Sunday, August 27, 2023

 The following is a quote, long I must warn you, that has been a very significant influence on my way os thinking and seeing. It is so long ago I have forgotten when this was first read. I am reading from a new edition which is intended to commemorate the first edition 40 years ago. It is taken from James Finley's book, "Merton's Palace of Nowhere." He as being formed, at one time, under the spiritual guidance of Thomas Merton.

       " Spiritual reading has the potential of becoming itself a prayers kind of event in which a true transformation of consciousness takes place.At times like these the reading takes on a sacramental force that transforms the silence of a room, the winds flower, the ticking of a clock into sudden,subtle and unexpected manifestations of God,silently calling us from the midst of things to "be still and know that I am God." ( Can we add to that the gentle or pounding sounds surf, high mountains, placid lakes, in other words all that The Creative Spirit offers us in creation ? Fr.Joe)

  " In the reader's simple, humble desire for God the words are empowered to unveil a fleeting glimpse of life's most secret meaning.One's own innermost,unspoken insights and desires are suddenly encountered on the printed page.The response is a deepening of those desires and a renewed courage to set out for deeper waters."

     To unpack all that is contained in those couple of paragraphs will take each of us a lifetime. Let us set aside these moments of our given time, to take a closer, deeper look at what has just been afforded us. Please do not get scared,Grandpa Joe is learning a lesson that you have wished on him for many years now, keep it short. This means we are going to have the above word kept before us for, how long ? Read on. We are journeying into the unknown where the Unknown,The Ineffable is encountered. 

        The first important words for us to consider, reflect on, are those which teaches us that spiritual reading, has, "the potential' to be, sacramental, and hence can lead to a" transformation of consciousness "What is the meaning of this word sacramental ? First take note that this word is spelled with a small "s".This is opposed to the reality that when we speak of The Seven Ritual Sacraments we us the capital "S". It took me quite some time to get this sorted out in my own mind. That did not happen suddenly, in a flash of spiritual understanding,rather it took years of studying and reflection. I have always been a slow learner !!!!! This has not changed and I am afraid  now, will never change,so? "keep on keeping on".

          There are  the two understandings of of the word sacrament. For our purpose here, let us look at what sacrament with that small "s "means. Well for me now ; it is each and every person place event action, seen and unseen, that brings us in contact with the deeper realities of life, and ultimately with Reality Itself. That, Reality, we call  God." We have these power-full words of deChardin." By reason of creation, and still more by reason of The Incarnation,there is nothing profane for the person whop knows how to see.' "All of creation is charged with the glory  of God""Hopkins. Enough to chew on ?

Sunday, August 13, 2023

 Sunday August 13th 2023. CONVERSION-METANOIA.

 The answer to so many of the challenges of life lies in our ability to make the journey of metanoia.It is the slow process of changing how we see, view, our reality, and our reality, as we see, in those who share our journey. Conversion is another word to describe that which is essential and unfortunately, unavoidable on our way to a healthy understanding of and embracing of our spiritual journey. A journey we make NOT as" human beings having a human experience, but as spiritual beings immersed in the human condition"(deChardin). 

        Conversion is also seen as "turning around, and start walking in the,opposite direction" Conversion a gradual change in how we see, and act our way into a new way of being. Conversion challenges us to let go of the familiar and journey into the darkness, the uncertainty of the faith journey. I was ordained in 1963 when the changes of The Second Vatican Council began to filter down. Leaving the certainty of the seminary,I was jettisoned into a new country, and, an evolving new church. (This evolution has not stopped despite the best efforts of those who have been called to lead.This is a sadness I have to deal with in my own personal journey. Now,however,  I can now honestly share that, "I'm thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn't have stumbled across my strengths".Thank you Gracious Spirit for the gifts of Pope Francis and Bishop John.) 

   It is the same Catholic Faith but oh so different  in how we believe,belong to and are active in.We are challenged to journey ever deeper into having  "to walk by faith not by sight", I cannot become Whom I am called to be by remaining, who I am. St.Theresa of Avila,warns us that we have to blasted out of our that to which we have become accustomed to and familiar with. Change does not come easily.It demands hard work."The spiritual life is not for the faint of heart"it forces us to be, become  warriors. We do not become transformed under our own power, but this transformation occurs under the tender guidance of The Gracious Creative Spirit. We are challenged by metanoia  to move beyond the ramparts of ego in order to be lead into "new Heavens and new earths". Yes the old world is passing away and in its place is a new creation  is revealed where justice, love, and peace, reigns supreme. This will happen when I stop trying to think my way of acting, it will only happen when act my way into a new way of thinking.

    Then we can honestly say, a new song has been placed in my mouth,Psalm 40. Let us take the advise of Dial Diamond, and"sing it loud, sing it strong".You have a new song of Hope  to sing force-fully and joy-fully in each moment of your living.Do to let anyone or anybody silence that prophetic cry so desperately needed, in these  ever anxious and darkening times. Everything we need for a healthy cosmos and life lies in our depths. Set it free and slowly bring about that new creation which we wait for so impatiently.So, do not be discouraged, Have faith in The One Who has called you into being, from the existence of time." I believe help my disbelief/unbelief". May The Spirit of Truth guide you into all truth, and provide the courage necessary to be "The Contemporary Christ." Love prayers and blessings.Great Grandpa Joe. 


Tuesday, August 8, 2023

The Feast of The Transfiguration 2023.    

Looking back, I am want to do these days, there were just two Sundays where the homily was going to be short. (Snide comments are more than welcome !!!) One was The of The Most Holy Trinity and the other was todays feast. over time, after a great deal of reading,they got longer.from all my reading I always come back to the quote from a letter Thomas Merton wrote to Henri Noun.

       At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and illusions point of pure faiths point or mark which belongs entirely to God.... this  little.... point is the pure glory of God it is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of is in everybody"

    Wow !!! how challenging are those four last words: " it is in EVERYBODY'. You,me,that relative you cannot be around, that homeless person we avoid, the slow grocery clerk, the illegals that are so demonized but can work wonders with our front and back yards. I challenge you to those are judged so very harshly in our society, because they not conformant will not be boxed in.This list can be endless. We  gradually become aware of those who carry who are on our list, of  the non qualified.It will grow within us, in direct proportion to how narrow-minded and self-centered we are, and are becoming. What is the answer ? Conversion. Love prayers and blessings to you all who journey into your awe-full-ness. Great grand Joe.