Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Love Yourself

One of the best ways to love yourself is to love another person.  But be careful of your motive.  If you love another person so that they will change, you are on a frustrating path.  Love does not change another person.  Love changes you who do the loving.  Think of a parent who loves a child.  If they love as a subtle form of control, that is, the child will turn out as the parent hopes, the parent may very well become frustrated.  What if the child does not turn out as you wanted?  It is not your fault.  You did not love wrongly.  Love does not have the power to change the other person.  It does have the power to change the one loving.  You will become a better person.  So, love yourself by loving another person.  In loving, we change, and for the better.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Arithmetic Mind

When the Apostles come back to Jesus from their mission of preaching and healing, why does Jesus not praise them?  They are all excited about what they accomplished.  Before this they may have wondered why he chose them.  He sent them on their mission with no real training and told them to travel light.  Trust and go.  They did well.  Now all Jesus asks them to do is go away to a quiet spot for a while.  The Arithmetic Mind is the reason I think Jesus did this.  What is the Arithmetic Mind?  It is the one that is always adding and subtracting, comparing and contrasting.  The Apostles did well in their mission. Ergo, they must be good.  Do well=being good.  Later, when Jesus is arrested and they all run away, they are filled with fear.  We ran away frightened=we are bad.  The Arithmetic Mind says we are valued by what we do or fail to do.  Most of us have had this training.  Jesus' message is that we are good period.  We are wonderfully made and innately lovable, in spite of the good or bad that we do.  When we fail and repent, or surrender to changing our life, we don't become lovable.  We become whole.  There is a difference.  Do you have the Arithmetic Mind?  I have my days when I just don't seem to add up.  Some days are truly recovery days. I recover my basic goodness.  This is an act of faith.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


As Janice McLaughlin tells us, the Impala outnumbers all the other African antelope.  Why?  The Impala is very open to change.  It can change its diet depending on the season of the year, and go without water for long periods in drought.  What about us?  Do you find it difficult to accept change? Are you hardwired to things being routine and predictable?  Are you intolerant of others who are not like you?  You may be missing out on the God presence or some spiritual encounter.  God seems to appear and act in unwanted and unplanned changes, but we miss them because we want our secure routines.  Did not Jesus approach some guys who were into their fishing business and say, “Come follow me.”  Christianity started out unplanned, but has become very much into routines as it became institutionalized.  Maybe try something a little different or unique for you today?

Saturday, July 28, 2018


Marie Montessori, was a polymath and the first woman doctor in Italy.  She was also a daily Catholic communicant.  In her teaching method she felt that "freedom" did not mean doing whatever you want, but rather being having the ability to do what you are called to do, your vocation if you will.  Many people want to be free to do what they want, but if we have strong leanings to do what is not good for us, called bad habits or faults, we are not really free.  We are bound by our shortcomings.  Ask any person working the Twelve Steps about that.  There are certain times on some days, when I suddenly don't feel free at all.  I know in my head the right thing to do, but I don't do it.  I do what is not good for me.  In those instances I am only likely to do the right thing because of reward and punishment.  It is the basis of religious instruction.  Do good or burn.  If I do the right thing out of fear or reward than I am not free.  Love frees me.  Love myself and love others.  Sometimes I just cannot find the love.  I am fortunate today to be able to learn what I want when I want to learn it.  It is only when I love myself that I learn what is good for me to keep me growing into my purpose.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Mr. Rogers

I saw the movie, "Won't You Be My Neighbor," which was the children's show done by Fred Rogers beginning in 1968.  Among other things he wanted children to know that they were special just as they are.  He got slammed for this by people who are upset with "exceptionalism" that young people nowadays supposedly feel.  These Critics of Fred Rogers, think that you are special when you do something to earn it.  For them being special is not part of your nature, your very self.  It is earned.  Now if these people are going to Christian churches, I surmise that they are hearing some other gospel than the one that Jesus pro-ported to preach.  I heard that we were made in God's image and likeness without having a need for any faith.  We did not earn this accolade.  It is part of us.  Fred Rogers felt that love was the answer and the lack of love the problem.  If you felt a lack of love when a child, you may well be acting it out or letting it control you as an adult.  I have to avoid the trap of falling into manipulation when I work at being loved.  I am loved.  Even if you don't agree.  You do agree, Right?  😯

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Eighth Grade

I was reading a good review on a new movie, "Eighth Grade," in which it mentions "Be yourself!"  It parodies this, and rightfully so.  When we are growing up, how can we be ourselves?  When you turn 13, 14 and so on in these teen years you have never been that age.  You have no experience being 13, plus you are developing physically, emotionally, and psychologically.  You cannot be the 12 year old you were nor the 13 you are now, this day.  So what to do?  Try some new experiences even if they might give you some fear.  Make sure that they are not harmful to you or others.  Going through a new airport on the way to a new destination to try some new things might be scary but it will not hurt you.  Go to a new museum.  Try a musical instrument.  I tried guitar as a teenager.  Read a book that is not school assigned.  Study a subject that has nothing to do with school assignments, such as zoology, or botany.  Read about flowers and birds.  The first time I saw classical ballet, I knew it was for me, not to dance but to enjoy.  Oh, learn some new dance such as square dance or ballroom.  Ignore the competitiveness in these areas. Even if you are a competitive athlete, less than 1% of us will be this as adults.  Do things for fun and curiosity.  All these are attempts to see what sparks you and gives you a sense of what you might have a passion for.  Walk through a library and see what book jacket topics attract you.  All this may help you to "Become yourself."  Becoming may be lifelong.  Staying self-absorbed will get no one anywhere.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Not Ready?

One of the reasons we give for not being of service or helpful to others, is that we say, "I am not ready."  So what.  Even if you don't believe in Jesus as divine, he seems like a pretty smart guy and loving too.  Did he not send out his disciples, two by two when they were not ready?  To top it off he told them to leave the heavy luggage behind.  Just wear sandals and walking stick.  Forget the money bags.  Wow.  So he must have know something in his wisdom.  The disciples went off and did some really good stuff for others.  I feel that I cannot be helpful sitting around and saying I am not ready.  Most of that is fear, and a bit of sloth.  The only way to get over my shortcomings is to act.  Sometimes I say I have nothing to say, and don't want to write a blog.  This may be one of those blogs!  Nothing!  But it got me over fear, false pride and laziness.  Practice patience, acceptance, and hope.  Keep reading these blogs😇

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Once upon a a time there was a beautiful young woman named Gomer. She married a wealthy guy named Hosea.  He really loved her because she cheated on him and then left him to become a courtesan of rich men.  As long as her beauty lasted so did the wealth grow from her paramores.  But Hosea still loved her, forgave her, tried to get her to come back, and continued to share his wealth with her.  What a loser he is right?  Dump her says the modern world.  Anyhow, Gomer ages, rich men disappear along with her good looks and she ends up with a pimp in a brothel.  Hosea finally finds her, sells his wealth to free her from the pimp and brings her home.  Isn’t this a bit bizarre?  But then why did Hosea get a book of the Bible named after him?  Can anyone one of us love like this? Probably not. But maybe God can.  I sure hope so, because I am often quite unfaithful.  I identify more with Gomer in superficial choices I make.  How about you?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Toilet Paper

Some people say that my homilies are worthless because they don't talk enough about teachings of the Catholic Church, and the sacraments, especially repentance.  I may indeed be worthless, but I am not forgettable.  Years ago, as a recently ordained priest, I gave a homily in my Houston parish and used the image of toilet paper to make my point, whatever the point was.  A young mother, now a  grandmother, heard that homily.  Now, some 40 years later, her daughter, who follows my blog, says Mom thinks about me every time she opens a new package of toilet paper.  So there.  People say that my homilies are poop, but memorable poop, as toilet paper will attest.  Now what was that point?  Well, at least I am memorable! Use the everyday to speak about grander things.  It works, or so I have found.

Sunday, July 22, 2018


Today would be my sister Maureen's birthday.  She was born in 1939.  You can do the math.  She died too young, for me anyway.  She could be very practical.  I pray to her each day.  I need a little inspiration and sometimes just some help beyond my capacity.  Now, you say why not just ask God or my Jesus, if I am a believer?  Well, in a sense I am asking God.  I believe that God speaks through and reveals God's plans for me through good people.  Maureen was good.  I was bad.  She is still good, but not in flesh.  I am still bad, and in flesh.  I have a reassuring image of Maureen in my mind when I pray.  She is the face of God if you will.  The faces in the flesh, of the witch, the boss, meanie, yucky big sister, are all gone.  Well mostly.  There can always be nightmares, but the real present day big Sis is with God and she is taking care of me.  So don't mess with me, cause the witch will come back and get you!   Happy Birthday, Sis.  Miss you.  Love, Little Brother

Saturday, July 21, 2018


Faith is not something that is unchanging.  It is steeped in time.  It was revealed, and developed in a specific time.  Time affects faith.  If you want to pass it on to others in the future, you need to make it relevant to the changing time.  If you did not care for future generations to know about faith, than it could fossilize.  People nowadays memorize a creed but I doubt it changes them for the better because of it.  Faith has to adapt to each and every age.  The similes and examples that you use to compare and contrast have to be modern, up to date to explain a faith.  Institutional Churches have to adjust to the modern mentality.  Holding on to the past as past being the norm, is what museums do.  It teaches you something about the past, but how does that change one for the better.  Look at Alcoholics Anonymous.  It was founded in 1935.  It was all male, all white collar, most all with baptism, and only about alcohol.  Had AA not changed, it would be dead today, or a museum piece, small and quaint nod to a long gone past.  There are a few people who would like their churches to be old fashioned, with lots of Latin and chant.  So be it, but you won’t get a lot of moderns going for that.  All returns to the past satisfy a small number.  If you want a small group of like-minded people don’t change.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Baptism Of Desperation

Though AA is not a religion it does have a baptism that can change your life.  It is what I call the “Baptism of Desperation.”  It is the beginning of transformation that attracts others in similar predicaments.  Baptism in religion is often done to babies or when done to adults is part of becoming a member of a group. Grace is everywhere so I am not discounting this baptism as being change oriented.  But it is not like when you have one foot in hell and am miserable such that suicide looks like a good way out.  What is the difference than in the transformation of AA versus religious baptism?  AA attracts others who have “desperation” weighing then down.  Not many religiously baptized people attract others.  They may promote, or evangelize, telling people all about God.  But my sense is that outsiders look for more than talk.  They look for walking the walk.  AA is not about membership.  That is wannabe stuff.  It is about action that changes you such that others want what you have.  Desperation is not such a bad thing if you can keep from killing yourself while reaching out for the waters of the twelve steps.  So I have heard and observed.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Maria Meneses

Maria Meneses grew up with money in Nicaragua.  But illness made her take a second look at “the meaning of life.”  She moved to Costa Rica as a Salesian sister and taught rich kids, as the church did back then in Central America, early 20th century.  But that “meaning of life” question was not yet satisfied.  Maria saw her true vocation: forming the consciences of the rich young girls to minister to the poor. She called her girls, “little missionaries,” offering instruction and material help to the poor girls in schools for the poor.   Then Maria went on the found schools, soup kitchens, and clinics.  What fascinates me is the step by step progress that one makes, starting out with a bad break, (illness in her case) and asking that question, “What is the meaning of life?”  That is how I ended up a Catholic priest, who had an MBA from Columbia School of Business.  Be careful when you ask that question.  You might get an answer that will change your life.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Hippopotamus

Once upon a time, God made the hippopotamus.  Since it was the last animal God made, it was put together with bits and pieces left over from other animals already made. The hippo was ashamed that it was so fat and ugly, so it asked God to let it live in the water where it would not be seen.  God refused because the hippo had a big mouth and teeth and would eat too many fish.  The hippo promised it would graze on grass.  God agreed.  To this day the hippo spends the daylight hours in the water and comes out only at night to graze on the grasses.  Do you ever feel like a hippo, without self-acceptance and self-love?  These would be our hippo days or moments.  None of us are perfect.  Vanity is another thing.  Be compassionate to others who are having self-doubts and this might keep you from thinking so much about you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Cell

Abba Moses said, “Sit in your cell and your cell will teach you everything.”  This is wisdom for us all.  Many of us get seduced by the idea that things will be better elsewhere.  When restless and bored, we decide to make a change. “Escape” is the focus, though we fool ourselves that we are making “improvements” or getting out of a bad situation.  People leave jobs, relationships, localities, daily health practices all because they think things will be better elsewhere.  We take ourselves to the elsewhere. But we do not escape ourselves.  That is an inside job that requires less and not more movement or change.  I sometimes get bored in the monastery.  The same old, same old.  I have learned to stay put, and have found “second opinions” or what I call Soul-Think.  I often find that doing less change brings more change, within, which is where the change needs to happen in most cases.  Certainly in my case.

Monday, July 16, 2018


Voluntary poverty is something that saints seem to practice.  It made them better people.  There is a form of voluntary poverty we can all practice that will do the same for us and make us “saints” too!  Say what?  It is the acceptance that I simply do not have enough, and that is OK.  We don’t have enough time, knowledge, patience and stamina to do it all.  We can simply do what we can do with what resources we have and move on.  None of us have it all.  We are mere humans, but glorious humans!  Fantasy world is not a human world because it has no limits.  It is inhuman.  We might call some people inhuman because of the terrible things we judge them to be doing.  But we treat our precious selves inhumanly when we try to do the impossible.  I try to accept the poverty of my human self.  I write imperfect blogs, limited in wisdom, yet I write them. Some days are better than others.  But if I held myself to a standard of perfection, I would write nothing.  I hope that would upset at least a couple of you!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Money Or Time

Some of us say we are not grasping people.  What is often meant is that we are not grasping for things, possessions or money.  But we are often still “grasping” people.  We grasp for time.  We never have enough time to satisfy all the voices in our head for tasks or identities we take on.  What to do?  I think some meditation might help though a voice in our head will immediately complain, “I have no time for this!”  It is just another voice. Mediation does take time but then it might free us, that is, seemingly give us a sense of more time, because mediation tends to quiet some of the more disruptive voices in our head.  How does that play out?  We begin to prioritize, and even let some things go, because we will notice that the energy to produce in some areas is based on shame, guilt, and fear that we are not enough.  There are so many things I “could” be doing, but then I am already crazy enough.  I can never “do it all.”  I am not God.

Saturday, July 14, 2018


If a donkey is stubborn and obstinate, with self-will run riot, and you load it up with precious cargo, will the donkey be any less stubborn, obstinate and self-willed?  NO.  So it is with us.  We have the precious cargo of our gifts and talents, but that does not make us necessarily change for the better if we only focus on our pluses.  We have to do a daily inventory of our shortcomings, so that we can see where we need to continue to work to become better people.  We all know people who are very talented but at the same time, they can be real jerks. Not us of course.  We don’t have to focus all day on the negatives in our personality but an examination of conscience in the evening and thinking about our faults for a moment in the morning can go a long way to making everyone’s life better.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Maasai Children

You can fact check this but I believe that the Maasai children are treated differently than children in the church in this country when it comes to Holy Communion in the Catholic Church.  Where the Maasai culture is incorporated into the mass, children receive communion first, at the mass.  Age and theological catechism do not rule.  For the Maasai, children are always included in any meal.   The children are always fed first even if there is a shortage of food.  So in the Catholic mass, the parents would not receive if the children did not.  In Mexico, when an infant is baptized, they receive Holy Communion.  It seems that in the USA we have this fixation on age, and intellectual knowledge, going to classes to learn all about the Eucharist.  We are so much into the mind as if that controlled the heart of a relationship with God.  What if the next time a parent in a USA church brought their child up to the altar at communion and gave them the host.  What would happen?  It is not that catechetical training is inferior or bad. It has great value.  But when you hear some official say that you cannot receive because the Catholic Church teaches, as if it were a universal, just ask them about the Maasai.  Fact-check first.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Ball

Didn't Jesus say to become like a child?  I think that all spiritual path leaders might have this image in mind when it comes to prayer.  Think of a child who plays with a ball.  Then the child drops the ball, puts it down and goes onto something else.  The ball rolls into a corner.  By and by, the child comes looking for the ball to play with it again.  And so on.  This is being childlike.  The ball is like prayer time with God.  At one moment you are focused on prayer.  It consumes your attention.  Then you are done, put prayer aside and go onto something else.  You still care about prayer, just as the child still cares about the ball, but not twenty four seven.  By and by, you come back to prayer.  If you want to be a saint, first learn to be a child.  And even if you don't envision sainthood in your future, still become like a child when it comes to prayer.  The child is a better child for playtime, less fussy, and you will be too if you are childlike about prayer.  Cranky babies are a lot of work.  So are cranky adults.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Live in the largeness of life.  What?  Don't focus so much on your failures, mistakes, and brain dead things you do or forget to do.  That is living in the smallness of life.  It is all about you, "small self" and you are a lot larger than that.  Your small self is where you house your fears, doubts, anxieties, and resentments.  Your world is so small in these energies.  When you live in largeness, you may still fall, or mess up, but you get right back up and move on.  If there is a God in your life, that God loves you no matter what.  If you tried something and it did not turn out as you planned or hoped, so what.  You tried.  Success is never up to us anyway.  The results to live by are that you have this day as a gift, this large day, to be the best that you can be. Results are in the efforts.  Love your self enough to skip the perfection stuff.  Be human. Play and pray are words that sound almost the same.  There might be a reason for that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Lack Of Power

Homily Notes 
Fr. Terry Ryan, CSP
Mark 6: 1-6a
July 8, 2018

Lack of power, this is what many of us say is our problem.  But the gospel offers it as an opportunity, rather than a problem.  Jesus has a “thorn in his side.”  It is his relatives and long-time friends from his hometown where he grew up.  They are offended by the change in Jesus, from stay at home carpenter, to traveling preacher and healer.  Crucifixion and resurrection will really blow them away.  Jesus is powerless to change them, and he is supposed to be God!  What is his response beyond amazement?  He continues to do the best he can, moving on with his ministry, calling, vocation, to be all that he was born to be.  

It is the same with us.  When we cannot change people, places and things, why not see it as an opportunity to let it go and give it over to God.  Effort is our job.  Results are not.  When we accept our weakness to be unable to make changes in ourselves or others, we can let it go to the power of God.  That is what Paul the evangelist meant when he said about the thorn in his side, “Where I am weak, then I am strong.”  Paul kept on doing what he was doing and did not let success be defined by how people responded to him.  

The Prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures were commissioned to speak out against the rulers and the people who were hard-hearted.  The prophet’s job is to be faithful to their calling, not to worry about the results, and in fact few people listened or changed for the better.  

Power is not our problem.  We may have the power to be faithful to our mission, our work, our relationships, even our hobbies.  What we lack is humility when we think our efforts will change what we think needs to change.  Effort is necessary, crucial, but be humble enough to accept that you are not God nor are you in charge of changing others.  Our job is to change ourselves, or allow ourselves to be changed by God for the better.  Outside results don’t necessarily change our insides. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Eland

The Eland is the largest of all the African species of antelope.  Thus it is quite slow.  Predators could easily outrun an Eland and that would be bad for the Eland.  But, the Eland has a gift.  It has a unique air-conditioning system.  Instead of sweating out heat, losing water, panting, it stores the heat and gives it off in the cool of night.  Thus the Eland can live in dry and very hot areas where its predators cannot survive.  The Eland has endurance for harsh climates.  How do you endure harsh situations?  What is your emotional or spiritual cooling system?  In the “cool” of the morning, if you will, I practice meditation, and take a look at possible shortcomings in my personality, so as to steel myself to not let them take over when difficulties come to me later in the day.  I might check in with others during the day to get some wisdom in how to endure what cannot be avoided in my day. There might be a difficult relationship, a shortage of something, suffering from the poor planning of another, or just plans gone array.  Meditation and asking for help are ways to toughen up for the arid times.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Looking-Glass Self

The phrase, “looking-glass self” refers to seeing ourselves through the reflection of others who care about us.  How do your friends see you?  This will tell you a lot about who you truly are.  At times, we invent a self for the sake of a job interview, promotion, reward, or to control others.  Sometimes we create a false self because we do not like the person we “think” we are.  But we may not be that person at all, or only a little bit of that person.  I think of myself as selfish and whiny, but friends see something else in me.  I am surprised at all the goodness they see in me, or the way they see me being of use to the world around me.  One woman said, “You have no idea how much influence you have in people’s lives here.”  Well, no I don’t, so I need the “looking-glass self to be shown to me, to give me a balance, to enjoy the best of me, and wallow in the love.  Too often, when we look at ourselves without any “second opinion” it is like looking at a wall and thinking we are seeing ourselves.  So be a “looking-glass” for someone who has a negative sense of themselves.  Practice love.

Saturday, July 7, 2018


You can learn a lot from a crocodile, whose meat, by the way is more tasty and tender than chicken, I hear.  The crocodile has enormous patience.  It knows how to wait.  It does not forage after food.  When hungry it floats in the water, like a log, for days until its food comes along for a drink. Then the croc strikes.  All around it, fish are chasing after food, but the croc does not give in to the pace of the masses.  It can live to be 110 years old.  So patience may pay off.  Do we know how to wait, as in prayer or love, or friendship? Must we be so into trying to make things happen and judgmental of those who move at a slower pace?  Meditation is waiting and being patient.  Are you in a hurry to read this blog and get on to the next thing?  Hmmm.

Friday, July 6, 2018

High Society

In the 1950s movie, “High Society,” Grace Kelly, in her last movie before marrying the Prince of Monaco, and while wearing her actual engagement ring in the movie, is engaged to a man named George.  At one point in the movie George says to Grace, Samantha is her movie name, “I adore you.”  Samantha looks at George and says with a bit of a frown, “I don’t want to be adored.  I want to be loved.”  Is not that the truth ladies?  Why do guys look for women that they can adore, put on a pedestal, but when such a women proves to be human and imperfect, the man loses interest, or dumps her, or goes to find some other person to adore?  So the next time a guy tells you he adores you, or you are the most perfect person in the world, this is a red flag.  You might say what Samantha said, I want to be loved.”  I wonder if the Prince of Monaco adored his Princess?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Solution Fails

What happens when your solution to happiness stops working?  You might consult with others who have had the same experience of suffering through a failed solution.  Example: a fellow said that he “drank himself into sobriety.”  Say what?  Yes, drinking was his solution to scary and negative feeelings.  He drank and it numbed him out.  He did stop feeling fearful, anxious, lonely, and so on.  Then one day he drank and could not numb out.  He drank more but his negative feelings stayed the same.  Alcohol, his solution, stopped working.  Instead of isolating or killing himself, he decided to go find people who might understand his predicament.  He went to AA.  There he found people who had failed at life, just like him, but had found a way to a more successful and happy life.  They had found a different solution.  So when you think your solutions are failing you, why not find some other people who have had similar failures and see what they are doing about it?  It seems more constructive than isolation or suicide.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018


One of the freedoms that I celebrate today is the freedom I have from some of my worst faults.  Through trudging the daily road of working on my faults, avoiding situations that trigger them and trying to be more useful to others, I have developed some separation from things that held me in bondage and could again if I do not do the daily work, spiritual and otherwise.  Never take our freedoms for granted.  Happy Fourth!

Baobab Tree

The Baobab tree thrives in hot, dry climates where nothing else seems to grow.  Its fruit is the tartar used in your toothpaste.  When a disease strikes the Baobab, the plant explodes from within to be rid of the sickness.  This causes gaping hole scares on the outside of the tree, but it is healthy again.  What might we learn from our friend the Baobab?  When the disease of hurts from the world around us get inside of us, we tend to hold onto them in resentments and seek revenge or hate whatever caused the hurt.  We “look good on the outside, but are messy on the inside.”  Why not explode from the inside in forgiveness and love?  It might cause scars on the outside, but we would be healed on the inside.  Don’t Christians say that when their Jesus rose, he had the scars from those who tried to hurt and kill him?  He was rather loving and accepting too as I recall.  Are you worried that you are letting others off too easy?  You assume that your hating them or not forgiving will make them feel badly?  Oh you of little power.  And all this resentment time, you are feeling miserable and sick inside.  Learn from the Baobab which flourishes in desert conditions because it lets go of the bad stuff.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Fear or Love

When we are afraid we tend to grasp, hoard, defend, make excuses, lie and other bad behavior that we might justify if we do not realize it is about fear.  On the other hand, when we are energized by love rather than fear, we tend to be more generous, less judgmental, more open-hearted and in a listening mode.  We tend to forgive more easily as a parent might their child.  When I find myself in fear, this is a plus, not the fear, but the recognition that fear is my main energy at the moment.  Then I ask myself, “What can I do to connect with love?”  I don’t try to get rid of fear directly.  I am not sure that is possible.  Rather, I try to find reasons to love.  It might start with “this day is a gift.”  An addict might work on their sobriety.  I might call someone up and ask how they are doing today and be ready to listen.  I might do some kind deed without being asked.  I might clean my room.  A clean room is a way of loving myself.  I may grumble a bit while I do it, but I feel so good when it is done.  Clean towels and sheets too.  Whatever, just get active and out of yourself.

Monday, July 2, 2018

A Problem

When wisdom literature such as the Bible says that something is a problem it does not mean that it is bad in itself.  Example: money or material wealth or just lots of stuff may not be bad in themselves.  But they can become a problem if they master us and get in the way of other beneficial things/activities. Does money rule your life?  Do material possessions rule your life?  Do they prevent you from doing some other things beneficial to yourself and maybe others.  If you say "I would like to meditate, but am too busy," what is the busy about?  Are you too busy making money or buying things, to allow time to pray?  To attend to a love one?  To care for someone who could use a little TLC? Sleep is the same issue.  Not getting enough sleep is not bad in itself, but it leads to problems such as being too tired to do necessary or important things.  When you hear Jesus say, "Choose God or mammon," is is not that mammon is bad, just that it gets in the way of choosing God.  So what gets in the way of you having a fuller life, rather than a busier one?  Busier is not fuller.

Sunday, July 1, 2018


I hear about the prayer of "letting go," "surrender," "renounce" and such as that.  Let go of what? The pleasure of enjoying prayer?  Well, if letting go is good, then you first have to have the pleasure.  So don't feel guilty when you read the surrender literature about prayer.  It is for the adepts, and if you ever get taken there, you will find surrender to make sense.  But first you have to have the pleasure.  So enjoy whatever spiritual practice you are doing.  It means you are where you are supposed to be.  You found a practice that makes you feel good, or at least better than if you did nothing, which is what you probably did when you lived a life of insanity.  Prayer that makes you feel miserable, loveless and energy depleted?  I would find another prayer way that makes you feel better.  Yeh for pleasure in prayer.