December 11, 2013
Mt. 11:28-30 “The Yoke of Christ” December 11, 2013
A teacher told her students a story of how a kite was flown, and it flew beautifully, a bird suggested it cut its string and fly higher and when it did, it crashed. The yoke of Christ never limits our freedom–instead it helps us walk, run ane soar as with eagle’s wings. When I have cut the yoke I have fallen to the ground, the yoke is what keeps me centered in working with people who suffer, for in tha Yoke is our hope. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Being willing to look, see, respond, and reconnect with all our neighbors and live this interconnectedness inspires us naturally to choose food, entertainment, clothing, and products that cause a minimum of unnecessary cruelty to vulnerable living beings.
As we do this, we become more mindful of the ripples our actions cause in the world. Our spiritual transformation deepens, and as our sensitivity increases we yearn to bless others more and to be a voice for the voiceless.
December 10, 2013
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December 10, Human Rights Day, Mt. 18:12-14
Last night I saw the movie “Philomena”, about a woman whose child was adopted out by nuns when she was a teen. When she found him he had died of AIDS. It is story of the dark side of the Church, a Church of judgment, condemnation. The
Gospel today tells of Jesus who looked for the lost one–without judgment. This is the Jesus I know. I was talking to a young man last night who had been told he was going to hell because he was gay, and I told him of the Jesus of no judgment, this is the Jesus I know, I love, I worship, and I will live out my life for and place it on the line for.
Today is Human Rights Day, and the sixty fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This statement became the foundation of international human rights law by affirming the basic principle of inalienable human rights for all people. Here–not just in the words but in the call to action–the lost forgotten, and suffering have the pathway to hope. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
As we make connections and become open to feedback, it will be increasingly obvious that one of the greatest gifts any of us can give to the world, to the human family, to future generations, to animals, to ourselves, and to our loved ones is to go vegan and dedicate our lives to encouraging others to do the same.
December 9, 2013
December 9, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Juan Diego
Today we are reminded that Mary’s calling was not an easy one–an unwed woman, a woman of little means, and the difficulty of the years ahead–but she answered that call. On this Feast of Mary and of Juan Deigo=-who pointed us towards “Our Lady of Guadalupe”, we do well to ask ourselves the question how are we called. I asked myself that question each day of my life–and with the world and its problems we should each asked ourself that question–how is God calling us to make the world safer, and more equitable. It is not in grand ways: I do it simply giving food out, needles, caring for each person I meet, and I do it in being a vegan which speaks to the enviroment and respect for animals, as Dr. Will Tuttle sums it up:
The key to veganism is that it is lived. No one can be a vegetarian in theory only!
Unlike many religious teachings that are primarily theoretical and internal, veganism is solidly practical. The motivation of veganism is compassion.
It is not at all about personal purity or individual health or salvation, except as these bless others. It is a concrete, visible way of living that flows from, and reinforces, a sense of caring and connectedness.
So on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception I invite you to asked yourself the question, “How am I living out my calling as a follower of Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed , or simply as a human being who loves other human beings. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
December 8, 2013
December 9, Second Sunday in Advent Luke 3:4-6
DARLING: A SPIRITUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Richard Rodriguez is a book that delivers a major reckoning with religion, place, and sexuality in the after math of 911. He calls us like John the Baptist to think our lives over again–to relook at our lives in the context of our look at success, greed, and spirituality. Nineteen years ago i made the first step in thinking my life over again as I moved to San Francisco. It is not easy–not knowing where my money is going to come from, being in danger at times, dealing with people who hate themselves but turn their hate on you–but for me it has become a time of joy, for in thinking my life over I have found the joy of Jesus of Nazareth and of serving him regardless of the cost. I did not come to California looking to get rich, looking for material success but as a place of service, of of new beginnings and I have found that. Rodriguez basically sums up what I believe–that material wealth, physical looks are not what makes us happy–it is the joy in serving others. Deo Gratgias! Thanks be to God!
VegInspiration There is no way to overstate the magnitude of the collective spiritual transformation that will occur when we shift from food of violent oppression to food of gentleness and compassion. Dr. Will Tuttle
December 7, 2013
December 7, Isa. 30:19-21; 23-26, Mt. 9:35-10:8–Pearl Harbor Day
Mother Teresa sums up the faith: “Prayer in action is love, and love in action is service. Try to give unconditionally whatever a person needs in the moment . The point is to do something, however small, and show you care through your actions by giving your time.”
That is my calling–and that is the calling of all who follow Jesus. Last night I was in the Haight giving out food and socks and hanging out in the reign–and the simple action of love to these guys simply brought joy to my heart–for even in the pain, and even in the difficulty of loving–there is pure joy! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
VegInspiration Enslaving and eating animals is relentlessly polluting our mental and bodily environments, hardening our hearts and blocking feelings and awareness, instigating fear, violence, and repression in our relationships, laying waste our precious planet, gruesomely torturing and killing billions of terrorized beings, deadening us spiritually, and profoundly disempowering us by impeding our innate intelligence and our ability to make essential connections.
Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
December 6, 2013
December 6, Matt. 9:27-31, St. Nicoloas
Jesus slowed down to meet the two blind men–he listened, he acted. On facebook, twitter, by email we are pounded by all the negative around us–rather why don’t each one of us slow down-simply slow down–talk to one another, here one another’s needs–that is what I spend my life doing–and I touch a couple of thousand people a month–if each one of us did that imagine what we could accomplish:
I read this quote from Wil Tuttle and it sums up my point:
“At the moment our human world is based on the suffering and destruction of millions of non-humans. To perceive this and to do something to change it in personal and public ways is to undergo a change of perception akin to a religious conversion.
Nothing can ever be seen in quite the same way again because once you have admitted the terror and pain of other species you will, unless you resist conversion, be always aware of the endless permutations of suffering that support our society.” ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
To do so you have to “slow down”, listen, and then act! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
December 5, 2013
December 5 Mt. 7:21-27
Through the years I have learned that three things keep me focused and strong in faith:
The Eucharist/Scripture/Daily Office. When people argue about homophobia, sexism, etc in Scripture I remind them that the Scripture was written by broken human beings, through whom God managed to communicate in his love for us in Jesus of Nazreth. God is still communicating his love for us through broken human beings, and we see glimpses, but ultimately that love will win out if we are faithful to God and the essence of that love: love of God and our neighbor.Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Message of the Day
Just as at the sea those who are carried away from the direction of the harbor bring themselves back on course by a clear sign, so Scripture may guide those adrift on the sea of life back into the harbor of the divine will. – St. Gregory of Nyssa
VegInspiration The protein in milk, particularly casein, while perfect for baby cows, is too large and difficult for us to digest. Calves have a particular enzyme, rennin, not present in humans, that coagulates and helps breaks down casein. According to renowned nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell, “Cows’ milk protein may be the single most significant chemical carcinogen to which humans are exposed.”
December 4, 2013
Matt. 15:29-37 December 4-There Is Enough
I hear that we have soup kitchens–so why do people go hungry? Well, I see people every day who have no food, have not eaten–the reality is that we have become so self-centered, so into ourselves–that we let people go hungry and unhoused when there is enough for everyone. And the question I asked young men and women who come here to make their millions is: “And once you have what you are seeking–what do you really have?” For I found that money, security does not buy you happiness–only in giving to others can you find true happiness. There is enough–we just have to share. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
VegInspiration All four of the possible paths that a calf born on a dairy may take are paths of abuse and early death. Since cows in the wild easily live twenty to thirty years, the industry, in killing calves, steers, and dairy cows at the ages of several months to several years, is really killing infants and children.
In this it is the same as the industries that confine and kill lambs, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and fish: all are pushed to grow abnormally quickly and are slaughtered young. Similarly, in the wars we inflict upon each other, children suffer and die the most, and more than ever they are even forced to do the killing.
The animal food culture promotes domination and exploitation of the female and the feminine, which are full of life-giving and nurturing powers, and of infants and children, who are full of the powers of innocence and growth. Dr. Will Tuttle
December 3, 2013
December 3, St. Francis Xavier Ps. 122, Lk. 10:21-24
We want pray for “peace” in our lives. We think of peace as having no conflict, but in our Gospel Jesus is praying for peace, but there is much conflict around. The Psalmist prays for peace in Jerusalem, where there is always conflict. I have peace, but it is peace in the midst of much conflict, the suffering and the struggles of people. Peace knowing to whom I belong. Peace knowing that I am doing the best that I can–and that is all any of us need–the peace in knowing that we are doing our best. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
“Can one regard a fellow creature as a property item, an investment, a piece of meat, an ‘it,’ without degenerating into cruelty towards that creature?” ~ Karen Davis
December 2, 2013
Luke 2:8-20 The Shepherd
It hit me this morning while I was swimming that in many ways my journey is that of one of the shepherds. Like a shepherd, my talents are limited, if any, I have worked at preaching, I am the biggest fuck up in the world, my charm is lacking, I have a volunteer who complains I am gruff all the time, and frankly I am just myself–and so I have allowed Jesus to use this, and I have done ministry for thirty years, and I can touch people no one else can because I understand what it means to feel rejected and not accepted. Someone asked me recently why I never response to criticism and hate posts and mail, and the answer for me is simply that is about them–not about me–and my trust is in Jesus, that is all that matters. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!