Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Not About Me

When I pray and feel good about it, fervent, warm and fuzzy, I think I am quite close to God and God is very pleased.  But this prayer is all about me.  I simply project onto God my good feelings.  That is,  if I feel good then God does too.  Whereas, when I pray and the feeling is all dry, boring, dull, distracted, then I think it is not a very good prayer, and God is not particularly happy with it.  Wrong. Prayer is all about the “wanting” to pray.  God appreciates my wanting, not my feelings good or bad.  Wanting to pray when I feel nothing much overcomes a bit of self-will that is controlled by feelings.  Feelings are not so important as attitude.  Think of love for another person.  When you are really fired up, “in love” all is easy.  But think of loving someone when you don’t feel like loving them, or think of someone loving you, being faithful to you, attentive to you, when they feel little in their heart.  This is the test of love, the wanting when you don’t have the feeling.  A commitment to prayer, is like a commitment to relationship.  Pray for the “wanting.”  The feelings will come and go.  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Terrible Fixer Upper

In the movie “Frozen” the trolls sing a song with the refrain: “He is a terrible fixer upper, who can be fixed up with love.”  They are referring to their mountain man friend, Gustav, who they want to marry the beautiful Princess, Anna.  Anna thinks she can love only a prince, not a rough mountain man in his smelly clothes and unkemp look.  The Trolls know that Gustav is in need of fixing up, not by a salon, but by love.  There are times when each of us needs some fixing up in a way that only love can do.  Sometimes we just have to love ourselves a little and not get so frazzled by impossible schedule demands.  Sometimes we just want someone else to love us, with patience, kindness and compassion.  Love can be a great fixer upper.  So what do we do when we see someone that could use some fixing up, such as they are having a bad day, or becoming somewhat high maintenance?  Do we ignore them?  Walk away and look for someone else who is less work and more fun?  Hopefully, a blog or two of mine is a good fixer upper for your day.

Monday, October 29, 2018


Irving Berlin wrote, “When I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep.”  This is what is called gratitude.  I have my gratitude list and I recite it at night when I get into bed.  When I focus on my plans, and programs for happiness, it is easy to get whiny, worried, and resentful.  The world is not cooperating with me.  So, I focus on things for which I should or am grateful.  My room and my bed are on my gratitude list.  Gratitude helps me to see the “plenty” in my life and not the “lack” according to my plans.  I seem to sleep better because I am a bit more worry-free.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Terrible Fixer Upper

In the movie "Frozen" the Trolls sing a song, "A terrible fixer upper can be fixed up with love."  They are referring to the rough mountain man, Gustav, in relation to Anna, a princess.  Their point is that some people are in much need of being fixed up, in more ways than a make-over at the salon.  When we meet such a person we might be able to help by the way we are toward and with them.  Assuming it is safe, can we be kind, compassionate and willing to listen, maybe even forgive?  Or do we just ignore such people as being "too much work."  I talked to the Catholic School students at Sacred Heart of Jesus school in Boulder about this and they got it.  Their parents and teachers sometimes need a little bit of love.  If our only response is to be selfish, self-centered and whiny, then we cannot give much love.  Of course, maybe I should have been giving a sermon on dogma, but I spoke about Frozen instead.  I might have to burn for this, but at least I was in the child's world.  Should get some time off for that!

Saturday, October 27, 2018


I notice that readership of my blogs has dropped by 50% or more in the last week.  Where did I go wrong?  I thought that when I went away on holiday, I would be missed.  Wrong.  I am forgotten.  Now this gives me a chance to practice acceptance and humility both of which follow self-pity and delusional thinking that I am important.  Maybe my ego had gotten too big and now I get a chance to practice being right-sized. But the monks at the monastery, though they do not read my blogs, do miss me and want me to come there, throw away my computer, and just live there with them.  I keep telling the monks, “No, no, I cannot do that.  People love me in other places.  They would miss me and want me with them.”  Well, maybe not so much if my blogs are any indication.  Whatever happens, at least I get to practice the spiritual growth of acceptance and humility.  But that self-pity stuff seems to be hanging on!  I need a hug.  Don’t we all?

Quiet Heart

Some people say that the goal of a spiritual practice or program is love.  Love is the goal.  But I like to think love as part of the path.  The goal is a quiet heart.  To have a quiet heart in the midst of a tempest seems to be what the spiritual giants have in common.  Being of service to others is part of the path to a quiet heart.  It is not the goal.  Forgiveness, compassion, a listening ear, kindness, acceptance are all tools that build a quiet heart.  There is a peace of mind that goes with a quiet heart in spite of how our plans are interrupted or cut short.  We cannot control all the stuff that goes on around us, but our response, the tools, the spiritual practice on a daily basis, can decide how we will respond.  Instead of me saying, “How do I get what I want?”  I ask, “How do I have a quiet heart in this situation?”

Friday, October 26, 2018

Kitchen Rock Star

At Sea Ranch I like to cook.  Yesterday I made Petrale Sole with my own dressing/flavoring.  I only seem to make it here on vacation.  Today, I made an Italian Spaghetti Sauce that a friend taught me to do.  It was my first time making it by myself.  My sister added meat balls from a recipe she has.  It was delicious.   I love to cook for a couple of people if it does not have to be on the table at an “exact” time.  I could be a good house husband.  Though some days I am high maintenance.  Not at Sea Ranch.  Two questions you young ladies might ask prospective partners is: Can you cook? And are you high maintenance?  These are lifetime gifts to a bride.  I don’t know if marrying money makes up for being high maintenance and being clueless in kitchen. I await responses.  But I am your go to guy for fish and pasta.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Sea Ranch

I am at Sea Ranch, California right now on my annual holiday vacation with my sister, Jane.  This is not one of those travel vacations.  I am not sightseeing or visiting friends.  We have been doing this Sea Ranch time a week each year in the California Fall, over a 30 year stretch.  We started in 1988.  There is no other place like this Sea Ranch time.  I cook here.  I don’t much cook anywhere else.  I jog, swim in the pool, read the Times, and watch Sports. It is the World Series times.  My passions!  Oh, I pray too, but not like a ton.  Why sit a lot of time with my eyes closed?  I am on the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean.  You can google it and see.  Hardly any tourists are here this time of year.  It is quiet.  There is a wonderful fish and butcher shop and fresh veggies and fruit in town only 3 miles away.  Sea Ranch is on the road to heaven.  I miss you all, sort of.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


I like this term “adult-ing.”  It is the act of being an adult.  It is not the bliss or the tantrum of childhood.  It is not so much being cared for as being the care-giver, the responsible one.  Some of us like being considered an adult when it suits us.  “Treat me like an adult,” we might say to someone who is dissing us.  But at times we are “grown up” physically, but are being treated as children because we might be acting childish.  This is not the same as child-like in wisdom literature.  We cannot have it both ways, acting childish but wanting to be treated as an adult.  If we are whining, self-centered, blaming, and pouting, then we won’t get “respect.”  And if we are acting childish when we are supposed to be taking care of a real child, this is disaster.  It is hard to be an adult, and often a thankless task.  It is OK to have a few “Poor me,” feelings, but we cannot act on them.
Adults have to suck it up a lot of times.  But the world would be in such a worse mess if there are not enough adults in it, being adults.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Love Process

You hear someone say, “We fell in love and then we got married.”  But it does not always, if ever, go that two step simple.  Here is another process someone related to me.  “We fell in like. We fell in lust, and then we fell in love.”  To go from lust to love, one must realize that they have more to offer than sex.  This realization comes from the partner relationship.  You learn to accept and be with one another, to value each other, without there being a “catch.”  My Catholic Church does not like the process of going from lust to love, and many parents are real Catholic when it comes to this.  But lust to love is real, so we might as well face it and see how the process can work out for the best.  The relationship begins to build to some permanence when the couple realize that sex and lust are not so primary.  You become a person and not a body.  You don’t come together with some end of the evening trist planned.  Being together and sharing life becomes more and more wonderful.  And you learn that sex fixes nothing much worth fixing.  Selfish, self-centered people, often start and end with lust.  They don’t like themselves very much, so they won’t like anyone else.  Love is foreign to self-imploded people, but the truly clueless think lust is love.  I hope I never come back as a teenager.  It was a rough time for me the first time through.  It seemed to last forever.  But then I digress!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Abbot Joseph

Abbot Joseph Boyle died early yesterday morning from cancer.  He was 77.  He had been the Abbot of my monastery since 1985, and was a New Yorker, so twice holy.  Abbot Joseph was the one I asked and who said yes to me coming to live for extended periods of time at the Trappist Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, beginning in 2004.  The monastery sits in a beautiful valley at 8,000 feet altitude.  It is 3600 acres of ranch, hills, trees and of course our monastery and retreat houses.  I had a chance to say goodbye to him when I was last there.  So the next time I go up there in December the monastery will have a different feel to it.  I know not what that will be.  I will visit his grave and thank him again for his kindness and wisdom.  Please keep him in your prayers if you pray.  Another New Yorker in heaven.  Place is full of them.


I have heard people tell me that they have troubles but are grateful they have never been to prison, like so and so, who did go to prison.  Oh?  What about bondage to self?  Often these same non-jail people are in bondage to spending so much time and energy thinking about themselves, in a whiny, anxious way.  A self-focused person will never get all they want.  They always want “more.”  So I look at my own life and ask how much of the day, this day for a start, do I spend thinking about me, and thinking/acting/fretting in a way that I cannot seem to stop?  It is one thing to be self-reflective here and there each day, especially for people who are fighting compulsions.  Check in with ourselves, but then get on with letting go of self-focus to attend to the deeper world of prayer or wider world that might benefit from your compassion and love.  I must admit that there are jags of time, too long a jag, when I cannot get out of me.  The phone is too heavy to call, life is so unfair, no one loves me...we all know that drill.  Unless of course you never suffer from bondage to self.  What to do? Admit you are in prison.  Ask for parole from the Spirit. I find that God releases me from my self-imposed prison, not because of good behavior, but in order to practice it.  Surrender does not get one into prison.  It frees us.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Hello In There!

As Alle (A Star Is Born) comes out of the back door of the place where she works, and throws out the garbage, she is dressed in her uniform, her job. She walks somewhat stiffly as she turns up the alley.  Then the transformation begins as you see her from the back, the hips beginning to swivel, the shoulders  to roll as if to express physically her sense of freedom.  She is becoming her passion, her Truer self, not her job, or her title.  She then raises her arms and spins around and shouts.  A Star is Being Born.  But it was always in her.  I think it is in all women.  They have titles and jobs, such as Mom or Lawyer, or Executive.  They dress and walk a certain stiff way.  I look at them and want to say, "Hello in there. When will you, the deep you, the passion of you, come out?"  It is not the passion of physical love, but the passion from the energy of your dreams, your hopes, your true, deep self, that is so often buried beneath responsibility, the wants and needs of others.  Remember the movie, "Frozen" where the ice queen, Elsa, walks about stiffly in the castle. She has responsibilities as queen of the realm.  She has fears. Then she runs away to avoid hurting people with her powers.  She climbs the snow mountain bent over walking slowly with her burden.  Then she decides to "Let It Go!" as the song begins.  Just be Elsa.  She stands up straight and begins to roll those shoulders and move those hips and become what was always inside of her.  Ultimately, she will have it all put together through an act of pure loving sacrifice.  But as part of the mix to becoming all we are supposed to be maybe we have to let it go once in a while.  God has your back.  Take the chance.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

A Star Is Born Part II

So Jack says to Alle, “You have to have something deep down you want to say.  Then you have to sing it so that people want to hear it.”  In other words, a song has to come from your heart, your authentic self and then it has to be song, delivered in a way that touches the heart of another, so that they will hear it.  They will want to hear it. I think of this when “writing” my homily for Sundays.  What is it in the bible reading that is really me, touches my truth, and then how do I say it so that it awakens another person?    When I write my teachings I try and do the same thing.  It is not so much what the spiritual master said.  You can read up on him or her.  What I teach is how, what they said, touched something in me, and made connections for me with church, Jesus, our daily lives, and the True Self.  When I fail it is for various reasons: it did not come from the heart, or I am an idiot, or I am full of sin and degradation.  Well, that’s a start for failure.  I find that honesty and stories seem to work.  I am usually more successful with storytelling to children.  Or they are more forgiving.  Not all clergy like what I do.  I try to write my blogs from the heart so you will want to read them.

Friday, October 19, 2018

A Star Is Born

A line in the dialogue about music says, “There are twelve notes and then the octave.  Then it starts over.  It is what you do with the notes.”  The song comes from what you do with the notes.  And it must come from your soul, from who you really are, not from who someone wants to make you so that you can be popular or rich or famous.  This was Jack’s (Bradley Cooper) way of writing songs.  Twelve notes is like twelve steps of recovery. There are twelve.  When you get to the end, you start over.  What you do with the Twelve Steps, how you put them together will decide if your soul will sing the true melody of who God made you to be.  Being an alcoholic, a drug addict, a screw up, is not all that is there.  You saw that in Jack.  Alle did too.  Several months in rehab is only the start.  There really is never an ending to working on the song of who we truly are deep down.  Oh, and bring the tissue if you go to see this movie.  I was a mess at the end.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


I ask myself why I stay in the Catholic Church.  Organizationally and publicly things are not going too well for us.  But I am a guy who likes my flesh to be touched.  I like hugs from friends. Hugs touch my flesh.  Holy Communion touches my flesh.  I put the host in my mouth and eat it.  For me, I am connecting to God when I do this, and it is in flesh.  I like the idea, for me, of touching God.  Maybe God likes touching me too.  Anyhow, God is supposed to be in the host.  I don't really ask the question, "Why stay?"  I ask, "What holds me."  The whys are so much mental efforts, and I was never a Catholic because of organizational structure or even theology, beyond the sacramental touching.  I am a flesh-feeling Catholic I guess.  When I visit the sick I don't just ask "How are you doing?" or talk about this and that.  I touch them with my hands, with oil.  This is the Catholic part I like best.  I could be close to God by reading the bible and many people do that, but the book does not touch me in the flesh.  Many times, when I receive communion I like to sit down and feel, not just think, "Wow, what just happened!"  God at work.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Stream

The heart is like a stream that is directed in one direction or another by the typography of the land.  If the heart is at peace it is in the hands of the creator and goes as it is led.  Sometimes the heart will be like a powerful waterfall and sometimes like great rapids, and sometimes it will simply meander gently along.  Such a heart does not force its way against the hand of the creator.  God, HP, Great Energy directs the heart.  In meditation I try not to direct my heart anymore than a stream tries to direct itself.  I let myself be led.  Even great floods are not caused by the stream, but the stream reacts and becomes a torrent.  So the heart will react to get cataclysmic experiences, but does not cause them if it is spirit led.  Mediation each day keeps me on the path.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Thecla had a revelation that she was supposed to baptize and preach in Christ’s name, as in Christianity.  She told St. Paul.  Figure she would get crushed, right?  I mean women don’t get this status in the Catholic Church.  But this is the first century and Paul saw her as a fellow apostle and told her to go and preach, spread the gospel!  Are you kidding me?  So what happened over the next two thousand years?  Thecla was made a saint by the way, so that is even more approval.  There are several possibilities about the development of woman status in organized Christianity.  One is that the church fell into the culture where women were not allowed certain venues.  Another reason is that women suffered from the church becoming an organized hierarchy of men.  This allowed the church to survive way past the Roman Empire.  “Protect the Church” from demise.  Protecting an institution is often at the expense of the powerless.  Maybe someday we will get back to some Thecla status people.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Membership Dues

I know of a group of people whose membership dues are "pain."  That is right.  Pain gets you into the club.  I have yet to meet anyone who wants to be in our club who is without pain when they come in.  Yes, we all have pain of one sort or another, but these people might otherwise kill themselves or others with their pain.  They share some of their past and talk about how they are getting better, what they are doing specifically.  They offer to help one another.  This is the only group where I have seen rich and poor, color and ethnicity mix, all together being rigorously honest and self-giving to one another.  I have not seen this in religion.  Whenever I gather with this group, I always walk away with much more than I contributed.  For a few minutes I can laugh at myself, and be helpful to another person.  Yes, holy people like me, humble of course, do have qualifying pain.
Members of this group first tried other methods for a pain free life.  They got married, had a child, got a jog/career, bought stuff like a car, home, clothes, took to exercise, changed geographic locations, but the pain only got worse.  My club is "The Last Stop."  Maybe I will start a church called, "The Last Stop Church."  Who might join?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Bottom Below The One You Know

I quote some anonymous person: 
There is a bottom below
The one you know
In other words, things can get worse.  Some of us get to the point where our pain and misery, sense of failure, helplessness, becomes so incomprehensible that we surrender ourselves to some process to climb out of the hole we dug in life.  Few people give themselves up to a change in their life when things are going their way.  But this change will require a daily program, steps, effort, practice, spiritual in nature, I propose, in order to get onto and stay on a better path.  What happens with many people is that they begin to feel better, and drop the practice that got them to this better place.  In other words, for many of us, pain is what keeps us focused.  When the pain goes into the background, the past, we must keep it in mind, so that we don't let ourselves drift back to that misery.  The remembered past also becomes a great service when you meet someone else who is steeped in their misery.  They will dismiss you now as all goody and shiny, not like them, until you can recount your past.  It is amazing how much common pain we share.  The best way for me to stay on the path to a better life is to help someone else.  Are these blogs helpful?

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Cleaning My Room

What priest cleans his own room, bathroom, washes and changes his bedding and does his laundry?  There are precious few of us.  When I was a pastor, when I was in charge, when I was important, I did not do these things.  Now I am nothing and do my own cleaning.  You might quote me Jesus, "If anyone wishes to be first, they shall be the last of all and the servant of all."  I think I might need another religion.  I did all this yesterday and was feeling, well, accomplishment mixed with self-pity.  No one thanked me for all that I did.  Up and down stairs with laundry, three loads.  Exhausted.  Then I got to thinking.  Lots of moms did this on a regualr basis and some dads.  No one said thank you.  No one becomes a great, or important person or rich doing housework.  If anything, you are ignored.  The transformed housekeeper is known by the fact that they do not whine or complain.  They do not judge.  And they have clean houses.  So I think I will try to follow Jesus' maxim and the attitude of the many moms I have met in my life. I will see this weekly cleaning event as a path to becoming a better me.  And I will have a clean room, bathroom and bedding!

Friday, October 12, 2018


We do not build strong character by doing what is naturally easy or good.  If I were naturally kind then I would act kindly with no real effort or wrestling with my will power.  If one had a lousy temper, and then acted kindly, that person would have to overcome their natural bad temper.  That would either take a strong will or abandonment to some other power such as God.  Either way, surrender or great effort, one would begin the transformation process from that point, doing what is difficult.  We grow when we go against our flaws, faults, and bad habits.  People who have completely dysfunctional, broken will power, have to go the "surrender" route.  I tried the other way, "strong-like bull will power.  My bull was bull.  I have some success with the surrender route. Most people try the will-power route first.  It is the easier, softer way, if it works.  I am not a naturally transforming person.  Who is?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Turn It Over

What does it mean to turn your life and will over to God?  It sounds kind of drastic.  So who would do such a thing?  I think someone whose present life is a mess and wants (wills) the future to be better.  Such a person cannot redo the present.  The mess is done and left to their own devices, which are minimal, the mess will continue.  So just turn the present (your life) over to God.  God collects messy lives.  Now for the future.  Your will is to make the future much better than the present.  But your will is broken.  You will one thing but do another.  Your will has no power to make your future better than your present mess.  So give that to God too.  God collects broken wills along with messy lives, if we really let go.  Isn’t it comforting to know that there might be a God who takes what neither you or anyone else wants, broken lives and broken wills, and replaces them with something better?  But you have to really let go first.  I am not surprised by how many people hold onto broken stuff that no longer functions for good.  I have been there myself.  Lest I surrender on a daily basis I am insane enough to try and take back the old broken me.  Grace!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Admiration To Envy

We move from admiration to envy or jealousy when you say, "I wish I was like her."  We stay with admiration when we are in touch with our own gifts.  When we are positive about ourselves, we don't compare and contrast.  We are comfortable enough in our own skin to appreciate difference and variety in people.  When we are down on ourselves, in a negative mood, self-loathing, we tend to get envious and jealous of other people.  They have what we want because we have nothing of value.  We are not enough.  But we all have gifts and talents, even if some of them remain undiscovered.  We won't look if we don't think anything is within us.  Be of service.  Be loving, forgiving, compassionate and you will begin to live your best self.  Then someone might look at you, and admire you.  You are not a troll. You are not a loser.  You don't have to go live in a hermitage in the woods.  The world will be the loser for not having you around.  Even if you are having a bad day, you are still precious.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Stranger To Grace

At times, I am a strange to grace.  I get annoyed when I have a feeling or am in a situation that gives me discomfort.  The discomfort arises bacause whatever is going on does not lead to immediate gratification. If you are hungover and have a drink, it leads to immediate gratification.  The discomfort begins to lift.  But you will be a stranger to grace. You will get drunk again.  If you did not have that drink, but stopped all drinking, you would continue with some or a lot of discomfort, but you would be on the road to freedom from hangovers and possibly addiction, which is the grace of sobriety.  Grace is a power to do something for you that you cannot do for yourself left to your own will-power.  Say you are lost on a trip and cannot find your way.  You whine, complain, cry, curse God, and so on.  You remain lost and uncomfortable.  No gratification.  You are a stranger to grace.  Then you ask for help.  Help comes.  You are back on the path of grace.  I am always a stranger to grace when my character defects rule my life.  No solutions there.  No gratification.  Only discomfort.  I am listening to "Air Supply" on my Bose.  Immediate gratification!

Monday, October 8, 2018


Someone said, "We are here because we are not all there."  I look at it from the opposite way.  I am trying to get from "out there" to "here."  I do it with eye contact.  It is the way that I live from the inside to the outside.  Enough sayings.  The nuts and bolts of it is that I am aware of when I am talking to someone but not looking at them, eye to eye, or my eyes on their face.  When I am talking but looking away, looking everywhere but at the person, I am "out there," living on the outside, away from myself.  But to live from the "here" and the "inside" is to live with what is going on within me and deal with it.  Maybe I am frightened inside, so I don't look at the person.  Maybe some deep, long-past wound(s) are in charge of my heart, and controlling where my eyes go.  Maybe I am lonely and cannot get out of myself.  Whenever I realize I am not looking at someone when I am talking, or they are talking for that matter, I make a conscious effort to look at them.  Only good things happen then within me.  I connect to my better self, and begin to truly be "here" with my companion.  My friends are truly lovely so this is its own reward.  Maybe I am ugly, troll-like, and that is why people don't look at me?  Time for the hermitage in the woods?

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Being Certain

Don’t be so certain about what you believe to be true.  Only about 100 years or so ago, cancer was believed to be passed on by some type of virus, or microscopic organism.  Based upon this belief hospitals would not take on cancer patients.  If you were dying of incurable cancer, good luck with medical care or nursing aide.  We debunk this thinking now but it was believed to be true back then.  So what is it that we are all so sure about today, that future generations will say, “OH, that was so silly or so wrong-headed.”  Institutions like to etch things in stone because it protects the institution.  I try to have enough certainty to act, but enough openness to grow.  Certainty needs to be flavored by openness and humility (I don’t know it all, or I don’t know much) or else I will get stuck with the door closed to a the wisdom that could ever deepen me.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Ordinary And Obscure

The scene is elementary school and children in a class are asked what they want to be when they grow up.  One writes down doctor, another lawyer, another scientist, another CEO and so on until one child writes down, ordinary and obscure.  The teacher looks at this and says, “This child needs some serious help and counseling.”  But which one would be following the wisdom figures such as Jesus?  Well he, like his mother, Mary were both quite ordinary and obscure by the standards of the Ruling class, the Romans.  Jesus is an historical footnote, executed on a cross.  Just another minor political problem.  Like Mom, he came from small town, working class.  So when his disciples say that he is a big deal, he tells them to keep it quiet.  Why?  Because they have it wrong.  He came not to be famous but to be loving toward all, even those who were quite nasty or uninterested.  Try loving each person you come across on a daily basis.  It is fine to be a doctor or lawyer or whatever, but why?  If it is all about you and wanting “more” of money, fame, stuff, and not about loving others through your vocation or work, than you miss out on being all you were meant to be.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Love Knows

I don't think that we know people close to us by our thinking mind, our intellect.  To say that we know someone, such as to predict their actions, know their habits, is really false pride.  People are full of wonder.  They can become their best selves and astonish us if we love them and they know they are loved.  We can love someone yet they may not feel that love for whatever reason.  But we can only know someone at their depth by loving them selflessly and unconditionally.  This is the way I come to know a close friend.  My mind will be full of facts and past actions.  From there I will makes judgments.  So I work on loving my friends.  This way I stay open and get out of my selfish way.  Close friends are like God.  They can only be known by love.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Bless Th Animals

Today is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.  It is a common practice to bless animals on this feast day.  Alas, all the priests of the Boulder Deanery here in Colorado are at a meeting, as are the Deacons.  So who will bless the animals?  Maybe this is the time when pet owners will take it upon themselves to bless their animals with water and a big hug.  I might set up a stand outside church for any animals that pass by and see if their owner wants a blessing.  But this will be cut short by the priest meeting.  Maybe the meeting time will be changed.  Check with your local clergy wherever you are in the country if you have a pet.  It is the Feast of St. Francis everywhere.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Eyedropper

Someone said "A single act of charity seems like using an eyedropper to put out a wildfire."  Well, it may not change the world all at once, but why have such a big ego?  Why must your acts of kindness change the world?  It might change you and might even make the day for another person.  The results of course are not up to you.  You are only about your own transformation, but this seems to take place in relationship of some kind that is positive.  By trying to do something kindly or charitably for another person, I seem to get out of myself, and this is a good thing.  Focused on me and my woes, just makes the woes bigger than they are, and keeps me muddled.  Become all that you are meant to be, eyedropper by eyedropper at a time.  Acts of love and kindness are never insignificant.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Guardian Angels

Today is the special day of remembering “Guardian Angels.”  You may not believe that you have a guardian angel, but that does not make your guardian angel go away.  They are used to being ignored by many people, even Catholics.  That would be bad Catholics, of course.  A guardian angel is full time, 24/7, no sleep.  When you sleep, they are “guarding” you, thus their title.  A guardian angel in never too busy for you.  So it can’t hurt to give your guardian angel a shout regardless of any scepticism you might have about angels.  God made our angels tough so that they could put up with being ignored, considered fantasms, figments of imagination, and just plain weird.  You will never have a better friend who puts up with so much abuse and hangs in there.  There is even a special guardian angel prayer you can google...Angel of God, my guardian dear to whom God’s love commits me here.”  Who can say the rest?  Quiz time.  


I think of God as Camouflaged.  Someone is camouflaged so as not to draw attention directly to themselves when they are near to you.  They want to be near, but somewhat hidden.  Why would God do that way to me?  I think it is because God wants me to look with wonder at creation, to search the questions of my soul about things deeper than daily routine tasks and what I will buy next.  God gave each of us an imagination.  So I use it to try and open to possibilities rather than to be stuck in certainties, and intractable opinions so often based upon fear and ego.   Prayer is to sharpen my inner eye so that I recognize the camouflaged God, hidden by the blindness of a more shallow life.  A little meditation each day opens me up.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Contemplative Waiting

The contemplative stance is to wait for a moment of vision that is not yet there.  A contemplative needs to have a patient gaze.  They do not impose themselves in their seeing.   The contemplative is receptive.  They allow things to be, but with discipline, attention and an open welcome.  It is a stance of wonder.  Methods and postures are simply to help us stay out of the way.  Stay out of directing the contemplative time.  The Jesuit William Lynch, a good Irishman opened me to this.