Friday, October 29, 2010

Burial Law for Aborted Babies

Aborted babies deserve an appropriate burial like the rest of us.

17 babies disposed in a dumpster near a Lansgin abortion mill is no way to treat anyone.

A law is needed to respect life in the womb and outside it.

Michiganians deserve better when it comes to respect for humans at every age of development in and out of the womb.

Treating babies like garbage only brings us down the slippery slope of treating all of life poorly.

Shame on us.

When a mother's baby dies in an automobile accident, you never hear of someone saying her fetus was killed. No, reporters writer that her baby was killed.

Waking up to life and respect for all of life is raise the quality of life for all.

All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day

They offer us a chance to ponder death.

Christians reflect on dying these days during the Fall season.

Halloween is a nice time for children to be treated but its origin is less superficial for adults.

November 1st is the feast of the communion of all saints - those men and women who lived lives that inspire us to this day. Saints include Mother Theresa of Calcutta, India, who reached and stooped low to life the dying. Those they may not be formally named, a saint, one's own parents may fit the description of a saint.

My own parents, who raised seven children, were saints.

If learning to die has a best time to grip, it is this time of Halloween and All Saints Day.

Even for children, the nursery rhymes help.

"Now I lay me down to sleep..."

No one is invincible.

It is never too soon to help the young appreciate mortality.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Standing Up, Speaking Truth to Power

A writer wondered why Cathoic priests in Cleveland, Ohio didn't stand up to support city churches on the chopping block recently.

Why is that?

Perhaps the writer was unaware of those pastors who did speak truth to power, especially when some of those marked for merging or closure were financially viable.

Yet, louder thunderous support for parishioners losing their place of worship is a meritorious effort.

It seems that pastors wait and let their bishops speak not wanting to get in the fray.

Or, it could be that pastors don't feel they should speak up on issues close to their people.

What do they have to lose?

Clergy should be speaking up daily on issues affecting parishioners.

For sure.

The silence is sickening.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Humility, Hungry

When a college football player said his team had to be humble and hungry to win the championship, I took notice.

To be humble.

To be hungry.

That means to stay grounded and trainable as a humble player. Hungry means to long much to win. That's a spiritual hunger for the deepest place within humans.

A rabbi once said that people today don't seem to think God speaks to them because no one seems to bow low enough.

How true.

To be open to the Maker. To long for the Creator. And, to hunger for God and the best.

That's a winning combination.

For sure.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Leaders Ring In On Bullying, Violence

Several local leaders met Tuesday in Royal Oak St. John Episcopal Church to share ways to reduce the violence around us.

Bullying was also on the minds of Rabbi Joseph Klein of Oak Park, Judge Joe Oster of St. Clair Shores, Father Paul Chaeau of Our lady of Fatima, Rector Linda Northcraft, host at St. John's, retired bishop Coleman McGehee, Jr., Pastor Hanna Sullaka of Dearborn, and Tom Zerafa, among others.

Junior high students need to be the focus, Rabbi Klein, proposed, hoping that youth and dating be addressed. He also wondered if coalitions on violence are sharing information enough.

One participant thought that Muslims need to be part of this meeting so people understand them more fully.

The rise in bullying among gays sparked comments from some in the group.

"All violence is not limited to heterosexuals," Tom Zearafa, said.

The group ended with prayer and said they'd meet again once they prioritize their priorites.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Soul Stuff: Roots and Relationships

Growing up on Detroit's east side, I learned the importance of getting grounded in the Maker.

That's part of what I like to call, Soul Stuff: Roots and Relationships.

Pausing is important daily. Taking time to connect with the Creator is crucial for me.

Like exercise, rest and recreation, unless I ponder and be still each day, I seem to be less fruitful.

All the more, amid so much strees, this is a key to effective living.

This was validated other day when interfaith leaders gathered to greet, meet and work together on issues common to us all. Among them is the bullying and violence brewing everywhere it seems these days here at home.

When I take twenty minutes to "go within" twice each day, this connection with the Creator seems to make things work well.

After all, it is God's parade - not mine.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dear Young Persons Who Are Gay: A Letter

Dear Young People Who Are Gay:

Please don't ever give up even though I know how difficult it may be for you.

How sad I am that some have committed suicide after having been bullied by some who should know that we are all God's children, made in the Makers image and likeness.

I know people say you choose who you are. People, at times, don't know what they are talking about. A little education may be dangerous. One can become a know it all when research shows that who we are is formed in the the earliest years of our life.

I am sorry.

It hurts when I hear about suicides of any person, let along some who are gay.

Please know that I will talk with you if you need support when someone scorns you.

It takes time to accept who you are as a creation of God. Be patient along the way and don't give up...ever. You are gifted like all humans are. You are special like each person inhabiting this earth for some few years.

Over time, with the help of loving friends and others, hopefully family also, it becomes easier to be who you are.

I know. I do.

You are in my prayers when I connect with the Creator daily.

Call me at 586 777 9116 if I can be of help.

Really. I mean it. Don't think twice. Be of good cheer. I want to help.Give a call please.

Sincerely Yours,

(Rev.) Lawrence Ventline, D.Min.
Board Certified Professional Counselor
Founder, Care of the Soul, and the
All Faiths Festival (AFF)
586 530 7576

Friday, October 15, 2010

Shining Stars

Sunday will shine with a star.

At the Vatican, someone from Austrailia, who has done a world of good among the poor will be honored in an ancient ceremony that declares this nun saintly, holy, special, and, more.

Mary MacKillop, will be named the first Catholic saint down under by Pope Benedict.

Word is that Austrailia is buzzing with the thrill of it all. Even a website that was dedicated to MacKillop crashed under the weight of the traffic.

A largely Catholic country, immigration is counting hikes, however, among Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists.

Pilgrims will flock to Rome for the event. That keeps the church going, I'm sure, in part.

The bigger part that keeps the church afloat, it seems, are other countless women, like my own mother, who are the backbone of the church, despite all appearances of leaders.

Behind the scenes, and out of the eye of media, my mom raises seven children with a couple sets of twin. With my dad, mom received the news of the death of their son, Lukas, in Vietnam.
There were both sad and glad times at home for my dear mom and dad.

They did what they had to do to see us through and raise us.

Like so many others, they are saints supreme!

And, for ordinary women and men of mainstreet, I am most grateful. They show me how
to be in our culture today, and, how to make a difference.

Long live the saints, including the newest "offical" one!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Aware, Awake?

People wonder if neighbors and colleagues are so busy managing their own life, a family perhaps, and work, along with the multiple errands and mending of home and relationships required of us humans, whether they even get up earlier to read and make an informed vote Nov. 2nd.

My own tradition of faith encourages people to speak up in the public square and be heard, cast a vote, and, make a difference now.

Yet, people, at times, seem numbed by so much to do, by food or drink or drug, or work especially, that some are oblivious to the world, or, at least, the place he or she occupies.

Despite heavy schedules and demands that family life bring, even though our original U.S. constitution, say s nothing about parties, so what's the big fuss every minutes of every hours these days on TV?

All the promo money could be better used for the needy mainstreet neighbors next door, or, across the street. It seems wasted in a system gone wild about elections, and, specials interests buying candidates off, or, worse.

Reflecting on and reading about who is running seems to be the best one can do in a system that seems bent on failing mainstreet, given the win/lose demonizing that goes on these days.

Rewriting our Michigan constitution with speak up delegates and another vote on it, coupled with the dialog is what this state could use.


That's scary, however, given that special intrests, needs, groups, organizations, politicians, or, "rights" may feel threatened by someone, something "new" that may invite more equity, fairness and charity of our state pie.

What would my parents think about all this mess we've put ourselves in?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Announcement in Prayer List That I Died

Strange it was to be called by a friend who said:

"I'm glad to hear your voice."

"Why's that?" I asked.

"You were prayed for at Mass in the dead list at church," he said.

My, my.

One never knows.

That was a surprise.

The church secretary where I have an office for pastoral care and counseling sent a note
apologizing that she put my name in the list for the dead instead of the one for those sick.

Then, my name was announced:

"For Father Ventline..."

After a growth at the base of the brain, the master gland, called the pituitory, was in remission for years, it showed itself again recently. In through the nose again, to get at it. Ouch!

And, alarmed, some hurried to spread the news.

They failed to nuance, however, that it wasn't brain cancer.

Oh well.

I'm glad to be writing this blog at any rate.

Let the "Eternal rest unto him, O Lord" wait a bit longer before my demise.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Morphing Michigan Means Fixing our Constitution

No one seems to like change.

Especially those who benefit from the way things are in the Michigan state constitution.

Yet, Michigan must morph to move from the special interests, corruption and greed that hold Lansing and mainstreet residents captive while wallstreet thrives!

We must re-write our state constitution with a convention and delegates.

Once it is re-written we can vote against it if it fails to prevent corruption and special interests from ruining the state we love. Term limits in the present constitution fail to afford lawmakers the influence and powerbase to stave off special interest groups.

Of course, a constitutional convention will cost. Still, the cost of rewriting this document outweighs the fray Michigan pays with busines as usual.

Clergy and faithful will meet Nov. 1st with candidates in the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights to discuss the theme of God's Heart and the Global Village we are at 6 pm dinner. Reserve a place at

Civic candidates are welcome to hear clergy, including rabbis, pastors and imams, and participants, dialog about key concerns to our future together as one people under God. The All Faiths Festival (AFF), co-host of this event with Imam Ali Elahi, aim to build bridges and foster recognition and respect among all faith traditions, cultures and religions, and, to help families in crisis.

Join us!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Do you get attached to people or things?

I do.

And, my pooch, Wolfie does also. To me. He follows me everywhere like my shadow. Bless him!

We get attached to food, sugar, money, shopping, work, sex.

Did I name your attachment?

Commitment to God and people is good, however, when we are attached or possessive of them, that may be unhealthy, and, not well.

They do us.

We become enslaved to what we're attached to at times.

All is given for us to enjoy. To attach and let go. To love people, spouse, family, for sure, but to leave a long leash for them to fly and be all they can be!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Truths That Get Me Through

"I am only a very little soul, who can only offer very little things to our Lord."

A Camelite mystic - one who has fallen in love with God - said that while she lived between 1873 and 1897 in Lisieux, a small town in Normandy.

Her mom died when she was four. Therese and her four older sisters were left in the care of their dad, a watchmaker and a man of marked piety.

Having lived less than three decades, she died of tuberculosis. Today is her feast.

Therese was canonized a saint. She considered herself of little account, literally, a little flower that fades fast, as she did at 23. She felt the call to be a priest, a warrior, an apostle, a Doctor of the Church, and a martyr.

My vocation is charity, she taught.

Her roots and relationships with God and people help me live truths that get me through:

Faith is the ability to refrain from panic.

If I worry, I probably failed to pray or connect with the Maker. When I pray I don't worry.

God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.

When there's a problem: It's me.

Growing up is optional, while growing old is inevitable.

My toys, books, and Bible will not go with me when I die. No u-haul to heaven.

I've learned to care more about my character than my reputation.

Finally, like others, I sit on my pity pot every now and then. I remind myself to flush when done, nevertheless.