Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Sunday, June 20, 2021

little old people

Where did that boy go

who with the crew cut and goofy glasses

looked out on the world so long ago?


where did that person go

who dreamed big dreams

and thought he could be anything he wanted


and that life would be easy


who thought that the good people won

and that evil was defeated



where did that one go who

so easily accepted the version of God

so blithely presented by his church?


how did it all get so complicated

and tortured?


it has not been a bad life

it has not been an easy life either (although to some it may look to be so)

I have my issues, my flaws


at times it feels as if my weaknesses cancel out my strengths

my mistakes invalidate my accomplishments


I am not who I thought I was

looking out so long ago

the world is not what I thought it was

God is not who I thought God was


and it is OK


I was thinking about the church year

Advent and Christmas, and those high holy days

of white


baby Jesus, the manger, magicians and stars


of Lent with is purple solemnity,

and Eastertide

with those huge pivotal moments

Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday

the vigil

Easter (white again)


And of Pentecost

our bright day of fiery red


those moments capture the imagination

and fire up our hearts

but now we are in “ordinary” time

almost half a year of unrelenting green

with no moments of high celebration


just the ordinary

the plodding along

tending the garden, pulling weeds

doing the mundane



and I realize this is where life is

in the ordinary

this is where faith lives

in the ordinary

this is where Sacred dwells

in the ordinary


in the flawed and cracked adult

who no longer bright visage

and with eyes no longer quite as bright

who plods through each day


living out the Imago Dei

as best he can

knowing that even in this

messy, ordinary, daily existence


God is


and that there is a reason

even if I do not know what it is

for getting up in the morning

and welcoming another day

another week


it does no good to look back

at the good or the bad


no one who puts his or her hand to the plow

and looks back get anywhere


and so this morning

it is time to be again

that young soul

looking expectantly at the world

eager for what life will bring


Jesus once said, the kingdom belongs to the children

I suspect God wants us to be like children

those in whom the image has not been dulled


God want us to be eternal children

twisted, battered, grey, aching young ones

perhaps those with a long road behind

and a short road ahead


but still children

in whom, when God looks at them

God can still recognize God’s self in them




Alleluia, Alleluia!  Open, all of you little old people!

It is I your God, eternal, risen from the dead, coming to

Bring back to life the child in you.

                     Michel Quoist (Prayers)

Thursday, June 17, 2021

A matter of heart

If your heart is a volcano

How shall you expect flowers to bloom in your hands?

                     Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam



what is going on

down there

in our deepest self

in that place that defines who we are?


call it your soul

your heart


it does not matter


we all have that deep place

that is our true self


and it is this self

that gets revealed at the most inopportune times

it is this self that suddenly emerges when we are stressed

when life is difficult

when we are tired

or hangry


no matter how skilled we are at creating masks

and creating a dissembling narrative

no matter how adept we are at avoiding the truth


whatever it is that is going on in that deep place

will out


as Jesus warned us

by our fruits we shall be known


if we want to know what is really going on


down deep

all we have to do is look at what our lives produce


because eventually, the truth will out


it matter not if we are talking about nations

or political parties

or Presidents

or just individual people


eventually the “heart” will reveal itself


when we look at our own “fruits”

what do we see?








do we see people built up

or people torn down?


do we see generosity

or a tendency to amass?


do we see kindness

or do we see cruelty?


are we surrounded by joy

or by despair?


as I walk into this new day

the early morning lit by God’s glory

my prayer must be this


“create in me a clean heart O Lord”

for it is from the heart that I live

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Help him

Help him

that’s what faith is

he can’t bring it about

his kingdom

couldn’t then couldn’t later can’t now

not at any rate without you

and that is his irresistible appeal

                     Dorothee Soelle



what’s the end of the Jesus story?

him hanging there on the cross, dead?

him lying in a tomb?

him resurrected?


descending ascending


it has been a lot of years

where is that kingdom?


it seems we are no closer now than we were then

to the City of God


perhaps God made a mistake

to choose the work the God did

by sending One who asked us to follow

not merely idolize


perhaps God miscalculated

by being a God within us rather than a God from above

by making us the hands and feet of justice

the voice of compassion and love


at the end of the story

Jesus left

and left us behind

filled with fire and wind


to carry on his revolution


at the end of the story

Jesus “rises again and again in our lives” (DS)


as Christ lives in us and through us

empowering us to feed the hungry

create equity

fight for justice

create peace

love without condition


it is up to us

how this story ends

what this world becomes


the City of God

or Gehenna