Sunday, July 30, 2023

 What am I going to write about in this effort ? I honestly do not know.There are some ideas rattling around in my head awaiting expression.Just because they are there does not mean they will ever see the light of day.I have often had some ideas for a homily all worked out, ready to go. Did they  ever weave their way into the homily,NO. Now looking back, I knew as much as you knew, about what was going to be said.I can hear you saying, yes,great grandpa Joe,  that is what we were exposed to and what challenged to make sense of. I really did, and do believe in the power of the Holy Spirit,so why not put that Power to work ? The Spirit thrives on chaos, and screwed-up-ness. The spiritual journey is to, gradually grow in  the ability to surrender, to entrust, our messiness,our powerlessness to the workings of Infinite Creative Love,Who is our hidden strength.  Then there is an awakening. We  are gently lead the awareness, we are on the way to discover the "treasured" hidden in the darkness of our,earthiness. We always need the Gentle Light to light our way into the darkness of the unknown, and Unknowable.

 There are three words which stand out, that is to my way unique way of seeing, in the Responsorial Psalm. They are kindness, compassion and wonder. Many years ago my great friend Fr.Tot,gave me this piece of advice,"Joe,be gentle with yourself. This came at a crucial time in my journey into the real realities of my troubled life.Was I successful ? all I can share is this reality is ,like all reality's work in progress. For this journeys  "the pearl of great price' is offered to us, and that is compassion. We are all on the road that will lead to us being wounded ,and broken. We will all need "that stranger" who will pour the oil of compassion to soothe the great pain.A pain that at the time seems overwhelming.  In each "one moment, one step at a time" we will exit the "dark valley",and be lead to the mount of Transfigurement. Our true dignity, our essential goodness, is now blossoming in a harvest beyond our imagination, or understanding. That is why the third word,  WONDER.Wonder,fits in so neatly into this conversation. Wonder,awe,leads us to pray. Now that we are coming to believe in our essential goodness we are free to communicate from that place of honesty which up to now had eluded us. The journey from"illusion to prayer"(Nouwen) is one of the three steps essential to a healthy spirituality. The other two steps, 'We journey from , loneliness  into solitude, hostility to hospitality" I am certain these steps will be encountered again and again. 

          The you are not likely to be a victim of "gaslighting. Neither will you be the victim of 'shadow throwing". Deepening your belief in you essential goodness is a work in progress. We are guided along the path of unknowing into that place where the "new and the old" are meshed together into a, oneness." The reality of The Kingdom is now slowly emerging.This gift is NOT for ourselves,  not for our own ego  boosting,but, is to be shared as a gift. Sharing from our place of radical honesty is the " hidden treasure'  we have been entrusted with.

                    Now what is the heading, you HONESTLY feel, would best express your honest  thought(s). 



Sunday, July 23, 2023

The hidden qualities of ,the OIL of mercy.

 Im am so excited to be back and again connected with you.I love your comments.Keeps me going !!! Some people really read what is written so very attentively. It was brought to my attention that I started the last blog as grandpa and ended as great grandpa ???? You see that was how much effort went into the blog.The effort made an older man of me.I am now looked on as SENIOR SENIOR citizen. I am in deep gratitude that anybody is reading these efforts.My gratitude list is getting longer each day. Remember that old song "Let the good times roll"? Would love to have it as background music for this effort.

    Bask in the mid '60s there was a book written by Eugene Kennedy, "Comfort My people".  That has a serious effect on my approach to ministry.I have not, you all  too well know, always been successful.My sincerest apologies to who have suffered from my woundedness. There has been some gradual healing over the many years.There is still a way to go. Patience patience !!!! Screw patience, I want recovery right now.Then on the other hand, anything that is instant is usually no good. Have you ever eaten, instant mash potatoes.Whoever invented them was definitely not an Irishman.

WOW !! it has sure taken Great grandpa Joe, a long  time to get to what he wants to address this evening. Some saying fastidiously,just like his sermons. It has been a few years now since I listened to Fr.Rohr reflect on this gospel.His reflection changed my perspective on the spiritual.An understanding I have made a conscious effort to pass on to those who have been placed in my path. I am not going to quote the whole gospel hermit is sufficient for this effort to just use those very strange words "let them grow together until harvest time'. 

The them are darnel and wheat. When they break out of the ground ,the young darnel and wheat look somewhat similar.So when the servants indicated they wanted to unroot the darnel, the master was not in agreement.The wise man offered the advice let them grow together until harvest time. Harvest  time is toward the end of the year, Autumn. That is a long time to wait. How impatient those servants  must have become.Who likes to wait on nature. Ask any expectant mother how she feels toward the end of her pregnancy.? Do not expect a very polite answer.Especially after a sleepless night. Duck !!!!We reap our harvest at the of our lives.In the Autumn of our lives and looking carefully at the harvest we are reaping.Around 35 things begin to change.Our spiritual perspective slowly changes.We are faced with the limitations of our wounded humanity.We are not the best at anything.Not the best husband wife son daughter employer or employee.We come up short all the way around. What is now needed compassionate understanding and mercy-full love.

I have written on my new understanding of mercy. The kind of mercy Pope Francis is so anxious for us to embrace and apply to our wounds.Wounds the appear to bleed all the time.The healing has not you remember the parable of the Good Samaritan? How he poured oil into the wounds of his sworn enemy, the Jew.Now think back to the chanting of The Lord Have Mercy, the Kyrie Eleison. The Greek word for oil is to be found in Eleison. So we are actually praying that the oil of mercy may be poured down on us. What does oil dot it, heals,sooths,comforts,strengthens,and because it is, Gods Love in action, it transfigures and transforms us. The Prodigal's Father's Mercy then is so so much more that just about the forgiveness of our transgressions. ( This is long enough, so I will have mercy on you all.)

         So may the blessings of mercy-full  be yours, as you face the challenge of being not "a human being having a spiritual experience, but a spiritual being, immersed, in the human condition".Word written be deChardin many many moons ago. Our collective human reality is sure taking a hammering, and where are the proactive efforts to advert, the sixth annihilation? Great great great grandpa Joe.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

A new post I hope !!!!

This is the beginning of a new adventure. I have not been able to get a blog posted for some time,so here goes the effort of a now 83 year old Grandpa Joe.This Grandpa has recently his Diamond Jubilee of Ordination. June 8th.1963 30 of strong your Irish lads,plus on Scot were laid hands on by the Bishop Keogh. Thank God 17 are still alive and kicking.Not too gingerly, but ,kicking. Health concerns prevented me from returning to  St.Patrick's College in Carlow City for the reunion.There was however an awe-full,wondrous  celebration that was hosted by the pastoral staff of St.Andrew The Apostle, in Chandler Az.I was so honored to be it's founding pastor in June of 1986. It was so great to see some of those founding members at the Jubilee celebration.Definitely a night to remember. Gracias a Dios,agus,go raibh maith agat. A little Gaelic still left.

  Well what have I been up to since my last posting ,and, what am I up to now ? I can share only what is allowed me within the bounds of decency. Well I am a little more retired. My get up and go, has got up and gone, for starters.Before this,visit from hell,I was able to walk and hike just a little. I have had three epidurals, and sad to say no baby. I do however get to move around and get some of my chores done. Very light on the, housekeeping. Years ago I used to say, to the chagrin of many, "A clean house is the sign of a sick mind".Some did not return the following week-end !!!! My great friend Fr.Tot O'Dea,R.I.P. used to remind me "clean the pond Joe and the lilies die". What a compassionate presence he was in my life. We had some great chats over breakfast/lunch.They kept me kinda sane, for the  years following The Second Vatican Council. We sure miss his down to earth understanding of healthy spirituality and pastoral practice. Our new Bishop John Dolan ,could surely use his droll insights. Tot how I miss you. You always kept me grounded in the reality of the present moment. Reality, in its acceptance leads to a healthy spirituality. That act of accepting demand a great deal of time and effort.A healthy spirituality come at a steep price. We are to face  our immersion in the moment to moment  battlefield of the soul.The ongoing struggle to the death, between the true self and the false self. On the outcome of that struggle rests so much. We will journey into what means for us in whatever time my weakened body will allow. Your prayers will be deeply appreciated. For now,slainte,and have a good sleep. Great grandpa Joe.