Friday, November 30, 2018


Jesus and other wisdom teachers tend to challenge would be followers to renounce everything, all possession, and then follow.  Wow!  But I have met people who said they did just that in order to become holy, an adept, a follower.  I am not sure material things is what the wisdom teacher had in mind.  I have seen people who said they embraced material poverty, a simple life-style, but who were anything but whole much less holy.  They forgot to divest themselves of soul baggage.  What?  Tightly stuffed into the bag of their soul they had stuffed such things as fear, distrust, arrogance, judgment of others, envy, jealousy, sprinkled with a dollop of whining.  This is the stuff that the wisdom sayings are all about.  Material things are relatively easy, though not really easy, to give up.  There is a glamour in that.  But the inside stuff, wow, these we cling to.  We don’t need a Spiritual Power to clean out our closets, but we do need such a power to clean out our interior mess.  What possessions possess you?

Thursday, November 29, 2018


Most people I know don’t care much for being “obedient” as they think it is succumbing to the will of another person or group.  It is seen as something children and holy people ought to do.  But if you look at the Latin root meaning of “obedience” you will see “obaudire” which means “to give an ear to or to at attend to.”  It is a horizontal rather than a top down relationship.  Judith Valente points this out.  The point of “obaudire” is to move us off of our obsession with the “self.”  When I try to listen to someone, and do so successfully, I am not thinking about me.  Given my penchant for making myself the center of my universe, this “not-self” thinking is a good thing.  Reading this blog, were you focused on it and not thinking about you?  That would be obedience.  Obey!  Read blog.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Deceptively Inconsequential

John Kavanaugh, SJ, deceased, said something that rings true for me.  He said: “Love takes time to show and grow.  In life, little acts count.  That is what life is all about, a long parade of moments deceptively inconsequential.”  I like that.  I hope my blogs are deceptively inconsequential.  I love you in these little daily ways.  All the small acts you do each day with some love, will build a base of a life worth being lived.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


The root meaning of the word, education, in Latin, is educare, which denotes a process of being led outward.  The vision of eduction tied to religion/spiritual dimension is that whatever you learned  would make you more human.  To be human is to be relational, to love.  So you did not simply learn a subject so that you could better get a job and earn money.  Your primary purpose was to contribute to a society of persons related to one another in caring and love.  The money would follow.  When education becomes strictly secular, than the individual is emphasized over the group, and money becomes the focus.  At its worst the focus is "having more."  No concern for any other person.  So you might ask yourself, if you like STEM school learning, what is the purpose?  Does any of this feed the soul, or do you think maybe soul is non-existent or not so important, or something for church, synagogue and ashram?  I prefer a subject that can be taught in its practicality but with something for the heart and spiritual dimension of our lives.  The way the Mayo boys were taught about medicine by their father is an example.  It was about the patient and not about how much money or fame one could have.  Watch the "The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope, and Science."  Would you not prefer that kind of doctoring?  That is STEM with a heart and soul.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Positive Adjustment

An 85 year old man found out that he had cancer in both lungs.  What to do?  I immediately thought of possible treatment decisions.  But he did not think of that first if at all.  He said, “What I need to do now is learn to be 85 with cancer in both lungs.”  His focus was on being rather than on doing.  When faced with unpleasant news or situations I usually think in terms of “doing.”  The doing part might have a mixture of revenge, jealousy, anger, judgement, whining, and then action based upon all that negativity.  I forget that asking what I am going to “be” in a situation is more of a choice rather than a reaction to a feeling.  I can be helpful, loving and kind though I might be feeling some anxiety and fear.  I need to learn how to live today with air in both lungs!  And gratitude in my heart.  Maybe happy, joyous, and free?

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Real Love

Someone said, “For love to be real, it must cost.”  What cost?  Well, the idea of cost is that love must be empty of self.  That is the cost.  Do I really love “empty of self,” of my agenda, wants, programs for happiness?  I think that “empty of self” is a pretty high bar for me, but I try.  It gives me a focus or a standard whenever I ask myself if what I am doing is a loving act.  When I am with a friend and they are having a bad time, or in a mood, that is, they could be a bit of high maintenance, and I say, “I am out of here for now,” then I am full of self.  I have not paid the cost of love.  A parent knows this cost with a child.  So when you reflect on your behavior or staying power with someone you say you love, did you pay the cost?  Protecting oneself from ruin or harm of course means a focus on self.  Otherwise you are into codependency.  My problem is being a loving friend who pays the cost of letting go of self-focus.  When I do that, I do feel better, if not immediately, then soon thereafter.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Luke 10: 23

"Blessed are the eyes that see what you see."  Stephen Covey says that we tend to see the world not as it is, but as we are.  The thing that attracted me to my teacher, Fr. Thomas Keating, is that I wanted to see the world as he saw it.  I had a spiritual blindness.  I was blinded by my own narrow and shallow world, dimmed by my past, my shortcomings and faults.  I had "baggage," as we say.  Don't we all?  But Keating seemed to have a lightness of being that shone through his manner.  So now I have the desire to see as God, the Creator, sees.  I had to stop seeing God as this separate person in the heavenly realms.  I still have this childhood tendency, but it does not predominate.  I found that my thoughts were simply, well, my thoughts, and not a way to "Truth."  Thinking has its place, but it is not the be all.  So, each day I spend a bit of time ignoring me, my plans, my thoughts and mind-filled images, and just be.  If I want to see, I spend some time with m eyes closed and my heart open.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Dangerous Prayer

Someone told me of a very dangerous prayer.  "God, do not let me out of this situation until I learn what you would have me learn."  I never prayed that prayer before now.  I prayed the usual foxhole prayer of survival in a powerless situation.  "God get me out of this and then I will do thus and so."  I never seemed to get around to the better "thus and so."  This dangerous prayer takes courage, faith and hope.  The belief is that the present misery has a lot to teach me.  If I feel abandoned, lonely, rejected, failure, ignored, discontented, and restless, for instance, stay with it and maybe I will learn something.  Drugs, alcohol, food, getting busy to escape, are not teachers.  The pain is the teacher.  I have found it so.  My best teachers have helped me to identity the pain.  And meditation is not about getting mellow, but about getting well.  

Thursday, November 22, 2018


Happy Thanksgiving.  I had a friend once who said that she had worked the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to find happiness.  I asked her, "Did you find happiness?"  "No," she said.  "All I found was my faults and failings and the wreckage of my past."  "Then what?" I asked.  "Then I asked God to take my faults away, but I still seem to have them.  I apologized to people, pray, but am not content, and many days not very happy."  "Well," I said, "Why not try to be an effective help in the lives of others?"  (That might be step 12, for those who don't know.)  I think that happiness, or contentment lies hidden behind the door of helping others, or being of service to others.  So on this Thanksgiving Day, why not be of some use to someone else, and see if you feel more thankful?  If someone else is cooking, why not set the table, make the gravy (my job today) or take out the garbage?  Or go clean up for those many volunteers who serve the poor today?  I think it beats sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself.  No one loves you?  Hmmm.  Could be a reason for that.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Occasions To Love

If someone loves you, one of the ways that you can give them delight is to give them an occasion to love on you, or help you in some way.  If you happen to love someone don't you get some delight in exercising your love for them in some tangible way?  It is not always about giving someone "things."  Simply let people who love you know that you are not completely self-sufficient.  Let them know when you are feeling a bit more alone than you would like.  Or just invite them to spend some time with you, since they do love you.  Love is action.  It is a verb, so it needs opportunities to be of service, to love, to connect.  Some people ask me from time to time why I live in Boulder or spend so much time at a monastery in Snowmass.  Duh!  Love. I get to give and receive.  Mostly, I receive. Don't be alone on Thanksgiving Day tomorrow.  Let someone love on you, maybe anonymously.  I will be at a gathering of people, giving and receiving love.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Catholic Hope

I am a hopeful person and I think part of it is because I am a Catholic and a rather ordinary person.  So why the hope?  My belief is that the Creator of all this vast universe, or universes, decides to reside in something as mundane and ordinary as a wafer of bread, and not even good healthy baked bread.  A thin tasteless wafer is fine for the Divine Presence.  I too am ordinary and mundane and have many a moment when my mediocre ways remind me of my state.  But if I can recall God in the wafer, then I don't spend time beating myself up.  As we age we do become "less" in several ways.  But I am still good enough, be it ordinary and mundane, for this Creator of the vast universe to dwell in me.  It is what I call the "God-With-Us" way of thinking.  It makes me incredulous at times, a real leap of faith, and to non-believers, a bit strange.  But I just have to stop now and again and say, "Thank You."  Thanksgiving Day, is in two days and God is on my list.  So who do you say "Thank You" for the wonder that is you?

Monday, November 19, 2018

Thanksgiving Day

In the USA Thanksgiving Day is coming up this week.  Canada had its Thanksgiving in October, so don’t go wishing any Canadian “Happy Thanksgiving” this week.  They get upset.  But I digress.  No one has to be alone on Thanksgiving unless they choose to do so.  Even if you just go to a bar, you are not alone and many bars will even provide some Thanksgiving foods.  But I would find bars depressing on this day.  For some reason, if you tell people that you will be alone on Thanskgiving, someone will invite you to dine with them.  No other day is like this for outreach, caring and sharing. Restaurants, places of worship, and clubs that are open will all have Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings.  So if you hear of someone who will be otherwise alone, maybe invite them to your feast, if you are having one.  We could all use a good meal to energize us, because the next day is Black Friday!  I will be shopping in LA and maybe seeing a first run movie that opens only in NYC and LA on that day.  And then there are turkey sandwiches.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Later Stages of Growth

I am such a dummy.  I was teaching in San Rafael, California yesterday and thought I did a good job talking about the spiritual life.  But I forgot stuff.  I talked a lot about becoming all God meant you to be, fulfilling your gifts and talents.  We learn this, not from the culture, but from the interior life of prayer.  Fine.  But there is more.  Christians are supposed to become Christ.  Well, Christ is supposed to be God.  If so, then why did Jesus come and live the simple life of a lower class blue collar tradesperson, a carpenter?  He had so much talent.  He is God!  He could do so much more, right? The lesson God is teaching us in this Incarnation, God in human form, is that at some advanced stage we let go of even our talents, our accomplished life, and live a simple life, even seemingly ignored by “important” people, not trying to consume more than we need.  From this way, we become even more in union with the divine who let go of all to be close to us.  Maybe then we will understand the wisdom sayings of Jesus even more deeply.  I have a ways to go still.  Maybe I will let go of teaching!

Saturday, November 17, 2018


I met a guy who got drunk because no one at the office remembered his birthday.  No one took him to lunch.  Nothing.  So he went out, got drunk, skipped work the next day, lost his job.  Wow! Resentments can be costly.  But feeling badly, lonely, forgotten, ignored, heart-hurting, over people forgetting your birthday is quite common.  If you are brought up like me, with family making a big deal about your birthday, you are not prepared for the grown up world where you may well be ignored on your birthday.  Now if a spouse forgets, you can make them pay.  But if work associates, the outside world forgets, you have to lower the bar.  We are not the center of the universe for most of the world.  Rarely has any priest with whom I have lived ever remembered my birthday.  So this coming year I may just go to the monastery, be in my cell, and thank God for another year of some sanity when my birthday comes around.  Don’t tell people when your birthday is because then you raise expectations.  People have lots of other stuff more important for them to do than remember your “special day.”  And don’t get drunk over it.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The Response

We cannot control a lot of things that happen to us, such as sickness, job loss, partner change of heart, loss of loved one, and car issues, as in crashes.  Lots of stuff just happens.  Poor guy, Job, in the Book of Job, in Hebrew Scriptures.  He was living with faith and moral uprightness, and he lost everything.  Did he curse God?  Did he whine?  Did he go into a funk?  Well, I guess you have to read all 42 chapters to see what happens.  But he shows that we can have some control as to how we respond to things that happen in life.  We can lie down and say, “My life is over.”  Or we can say, “Let’s get up and get moving to do the next right thing.”  Often, the next right thing for me is prayer and service.  I can be of service by finding people who might need me, or going where I can hear about a positive action in response to unexpected misery and loss.  I may not have a lot of choices about outside world issues and events, but I most often do have choices as to how I will respond.  Your Guardian Angel is ready and waiting!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Missing Out

Using addiction as an excuse misses out on a lot of good stuff.  If you say, “Oh, I cannot help myself. I am an addict,” then you shrug your shoulders, or maybe climb into remorse for a spell, but you don’t get to enjoy unconditional love, or mercy, or forgiveness beyond your wildest dreams.  The word, “Help” does not enter your mind or vocabulary.  Addiction isolates us until we admit we are hopeless, helpless and not a very good person.  Then we might say, “help.”  Don’t bother to exercise your weary and weird mind about who, or what is going to help you.  In a sinking ship of despair, theology is of no use.  Speculation about heavenly help won’t solve your present dilemma.  Excuses for behavior are no bouys for saving a drowning life.  I have never experienced unconditional love, mercy and forgiveness until I first said, “Help!”  The word help devoid of any sense of my own power to change, is the doorway to all kinds of good things and a better life one day at a time.  If your first prayer or word when you wake up is “help” then you have a pretty good chance of staying out of your own mess.  Even if you don’t think you are an addict to anything.  You “non-Addicts” might be the most delusional.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Hug

In the musical. "Waitress"  the waitress, Jenna, who is in a loveless marriage, says that what she really dreams of is a long hug full of selflessness.  How rare such a hug was in her life, and maybe in the life of many of us, especially women.  Hugs often have "attachments" or "clauses" to them, unspoken but still thought and expected.  A person might hug you because they want something from you.  The hug is part of a silent negotiation.  After a while, the couple know what the negotiation issue is.  Hugs might be to get sex, or to be forgiven, or to get you to give or do something else, or simply because it is expected protocol.  But a selfless hug, that is precious.  Remember Olaf, the snowman, in "Frozen"?  He said that he liked hugs.  You cannot get much from hugging a snowman, so all his received hugs are rather selfless.  He gets hugged simply because the hugger likes Olaf.  We could all use selfless hugs to thaw a frozen heart.  Hmmm.  Chilly in here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Elton John

I am going to see Elton John perform.  My life is complete!  But not really.  Now I love the songs he has written and his showmanship, so it will be a great night in the Denver Pepsi Center.  Plus I like Pepsi.  There is more about Elton John that merits my attention.  He is about my age, but he is still performing though it is called a three year farewell tour.  He is still performing because he loves what he does.  This is an important lesson for me.  I am often asked when I will retire.  Why retire?  I love what I do.  A couple of people like what I do too.  But even if most people might find me forgettable, good for humility, I still love what I do.  So age is not going to stop me.  And if we love what we do and it benefits others, my two or three fans, then why not go on doing what I do?  Welcome to Mile High Country Elton.  Rocketman!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Selfish Cells

There are certain cells in the body that do only what benefits themselves.  They will harm other cells in order to get what they want.  They are called cancer cells.  Cells that are healthy act to benefit other cells, to cooperate with other cells to benefit the whole organism.  Is it not the same way with we humans?  Some of us, sometimes, if not always, act in a way to benefit only ourselves.  We act selfishly, with no compassion or interest in others around us, except as they may benefit our own selfish agenda.  People in recovery, or people who have consciously entered into a spiritual way of growth, through steps, prayer, action, look back and see how they have been cancerous in their previous life.  Selfishness kills the selfish person, slowly but surely, and will take others down with them.  Alanon is a kind of cancer treatment for those who are in contact with cancerous addicted people.  I think of my daily meditation and active life as a way to keep cancerous behavior in remission.  If I think of myself as totally cured of bad behavior, I may stop the program that got me healthy in the first place.  It is a one day at a time spiritual practice for the humble and patient.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Widow's Mite

BOOK OF KINGS 17: 10-16 & MARK 12: 41-44
NOVEMBER 11, 2018

I hear some senior citizens say that they are too old to do much.  They don’t have their former stamina, eye sight, hearing, and so on.  They are full of aches and pains.  I am old and feel washed up frequently.  Well we may be past our prime when we compare and contrast ourselves with other younger more vigorous persons.  In comparison we focus on our “less” and their “more.”  

In the “Widow’s Mite” Jesus is more impressed not with how much one gives in comparison with someone else, but rather with how much one gives of what they have.  Jesus does not compare and contrast.  His challenge is to surrender all and not worry about its absolute quantity/quality relative to another person.  

On page 164 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it says, “Abandon yourself.”  Well, there is not much to give up or abandon.  By this point a person very likely has lost job, health, money, friends, family, and maybe even a roof over their head.  But the point in not quantity of surrender but the act of giving whatever you are, and all of it.  That is the point of surrender.  Trust.  Hope.  Spiritual renewal does not come in the absolute amount but in the amount relative to what we have to give.  No half measures here.  

So even if we say that we have next to nothing to give, it is good enough for God if we give this “next to nothing.”  It seems that God does not want us just to apologize for our wrongs, or give up bad behavior.  God wants the “all” of us.  Whatever we have left when we hit bottom, is enough for God. Why not say, “I will give it my all,” instead of a flat “no”  the next time someone asks for help.  You are not in charge of the results.  God is. 


In the musical, " Waitress" many scenes take place in a Pie Diner.  A great pie is referred to as a pie that tastes so good the first mouthful, you want to eat more, and each bite has a bit of an added or new flavor come forth.  People who attract us can be just like a good pie.  Say what?  Well, I remember years ago I was a young man in New York City, at a party.  I saw a young woman.  We were about to leave at the same time and she asked me if I knew where her jacket might be.  I found it and we walked out together.  I was intent on getting home for a good night's sleep before work the next day, and was going to walk her to her nearby apartment.  We began to talk as we walked.  We walked around the block, a big square block in New York City.  We walked around a second, third, and fourth time.  About the fifth time, still talking, I walked her to her apartment.  Neither of us talked about how late it was getting, we were so absorbed in one another, or at least I was.  Each flavor of ourselves that we talked about brought up something connected but new, layer upon layer of our life.  That is like pie.  It is special to meet and be with a pie person.  Oh, and she let me kiss her goodnight.  Mmm, Mmm good.  

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Why Question

People often ask me, “What is meditation?” Or they ask the next question, “How do you meditate?” I think these are questions from a modern science focused mind.  These questions are the what and the how of things, but I believe the important question is the one that might actually lead to the practice of mediation.  That question is, “Why meditate?”  Why is it at all?  This is the more spiritual question.  We are all drowning in information from the what and how questions.  We are starving for wisdom, and a wisdom that might lead to transformation through practice.  Meditation at depth is not something that can be grasped with the intellect.  Our spiritual innards remain essentially mysterious.  It is a place of wonder, as in awe.  The Power that does not need to be known by the mind resides there.  It is Love.   What is needed is a patient gaze in which you do not impose yourself in the seeing.  You are receptive.  You allow things to be.  You are attentive, welcoming and disciplined to stay with it.  It is a stance of wonder.  Here in this stance you do not strive to be anyone else.  Just be.  Resist the tendency to put yourself at the center of anything.  Let go of control.  Like a fruit, let yourself ripen into all you are meant to be.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Your Ass

So I am sitting in a room where we are talking about things spiritual and someone irreverently pipes up with, "The message comes through your ass!"  What?  I waited to see how or if he would explain himself.  The shock passed as he said that you had to be at the place where you can hear the message of spiritual growth from someone else.  "Ass" refers to taking a seat where someone else is delivering the message.  The message comes from others, is delivered through contact with other seekers.  At some time each of us might be the messenger of wisdom.  I think of being in a meeting, a conference, a class, or a place of worship where I might get the message from another.  I can go to coffee with a friend, as I did with my friend Deborah last month, and get the wisdom.  I have to sit and listen.  But first I have to sit down on a chair.  So I guess this fellow was correct in his own way of saying it.  But he was memorable, I have to say that.  Could I say it his way in a homily?  Maybe my final homily😇

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Poverty Of The Present Moment

A gift of mediation is that we learn to live in the "poverty of the present moment" whether bored or not bored.  In prayer the spiritual dimension is actualized within us, is open to GRACE being at work.  An example: nothing seems to be happening, yet something is.  We are able to abide in this moment and not get bored.  We are open to surprise, wonder, grace at work.  Patience is required, and trust.  Children tend to get bored if something is not happening, or going on, as they see it.  They have the capacity for a spiritual life, but alas, they are not exposed to it in a way that would open them to "abiding in the poverty of the present moment." If they go to a worship service, they rue silence. The more affluent household keeps the child busy and active so as to prevent boredom.  Learning comes across as "doing stuff."  There are no dull moments in that pace of life, but there might be many a dull soul.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Beautiful Boy

In the movie, “Beautiful Boy,” I never got the sense that there was a spiritual dimension to Nic’s recovery.  There is no mention of a higher power, much less God.  He has all the recovery lingo, goes to meetings, has a sponsor, but where is step 11?  Maybe it is the only way the movie could be commercially made.  Skip mediations and higher power stuff.  At one point Nic goes to the bathroom at his girlfriend’s home and sees a bottle of pills on the counter.  This is the moment when the program of recovery says only a power greater than yourself will save you from the temptation.  He takes the pills.  He begins another run of addictive behavior.  During the credits at the end of the movie, the voiceover is of Nic reading the poet Bukowski.  I read Bukowski.  Oops!  I’ve said too much.  But even Bukowski, in the free verse poem Nic reads, though seeming to hate everything, including opera and oranges, comes to an experience of connection in the simple, everyday experiences of life.  This is where the higher power hangs out.  The fear based person misses it.  So maybe Nic found his soul to fill the emptiness, but only after the story depicted in the movie.  One can only hope.  There but for the grace of God, huh guys?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Due Diligence

There is the wisdom story I found in the Bible.  A person has a devil, and the devil leaves, driven out by say good behavior or a spiritual practice of the possessed person.  The person feels relieved, their inner house all swept and clean.  The person stops the spiritual practice since they got “well.”  The evil spirit roams around and finds no new home so comes back bringing seven more evil spirits or devils to repossess the person.  The moral?  “The last condition of the person is worse than the first.” This is what happens when someone is out of balance, as in habitual bad actions, addictions, character defects, self-will run riot.  They get sick and tired of it, so in desperation they take on some spiritual path, practice, and get well.  They stop the practice.  The old behavior returns and is worse than their former bad behavior.  While the person is coasting, the devil is working out and getting stronger for another attack.  Ask any addict who stopped working the steps.  If they are still alive and sane enough to talk.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Presumption Not Hope

People sometimes mix up presumption with Hope.  Presumption says things like, “Oh, it will be OK. No big deal,” or “She/He will let it go.  They are very forgiving,” or “They have thick skin.  They will let it slide.”  Such attitudes as that is not hope.  We presume so much.  I have seen it in religion and recovery programs, and spiritual paths of all sorts.  People don’t do the work but think things will go along just fine.  A good past effort is only connected to a good future by presumption if you are not going to continue to do the good that got you where you are today.  “I used to go to meetings.  I used to meditate.  I feel fine but don’t need those things anymore.”  “God loves me.  All will be fine.”  God or your HP does the heavy lifting and you coast?  Presumption.  Hope says, “I do not deserve forgiveness.  I have messed up and deserve the consequences, but HOPE that I will be forgiven.”  People of hope work out of a deeper sense of gratitude and powerlessness.  I hope that I will or won’t do certain things today.  Now I had better get to work.  Hope cooperates with love, that is the love of God or another person.  When you presume things about your partner, mate, spouse, you are on a slippery slope.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Rewind The Watch

Old folks will remember, if they can remember at all, that we used to have to rewind our watches each day, sometimes twice a day.  This is a good metaphor for daily prayer.  It is like rewinding the watch.  if we think of ourselves on a spiritual path, or in a relationship to our spiritual center, we cannot take for granted that all will go well without daily effort.  Without some daily prayer, reconnection, “time out” for some quiet solitude, we will run out of the spiritual energy that fuels right living.  At first, our progress slows and wrong actions, like wrong time, will enter our daily life. Then we just stop growing.  We become dysfunctional.  We think we are in the present moment, but in fact we are living in some past, as a clock that shows the wrong time.  I try to rewind myself each day lest I lose touch with the present moment and the energy to live it properly wound up to the real.  Maybe this blog is a part of your rewinding?

Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Power

I met a guy who said that he was having trouble with this “God business.”  It turns out this fellow used to be a horrible drunk, addicted to alcohol.  He could not stop drinking once he got started.  But now he was free of the desire for alcohol.  “How did you do that?” I asked him.   He told me some things that he did, sobe friends he had made, but ultimately he had no idea how the desire to drink left him.  I suggested it might be “God.”  He was conflicted because his idea of God was this separate person out there somewhere who never did much good for him.  “Maybe your idea of God is just an idea,” I said.  “Maybe God is not so much a separate person out there, a noun, but rather a verb, Love.”  He is pondering this.  To me, God is action, relationship, love.  This is why I prefer Contemplative type prayer. It lets go of the noun God, the idea, the thought of God, and lets the Power be love.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Obedience Generation

I grew up as part of the “Obedience Generation.” To us you could say, “Go to mass on Sunday or burn.” We went to mass.  But the obedience generation is becoming extinct.  It might exist in Latino immigrants, but it won’t last into their children or grandchildren.  If a priest is still saying “you burn” then he is preaching to the dinosaurs.  The younger generation is more into the experience of mass.  If it is boring, irrelevant to their lives, lacks communal bonding, then they are more likely to drift away.  As John Paul II said, each generation is like a newly discovered continent.  This implies you cannot simply impose the old on the new and expect all to go well.  As a youth, when I went to mass I was surprised if there was a sermon and it was good or relevant to my life.  I had no expectations.  I went because that is what Catholics did.  It was how we related to God with Eucharist and all. It was enough experience for me with Holy Communion.  Mass was brief.  Singing minimal if at all.  You go early and get out soon enough to go to the bakery and butcher shop, get the funny comics in the newspaper and go home.  I am a dinosaur!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

All Saints

In my Church today is the Feast of All Saints.  It covers all those people who have died, and lived saintly lives, but got no special recognition with their own feast day.  Well, what about the living saintly people in our lives today?  This should be their feast day too.  I should celebrate it by letting them know how their good example, their selfless lives, their loving ways, have inspired me to try and do likewise.  You might know such people in your life who are like this, and for most days of the year you ignore saying thank you, or asking that they pray for you.  Well today is the day to NOT ignore or take them for granted.  Give them a shout.  My sister Maureen said that I was a devil, so my feast day is tomorrow, All Souls Day.