Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgeralds' third book, The Great Gatsby (1925) stands solo as his supreme achievement.

T.S. Eliot claims he read it three times and viewed it as the first step of American fiction since Henry james.

"The charm and beauty of the writing," notes H. L. Mencken's praise of it, as well as the sharp social sense of this new American humor, is caught in a conflict of spiriuality in a web of our own commercial life.

Spirituality is about awakening the sleeping self and attuning one's self to be aware once more in a time and society when so many, so much is numbed by so much work, shopping, sex, drugs, caffeine, gambling, or, your own addictive and attachment disorder.

Both boisterous and tragic, this story is motivated by whimsical magic and a simple pathos that is realized with economy and restraint.

This reader found the book to be curious, mystical (head over heel in love with the Creator and meaning in one's living) and glamorous.

A current critique of culture today, the tome takes a deeper slice at American life than hithrto has been essayed by Mr. Fitzgerald, Edwin Clark of the New York Times noted in April, 1925.

It brings to life a tale of the 20s when gin was thenational drink and sex was the national obsession.

Like much of today's tale, sad to confess.

Driven Sons

We hear about them all the time.

Nothing pleases them. They're driven to do more. Satisfaction seems far from them.

Often, they are sons of a parent who drank.

These sons learned the classic characteristics of adult children of an alcoholic parent: Don't trust, talk or feel.

I know.

I had to re-learn them after undoing them in years of counseling with a counselor who was also a child of a parent who drank as she grew up.


There's something in their eyes, posture and place in life.

Their dads, like mine, perhaps, meant well but was not present to affirm probably because his own birth mom died when he was six-months old. His dad remarried and his stepmother was the family secret in her abusiveness that, no doubt, she experienced growing up also.

Call it original sin.

People pass on what they learned.

They live what they learned from significant parents.

Unless they undo toxic tapes, they will project this on to others for the remainder of their living years on earth.

Treatment works.

I know.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Head Over Heels in Love

Parents are.


Especially when mom and dad see their baby for the first time.

"The most objective information you can give a woman is seeing her baby on a TV screen. No words are necessary as smiles beam from the happy parents," H. John Barkay, D.O., a retired family physicain once told me.

It's true. I've watched myself as I was given the privilege to peak in on the sacred, little life swimming about inside mom's holy tabernacle of life.

How grateful I was to view the baby in the womb.


Life is clearly there. No doubt about it.

Too think that one can decide when life starts. I prefer favoring what I see with my own two eyes than academics debating about when lift starts.

Now, the quality of life this little one may be given while in our outside of the womb is another matter, isn't it? Yet, the primary motive for life must always be to support this gift and prioritize all else around the baby.

And, the Knights of Columbus Bishop Gallagher Council in Royal Oak, MI., for whom I serve as chaplain, have been giving women facing crisis pregnancies the chance to see that image since they launched the Ultrasound Initiative in 2009.


Close to 200 such ultrasound machines are availalbe now throughout the USA, thanks to the Knights of Columbus. And, those who give life a chance beyond personal agendas that may shrink to one's own wants.

Clearly, I trust the quality of life will be given to every life in and outside the womb.

Efforts to that end are primary. To even think about partial birth abortion, or termination of the life earlier bothers me no end. I'd love to engage in a conversation with moms who think otherwise. I wonder so often why a mother considers abortion in the first place. Don't get me wrong, this foundational issue has me respecting all other moral concerns as well, but I'd like to hear from parents along with others who seem to always drive this life issue.

Abortions are left out when mom and dad see the graphic image of life to behold, thanks be to God! Studies prove that, and, I'm grateful.

Tell the Good News!

Let life live in 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Passionate Mayor, MOSES, Clergy Meet Monday

A passionate Mayor James R. Fouts, MOSES executive director, G. Ponsella Hardaway, and I met Monday for more than an hour in a heated exchange about saving Detroit.

The clarity and courage to speak up is the type I have not been part of for a while.

Security, crime, fear, blight and effective leaders who listen and act, stirred as the three of us went at it. Mayor Fouts pushed back his schedule to keep talking in this dialogue.

Clearly, this mayor does not lead by committee, or, recommendations always. Fiery Fouts will stand up and speak up as others sit.

Spontaneity has all three of us voicing our love for Motown.

We wondered if Mayor Dave Bing listens as the prospect of an emergency manager hangs over his daily work.

We worried that unless citizens, civic and church leaders speak up in solidarity soon, it may be too late.

We concluded that Detroit could be great again if action precedes personal glory and agendas.
Like Chicago and New York, Detroit once starred as the city to head to often.

People need a reason to go to downtown Detroit like we did on the bus to Hudson's, or to movies that initially showed in Detroit before they came to the suburbs months later, Mayor Fouts recalled.

Money needs to be spent at home not in useless wars in Iraq and elsewhere, we contend.

Fouts Forum a show on his Warren cable television, an opinion piece written by the three of us,
letters to Sandy Levin, and, other representatives were also suggested for this sleepy nation and town.

Banks have to be accountable. Ron Paul, the Texas congressman and medical doctor, got praise, while Macy's was mentioned to move into a Detroit location to bring people to Motown.

Fear seems to lock sides into postures that keep a the divide alive.

The late Father William Cunnigham and Eleanor Josasitis of Focus:HOPE were the last leaders who gathered city and suburban high school students in Holly, MI., for example, to address the distrust between city and suburban dwellers in 1968, when Detroit was racially rocked.

Clean, safer, cooperative cities will work, Fouts claimed loud and clear.

Fouts' hero is President Harry Truman who integrated the military, was the first president to address the NAACP, and more, according to the Mayor who seemed occupied with the "age issue" revolving around a technicality, he admits.

Own it, claim it as your own, and, move on, it was suggested Monday.

This hardworking, decent and daunting leader deserves to address issues his heart and mind make him work at despite the media's persistence before his overwhelming mayoral victory in November.

Detroit need Mayor Fouts.

And, Mayor Fouts would probably recognize that Detroit needs him, and the entire metropolitan region needs each other to join forces to save the City we love, learned from, grew up in, and need to stand up for NOW as it bleeds endlessly.

But, can't forever.

God bless Detroit and the suburbanites to forge rapport with Motown now.

Raise up, O God, leaders after the heart of Jesus, who will tend to Detroit in ICU these days.

We are our neighbor's keeper.

The book of Genesis said it long before any of us did.

Who will lead?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Economy different from empire's economy

An economy of sacred scriptures differs from the empire's economy.

Widows, orphans, and immigrants, among others,who are most vulnerable in and outside the womb are to be cared for the good book notes.

God's plan for dismantling inequality, relinquishing and forgivng debts, redistributing property, care for creation and goods, and setting captives free is paramount.

Prophets speak up while others sit or collect so much that some people lease storage bins.

Rebirth and redistribution go together. It is a painful process for those challenged to let go of greed.

Economic sharing was a pivotal foundation of the early Way of Jesus, and the community of believers he attracted by his stunning stories and invitations to follow him.

Love of God and neighbor is a truth worth holding high at a time when people could care less about others, let alone their neighbor or even family.

Neighborhood Watch, an extension of police, the ears and eyes awake to suspicious activity in a community, aims to get neighbors to unite in solidarity against predators.

Don't get mad at me. I'm simply the messenger. Perhaps the president is facing opposition at everything he seems to suggest these days largely because he seems to know something about Catholic social teaching - a revered body of thought that calls for respect for all people, including those at the bottom, and, hello, the disappearing middle class.

An economy of God's love steers beyond political parties and includes all humans, thanks be to the Creator.

A simple manger scene of Jesus his Christmas season points a way of living simply so that others may simply live.

One cannot mandate redistribution and an economy of God's love. It comes when hearts are changed, when compassion and solidarity in encountered.

One morphed heart at a time yields to inclusion of all beyond class warfare, greed and corruption so current in this culture today.

Come All Ye Faithful

With supposedly the tallest Christ monument soaring 118 feet in Swiebodzin, Poland, and, followers in Rio disputing measurements, the Christmas season continues traditionally for twelve days.

Father Sylwester Zawadzki, 79, is the brainchild of the statue, according to local press, and the Wall Street Journal.

Critics judge that the million-dollar price tag could have been put to better use than the object of veneration for believers.

The town's residents of 22,000 apparently appreciate the tallest Jesus. Other grand plans include a pond and font near the cross for pilgrims, along with accomodations for long-distance guests.

Donations built the statue that competes with the famous Jesus statue, Christ the Redeemer, in Rio de Janiero.

Area Catholics think that the statues in either place are worth the money in a culture that could "use a little Christmas," to borrow from a popular song on radio these days of the Christmas season.

The fraternal Catholic men's service organization, the Knight of Columbus, for example, make available a manger scene that has magnet on the back side to post on metal, or, a refrigerator at home, for example, one area leader chimed in on the matter. "Keep Christ in Christmas" is noted below the holy family scene.

Whatever the opinion of a diverse population, others claim, there's room for Christ.

The current display of the Rembrandt's faces of Jesus at the Detroit Institute of Art, for example, is another illustration of the devotion people have to Jesus.

Statues and monuments seem to be a way for people to preserve their religious beliefs and values.

Those objecting may choose concrete ways to build schools, or, give to the needy.

The current dispute in Warren, a largely Polish community, the manger in the Warren City Hall continues to be protested by atheists. They insist that their signage should go next to the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Warren Mayor Jim Fouts objects, stating that would cause disruption as he keeps the peace in his Catholic city, among the largest in Michigan.

At the strike of midnight on December 25th, all songs and hymns of Christmas cheer will seize and give way to media's songs of the culture once more.

Conversations are created and stirred with all the protestation on these matters.

Faith matters.

America's immigration of Poles, among others, proves that this land is a diverse one that has, and continues to make room for all peoples, especially those who want a taste of freedom beyond the oppression they flee.

Everyone matters. You included. Those theological principles ring out loud and clear.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

People and Forgiveness

While leaders often spend other people's money without asking them, I wonder how it is that the people of God still forgive them for frivolous spending, and more.

People generously give and forgive, and give again.

While pressed Sunday after Sunday, it seems, they continue to give.

What gives?

I'm not complaining that the people are bailing out the Archdiocese of Detroit after a $47 million dollar loan on the John Paul II Museum in Washington, D.C., and a $200-million-dollar debt left to the current head of the AOD.

Waves over time at parishes in perhaps the largest capital campaign ever are making progress at the AOD and a dent is being put in the debt, but I think Catholics are forgiving and giving, and still giving again. And, then some.

Praise to them.

Many pastors opposed the campaign given the economy but leaders decided to move ahead and ask.

And, apparently, people are giving.

I just wondered about how forgiving people are for leaders like the former Mayor of Detroit and the former Archbishop of Detroit who put the city and church id such debt.

Says a lot about Catholics. And, about forgiving.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Neighbors Watch, Alert to Suspicious Activity

Even though they're fighting mad about the escalating home invasions, and more, in Clinton Township, Michigan these days, they are positive and taking action to stem the tide in their changing neighborhood.

There's Captain Bruce Wade and Kathy Voss with Thomasina Schenk, among a packed house at Saint Claude Chapel last night who met and led once more the nationally effective Neighborhood Watch, an extension of the police.

Ears and eyes for the community, people are waking up in a sleeping nation. People are standing up against thugs in favor of a secure quality of life in Macomb County, Michigan, and elsewhere.

The crowd was engaged Monday night in the pastorally plush Saint Claude's Chapel on the campus of Saint Thecla Church, a merger forged when few priests are available for a resident pastor at both St. Claude and St. Thecla. So, Father Doug Bignall said YES to lead both.

However, one can only spread self so much, and one of the places gets less attention and pastoral care.

Yet, people are taking the lead as it should be. They're stepping out in faith.

Like they did last night when people kept pouring into the 6:30 pm Neighborhood Watch meeting.

They're mounting an offense. They're lining their windows along Beaconsfield and Little Mack, and more, for example, with bright red signs of solidarity, coupled with watchful eyes on would-be criminals taking advantage of the vulnerable and property people invested their saving into all their working days.

They'll meet again January 11, 2012 in Rainbow Elementary School at 5:45 pm. For more information and to get in on the action, the face off with crime, if you will, contact, or call St. Thecla/St. Claude Catholic Church at 586 791 3930.

Parishioners and residents are taken their leader, Jesus, seriously, "to love your neighbor as yourself." as the Good Book notes.

Happy 80th Eleanor Josaitis of Focus:HOPE

Dear Eleanor:

Happy birthday!

I heard you turned 80 last Saturday. You never wanted to talk about your age, I recall, yet, you had a full life, very full indeed. It was tough watching you pass over last August in Angela Hospice, but, we all aim for heaven unless other plans are in mind, no?

You are still a living lamp amid a dark society. You light up a room, give hope, shine radiant and wax eloquently by your life. Without drama, you led, and, lived a life full of love and service for your family, for Focus:HOPE, for my Motown.

Keep spending your heaven here on earth, dear friend, doing so much good here with the likes of Ken Untener, William Cunnigham, Mother Theresa, my grandparents and parents, and so many ordinary others who lived life to the full. By their fruits you shall know them, the master, Jesus said. Fruit galore in you, others for sure.

With Saint Francis of Assisi, Italy, you preached with your life and used words when necessary.


I miss you so much.

Your inspiration to found Focus:HOPE with Father William Cunningham after the civil unrest in Detroit in 1968 moves me much to do and be for others, for Motown, for hope, for much more.

At the Detroit Isaac Agree Synagogue, downtown on Griswold at Clifford, earlier today we talked with the Rabbi and half a dozen others about concrete ways suburbanites could assist my Motown. I think you, Eleanor, had a hand in guiding me there over my young years up to this ripe age.
Later, Robert Waters of Hope Center in Clinton Township, and I participated in a Neighborhood Watch meeting at Saint Claude Chapel on Beaconsfield, north of Fourteen Mile Road. "Love your neighbor as yourself," Jesus mandated, and so, can we do any less?

You seemed to steer and aim high. Still are.

And, Fr. Cunningham, and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, all outstanding lights, lamps for me, for many, for young people.

You reminded me of Matthew's Gospel, chapter 25.

Faith is in the streets where people live, work, die even. They give good news. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy my Catholic faith teach from the life of Jesus, our leader.

You, with my dear parents, moved me to hope and believe by showing me with your life how to be grounded in God, the Maker, my help.

You built bridges. Imagined a new Detroit. Your were the engine with Focus:HOPE, among the first female CEOs when Fr. Cunnigham's life went out. You steered a grateful City.

Bridging 8 Mile is Re-Imagining the Detroit Community Jan. 14 and 15th (313 492 7702).

You showed us how to imagine hope and realize it daily as you tirelessly gave and forgave and gave again. And, again.

People call 211 for assistance through the United Way if they are homeless today.

You made me notice ways like that to serve and stoop low. Countless more.

After all, you stood up when others simply sat and said nothing.

Thank you for the virtue or strength of evergreen hope.

From your place in heaven, please keep sending Light!

You know we need it.

I love you.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's a first of its kind in the Catholic community's story and is a costly advertizing blitz aiming to attract back lapsed Catholics and search out new recruits.

An impressive and comprehensive profile of the Church, this online promotion has never been tried before in such an extensive and far-reaching way.

What will Catholics be coming home to is a question some inquirers are asking?

With embedded video from movies like Martin Sheens, The Way, and, testimonies of those who came back, teachings on heaven, grief, death, reconciliation, and more, its reach markets a program for seekers and searchers of a home church. merits a peek.

It appears to want to do much of the formation of Catholics online from a central base.

Home is not described, but live testimonies and tales are told by those giving the Church a second chance.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

LOVE GOD/NEIGBOR: Support for Detroit

Monday, Dec. 19th, an All Faiths Festival meeting is set for 4-5 pm in the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue, 1457 Griswold St. The theme is Love God/Neighbor Support for Detroit. For more information, call (248) 543 4255, (313) 729 8035, or (586) 530 7576.

This third in a series of meetings with citizens, civic and clergy leaders and officials of the City of Detroit aims to offer concrete ways suburbanites will support its neighbor. Another gathering is set for Monday, January 23, 2012 from 10:30 am -12 noon in the Fraser Pubic Library when the public is invited to offer ways to support Detroit.

At 6:30 pm the same day, Dec. 19th, residents of Clinton Township will meet in Saint Claude Chapel, on Beaconsfield, north of 14 Mile Road for a Neigbhorhood Watch summit as day-time home invasians mount in the area, according to organizers.

"People are fighting mad to take back their streets," one leader said, "and, as people of hope we won't fight but will be watching to alert police of suspicious activitity on our block," the 64-year-old, continued.

Inclusive Communities Uniting (ICU) was founded last January when home invasians in Harrison Township ticked off residents who organized a Neighborhood Watch as it mounts its ow defense against criminal behavior.

They're assessing love of God/neighbor, the golden rule, planners said of Monday's meeting. "And, we're not good at loving our neighbor, let alone knowing them, or our ailing Detroit neighbor," another area resident charged.

Leaders hope all of that will change while they turn to the golden rule. They're hoping for a little help from a higher power.

Friday, December 16, 2011


It's about resolving issues, and, reasoning.

A best book I ever read on suffering by Peter Kreeft of Boston College, stirred me to take another look at Saint Thomas Acquinas, a philosopher who combined common sense and profundity.

Kreeft's intellectual conversion was motivated by Thomas. No Protestant philospher came close, Kreeft said, except Kierkegaard, an irrationalist.

Kreeft claims that he went to Saint Mary's Church at Yale to ask about becoming a Catholic since he was convinced that the Church was the Church founded by Christ for all, and "therefore for me, and that to ignore or refuse her was to ignore or refuse him, because he is where ever his body is -- as we are."

Thamas' common sense showed in these examples:

The primary meaning of "being" is that which is," that which exists. Essences are relative to EXISTENCE, potentialities for existence. Nothing is more concrete and simple that that: TO BE OR NOT TO BE, THAT IS THE QUESTION.

Thomas settled a dispute among monks about whether or not the contemplative life was intrinsically superior to the active life by saying that the most perfect life is both contemplative and active, like Christ's.

Contemplation of truth, one's highest good, must be shared and activity must be conformed to reality, which is known by contemplation of the mind.

His cure for "sadness of soul" (called depression today) is a glass of wine, a hot bath, and a good night's sleep.

Addiction is explained by Thomas using the example of sex addiction:

"Man cannot live without joy. That is why when deprived of true spiritual joys he must go over to carnal pleasures."

Open to new insights, Kreeft notes that Thomas influence the late Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, the Church''s answer to the great heresy of our time, the "sexual revolution."

Kreeft asserts that the Church is in the heresy-hunting business because every heresy harms humanity, and She loves humanity because She is the voice of the ONe who created and designed it.

Finally, Thomism always connects contemplation and preaching, for example, and the teaching of it, and with action and life. Kreeft recomends that pators read Thomas before preaching if they want the listener's attention.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Immigrants Get Huge Hug

Welcome to America!

Immigrants got a huge hug this week with a wordy letter from 33 bishops.

"We recognize that every human being, authorized or not, is an image of God and therefore possesses value and dignity," noted the missive that was released Monday on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Signed by Hispanic/Latino Bishops who serve immigrants, they recognized how "you feel ignored or abandoned, especially when no objection is raised to the false impressions that are promoted within our society."

It was described as their own very special version of the Mananitas, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops media blog.

"We promise to keep working to bring about this change," the bishops pledged, including Detroit's Arturo Cepeda, referring to reform of immigration law. At least one Republican candidate seeking the nomination for U.S. President, supported illegal families who have lived twenty-five years in this country, for example.

Concluding the eight-page letter with a usual blessing, the local and national leaders admitted that "it pains and saddens us that many of our Catholic brothers and sisters have not supported our petitions for changes in the immigration law that will protect your basic rights while you contribute your hard work to our country."

In Oakland County, and elsewhere, local groups wondered why immigrants were singled out for support while others also feel excluded from this nation and Church.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

John the Baptist

He's a wild man who dressed in camel hair and ate locust and wild honey.

Not a conventional kind of guy.

Yet, this John the baptist, who appears out of nowhere, it seems, leads guys and gals into the deep.

That is, into the spiritual life deep inside.

Although he seems to have lost his influence and power in church circles, John the Baptist is a mentor for men, especially, in his unusual ways of leading, healing, and helping usher in fresh air.

Today, I doubt that John would be welcomed into sanctuaries. He's much too different for people today. Anything and anyone different, these days, seems to frighten folks. Society has never recovered from 9/11's fear-enveloping posture that seems to choke life out of many.

Of John, Jesus, a contemporary, shouts:

"I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women, a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen." (Matthew 11:11)

John gets things started for "the Way" and moves out of the way for one who is to come who is far more light, namely, Jesus. But, it takes a starter to get the ball rolling. John the Baptist did just that, and more.

John exits the stage for Jesus in a gentle way, but with a little help from Salome and her platter.

Social sin is attacked by John. The least are lifted up. Those oppressing others are to go!

John steers clear of temple-controlled religion.

John went by the river Jordan forgiving sin and shouting repentance.

The Jerusalem establishment goes out to check John's credentials, even orthodoxy (John 1:19).

He is a deep sort of guy. Culture today needs starters with depth to lead households, fractured families, and organizations that have embraced greed and corruption on the backs of middle class citizens of heaven and earth.

"I am just a voice. . ." John said. He cries out in the wilderness. Much like talking to a door, John knows who is is, however. He knows his role, and, has boundaries.

John has a freedom from himself, his ego, sufficient to get things started and get out of the way.

A deepr life, and inner morphing comes with Jesus, the way, truth, and life.

He excells at his job. But most are not Baptists today. Most are Christian even though it is a far cry from what Jesus brought centuries ago.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent Reconciliation

A crowd of Catholics arrived to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation.

This sacrament prepares one to receive the Eucharist at Mass. An examination of conscience was led by the presider as he walked the assembly through the ten commandments. Short, vivid questions were asked of those present as they assessed their daily living.

Did money, power, or sex dominate my love for God primarily, was one such question.
Such behavior violates the first commandment: I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me. Biblical basis for them emerge from Deuteronomy 5 and Exodus 20 where the commandments are noted.

Participants approached one of several confessors to audibly voice violations of God's laws.

After a penance and absolution was given to the penitent by the priest, those present returned to their pew to pray an act of sorrow or contrition resolving to sin no more.

This powerful sacrament is healing in many ways.

Scriptures state that it is important for believers to confess their sins one to another.

Even more importantly, Jesus is to have told apostles that they may forgive sins.

Advent, a time of joyful preparation for the anniversary of the birth of Jesus, involves four weeks to make a difference.

Trappist Thomas Merton said this:

"We do not understand that this business about the crib is the real revolution that once for all turned everything upside-down so that nothing has ever been, or can ever be, the same again."

Advent is an appropriate time to return to the Lord, the real Jesus as Christians know him as the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith.

Jesus is far from a plastic Jesus made in one's own image and likeness.

No, believers imitate his real presence as it is recorded in sacred scripture.

How far have we distanced ourselves from the Jesus of two thousand years ago?

If one is to know Jesus, one has to hang out with him in his Word, and, in prayer.

We come to know family and friends, and, spouse, by spending quality time with them, no?

Monday, December 12, 2011


So much suffering seems to fill so many these days.

Fracture in families.

Attachment disorders to drugs, gambing, sex, shopping, work, chocolate.

Is your attachment listed?

Pain everywhere.

Yet, little motivation to move on from suffering.

Being aware of such suffering may be difficult given denial of addiction disorders.

Awake, aware and attuned to the ache is key naming, claiming and by the grace, favor or blessing of God, taming addictions and other dysfunctions.

Acceptance helps when it comes to suffering.

If one becomes a friend of one's suffering, she or he may begin to tame the ache.

Accept and befriend suffering?

You got to be kidding?

Yes, giving it energy by fighting it will only cause deeper addiction. You will lose. The attachment will win over you.

Calmng down, being still will help the stress created in trying to control the pain.

For Christians, suffering is a common encounter to overcome by acceptance to move on past it.

Suffering, dying and rising is part of the package for believers.

One gets to the prize, the crown, the recovery by way of prayer and facing the masks on wears.

The process means uncovering and taking off the masks one wears, known as the false self, and discovering the love of God. That's similar to a light switch that activates a light in a room, for example. Recovery follows. Divine union brings recovery when one finally runs, as it were, into the arms of the Beloved, namely God.

Being still daily and simply letting go of thoughts and distractions - BEING - twice daily for twenty minutes a session, brings healing, fixing, morphing. Nothing, nada, no thing is required except, like Mary, mother of Jesus, BEING.

With Mary, one joins her saying: Let it be!

Try it! It costs nothing to pray and be in communion with the Maker. Ask your clergy leader to help you if you are unable to sit still some. Or, you may need a counselor. But, help is here and
healing with the fullness of life is possible.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Motown Motor City Mending!

We did.

When Detroit was down in need of your hand, and, hope, we told you so.

When we asked you to help and come, we told you so. We rang out: HELP!

We told you when my Motown was ailing in need of a neighbor's tender stooping to lift life up, to serve, to save, to share.

When a series of Love God/Love Neighbor: Detroit events were set, we told you so.
And WWJ All New Radio 950 AM told you too!

We did. We wanted you to to be part of our emergency team and ICU.

When Roseville Sacred Heart Catholic Church hosted a session last Monday, a dozen strong stood with Detroit's Mayor and spoke up to provide salve for my City. After all, I grew up there on Lynch Road and Van Dyke, near the Detroit City Airport that still lives!

Concrete ideas to save Detroit were hatched in Dearborn again this past Friday also at the Karbala Mosque, Eduction Center and Museum with Imam Hasha Al-Husainy, a vibrant and enthusiastic pastoral leader. The Imam spoke of a proposal for international manufacturing in the home he fled decades ago. He spoke of an automobile assembly plant in Iraq where the U.S. pulls out December 20th.

The good Imam wants Detroit to be there to build autos.

He spoke of a plan he presented to the former Governor Granholm for Michigan jobs. It was widely and well received, the Imam complained. What happened? Out loud, he wondered what happened to his proposal a few years ago. Did someone steal away his idea?
Did bureacracy bury it? What? At the meeting Friday with Dion Williams, the business and faith-based manager for the City of Detroit, the Imam pitched this proposal with suburbanites from Dearborn, Clinton Township, and Harrison Township residents who are enduring and daunting lights glowing with more than goodwill to fix a broken city.

"Perhaps faith is the answer," State Representative Harold Haugh of Roseville and part of Fraser, said. Faith will move mountains, and move us to to make a miracle and save Detroit.
We told you so, and the Scriptures also to love God and neighbor, so did Channel 2 Fox News, and WDIV. God's watching and wanting us to help, for sure! Our great God of love must be smiling on the little lights lifting my town!

The hymn, Amazing Grace, rang out with Pastor Anthony Whitehorn of Mt. Clemens, Marge Hallman of East Pointe, Al Bileti of Fraser St. Athanasius Church, Donna Mesyn of St. Thecla Church, and Lyn Vogler of Clinton Township, Robert Waters of Hope Center on Groesbeck, north of Fourteen, who resides in Harrison Township, Mohamed Abass of the American-Islamic Community Center in Madison Heights, who recently married and lives in Sterling Heights now, the mending Rabbi Modehai Waldman of Berkley, formerly of a Temple in Mt. Clemens, Abdulla of Dearborn, who rode his bicycle twenty-two miles to pray and attend Friday's meeting to pray with us at Karbala was also there.

They'll be there to greet you at lunch Friday, Dec. 16 at 12:30 in Laikon's Cafe at 569 Monroe in Detroit's Greektown by St. Mary's Catholic Church, and the Greektown Casino. And, before that at 11:40 am the same day in Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Church, join me for Mass in the first Cathedral of the historic Detroit Diocese at 438 St. Antoine at Jefferson (across from the GM/Ren Cen). And, on Monday, Dec. 26th from 6-9 pm, join me once more at SS. Peter and Paul (via the Larned UDM Law School Parking Lot gardenway entrance) for a benefit for the Warming Center of this church to share left-over food from Christmas Day, and, to hear some funny faith stories and humor. Visit this gem of a church, this gem of my Motown Downtown Detroit.

And, Rabbi Dorit Edut of downtown Detroit's Isaac Agree Synagogue at 1457 Griswold (at Clifford, 248 543 4255, will be on hand Monday, Dec. 19th at 4-5 pm to greet you and lead us in Love God/Love Neighbor:Detroit, an All Faiths Festival (AFF) initiative. Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council, and more, have been invited to all these events to build bonds and bridges with the 'burbs and beyond with my Motown.

From the Downtown Detroit Isaac Agree Synagogue, Dec. 19th, some of us will head to St. Claude Catholic Chapel at 33826 Beaconsfield, north of 14 Mile Road in Clinton Township for a 6:30 pm Neighborhood Watch meeting where neighbors will forge a front and mount a defense to keep our cities clean and safe and neighborly. Let Dawn at St. Thecla know you're coming at 586 791 3930, or me at 586 530 7576. We want to set up for all these events and appreciate knowing that we need to put out a chair and table setting for you, our neighbor!

Little lights -- each is -- making lots of light and love for the City we love, our neighbor, ailing in emergency, hoping believers will visit, pray, serve, give, get, go to Motown now, today, tonight, tomorrow, forever!

There is a balm to heal and salve and save my City that's broke. Faith's miracle will mend and see us through the tunnel with your hands, heart and help please. With you, we will strengthen family and faith and finances, and security, and Detroit's gem, and, quality of life in the region with ICU, Inclusive Communities Uniting, we will! As Detroit goes, so goes the region, State, and . . .

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

We told you so. . .now help mend my Motown, and make a miracle and more! Step up! Wait no longer to make a difference when Detroit is down.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Boy Named Juan Diego

On this day in 1531, a boy named Diego passed a hill at Tepeyac, near Mexico City today.

A voice called him by name as he walked. A young Indian maiden instructed him to go to the local bishop and tell him to build an edifice on this hill to the mother goddess.

After three attempts, Juan was received, given a sign of roses and a photo of Our Lady in his tilma, cape.

And the cult of Our Lady of Guadalupe was born, the Indian name of the Lady was rendered in Spanish.

A fusion among the Spanish and indigenous races and cultures blended.

A conversion of souls happened with a boy called Juan.

Millions of Aztecs were baptized. Even more importantly, the poor were raised up. Banners with Our Lady's image were carried by the peasant army of Emiliano Zapata durind the Mexican Revolution.

Cesar Chavez of the U.S. Farmworkers carried her image on the picket line.

She symbolizes a church celebrating today diversity. One that empowers the poor, and speaks with the voice of compassion.

Where such a church lives, roses bloom in December.

All because of a boy called Juan Diego.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fear, Lack of Trust Turns Suburban, City Dwellers Backs on One Another

Trust will turn my hometown around.

It will. Trust me.

It will also diminish the fear that is paralyzing and immobilizing people from visiting, living or encountering Detroit these past few decades.

Fear of the foreign, unfamiliar and unknown prevents people of the suburbs from encountering and experiencing City dwellers.

I grew up in Motown, the city I love to this day.

Crossing the divide of city boundaries will fill the gap and bridge 'burbs and Detroit, and more.

Until action is taken to cross Eight Mile Road, for example, the mistrust and fear will prevent progress in Detroit and its financial and ethical crisis ruining it today. A similar saga presents and awaits itself to play out in the suburbs who have similar issues of fractured families, drugs, crime and a lack of faith in the home.

Faith will chase the fear and ever so slowly begin to replace fear with hope and promise again where trust turns hearts toward one another.

Turned backs will be replaced by faces looking each other in the eyes and engaging decency and faith once more in a broken town.

What can be done?

Concretely, one can befriend a family or household in Detroit or the suburbs. Places of worship and their leaders can facilitate face to face encounters. They can.

Exit fear.

Enter trust over time.

Fix Detroit with faith. Money is not enough to solve Motown's woes.

Goodwill is not enough, a reporter complained, when leaders met to address the ruin of Detroit
Monday in Roseville, MI.

The divide keeps people afraid and locked into their own turf.

The answer rests in the founder of the Catholic Worker, a movement this most influential and significant figure in the history of American Catholicism, founded in 1933.

Day noted:

"Love is the measure, but to truly love each other, we must first know each other, and to know each other, we must first listen to each other, and to listen to each other, we must first slow down enough to simply be with each other. But our society and our systems don't want us to slow down. Our society and systems want us to speed up in order to increase economic growth and wealth. Yet the true prophets of our age reject this way, and embrace instead slowing down, to be with each other, to listen to each other, to know each other and to love each other because, as we know, love is the measure."

It is.

No amount of money will save Detroit.

People will. Trust and fearlessness will turn hearts toward each other once more.

Faith, for sure, can no longer be dismissed as the answer.

It will fix the problem, remove fear, and bridge the deep divide between Detroit and the suburbs.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Clergy, Others to Meet to 'Love Neighbor', Detroit, as Self

Frazier Kimpson of Detroit Mayor Bing's office will be there.

With Rabbi Mordehai Waldman of Berkley, MI., and Sterling Heights' Mohamed Abbass of the All Faiths Festival (AFF), and Pastor Anthony Whitehorn of Mt. Clemens, and some Roseville city council leaders will meet at Sacred Heart Church at 18430 Utica Road at Gratiot in Roseville at 10 am this morning.

"Love Neighbor" is the aim. Support Detroit, ailing as Motown, Michigan is these days.

We will.

We'll stand together and do what we can to assist our good neighbor.

Our faith forges us together.

Faith spurs us on to lead, to love, to give what we can.

Catholic social thought teaches that: You matter. Everyone else matters.

Two principles upon which charity flows.

Some may think this is a noble deed. Perhaps. It is necessary, nevertheless, for leaders to lock limbs and lift up Detroit.

Join us at 10 am, or call me at 586 777 9116.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Terrible Times

Such bad news seems to envelope us these days.

I hear sad stories daily.

More home foreclosures, family fracturing, addiction and attachment disorders, conflict and my Motown in crisis in Detroit, Michigan, where I grew up.

A mother told of her 22-month-old who died suddenly of fecal toxicity. A cousin called to tell me her son had bi-pass surgery again in Henry Ford downtown.

Perhaps some of the news attracts me given my pastoral heart and role as a counselor. I don't know.

But there is a lot of tragedy these days in troubling times.

The foundation of our society - the family - is shaky and few seem to stand up in support of this pivotal unit.

Someone called and wondered about the position of partial birth abortion by the Governor, and a few others, that bothers this 81-year-old mother who was born into a family of nine children with respect for life from early on until one's final breath.

We could talk about her concerns. Dialog helps. Yelling does no one any good, we all know.

Some worry about how we're due to be dumped on with a snow blast.

Terrible times in fear.

Living a moment at a time works well for me. Coupled with a fear-free life, I get along not worrying about tomorrow. God is already there.

O God,
fear knocks at the door,
faiths answers, and
no one is there.

Thanks be to you in
Jesus who says, and others
who are wise, that fear is
useless - what's needed is

How consoling, O Creator!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Clergy, Others to Meet to 'Love Neighbor', Detroit, as Self

Clergy, among other advocates of the city of Detroit are set to support the Detroit City Council and Mayor Dave Bing, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 at 10 am in the parish office center of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 18430 Utica Road at Gratiot, in Roseville.

We hope to love God and neighbor as the scriptures of all world religions mandate, among other faith traditions.

We'll take our lead from what the City Council or Mayor suggest we do, and, to assist in spiritual and other ways to 'rev' up more hope, life and promise in our beloved and ailing neighbor.

Neighbors in the 'burbs, and, the city need to connect and raise up each other as we stoop to serve in the spirit of Jesus who told us to love our neighbor as our self.

We love self enough to love Detroit as much then.

Can we do anything less for a broken city we grew up in and benefited from in countless ways?

For more information contact me at 586 530 7576 or 586 777 9116.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Elder Sage Cares for Saint Claude Chapel in Clinton Township

Warren Purcell works daily at sawing fallen tree branches, shaping the evergreen trees, and more, at Saint Claude Chapel on Beaconsfield, north of Fourteen Mile Road in Clinton Township.

He was "buzzing" away at the branches to pile at his "FREE Fire Wood" sign when I stopped by to greet the 82-year-old parishioners who stewards well the multi-acre pastoral property that belongs to the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit's Archbishop. Landlords from a distance, however, don't seem to keep an eye on precious, God-given land, like the investment of local residents.

Numerous people like Mr. Purcel manage to give weekly offerings to the upkeep of the aging buildings and sprawling wooded-area that "makes me peaceful," Mr. Purcell admits.

After thanking him for his enduring care for Saint Claude's, one of the merged parishes, with more to come soon, the life he pours into this evergreen wooded-area makes this writer, at least, feel good when it seems that there is only bad news coming out of Catholic communities these days. Insufficient numbers of priests and fewer baptized babies works against what were vigorous churches half a century ago. My parents were among those who made parishes thrive while so much implodes these days.

One person at a time is how Jesus seemed to care for his flock. And, it will take others, like Mr. Purcell, to keep an eye on elderly or abandoned edifices as he ages well chopping wood and trimming trees these days as snow holds off.

Thanks be to God. Sto lat! (Polish for "one hundred years," may he live).

December Days, Daze

Somehow, my e-mail account was re-directed.

Contrived, whoever did it intended harm. And, wanted money sent to Madrid since I was ambushed and hospitalized.

Twice now this hacking happened.

Calls of concern poured in early today. Glad people checked before sending requested money in this horror story. What others must go through also. Man's inhumanity to man!

Here we go again trying to restore the system.

One's entire system has to be restored. All data needs to be erased. The computer has to be set like when it was purchased brand new.

There is no way to police such activity, I'm told.

The hacker(s) secure password or code and go to it.


When will all this end?

Or, will it do us in? As so many are expereincing these days. And, left hanging there to fix the problem.