Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Ring in the new and out with the old!

That is, in with the new Church Year that starts Sunday with Advent, the "coming" of Christ, first on our calendar of December 25th, and, then, again in his "second coming."

So, we wait!  In wonder, even surprise when Jesus comes again.

After all, Advent is a Latin word, meaning "coming."

Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day when families and faith communities light the first of four candles, reminding believers of the coming of Christmas, and, our waiting for it.

Forget the waiting, however.

No one seems to want to wait in a hurried culture.

Yet, patience is a virtue and strength that merit nourishing and growing within self.

But, for four weeks?


Joseph would have given up anything to have someone else deliver Mary's child, I bet.

And, Mary, the teen maiden, likewise, must have wondered what God was doing with her.

Christmas tree, Advent wreathe, four candles, one for each week until Christmas, and more. The Good fellows would bear gifts for my four sisters and two brothers. Sander's candy, underwear, and a toy.  All worth waiting for in our poor family as I pushed my nose up the window glass watching for their, Santa's, arrival.

Everywhere it was Advent in our 2-story aluminum-sided home where the nine of us resided on Detroit's East Side in a Polish community.

It's Advent.

And, it's worth celebrating before the Big C!

Dear God

It's Saturday morning.

Another good day.  After all, you, our God are good all the time; all the time you are good, Creator, Redeemer, and, the One who makes us holy saints this day after the Thanksgiving memorial for turkeys, and more.

Rest, fresh air, a walk with Cara and Woofie, some time with you in contemplation, and, here at the Clinton Township Library in Michigan, north of Detroit, my hometown City.

It's enjoyable.

The moments in the sun from my window, the breeze on the balcony in this modest condominium across from Lake St. Clair, MI.

Never have I felt so at peace, God,  and secure as in this home in Harrison Township, MI., commonly referred to as "Boat Town," although maintaining one would be beyond my modest budget and earnings of $2,000.00 with $500 of that for cost of living.  Whoever determined that doesn't pay bills like the rest of humanity each month.

What an earth and people you have made to praise you!


While turkeys seemed to be getting out of town, heading south toward Windsor, Canada, next door and across the Detroit River, I was sitting down for a turkey dinner in Oak Park, MI.

While spread to the winds of the earth, my siblings and I couldn't get together, yet, perhaps at Christmas we'll determine a day together.  Two sisters were ill and another will not budge with her husband about eating elsewhere than Romeo, MI.

After all, I never want to idolize one single day as the 'perfect' day or else.

Or else, the picture perfect postcard won't happen, and disappointment abounds.

Off this day to Henry Ford Medical Center to visit Derigi Pascelli with breathing issues once more.

Then, some street evangelizing, and then the Ohio/Michigan ballgame from the E-Z chair at home
with the two dogs.  And then, some more prayer, and, a visit to cousins on the other side of town.

Thanks, O God, for so much so often!

The life you give in both bad and good times is good always.



Friday, November 29, 2013

He's Looking for the Poor - More Good News

Pope Francis is looking for the poor of Rome and the world.

Francis just named a bishop to seek and find the needy, and, to help them.

Reports tell that the Pope forwards letters he receives with notes to the almoner bishop who takes to the streets and assists the needy.

What's next with Francis?

Almost daily he's making news with his outreach efforts to the world in his aim to remake the Catholic Church and return it to its roots and the Gospel of Jesus.

Good news.

And, fresh air, for sure.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gratefully, With Gratitude to God


How gracious that you bless the world and me. 

You steer it lovingly and long amid fracture, and more all around the globe.

From two loaves and a few fish, Jesus could make much to feed the crowds teeming at him daily as he walked the earth.  Always generous!


When Peter and your other intimates could not catch fish, you directed them.  And, they filled the boat with fish.

Like any of us at times, Peter was frustrated and saturated with doubt, responding to Jesus:

"Master, we worked hard all night, and caught nothing."

Protesting at first, Peter said:

"But at your bidding, I will let down the nets."

The boats were filled with fish.  Help was on the way.

Gracious God,

I thank you for favoring others and me with so much.

May I never take you for granted.


Life is full with the Lord.

It hasn't always been that way.  Especially, when I tried to run it, manage it, and more.

Now, I ask, and, I receive more than I ever imagined or asked for from you.

Thank you for Thanksgiving Day!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Madness of Mental Health These Days

How disappointing is mental health treatment these days.

Practitioners seems to relish writing 'scripts of psychotropic drugs for even the little ones given their unsettledness, and, physicians need to prescribe drugs to calm the kid who is being an eight-year-old to someone's chagrin.

President Kennedy tried to stop ware-housing mental health patients and to put care into more personal community settings.  That dreams, coupled with his aim for a man on the moon was never accomplished, as we know.

We can be better and do more when it comes to mental health treatment.

Each Monday when I enter the doors of the jail for Mass, I discover once more, how much more needs to be done for the addicted, the isolated, and more.

God help us.

Mystical Moments

No longer a need to condemn or exclude.

Divisions, separations, and so much more pass by. And, are given little, or, no energy.

That's what Richard Rohr notes as mystical moments.

How true.

Being head over heel in love with God is how Trappist monk Thomas Keating onced defined mysticism.

I like that description.

It goes beyond dogma, even religion right to one's soul connecting with God and others far from any need to be 'perfect' -- whatever that daunting attempt has been for so much of my earlier life.

Now, being the best human being I can be in the Creator works well.

Connecting with creation, and, all others, is an aim that with God's help, I can do, even 'be' my way into daily.

The path of perfection drained my inner life.

Now, it's accepting pure joy in whatever, whoever comes my way.

Even the anxious turkeys who huddle and  seem headed toward Canada away from Detroit's borders these days.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

At 15, What Have I Learned?

Care of the Soul Counseling and Companions of the All-Faiths Festival marks 15 years since its formal founding in 1998.

Some asked what I learned, while others treat this self-help system like a 'hotel' with little regard for building rapport, and taking time to heal up.

That the rewards of this counseling ministry rest in knowing progress in recovery and healing is being made.

That loops need to be closed that others open, and, are left undone and incomplete.

That although all that one does is not finished or perfect, it is a start, something to begin the conversation needed.

That leaders are often left to decide after input from others.

That committees help but often treat such meetings as social outlets without the serious nature needed for decisions.

That people heal up when they feel safe and trusting in an environment of care and compassion.

That what seems specific as an issue or problem to one person, is generally common for many others.

That the healing therapy and spiritual solutions were given by spiritual giants like Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross of Spain long before Sigmund Freud, among others.

That although I enjoyed being a pastor in a parish many times and much of my 37 years ordained, this cryptic assignment hardly gets the moral and material support it merits.

That God is good all the time.  All the time God is good.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sunday's Sermon: Follow the Leader, and, "Mother, May I?"

Follow the leader.

Remember the game we played growing up?

We asked.  And, the leader spoke out how many steps we could take on the cement sidewalk squares in front of our two-story-aluminum-sided home on Arcola Street on Detroit's East Side.

That home still stands.

One leader was required by law in the occupied Palestine of the first century.

One to follow.

One king, one Caesar: the Roman Emperor.

If Jesus is a king, he's absolutely of another DNA, so to speak.

Care, compassion and healing of God's children came through Jesus of Nazareth's death and resurrection.

"God delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, I whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins," Paul's disciple accredited with Colossians engages listeners and the centrality of their faith here.

As David brought together all Jews, Jesus unites followers, and, all people.

Kings and queens I know take care of themselves.  Even corporate kings, queens and CEOs, and even Bishop Bling - they call him - in Germany, for example.

Not Jesus.

No way!

Jesus cares for the criminal crucified next to him.  "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

This king of the cross is taunted: "If you are king of the Jews, save yourself!"

What kind of king winds up on a tree at the place called The Skull?

How does a king with no army fit into our myth of the first or 20th century, that redemptive violence is the ruling measure?

A myth is a story with a profound truth, you recall.  Like the truth of the Adam and Eve mythology that shows them crossing boundaries, sinning, wanting to be center stage - GODS!  Like us at times!

The messiah here in this myth save himself and us from death at the hands of all evil enemies. 

The means of redemption from evil is killing. Killing big and massively.  You know.

We experience daily in the trauma of a terror-filled culture here at home.

This kindly king Jesus doesn't fit into the king's kids' understanding.

Ye, the king on the cross, the gospel reminds us, is the lone one who can save us from the myth of redemptive violence and terror.

Jesus saves us from the willful illusion that we will be freed from evil by killing our enemies.

Jesus points the other way: He always does.  He turns us upside down in following him always.

Suffering, dying, love, giving, forgiving of enemies are the soul of the opposite end of killing.  The messiah can't kill evil.

But, by dying to evil and self and ego and self-centeredness, and following my own lead, or false leaders, Jesus and you and I can transform it through LOVE!



What a king to follow.

Happy festival ANNIVERSARY to you and to Care of the soul. 

A blessed beginning with Sandra Bell and Marge Hallman, directors, into another urgent yearning of the Good News so needed now and always in Jesus the Christ, the lone leader who got it right along with the gravity of his Father, and our own, who directs this parade, this procession of life keeping each of us grounded with A GRAVITY that functions so well if but we FOLLOW NOW!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gratefully Yours

My hearts turns toward thanks this time of the year.

It does.

It's enlarged, you may say.


I'm more conscious of my efforts to be more mindful of the Golden Rule, or respect, and more.

I am.

We need this Thanksgiving Day reminder.

After all, it was Seneca who noted that we need less new information and more reminders in life.

Furthermore, the Greek, word, "eucharistan," means "thanksgiving."  For Catholics, Mass is that act of gratefulness each time we celebrate the holy sacrifice and God's eternal Word.

Thanks are in order for my family, my extended community of friends also, and for acquaintances who are so many, praise God.

Often, one engages the word, 'friend' for all people she or he meets, or knows.  However, one has few friends and many acquaintances in life.

We do.

Psalm 142 emerges these holy holidays:

"As the deer longs for living water, so my soul longs for you, O my God."

Happy Thanksgiving Day all year long!

I'm grateful!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

ACLC, Las Vegas, NV

Their 'rocking and rollin' at the ACLC in Las Vegas this week.

Clergy of the American Clergy Leadership Conference with the theme of being ambassadors for the Good News are listening to the diverse and varied voices meeting in the Riveria Hotel.

Baptists, Catholics, Unification, and more are meeting.

And, they are mounting an offensive to keep the momentum of their movement going, participants say.

Amid terrorism threats to the Nation, another alternative way is suggested, organizers and speakers are shouting.

In fact, the son of the deceased founder, is challenging the crowd to mount an offensive to counter the terror threatening the U.S.

Some dismissed the youngest son of  Rev. S. Y. Moon as "too young" to make such a plea, while others are ready to roll with the plan.

Thursday, attendees were getting ready to do 'street evangelization' at the Riviera Hotel on the strip.

They hope to get ears who will listen to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, participants said.

Hundreds will return to their churches and organizations Friday after listening to Latter Day Saints' speakers intending to strengthenmarraige and family with daily prayer, discipline of children, and more in a cultre run rampant, one attendee complained.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"In him we live and move and have our being..." - Paul to the Athenians, Acts 17: 28


We do.

At least, I do!

No kidding.

Earlier today in Harrison Township, Michigan, a young gal wondered what I was doing at Crocker and Metropolitan Parkway.

She did.

We talked.  Enjoyed some stories and even laughed.

Then, she asked me why I was at the corner with my sandwich-board sign about TRUTH.


That's what I told her I was doing and being about for the hour.  A holy hour that fills my time each day in between appointments with individuals and groups who come for attachment disorders, communications issues, love dysfunction, and much more.

Equipped with a simple sign, pamphlets and Rosaries and miraculous medals, the gal and I were fired up, you may say.

A Macomb Community College student, she's now an evangelist.

We share the love of Jesus Christ -- the Golden Rule -- in a time, society and culture that is aching for much more than it now offers.

A deep ache.

That gets filled with street evangelizing, often.

We share the hope in our hearts, the virtues and values of the Catholic Church that Jesus founded thousands of years ago.

Call me at 586 777 9116 for more, please.

Or, join me regularly on the streets of Macomb County, MI.

I need you.

The world wants you to help.

You'll be glad we met the Maker, and more!

You will.


Friday, November 8, 2013

A Letter-Writing Revolution

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

There's a revolution going on in letters at that address.

Pope Francis is making headlines almost daily --as it should be for a world leader -- as he charms the world, makes personal calls home, and, writes notes to the people who write him.

Letters tell stories.

They tell stories of ordinary people living out daily chores, and more.

Rebuilding the Church.

That's the aim, it seems of Pope Francis.

And, that's much like the pope's pal who stormed the stage and took charge while Francis patted the lad on his head.

Welcome to a fresh approach to taking care of business at the Vatican.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Did you know that families and households that eat together, and spend some time praying together, in fact, stay together?

They do.

They're less prone to promiscuity and drug abuse, studies show.

To that end, please join other households and families at a meal at Big Jack's Bar-B-Q, 27454 Gratiot, in Roseville, MI., Sunday, Nov. 10 at 1:30, Wed., Nov. 20 at 5:30 pm, Dec. 2 at 5:30 pm, and Wed., Dec. 18, 5:30 pm.

Participants, including children and teens, will be equipped with how to set a table, how to engage in conversation with family, and how to make meals with manners happy moments together long into life's trek.

This complimentary meal is subsidized by leaders who care about strengthening family today.

Join me, will you?

Friday, November 1, 2013


A great cloud of witnesses have gone before us, connecting the world with the beyond for centuries.

All Saints.

The Fourteenths-century mystic, Meister Eckhart said:

"Do not think that saintliness comes from occupation; it depends rather on what one is.  The kind of work we do does not make us holy, but we may make it holy."


We Catholics, among others, believe in saints.

They followed, as we are to also, Jesus.

Martyrs for the faith, and more.

Many more.

We recall the official saints made so by the Vatican.

I remember the unofficial saints, like my parents, who struggled to put us through Catholic schools, to put bread on the table, to see us walk and walk away, not forever, but to learn the trek of life and walk it well as followers of Jesus.

Happy feast day!

After all, we're all called to be saints, to be holy, no?