Peniel August

July 30, 2018

Peniel

August, 2018

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

Growing up in the South, the dog days of August were very real. The weather was hot, humid, we stayed around the house most of the day until the sun set. We drank a lot of ice tea, ate a lot of watermelon, and barbecued. They were days of reflection, and of looking ahead to the coming year.

In reflecting this year during this time I think of our countries psyche  and  my own life.  For me I have discovered within my life, and with  what is  happening  in the greater world similarities.

 I have discovered that my own desire to connect can sometimes become an inordinate attachment to receiving praise, love, and acceptance from others. I often struggle with sacrificing integrity and authenticity to orchestrate attachment to others. There is a phrase from the Henry Rollins album, “weight”, which says: “Loneliness will make you throw your sins away.”

Loneliness eats at our very souls, and I have found I will throw away everything to have a friend, and always it is in vain. The same in our country, we are so afraid we are going to lose the  freedoms and rights we have gained, that we “throw our sins away,” losing our sense of respect for the dialogue of other people who differ from us.

Doing these dog days of August I am listening to the Spirit, and am being reminded  not to fear, to respond in truth and love and to trust. And that is my prayer for others—do not fear, respond in truth and love, and trust each other. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Weekly Meals:

It has become apparent that personally I will not be able to prepare weekly meals alone.  We are asking for volunteers who will put in 4-5  hours a week to package and help serve the meals on the street. Thank you.

We now have two new interns, they are Cale King and Aaron Olaya, Juniors in High School from San Rafael, CA. Both are passionate and caring about people, and find working with us rewarding.

​                                                                                       Aaron                                                                       Cale

 Aaron and Cale.png

Death Penalty Protest:

September 5, Noon-1:00 p.m. we will begin our weekly Death Penalty Protest.  The Death Penalty is in humane, and makes of all of us murderers. Come join us!

We Are Beggars!

Our finances are very low. We are in need of socks, we are in need of money for food, and so we beg, for your support. We continue to minister to 500 plus young people a month through our pastoral care, socks, food, and needle exchange. And so as you reflect during these dog days we pray you will remember us. Please give:

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

Or

Pay Pal at www.temenos.org

Our web site has been changed to a new server it is much easier to go directly to Pay Pal and give directly through your Pay Pal account

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Remembering Stardust

May 12, 2022

Remembering Stardust

By. C.D.Baker

A Book Review and Reflections

    There is a saying in Vietnam, which goes something like this: One can break a rock with an egg, meaning that if one is patient enough to suffer in one’s own struggle, the rock that keeps one from moving will break. 

    C.D. Baker in his story, Remembering Stardust, tells of a young man Oliver Good, living in a small Pennsylvania town from 1965-to 1966, during his Junior and Senior years in high school.

    Oliver is raised in a fundamentalist Christian home, by a domineering father, and passive-aggressive stepmother.

    Oliver was tormented by nightmares of hell over masturbation and his sexual thoughts; he was “saved” at an early age; the minster tried to force him to give out fundamentalist literature in the hardware store he worked in, where the son of the owner was gay; and ultimately he was seen hugging an older woman and rumors flew of their relationship. His church, family, and the community turned on him.

    Slowly through the love of a Native American woman, and the love and care of his queer friend and friend’s father, we see the rock of fundamentalism–its judgment and narrowness begin to crumble and Oliver discovered there is more to life than fear. Oliver came to see a more Cosmic Christ, inclusive of all religious expression, non-judgmental, and loving of everyone.

    This story is a universal story of the journey of life, as we journey towards wholeness. Some of us get stuck at the beginning, others in the middle, but the ultimate goal is the acceptance of all of humanity, loving all, and caring for all.

    The Cosmic Jesus is the sum of all religious practices of love and offers each one of us kindness. The Cosmic Christ is the pure manifestation of God’s kindness and caring. There is no judgment in this Jesus, whose reflection is like that of the rainbow of spiritual expressions of love.

    Oliver’s story is my story. Raised in a fundamentalist community, where the Bible was the “true and absolute Word of God”, and finally when the rock slowly crumbled in my coming out, I found freedom.

     In that freedom came those with their chief weapon: The Bible, “the true and only Word of God,” telling me that one must believe in Jesus, be saved.” One can not be queer, or different, but conform to “their” perception of the Bible.

    Through the years of seeing young and old go through the same experience, I seek to show them the Cosmic Christ, the one who loves them without judgment.

    Recently I was hurt emotionally by an individual spewing out that same fundamentalist bull shit and the thought came, why not take off my spurs and retire to Palm Springs.

     Well sitting,  looking across the street in Palm Springs last week there was a homeless guy sleeping, I later encountered another homeless young man, mentally ill, and I knew my call was to leave my spurs on.

    This is an excellent book calling us to leave our fears behind, calling us to move out into the world of the stardust, a world of caring, expecting nothing in return. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

punkpriest1@gmail.com

Feed My Sheep!

May 2, 2022

Feed My Sheep!

Fr. Daniel Berrigan

St. Joseph the Worker

John 21:15-21

15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these? ” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.

18 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.”

19 Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”

20 Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?”

21 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”

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Daniel Berrigan was one of the individuals who inspired my call to ministry. He wrote:

“Sometime in your life, hope that you might see one starved man, the look on his face when the bread finally arrives. Hope that you might have baked it or bought or even kneaded it yourself. For that look on his face, for your meeting his eyes across a piece of bread, you might be willing to lose a lot, or suffer a lot, or die a little, even.”
Daniel Berrigan

These words have guided me through the years. Each time I look into the eyes of one person fed, clothed, or given a needle, I find myself “willing to lose a lot, or suffer a lot, or die a little, even.”

For I see the face of Jesus, hearing Dan’s words, “If you are going to follow Jesus, you had better look good on a cross.”

And in looking at the face of Jesus, (homeless individuals, gang members, people in prison, and on death row), several thoughts have come to mind.

First Peggy Donovan reflected: “Each of us is the Word of God spoken only once,” meaning we have only one life to give, and so be “The Word of God”.

Secondly, God is love, in each one of us, a piece of love can be found. I have faced some of the craziest and most dangerous people, and in each one love radiates. In each person encountered rather than seeing the dirt, the anger, one sees love. Jesus is but one reflection of love.

We see that love when we walk with people one on one, talking, and caring for them, “For when you look into his eyes you will be willing to lose a lot.”

During these past months of illness, being beaten and threatened, the words of  Christ are a reminder:

“I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.”

19 Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God.

I realize my time is short and so my prayer[ is that each one of us will take that road in whatever occupation we work, for in the sacredness of all work as taught by St. Joseph, we can be “willing to lose a lot, or suffer a lot, or die a little, even,” in giving to the homeless, the thirsty, the stranger, those in prison, mentally ill, and those naked.

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www. temenos.org

The Great Digital Commission

May 1, 2022

The Great Digital Commission

By Reverend Caleb J. Lines

A Book Review

Attendance in US churches continues to sharply decline. This book offers a theological reflection on social media, the positive and the negative in addressing that decline.

The Great Digital Commission offers a commentary on how the present mainline churches are older, and set in their ways, and fails to offer an open and affirming message to the “none” generation.

One of the areas which the book fails to address is that of ministering to the homeless, youth, and elderly.

Homeless individuals have very little access to social media because they have little access to smartphones and computers. Secondly homeless seem to be secondary in being addressed because they are not “monetary paying”, and “clean” individuals.

Youth and the elderly are simply put on the sidelines.

Peg Donovan comments: “Each of us is the Word of God spoken only once,” and Ignatius of Loyola said, “I trust my experience over Scripture and Tradition any time”.

We are the “Word of God” spoken “once” and in speaking that word digital media is only one aspect, what is most important is through our personal contact, a contact that speaks of Love, not a judgment to ALL PEOPLE.”

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

We All Have Something To Give!

April 30, 2022

We All Have Something to Give!

St. Catherine of Siena

Doctor of the Church

“Preach the Truth as if you had a million voices. It is silence that kills the world.”

Gospel Jn 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

– – –

Create Space in Your Innermost Self
Today I imagined my inner self as a place crowded with pins and needles. How could I receive anyone in my prayer when there is no place for them to be free and relaxed? When I am still so full of preoccupations, jealousies, angry feelings, anyone who enters will get hurt. I had a very vivid realization that I must create some free space in my innermost self so that I may indeed invite others to enter and be healed. To pray for others means to offer others a hospitable place where I can really listen to their needs and pains. Compassion, therefore, calls for a self-scrutiny that can lead to inner gentleness. Fr. Henri Nouwen ————————– It was evening, and everyone was hungry, and Jesus had compassion for them. He called his disciples and told them to take what they could find, and all were fed. This was no magic trick by Jesus, but he’s asking his disciples to share what they have, and others joined in, and all were fed. Susan (in the photo struggles with mental illness), and there are days she can not find food to eat; the many laying on our sidewalks get little food. Yesterday on Haight we fed forty-five young men and women, many had had little all day. Take a few seconds, close your eyes, see Jesus standing on the street, and hear him tell each of us as we came out of a restaurant to feed one person with our leftovers. Look around and no one would be hungry! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God! ———————— Fr. River Damien Sims,sfw, D.Min., D.S.T. P.O. Box 642656 San Francisco, CA 94164 http://www.temenos.org 415-305-2124    

Generous and Joyful!

April 26, 2022

Generous and Joyful!

Reading I Acts 4:32-37

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the Apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the Apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

Thus Joseph, also named by the Apostles Barnabas
(which is translated Ason of encouragement”),
a Levite, a Cypriot by birth,
sold a piece of property that he owned,
then brought the money and put it at the feet of the Apostles.

The Spirit of God is soft and gentle like a small voice or a light breeze. It is the Spirit of Love.

Henri Nouwen

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    My friend, Brendon Quinn, died in his sleep this week. He was 39, in the photo above he is 16, ( in the red cap). Brendon was a well-known windsurfer, and his publicity title was “windsurfing gypsy”– he owned nor rented a place to live.

    We met through friends in Portland. Brendan once told me that the one lesson he learned from me was that a follower of Jesus was someone who loved others “a hundred percent, without judging.”   He lived his life in the same way. Brendon’s life was lived in the words of Fr. Henri Nouwen as one with whom:

The Spirit of God is soft and gentle like a small voice or a light breeze. It is the Spirit of Love.    

    Dallas Williams comments: “The Gospel is less about getting into heaven after you die, and more about how to live in the Kingdom of Heaven before you die.”

    Jesus preached in his inaugural sermon, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” telling us that the Kingdom was here and now. Luke tells us in the Book of Acts:

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own.”

    Early on this action of love moved on in other ways, and developed into various ways of faith. Ideally, if we practiced this action we would not have homelessness or lack of health care, but oh well!

    But what I do know is that these early Christian communities call us to attention whenever our hands convulsively grip a resource that seems in short supply, time for example, rather than sharing it otherwise.

    In the next weeks to come, consider giving from a non-monetary resource you feel is already limited in your life. Maybe that‘s time; Maybe it is emotional energy. Can you offer relief breaks to a caregiver for a spouse who has cancer? My friend Pam is doing just that this week. Can you take the time to help others with tax preparation? My friend Bill took the time to prepare my taxes several weeks ago.

    Selfless sharing can not only help others, but help us in our own lack of fellowship with others, and lift our own loneliness.

    My friend Brendon, even though we saw each other infrequently,  called and chatted, and in the last year with my injuries has called more frequently.

    So rest in peace my friend, for I can see you now in the  Great Cloud of Witnesses as the “gypsy windsurfer”  giving your love and support. Brendon was one who gave what he had, his time to others. Deo Gratias! Thanks to God!

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min.,, D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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This cross is a lovely piece of jewelry that is a symbol of the three Abrahamic faces of God: Judaism, Muslimism, and Christianity. If you would like to have one please let me know. They are $100.00.

Divine Mercy!

April 24, 2022

Divine Mercy!

Gospel Jn 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

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On the Second Sunday of Easter in 2000, on the canonization of Sr. Faustina Kowalska, Pope John Paul II declared this Sunday to be Divine Mercy Sunday.

Sr. Faustina centered her ministry on the words: “Humanity will not find peace until it turns trustfully to divine mercy. . . .I feel tremendous pain when I see the sufferings of my neighbors. All my neighbor’s sufferings reverberate in my own heart; I carry their anguish in my heart in such a way that it even physically destroys me. I would like all their sorrows to fall upon me, in order to relieve my neighbor.”

Good Friday as our Stations of the Cross round the bend on United Nations Plaza, we beheld hundreds of homeless, mostly men, lined up in the sun; Outside my door this morning there were five homeless sleeping; our streets are full of people without housing; this afternoon I will visit with youth in the Haight, who struggle for shelter and food daily.

The love of Jesus, shown in Sr. Faustina, must inspire us today, to face the crisis of the meaning of life, the challenges of increasing wealth, leaving the poorest behind in the dust, climate change, and the dignity to respect the human person.

Chief Joseph reminds us “The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.”

Today fixing our gaze upon the face of the risen Christ, let us make our own prayer of trusting, believing with our own hearts,  the words of Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”,  going  forth to feed the hungry, and providing  for the needs of all, remembering we all have equal rights!”

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenoss.org

415-305-2124

Dust In the Blood

April 24, 2022

Dust in the Blood!

Recently sitting with a young man who had been confronted by a lady seeking to convert him, in order for him to go to heaven. She used language like “being saved” and “going to hell” unless one became a Christian. This young man a Buddhist, crying asked me: “Am I really going to hell because I do not believe in Jesus?” The question took me back to my journey, my pilgrimage.

I was raised in an area where we were taught that Jesus shed his blood for our salvation, but through the years of my journey, I have learned that Jesus shed his blood calling us to join him on his journey of discipleship. of love. 

This pilgrimage lead me through seminary into the pastorate where I followed the teachings of the Church, where I preached Jesus was the Only Way, and homosexuality was a sin, hiding my own sexuality.

One day a young man came to my office, in tears. He asked me if homosexuality was a sin, and my reply was that of the Church, homosexuality was a sin. The young man left and two days later committed suicide.

I was simply desolate, blaming myself, and from that moment forward  I sought counseling for my guilt and my own questioning of my own sexuality.

Within three weeks I was out of a job, alone, shunned by my friends–because I was seen as a HOMOSEXUAL. I was simply questioning.

Through the years shunned by the church, being a prostitute, and finally seeing my way through to

my present life of being a priest, I began to see God in all religious practices that taught love. Christ is simply one expression, one face of God, and he is present in and calls us to total love of others.

Hilary of Tours teaches “Compulsion is ‘a blasphemous anxiety to do God’s work.” When we believe we have all the anxieties in our desire to help people or convert, we find ourselves hurting others.

Discipleship is a way of life in imitation of God–where the Cosmic Christ is present in unconditional listening and understanding.

We are called to walk with others in the “Reign of God” in the present, loving them with all our hearts until the Kingdom of God is present in all places.

When we practice the way of non-judgmental love, we begin removing the “Dust from the Blood.” Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www. temenos.org

415-305-2124

Questions! Questions! Questions!

April 16, 2022

Luke 24:1-12
At daybreak on the first day of the week the women who
had come from Galilee with Jesus took the spices they
had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone
rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they
did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were
puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling
garments appeared to them. They were terrified and
bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them,
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is
not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said
to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man
must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise
on the third day.” And they remembered his words. Then
they returned from the tomb and announced all these
things to the eleven and to all the others. The women
were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of
James; the others who accompanied them also told this
to the apostles, but their story seemed like nonsense and
they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to
the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone;
then he went home amazed at what had happened.

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I received an email from a friend describing her confusion about Easter and in a few words: “Easter” was originally designated the Jewish Passover, but as the early Christians tend to do they adopted festivals to shape it in their own belief system. It has to do with the moon cycles as well; The Bible says three days for the resurrection–and technically it is three: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday;  The Lord’s Supper and the washing of feet: The Gospels were written by four different writers. Each with his own interpretation of the story–the washing of feet symbolizes our service to others and is attached to the Lord’s Supper stories. So the early Christians placed these two stories together in order to remind us of sacrifice and service. Four different people, four different views of the events.

    One must take the reading of Scripture through a mythological approach–a story told to provide a universal understanding of the truth.

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“He died for our sins.” Sin is wrong.  I spent my adolescence praying every night to be forgiven of “masturbation,”  when in reality that phrase means the wrongs we do in loving our neighbor;  “he died for our sins” means the universal of sins of war fair, destruction our climate, and natural resources; and of not loving our neighbor–how we treat others.

The reality of some of these passages has been interpreted through time in ways detrimental to human beings.

As Donn Hall points out the Easter story’s interpretation by the Church, has driven him away from Christianity through her condemnation of homosexuality:

As a former Christian Minister, I face Easter with a bit of trepidation, mixed with emotions and discomfort. Not because I feel “convicted” by the Christian Easter story, but rather pain because the religion of my youth was a source of brutality and rejection of the LGBTQ+  community. To me, the Christian imagery of the cross represents not “salvation” (as if I needed it), but rather a symbol of the violence of prejudice against the LGBT+ community and all others throughout history that didn’t fit into religious/socially imported “norms”. So during this Easter season, I choose to remember the victims of religion and of societally imposed “norms” and not the traditional Easter Story.”

This same interpretation of the Christian story drove the young man who painted the photo above to suicide, and so many others before him and after him.

The Easter narrative is a story of Jesus being led to death resulting from his offending the ruling powers by preaching a new way of life–the Kingdom of God. Many who are believers in other traditions have met the same fate.

The resurrections are symbolic of God saying a big “Yes” to the reign of God here and now and Jesus leads us forward to fight for that reign–a Kingdom on earth in which all are fed, loved, cared for, a Kingdom of peace, where all is well.

The Easter story is not about the discrimination of anyone for their beliefs, sexuality, or being of a different race/societal background.

In fact, Jesus never formed a religion. Jesus gave one commandment: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they soul, mind and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself,”  and summed up in  Matthew 25:31-43–

The Final Judgment

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

Recently I was asked: “How can you wear a cross, a habit, and/or clerical collar and not symbolize the superiority of Christianity?”

As one walks around San Francisco, we see the rainbow of colors of various spiritual paths–in their dress; when one has a haircut in various shops of Asian proprietors we see a statue of Buddha on the floor with candles and food.

We have these symbols on or around, ourselves, expressing our faith in the form of the God who supports and sustains us.

St. Leo once said: There are many streams, flowing into one River: and from the book of Ecclesiastes: All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, is empty.

We all are flowing into the same River, let us respect each individual’s stream. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

————

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

Mending Into A Beautiful Broken Pot!

April 11, 2022

Mending Into A Beautiful Broken Pot

Luke 14:22-15:23

Several years ago I participated in an anti-racism workshop in which the curriculum was for youth. One lesson explored the art of different cultures. I was intrigued by Kintsugi, a type of art that originated in Japan. Practitioners take broken pottery and put the pieces back together, using lacquer dusted or mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. The parts are whole again. And even you can still see the broken pieces. every piece that I have seen mended in this way is beautiful, a broken pot made more beautiful by its brokenness.

On Palm Sunday we know that brokenness is to come. Jesus will be broken on the cross, buried, and finally rise again; the disciples will be broken by grief that they see as broken beyond repair.

I have been broken in the last year, by an assault and, an accident resulting in a broken body, and the coronavirus has left effects of having trouble and remembering tiredness.

I have seen death after death and gave the Sacrament of Reconciliation to a young man night before last. On the street, we give food to people of all ages who have no housing, are mentally ill, and are without family.

But mending is to come. In the long ago, and over and over again in our lives there is always breaking, mending, and ultimately the promise of resurrection that transforms that brokenness into beauty. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

———————

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.com

415-305-2124

—————————

Salvation

By what are you saved? And how?
Saved like a bit of string,
tucked away in a drawer?
Saved like a child rushed from
a burning building, already
singed and coughing smoke?
Or are you salvaged
like a car part — the one good door
when the rest is wrecked?

Do you believe me when I say 
you are neither salvaged nor saved,
but salved, anointed by gentle hands
where you are most tender?
Haven’t you seen
the way snow curls down
like a fresh sheet, how it
covers everything,
makes everything
beautiful, without exception?

~ Lynn Ungar ~

(Blessing the Bread)

———————————

—————-

TENDERLOIN STATIONS OF THE CR0SS

Good Friday/April 15, 2022

Noon-2:00 p.m.

A Walk of Reflection on Bearing the Cross of Thorns-Our Haunting of Our Treatment of Native Americans

We Begin in front of City Hall-Polk Side

Will Pray and Feed Anyone Who is Hungry

Sponsored by Temenos Catholic Worker

For More Info: Fr. River Sims, D.Min., D.S.T. 415-305-2124, Temenos@gmail.com

(We need seven more volunteers to read parts, please contact Fr. River if interested.)

=========================

Tis the Gift to Be Simple

April 8, 2022

“Tis the Gift To Be Simple”

“Then Jesus called the children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

“Tis the gift to be simple,” is a summary of one of the main requirements  “to receive the Kingdom of God like a child.”

St. Francis lived his life as a child, simple in all things, caring for people, loving nature, and most importantly giving his total trust to Jesus.

Through the years one can either become hardened as we experience tragedy, and the living reality of life, or approach life as a child with wonderment, flexibility, creativity, forgiveness, holding no resentments and trusting in God.

I have a friend who when angry will say to me, “You are just a child.” Personally, it is the highest compliment I have ever been given.

A psychologist friend told me at the beginning of this ministry my life would be like standing on a railroad track with twenty-four trains racing toward me at one time.  And it has: slander, threats, being beaten up, attempts on my life, and personally the worst is becoming hardened against people. Each day I try to become more childlike.

Harry, I now invite you to become more simple, more of a child by:

1. Approaching life with wonder. Look at nature and humanity with a sense of wonder, seeing the goodness of all, and the glory of God in all. Have a wonder of people in which their faults fall away and love them, see their beauty.

2. Secondly, being flexible. Children are never set in their ways, as people, and situations change, they change, always open to new ideas. Become a chameleon, be flexible.

3.  Forgive: Children are simple, when harmed they forgive, do not hold grudges. Forgiveness is the key to living a full life and becoming like a child. Forgiveness brings us richness and joy in life.

4. Be simple like a child and do not seek and use power. A young man said recently to me, “You are not like other people who come out here to help or save us, pushy, and thinking they know everything.” You are our friend, and walk with us, you are one of us.

That was the highest compliment I have received in a long time, and the message is to be simple, live like a child, do not use your power. Walk with people as equals.

Finally, I leave you with these words as you walk as a child, words by Don  Miguel Ruiz:

—————————-

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.com

415-305-2124

—————————

Salvation

By what are you saved? And how?
Saved like a bit of string,
tucked away in a drawer?
Saved like a child rushed from
a burning building, already
singed and coughing smoke?
Or are you salvaged
like a car part — the one good door
when the rest is wrecked?

Do you believe me when I say 
you are neither salvaged nor saved,
but salved, anointed by gentle hands
where you are most tender?
Haven’t you seen
the way snow curls down
like a fresh sheet, how it
covers everything,
makes everything
beautiful, without exception?

~ Lynn Ungar ~

(Blessing the Bread)

———————————

—————-

TENDERLOIN STATIONS OF THE CR0SS

Good Friday/April 15, 2022

Noon-2:00 p.m.

A Walk of Reflection on Bearing the Cross of Thorns-Our Haunting of Our Treatment of Native Americans

We Begin in front of City Hall-Polk Side

Will Pray and Feed Anyone Who is Hungry

Sponsored by Temenos Catholic Worker

For More Info: Fr. River Sims, D.Min., D.S.T. 415-305-2124, Temenos@gmail.com

(We need seven more volunteers to read parts, please contact Fr. River if interested.)

=========================