Saturday, June 30, 2018
Be an acorn. What? An acorn has the potential within itself to become a big oak tree. The acorn needs a little help to bring all this out, but its DNA is to become an oak tree. So, you might say, "I am not much." Well so is an acorn at the moment. But it knows what it is meant to be. You are meant to be and have within you, so much potential. Believe in yourself. What help do you need? Some spiritual assistance, as it is partly, an inner journey. With a daily spiritual practice, you first let go of stuff that keeps you "not much." Like what? Whining, blame, shame, guilt, resentments, fear are good starters to lighten the load on the road to becoming the "oak tree" you. Meditation will generally reveal your shortcomings, as will trusted and loving friends. Then you add in some selfless service for others. This gets you out of yourself. You are starting to grow. Prayer waters you. Let that feeling like an acorn remind us that we have some growing to do.
Friday, June 29, 2018
Do you remember when corporation headquarters had lunch rooms? If you do, you are really old like me. Back in the 60s and 70s when I was working in corporate places in Chicago and San Francisco we had big lunchrooms with menus, food bars and people who made the sandwiches or cooked/served the food at food bars. You could visit with fellow employees, try to meet a cute girl, network, or just eat while reading a book. It was cheap too. It was a time when employers cared about the employees. We even had lunch time. Yes, real time set aside to eat a lunch. As a bachelor, I loved it. I was not bringing my lunch to work in a paper bag or lunch box. I hear that this has come back to tech places filled with young employees. But the reasoning is different. Now, the boss wants to get more work out of you, so they feed you on premises and not have you running out to find a place to eat. There is a chance to network too or just see friends, or your spouse if such works in the same building. But years ago it was not about getting more productivity out of you. It was simply about caring. There were not long daily hours generally, and no one ever burned out. People had careers then. Now they have jobs. Well, I got out before it all turned. I could not afford my San Francisco apartment at today’s rents. But then again, I could not afford my elementary school at tuition cost today. Yikes! No wonder I am in a monastery. Gruel is cheap and free. And we have a lunchroom.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
I am coming to the conclusion that I am not a Christian, much less a Catholic. This is bad news for a priest. What happened? A faith issue? No not so much dogma faith, but rather, I don't seem to want to "take up my cross and follow." I get annoyed at something unexpected that does not go my way or fit into my program for today's happiness. Is this not where I should be picking up at least a small cross? I seem to want a religion that makes me feel better and needs only my affirmation of dogmatic statements and creed. I seem to be more whiny and self-centered, and not so selfless and giving when it is inconvenient. So I cannot be a Christian. It is about action. Jesus did not so much say, "Believe the creed. Go to mass." Then again, I know a lot of people just like me. Would this not be like someone who says, "I am in AA, and I believe in the 12 steps," but does not do them and is of no service to anyone but themselves? I might know one or two of those people too. But I gotta work on me. See ya.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Jesus said, “Love one another.” He did not say, “Change one another.” Changing people is not any one person’s job. But loving others is our job. I get caught up at times in thinking that if I love you, or am nice and helpful, and kind, you will change and become “better,” that is, more like I think you should be. But I cannot change anyone. I can only love and the hardest people to love are often the most damaged. The damage may be such that there will be no happy ending for them. Many people feel that they are unlovable. They get told that if they change, fit in better, they will then get love. Love is not a reward. It is a job. I try to show up to this job on a daily basis. I do take some time off, but that is to get recharged, and love myself in stillness and solitude. You cannot give what you do not have.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Have you ever been loved so deeply, intimately, that silence is the only response? Friendship, love-making and prayer have this phenomenon in common. There is the time in friendship when two people talk a lot to one another. They are revealing layers of themselves in words. Beginners in prayer are full of words. Love-making, early on, can be full of words too, as you might see in the movies. Taking care of the dying can have lots of words in the beginning as you talk about ailments, pain, and needs. But as relationships deepen, so does the silent times. Two people walk down the street who are falling in love and they might be very animated with one another, talking, listening, expressing happiness in words and gestures. They pass an older couple sitting on a park bench who say nothing to one another, so deep is the love. For Christians, Jesus on the Cross, or in the Garden of Gethsemene before his Passion and death, seem to hear nothing. Is God away? Sleeping? Uncaring? Non-existent? No, the God silence is the expression of deep love, the deepest yearning that so few people experience. God's deepest love for us, if we can accept it, is silence. It is God's language when God is allowed to be just God, deeply loved by a human being. As the dying person gets closer to passing on, the care-giver lover, simply sits with them and is silent. Usually, the dying person is silent too when they experience the deep loving compassion of the care-giver. When someone gives you the "silent treatment" that is a form of resentment or manipulation, or punishment. The silence of deep love is none of that. Lovers, mystics know this.
Monday, June 25, 2018
Catherine Fitzgibbons was an Irish immigrant to New York City. She became a Sister of Charity, the Mother Seton order. She was teaching school after the Civil War where some thirty thousand homeless children wandered the streets of New York. Those were the ones that servived. Babies were left in abandoned lots, or on doorsteps of whoever. Mothers could not care for the babies, and in alms houses many children died from lack of care. Catherine decided to act hands on. She got permission from her order to rent a house with a couple of other sisters. They had $5 and ate their first meal on the floor with old newspapers as place settings. They took in the children and loved them and gave them a home-feeling. A sign at the front door with a basket said, “Home For Foundlings.” It became today the welfare agency for children called “New York Foundling.” It helps thousands every year. What would Catherine do today about unwanted children or poverty that cannot give them a life beyond the womb? If you walk around with a sign every January 22, are you willing to take care of all the newborns who are unwanted, or are born into abject poverty?
Sunday, June 24, 2018
New Yorkers are a tough breed. Betty Bayley was rich, cute and short. She married rich and had five kids. Good so far. Then not so good. Bankruptcy, sick and then dead husband, five kids stranded with her in Italy. Socially and financially she makes a bad decision. She becomes a Catholic, smitten by the sacrament of Eucharist. Disowned by Episcopalian New York relatives, doors closed to her, she tries to open a school for children in New York. Fails. Moves to Baltimore and starts a school with the blessing of the Bishop there. Buries two of her children. Does she give up? Whine? Suffer paralyzing fear? NO, at least not too much to carry on. She joins with some women to form a group called “Sisters of Charity.” They do lots of good works. She dies. You will see her name on a lot of buildings, schools, hospitals and such. Betty Bayley is better known today as Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native born declared Catholic Saint. New Yorkers are tough.
Saturday, June 23, 2018
When you meditate think of it as filling your heart with a precious ointment. You don’t want to spill the ointment, but rather let it seep into your entire body. Therefore, when you finish your meditation time, don’t jump up right away and get busy, but rather move slowly into the next right thing you are supposed to do. Allow the ointment of the meditation to flow into and over your next activity. If you are going to exercise, gently stretch a little. Don’t jump up and run or bike or whatever. You want the ointment of mediation to flow, not spill. Spilling makes a mess. You meditate so that your life won’t be a mess.
Friday, June 22, 2018
When someone begins some form of meditation or quiet prayer, they have some expectations. If they are People of The Book, they believe in God and expect their good feelings and faith in their God to grow, deepen, and satisfy. “It feels so good to love God,” one might hear from the beginner. If you are not a God-Believer, but meditate, say in some Eastern Tradition, you still begin with expectations and feelings. “Buddhist meditation is so fulfilling,” you might hear. But the path is not so feeling-filled as it was at the beginning. In my Western Tradition of God-Belief the time will come when you do not have those satisfying feelings. You even lose a sense of faith. God is at work. Why does God do you like this? Well, God might want you to sacrifice, that is, give up your agenda of good feelings, but carry on loving God in your daily dry and seemingly empty practice. They don’t tell you this in the 11th Step. The goal is to love when the Other, God in this case, seems to not be around, and you are not feeling love in the presence of the Other. It is a decision. I suspect it is the same with Buddhist practice. There are dry and empty times. It is all about self-surrender, moving away from self-focus on “getting”something. Love deepens when it goes beyond feelings and immediate gratification. And if you have a partner, mate, and sometimes do not feel very loving, that is the time to practice love. See if it makes you a better person. If it makes you angry, grumpy and resentful all the time, is your relationship about love at all?
Thursday, June 21, 2018
“God is everywhere,” or so I hear, but this is a hard concept to get my head around, much less my heart. Someone gave me a good image to keep in mind about this “everywhere” thing. Think of the bird that flies. Everywhere it goes, it encounters the air. Nowhere does it fly that is not air. Air is everywhere. So whenever I look and see a bird, I can recall God being here just like air. The bird does not need to reflect on air or believe in air. It just flies and air is just there or here. So go about your life, and when you wonder where God is or if God is, think of the bird that flies. Now, whenever I see a bird flying, I might say, “Oh, hello God.”
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
I think that it is a great gift to have a friend who accepts us in areas of our life where we think we are "average." Many more people will like us for our gifts and talents, since they benefit from such pluses in their lives. Even better is the friend who accepts us in our averageness, but also loves us when we just show up in all honesty in whatever mood might be at work in us. Try fear. How many people can you be with when you feel afraid and let them know you are afraid? Maybe you are in a social situation and you want to appear smart, sharp, engaging, and all you feel is tongue-tied and empty-headed. A friend will allow you to take a breath, which allows some space to let something else come into your heart. A friends allows us to discover hidden talents that come out when we discover we are not doing life alone. We are all feeling like "losers" at something, but friends allow us to know the hidden "winner" part of ourselves. I'd make a great friend! Or at least I can only hope.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
People tell me that they have given up on meditation because they experience it as dry and empty. There is no Power out there to mediatate on, or else they would feel it. Or so they surmise. They use to have a “pink cloud” experience of meditation, a sense of connection with peace and tranquillity. Now nothing! I tell them to be of service to others while they try to let go of their expectations in prayer? What does service and prayer have to do with one another? Well, they are both about letting go of self, of your expectations of how things should be, or your selfish view of the world. Being of service does not guarantee your outcome and it takes away from your personal and isolated agenda for happiness. Letting go of results in helping others, is like letting go of your desire for how prayer should go. Maybe this spiritual force, power, God is at work in your life and giving you a sense of “absence” to make you a better person. Be of service to your Power in prayer by letting the power have its way with you. Was your life better in the past when you tried to go it alone make your will win out? If your life is better now than it was, and your prayer is dry, maybe this is part of the process of growing up into all you are meant to be.
Monday, June 18, 2018
The spider does not kill the bee, but does ruin the honey some with its web and makes it difficult for the bee to do its proper work. So the spider must be driven away by the bees. Are not bad habits the same way? They might not kill us but they spoil the sweetness that nourishes our life. So they have to be watched for and driven away. How? The examination of conscience or review of our day before we go to sleep is a way to see where the webs are being formed, if any, that day, and then make plans, with some spiritual power, to be rid of them tomorrow. Why do you need some Power other than yourself? Well, if the spider is a bad habit or shortcoming, then you alone cannot be rid of a habit. An occasional lie is not the same as being a liar, or having lying be our fall back position when we mess up on a daily basis. Few people gossip or judge others once or twice a year. Generally, these are habits and habits are our spider webs messing up the honey of our life. If you saw a spider in your bed you would act decisively and quickly. Treat bad habits the same way.
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Rust does not readily adhere to a mirror. The heart is like a mirror. The mind is like things that rust. We have rusty minds, though in false pride we think our minds are clear. Trying to think our way to God is not going to work. The rust covers God up. Rust obscures what things are. Now an interior hunger for a God of Love happens in the clearer realm of silence and stillness. We are still and don't talk. Rusty mind is ignored and replaced with a longing that the mind cannot satisfy. This takes place in the heart, soul, interior truer self. Look in a mirror. What do you see. Your self. And you judge or condemn or put down what you see. You are beautiful. You are divine! But at first, you don't see it. Mediation is learning to let go to surrender and get a second opinion. As you change how you see you, you will change how you see others. This is a Power at work, a life source your rusty mind will not ever figure out. Mirrors show you the truth. Meditation helps you to see it.
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Thoughts without a healing heart are what make us do seemingly crazy things. Example: "That drink looks good." You are a dry drunk, addicted and have no interior healing of the heart. The thought of the drink wins out and you go for it. Disaster for the addict. Now, the same person, but in this case, they are into recovery with a mediation time on a daily basis. The heart is healing. It is gathering strength from meditation. How do you know? Well, the same thought comes up since thoughts cannot be controlled. "That drink looks good," says the mind. But the heart has the energy to overcome that thought. The drink is left alone, plus the person replaces the thought with, "I think I will do some kind act now." Thoughts won't kill you. A broken heart will.
Friday, June 15, 2018
"I meditate but nothing happens," so says my friend. Oh? Maybe what needs tweaking is your expectations. "Something" is happening but it is not in line with your expectations. The God I experience in meditation answers me sometimes in silence and blankness. That is not nothing. It is a response of incomprehensible mystery to my set aside time for meditation. God is showing up, but you want and expect something besides a blank empty feeling. Well, we don't control God, so forget your expectations. Have preferences if you want. I have let even them go. Preferences mean that I am still holding onto my will. Surrender is called for on my part. Yuk! I know, but that may be why God is seemingly absent in your feelings in any meditation. Surrender of the will? Why? You are human and so the will is a bit broken. We are not perfect. I was self-will run riot, so surrender for me is crucial. You may be in more virtuous shape than me, but surrender is still what God wants. How do I know? The blank times in meditation, the boredom, the empty feeling. Then I surrender a little. Then I don't care what takes place in my meditation. I just enjoy the incomprehensible mystery. And I gain sanity. So God must be at work. It is in the results of how your life changes, not in how good you feel when you meditate.
Thursday, June 14, 2018
I hear people say that they don't believe in God but they meditate. Belief for many of these non-believer people is about the mind and concrete thoughts. Their mind is not persuaded to the existence of God. Mind draws a blank. They are unmoved by theology. But theology that is mind focused without mediation is a bit like me telling you about my friend versus telling you about my God. My friend is concrete to me, but you have never met her. I tell you about her, attributes and such. But you may never encounter my friend, yet you think my friend exists because I say so. It is not so when I talk about God. People don't believe me in God-talk because they have not met God. They say they have to have a personal concrete encounter in order to believe. But God is never concrete. Thus you never meet a concrete God unless you are delusional. God is mystery and incomprehensible. The encounter, as concrete as a mystery can be, is in meditation. The encounter is interior. So the person who mediates has a belief but not in a concrete God they could see like they could see my friend. Mediation does not appeal to the mind. It does appeal to the power to change your life. Most people who have concrete thoughts about God don't change much. Meditators do. So who is it that gave you the power to change? Yourself? No one changes for the better all by themselves. It is the interior contact that makes the difference, not the mental constructs.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
People of the Book, the Bible, say that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. So they are supposed to act like God, right? But it seems that many of these 'Believers" have it all backwards or reversed. They act like God is made in their image and likeness. How so? Listen to them when you do something they disapprove of? Their response is, "God will get you." "You will burn." "You are going to hell." This is not about God but about what they would do to you if they were God. They want a god who is just as petty as they are, all full of rules and regulations, with no place for compassion, and mercy. Some others have created a god that will reward them materially for their work. Some others want a god who is an ER god, always on duty to fulfill their needs or wants. Now, I have had all of those god images in my life, but I am working on allowing God to be God, showing up, or not, to my satisfaction. When I don't get what I want it might be exactly what I need.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Why do so many of us obsess about being "popular?" As someone said, "Maybe that is not your role in life." I try to treat being popular with being able to hit a major league fastball. I would like to be able to hit a major league fastball and in my fantasy life, I can. But in reality it is something I cannot do. Let it go. Being popular is as illusive for me. I was never really popular in any group when I was growing up, or maybe I might say I was never as popular as I wanted to be. If I drank too much, I thought I was popular but that was only in my foggy mind. The next day, I was so very unpopular. I could be notorious, but that is not popular. I wasn't even popular in my ordination class or among priests. Then I got into the pulpit and something happened. I got popular. But I have learned not to take myself too seriously, or put too much into this popular stuff. It is ephemeral. It can be fleeting. It is about a talent, but maybe not about me personally. I value my friends, most of whom have never or rarely heard me preach. Friends know me, and still love me. Being "Priest" has nothing to do with their love for me. Preaching-priesthood-popularity is nice but not heart-filling. So if you are very popular with some group, ask yourself if it is enough, if it feeds your heart's desire to connect on its deepest level. And if you are not popular but have a few good friends then maybe count your blessings. Be grateful. Staying popular can be a lot of work. I am one lousy sermon away from being a "nobody."
Monday, June 11, 2018
Nefesh refers to soul but originally this word meant throat. It is all about the Spirit. The Spirit does not so much infuse the soul while bypassing the body, but rather each breath brings the Spirit to flood the throat and pass into the blood. Originally Spirit is seen as animating the body/soul. We are all one. We can feel this sometimes after we mediatate. We feel energized. When religion got down on the body, the focus became Spirit going into Soul. Bodies are just sources of sin and degradation. Christians seemed to forget that the Incarnation was about God taking on a body. One of the early heresies, one that had no use for the body, denied that God really took on a body since divinity and humanity could not mix. We mix. You are divine. Too bad most of us don’t know this, much less enjoy the energy of it. I have a friend who takes early morning bike rides to her meditation site. Then she is the energizer bunny the rest of the day. I meditate in the early morning too. Then I need a nap.
Sunday, June 10, 2018
I think that a lot of God believers have it all wrong. They think that they can earn their salvation, whatever they think that is. Salvation is not earned, if their bible is correct. Salvation is a gift, so it says in Scripture. You don't earn it. People seem to be motivated by good deeds in order to earn salvation, They call it "getting days off from purgatory." Organized religion has made a few bucks from this. People will do good works out of guilt or reward, but not out of gratitude. It seems part of the human condition to feel guilty or want to get some reward. We do good to feel better or at least not feel worse. But if we are saved as a gift, then why do good? You already have what you want. Gratitude. When I get up in the morning it is easier to feel I need to do better out of guilt or to get some payoff. Gratitude is harder to conjure up. But I try to make it my motivation. It is a way of saying thank you, or passing it forward. Some days are better than others. Somedays I don't believe so good!
Saturday, June 9, 2018
What does being "Average" mean? I see it as the middle ground between a failure and an exception. Some people are simply failures at life and some are exceptional. I am in the middle. I am average and this is good too. As my church tends to say, I did not choose to be a priest, like someone chooses to get married or be a plumber. I was "called." Who called, if this is so? Well, God did. Now if you believe in a God, why would God call average people? Isn't God supposed to be exceptional and therefore want only exceptional people who would be brilliant and efficient as being a priest? If I, who am average, was called to be a priest, I think it was so that I could talk about everyday, average experiences that people have. Most of us are having average human daily lives. So why not preach about the everyday practical world in which we live? Being average is a gift. People tell me that my preaching is about the everyday life to which they can relate and they find this helpful. So if you think you are average don't put yourself down. It is gift of normalcy. Pass on to others how you grow to be the best normal person you can be, without envy of the exceptional person, or whining about being a failure. The way out of failure? Stop whining. Become an exceptional normal, average person. People will love you for it. They love my averageness.
Friday, June 8, 2018
Deep mediation is a great way to narrow the distances that organized religion seems to put between us. Say for instance there is a believer and a non-believer, in the existence of God. The believer is full of catechism, and scripture, while the non-believer is full of derision at all this fantasy. The chasm. It can end up in violence. Deep meditation which both people might do or might accept, can fill in the valley between them. How? Both people stop focusing on what is going on in their mind.
let go of focusing on your images of God, or your images of a more perfect world without the God stuff. Thinking may go on, but both people ignore it. Their method of mediation is directed at letting go of mind focus. Each person then may have a glimpse of an experience of peace, connectedness, calm, stillness and silence. Don't name it. Just enjoy the experience whenever it comes. Then you can share with one another your experience of the mediation. It amazes me what connections people of different cultures and background make with one another when they speak from the experience of deep mediation. They don't try to kill one another or prove one another wrong. The human condition has a spiritual dimension that connects us all, call it what you will, or don't name it at all.
Thursday, June 7, 2018
At times I find my living situation, wherever I am, to be a bit trying. I would that things, people, and situations would be different and I give my reasons for why things are messy. But now and again, I am reminded or have a revelation, that these situations might be an opportunity for me to grow. I discover that my reasons for things being not so good, are really excuses, so that I don't have to change or grow. I need some fixing. What do we use to fix things? Tools. I need to pick up my spiritual tool box and go to work on me. Each day, I might need a different tool depending on what is a bit broken in me that day. Some days it is the pity pot me. Other days, I am the helpless victim. Or the Judge of me or others. I might need the resentment tool, or the fear tool. It varies. But I try to work on me each day. I often find my outlook to change with changes in me. interior change gives me new eyes, or better eyes to see, and sometimes I just need to forgive and move on. Don't condemn yourself for being imperfect. There is a tool for that. Acceptance.
I found out that yesterday's blog went onto Facebook twice. I know i put it on there manually. So how did it get on a second time at about the same time? I think that my guardian angel is at work too. Maybe she found out how to make the blog connect to facebook automatically. Patti Cunningham and Daniel have been working on it too. I may do nothing today and see if this and the regular blog go automatically onto Facebook. So exciting to have heavenly help!
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Some people think that the word, "Amends" means that you say you are sorry. Huh? Saying you are sorry does not change bad behavior for which you are sorry in the first place. "Amends" does not mean sorry. Someone reminded me that it means, "Become a better person." In other words, change your behavior. Saying you are sorry and having no further plans for change, simply is an attempt to make yourself feel better. It is all about you. It is selfish. I have found it so when I go to confession in my church. If I simply say I am sorry, but have no plans for change, it is all about feeling better. Does God feel better? Not on my agenda at that moment. One of the best ways to apologize is to change for the better in relationship to the situation in which you are saying you are sorry. Well, how do I change? Left to my own power, my own desire, my own will, I won't change. After too much bad behavior, my power, desire, and will are pretty broken or weak. I need a power better than me. To paraphrase St. John the Baptist, "I must become less so that the power can become more." I might do more, and do better, but not make me the center of my attention. Meditation helps. Humility might show up!
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Do you find yourself obsessing over the trivial? Your mind might have a singleness of purpose, to do some really good thing. But you get sidetracked by the trivial. I suggest it might be all about fear. But it does not show up as "I am afraid!" Fear is sneaky. It shows up, in the trivial focus, as a desire for control. We are terrified of losing control, unless of course, we drink or drug. Then we don't care as control flows away and we slide into a mess. So if you find yourself, at the end of the day, looking over your day, and find that you spent a lot of time on the irrelevant, that looked so important during the day, and did not get to that great project or time with that important person, you might think about how you are doing with fear. When I have no time for someone important in my life, I try to look at fear issues. The days when I keep everything under control, but have no contact with some important person in my life, that is a fear day for me. I call it insanity.
Monday, June 4, 2018
Those who don't have enough, or the have-nots, seem to be attracted to the prosperity gospel. One can always find a bible quote, the one here being, "I have come to give you life, and to give it more abundantly." There is no service commitment to one's neighbor, or the suffering person here. John 10:10 translates into, "Ask not for what you can do for God, but what God can do for you." Religion can then become the art of the ultimate deal, in this case with God. Maybe one tithes, or attends services, but always to get something back. I am more drawn to the cheerful giver. I am not one, but am a wannabe. I would like to prosper in love. It is a work in progress.
As of June 6, I can no longer automatically post my blog to facebook. I do these blogs days and weeks in advance and set a blog timer for the date to post on the blog and then it goes to facebook. If my blog is Wordpress, then "If This Then That" or IFTTT might work, but I don't think I am Wordpress. Where is Patty Cunningham when I need her! Anyhow, you can post it directly to your email by going to the blog: frterrysspiritualstuff.blogspot.com then look down the left side of the screen until you come to where you can submit your email for receiving the blog each day automatically. Some have done this though one person said it did not work for her. Hmmm. I will try to do it manually each day but it might be somewhat erratic or I forget or life happens. I am waiting for someone to tell me about IFTTT and Wordpress status.
Just found out I use Blogger which is free. I think one pays for Wordpress, and I won't do that.
Just found out I use Blogger which is free. I think one pays for Wordpress, and I won't do that.
Sunday, June 3, 2018
In my religion some people idealize the past, maybe the 1950s or the medieval church. But it has been pointed out to me that this could end up looking like a gated Christian community, that is, a group of people who wall themselves off from others who don't agree with them. It goes counter to the idea of "Catholic" which is supposed to mean "All." Catholic means inclusive. This would call for a lot of acceptance, since the more inclusive you are, the more diverse you are. The idealizers don't care for diversity. They want uniformity, and this is expressed in rules, laws and rituals that are unbending and unchanging from the idealized time. I have found that when I don't like change, it is usually because I am frightened. Fear comes in various disguises. I have found it so.
Those of you who are reading the blog on Facebook, it has been going there from my blog automatically for years. Beginning June 6 this will not be the case. The company that did this is not going to do it anymore, so I will have to send my blog to Facebook manually each day. This may not happen daily or on a timely basis. But you have two other choices. One is to go directly to the blog, frterrysspiritualstuff.blogspot.com and read the daily blog posted at 4:00. I actually create these blogs days or week in advance, so I would have to get up and remember to manually cut and paste to Facebook each day. Good luck on that. The second thing you can do is go to the blog and scroll down the left side to where it says you can enter your email and get the blog automatically sent there each day. I suspect I will lose a few readers. If I find a service that does this for free I will go there.
Saturday, June 2, 2018
Christians believe that faith is a gift. So you don't earn it. What is it faith in? It seems that it is faith in Jesus as God and Risen. Now that is a pretty big leap, but notice that this gift has no steps, or work projects to it. So it seems possible that one could have the gift of Christian Faith, but not change much for the better. Not you of course. But the Christian's scripture seems to emphasize a teaching called "The Way" For the original believers, the gift of faith was connected to "The Way" which was not a gift. The Way referred to doing and acting what Jesus said and did. It is not a gift. You have to work for it. I find people who "believe" but don't do the work, the steps of following their Jesus. Lots of believers don't want to do the work. It would allow for believing that one is saved, but then practicing bad behavior in relationship with the world and people around the "believer." So I tend to say, "I am trying to believe," since I think that dogma belief and right action go together. To separate them is like someone saying they believe in AA but then not do the steps. The results are nil.
Friday, June 1, 2018
Now and again you see a cross with an anchor as the bottom part of the cross. What is that? The anchor represents safety, as in being safely anchored somewhere, having arrived, if you will. You might see them on funeral monuments. It is there to express the idea that the departed person has arrived safely at their port of eternal peace. The deceased is safe, as depicted by the anchor and saved as depicted by the cross. I got to thinking about bad behavior. Such behavior, built up over time, with repeat actions, will weigh us down, and seems to leave us with a heavy heart. I think of Jacob Marley, the ghost with the long chain of bad behaviors when he comes to Ebenezer Scrooge in the Dickens work, "A Christmas Carol." I hope my chain is not too long. How about you? Who wants to be anchored in "you know where?" Today is June 1. Where is 2018 going? So fast. I better get to being good.