in love in marriage.  Trent said the first motive for marriage was companionship.  Much more positive.  Companionship could deal with the discomforts of life and growing infirmities of old age.  It was secondarily about the wish for children.  What happened?  I did not hear this as I was growing up.  Vatican II Council, 1962-65, gave it a shout, but kids were primary in my upbringing.  Well, after Trent, those Jansenists got their view to be the focus.  Jansenists felt we were all depraved.  They did not think much for a spiritual union.  We were too depraved for that.  The emphasis went back to procreation over against companionship.  I think the Jansenists ruled in the Bronx where I was growing up.  But then again, I was a pretty depraved kid.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Trust To Newark

I seem to lack a trust in God.  But there is a light here.  First, the no trust: I was to fly from Denver to Newark and then find a bus or train that would take me to Manhattan, or "The City" as we New Yorkers call it. Flying to Newark and finding the way to New York on public transportation was a first for me.  Do I take the train or the bus?  Train to Penn Station or bus to Port Authority? Never give fear a choice between two unknowns. I feared I would be marooned at the airport, mugged, and left for dead!  Anyway, on the plane I decided to take the bus.  No one had complete info as how to do this, including the website.  Confused, I exited the plane and looked for AirTrain which goes betweeen the three terminals.  I landed at "A" terminal and was told to go to "C" to get the bus.  As I was about to escalate to the Airtrain, I saw a ticket machine that confused me.  I passed an airport concierge in her red coat.  The red coat people are the ones to ask for help.  I took off my hat and told the woman I was lost and this was my first time trying to navigate the bus.  She said, "You don't have to go to the C terminal. The bus stops at all the terminals."  Then she led me to a clerk who sold bus tickets inside the terminal. The cost was $17 round trip for a senior.  I found the bus.  As most people were paying on the bus, I found out that for them it was twice what I paid for my ticket bought inside the terminal.  The bus took me to the Port Authority and I was fine.  The light?  Humility and gratitude.  God reminded me that my lack of trust does not handcuff God.  I may be a fool, but I am one who takes action by asking for help along the way.

Beauty And The Beast

The movie, "Beauty and the Beast" with live actors is coming to the screen soon.  The most famous version of the story was written by Madame Leprince, Jeanne Marie Leprince de Meaumont.  In the 1700s she wrote about expanding women's opportunities, and lifting up the self-esteem of girls.  It was a time when men were downplaying women's role in the work force, and influence outside the home.  She was for the education of young girls when other people thought it a waste. She argued that mutual love was passion tamed.  Recall in the story that the young girl likes to read a lot while the strong Gaston thinks it a waste of time for her.  To him, her job is to make Gaston happy and the center of her attention.  And she does not let the beast get away with his whining.  Of course he is a beast because he was self-centered and uncaring.  Any beasts in your life ladies?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Fetus Soul

In the 1600s some moral theologians thought that the fetus did not have a soul until a few months after conception.  With a soul the fetus became a human person.  This idea died in 1708 when the church made a feast day, December 8, of the Immaculate Conception.  This was when Mary was conceived without sin and it had to be nine months before her birth, September 8.  Because Mary was a full human being from the moment of her conception, was she able to be endowed with grace that freed her from original sin.  If Mary was a human person with soul from conception, then it was likely that human life began with conception, the theologians reasoned.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Les Mis

Remember the play/movie, "Les Mis," and the girl who gets pregnant?  Her lover does not marry her but leaves her alone with a child.  It was 18th century France.  Had it been a hundred years earlier, he would have kept his commitment to marry her if she bore a child.  In these earlier times, the clergy looked the other way when boys and girls had sex to see if they were mutually fertile.  If so, boy would marry girl.  This was love and fertility.  Gus kept there commitments, their word.  But guys went rogue by the 1700s.  They still wanted to sex, but not the obligation.  The "Official Church" never condoned this premarital sex, but local priests and local custom had more influence.  An abandoned girl would often have to give up their child to an "orphanage" where the child would most likely die due to neglect or malnutrition.  Half the children in the 1700s died before they were 10.  Between 1750 and 1799 child mortality in the Dublin foundling home was 89%.  Thus the church focused on virginity for the girls to prevent all this child death and abandoned young women.  They wanted guys to be virgins too before marriage.  It was not an even playing field.  Is it ever?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Eve Revisited

I am reminded that it took the devil, the master of deception and cunning to fool Eve.  It took only a human to tempt Adam.  Plus, Eve was curious.  She wanted to learn more, to know more.  Is this not what open-minded people do?  Look at the scientists and engineers and even people who are at the forefront of religious learning.  They probe.  They progress.  They are open.  So ladies, when guys try to put you down remember Eve.  I wonder where my church would be with ordained women?  A recent pope said, no discussion.  I am not discussing, just wondering.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Pretend World

I liked to drink.  It allowed me to live pretend reality, and escape the real world in which I lived.  Scratch below the surface of any serious drinker and you will find fear, anxiety and beneath that probably depression.  Who wants to drag that stuff around in their consciousness and emotional life?  Not me.  My world of pretend was my solution to living.  I even meditated in my world of pretend.  I really did meditate, but I did not change for the better.  I had good qualities.  I could be compassionate, kind and well, nice, but these were islands of respite in my world of pretend.  I could be a successful worker at times, but not day after day. I could run several miles at a time in working out.  None of these good things were my solution to living.  They did not drive away or evaporate the underlining discontent and restlessness.  One day, and now, every day, I decided that I alone had no solution to my dilemma. Didn't I have God in all that mediation and church going?  Yeah.  I let God in the door, but then I climbed out the window to go howl!

Sunday, March 5, 2017


The Bible says that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  Buddhists say that Buddhism is the Truth.  Well, there is only one truth.  If it is true, then it is true in all cases.  There is not your truth and my separate truth.  Now, there might be more than one way to get there.  For me, there is only the Way of Jesus.  I don't dismiss Buddhism, but I don't pretend to follow its path.  Who can follow two paths?  I can read about, study, talk about Buddhism, but I am not a Buddhist practicioner.  I practice Christian meditation as a Jesus follower.  It is my way.  It makes sense to me.  Sacraments make sense to me.  But meditation is what opens me to talking with and understanding Buddhists who meditate and have there lives changed for the better by it.  Buddhist Roshis are not interested in talking to Christians who have no meditation practice.  They respect Jesus enough to know that mediation is key for true Jesus followers.  Deep meditation is what helps us to appreciate and get some glimpse of Truth from another perspective. Otherwise, there is only intolerance.  It is wherein we can see paths coming closer together.  It is not relativism.  My path is the only one for me.  It is not that I decided to be a Christian but could have been a Buddhist.  Jesus chose me.  I said yes.  I am fulfilled.  Jesus did not go to Japan, or China or India.  Maybe he made Christianity missionary so that we would not stay at home talking only to people who agree with us, look like us, and make us feel secure and safe, with no need to meditate.  Like a Gated Christianity.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Coin

A coin has two sides.  If I only see one side, I do not see the whole coin.  No one thinks of a coin as having only one side.  But this is how many of us look at most situations, from our side or point of view.  We do not accept that we only have our side and not the whole of a situation.  When we tell others that we think they are all wrong and wacko, it might be that we cannot turn over to any other side but our own.  From my side I cannot see or experience another side, but I try to keep in mind there might be another side to the situation.  I might think that something does not make any sense to me, but that in itself does not make it wrong.  I have my beliefs about things, but I try to stay open to people who have a different way of seeing a situation.  It is better than killing the "other."

Friday, March 3, 2017

Nation Building

Why did Martin Luther come along when he did and have such influence?  Why the Reformation at that particular time?  Nation building.  In earlier times it was religion, and Roman Catholicism which gave people a sense of unity and safety amidst wars among European feudal Lords.  Religion was the glue.  No matter our differences, we had ONE religion, and where that was threatened by alternative beliefs, those beliefs were persecuted.  By the time of Luther, something new had begun to develop: the Nation.  France, Germany, Prussia, Austria, Britain were being formed.  These were secular entities that gave us a new sense of unity and thus safety.  Catholicism was no longer a necessity for unity and security.  At first, whatever the ruler believed, everyone followed in his realm or emigrated.  But with time, some toleration of differences were permitted where the state felt strong in its "National" unity.  You could be Catholic or Lutheran because you were German.  There was such a thing as "German" as a nation and not just an ethnicity or language.  Where the national sense of unity weakens, you will have more persecution over differences in religion, ethnicity and language.  This may be why, in our own country, we have a growing intolerance, as people feel deep divides in such areas as economics and wealth.  With a sense of division, fear finds a place to grow.  Bad stuff happens when fear reigns.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Being Nothing

Become nothing. Say what?  I don't mean nothing in the sense of being unimportant, or worthless, but rather in being not so full of yourself.  When you can envision yourself as nothing or no one thing, then you make a lot of space for God who is everything and all things.  You can call this "All" whatever you want. It is not you in your self-importance or self-focus.  Don't take up space in your head or imagination. You will bump out the True All.  Meditation is a way to separate just enough from your "allness" to allow for the True All.
As I age I find that I forget a lot of things, but I never seem to completely forget about my "selfness." Inside my head it is hard to stop thinking about me.  I am clay but think I am the potter.  I meditation I allow myself to be me, clay, and let the potter go to work.  Something beautiful will happen.  It is always in the clay, but it needs a potter.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Train

Thoughts are like being on the middle car of a train or subway.  There are cars behind you, (the past) and there are cars ahead of you, (the future).  God is only in the car you are in. God is not in the back or forward cars, that is, the past or the future.  As the train moves along, you and God ar always together in your train car, though the train is moving along.  You might look around your car at whoever is there, but you don't spend much time thinking about people in other cars past or future.  In real life, we tend to omit where we are and therefore miss the traveling God, while we relieve the past or fuss about the future.  I try to ride the God car. I just left New York City, so I am subway conscious now.