Archive for October, 2008

Saturday, October 18–Feast of St. Luke-2 Tim 4:10-17; Lk. 10:1-9

October 19, 2008

The Message: says that: Demas went off “chasing fads”.  How often do we engage in fad chasing, that which appeals to our basic needs, seems so easy, and yet is so empty.  The Gospel is about the hard work of:

feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, comforting those who grieve;

being present to people

being faithful in and out of our fears

trusting in God–no matter what–putting him first above everything-security and all.

There is no easy road in this life, they all end in the grave, and God calls us to follow him faithfully until the end–in season and out of season.

Went and saw “W” this morning, movie about George W. Bush.  Strange what I found about it was how he is portrayed as following God in war, very sad, depressing movie.

Grady showed up for some needles, shooting up in his femur artury, very dangerous; Styx came by to charge phone and took a long nap, while I cleaned up my room.  Mike, 28 from Michigan was by, begging for money, and we talked of his drug use; Gave out food and supplies to around 35 people tonight.

Thought about the liberal churches and how apathetic they are in their fight for queer marriage; about how the churches around here simply ignor the homeless, how government does the same–they are not a part of the equasion. But God cares, and cares, and cares. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

October 17–Ignatius of Antioch–Luke 12:1-7

October 18, 2008

i got up at six this morning, to go to food bank and to go and see alice at the nursing home. came home and napped for three hours, and took a four hour hike out to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a beautiful day. Strange I have never been so short on money, but I am find. I am just putting first what has to come first and letting the rest ride. The Gospel of Luke today talks of putting that which is important first, above the body, above the material. I often think if this life is all there is, and yet I know that there is a purpose in what I do, and in what we do, and so I strive to keep Jesus first.

Outreach tonight was wild. Marice is drunk all the time, he is out of jail, and simply out of it. 22 year old Mike from Michigan talks of how drugs are cheaper here, and I promised to help him with an ad on craigslist.  There were several older guys in the alley, 50 or so, torn up by their addiction, and I spent time with them. I thought of how their lives have simply passed them by. No family, no friends, they will simply die and their ashes cast in the ocean and in all likelihood no one will no they existed.  As I passed by the United Church of Christ i thought of how I could be spending my time in an established church, ignoring what is going on outside my door, not having to worry about money, or any thing of my material well being, and yet I know that was never me. I am meant to do what I do. I do it well, and it brings me much joy. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

Thursday, October 16 Eph. 1:1-10; Lk. 11:47-54

October 17, 2008

“God chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy. . .to be his adopted sons and daughters through Christ Jesus.. .”

All of us, not straight, gay, bi, lesbian, transgender, black, white, red, green have been chosen to be holy. Any thing that gets in the way of that holiness is wrong. We are in the fight for equal rights in California with the proposition 8 campaign. We are complacent, and it makes me sick. Below is a letter I wrote to the Bay Area Reporter concerning the campaign:

October 16, 2008

To Whom It May Concern:

As I read the main feature in the Bay Area Reporter today, “NO ON 8 HAS ONLY 30,000 DONORS” I found myself becoming very depressed.

First I am depressed because we in the queer community have not come out in full force. We assumed that our time had come, but the reality is our time will not come without a fight. It is easy to live in San Francisco where we are accepted, where we are at home, but it is another when we leave our sheltered walls and see the ugliness of homophobia. We have become complacent.

Secondly I am depressed because one expression of Christianity seems to grab the headlines–the right wing fundamentalists. They are not the last voice in the Gospel. The Jesus I serve, I worship, and I would die for stands for the equal rights of all humans. Liberals tend to become complacent, they tend to sit back and think all things will work out, but the reality is the Gospel calls us to fight for equality and to see the evil that is in the guise of lamb’s clothing. Jesus walks with us, and he loves us, as he loves those who are against us, but I believe he disagrees with them and is on our side in this fight, for any thing that is against treating people equally and with respect is against the teachings of Jesus. Rather than let the “fundamentalists” grab the head lines those of us who carry his name should carry his cross and should get out there and fight light hell.

Thirdly I am depressed because the organizations leading this fight have not fought aggressively, but have had ads which frankly are bland, and pamper people. They have not sought to engage people in the door to door fight of this campaign. I have emailed several organizations about going door to door in outstate California and I get a response requesting money. I am not giving money unless I know where it goes and unless I am engaged in this fight.

There is still time, but very little time, to engage the enemy, to engage and conqueror, but it will take some ball busting tactics, and the question I asked is: are we willing to fight? Are we willing to take the consequences?

In Jesus, Street Person and Rebel,

Bishop River Damien Sims, Society of Franciscan Workers, Temenos Catholic Worker

I had lunch with Rose today. It is always great to have lunch with Rose, my sanity in the midst of insanity. I sometimes feel totally alone. Short on money, worrying about what to do next–people constantly at my door. Cooked meal all day. Served it. Tried packaging food ahead of time, it was rather freeing, to hand out food and be able to talk without having to worry about pans and all the mess.  Did outreach. Deeth is back, just had a baby, which was taken away, in my face wanting more and more needles, very sad. She so much wants a child to love–but rather to love her, someone to love her no matter what, not understanding that it is the other way around.  Styx came by and spent an hour. Bed at 2:00 a.m. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

October 15

October 16, 2008

Gal. 5:18-25; Lk. 11:42-46

The word from Galations lifts up a life spent in freedom in Christ, of following his way of love. The Gospel has Jesus condemning the Pharisees for their nit picking.  I went to Pacifica for lunch and picked up a new table to replace the one that fell a part last Tuesday. I am overwhelmed with grief over Proposition 8 and it looks like it is passing. There seems to be such a lack of commitment on the part of people, and the conservative Christians are out in full force. That alone makes it hard on those of us in the gay community and more progressive community. I am trying to figure out what I am going to do, how I am going to participate in this struggle now. Read of Roman priest who opposed 8–Father Geoffrey Farrow and how he is has been removed from his parish and suspended from the priesthood.  Strikes me at how the Church continues to kill the prophets, not being open to the needs of people around them.  Young kid, Lavon, 23, stranded on street last night. I let him stay the night. He was just desperate, getting mixed up with a guy who frankly was using him.  People on the street are so needy–just so desperate. Last night was rough doing outreach, always on my guard. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

Galations 5:1-6; Lk. 11:37-41–Callistus I

October 15, 2008

We are set free from our fears and through the love of others our faith is alive.  It is not so much about the rules and regulations, as we see in the Gospel, but of being faithful in love.

I cooked the evening meal and served around 75 people.  Today I ran into a twenty two year old, named Billy, from Los Angles. He is on the run from the law.  Spent an hour listening to him. Tonight he came back up to me and begged me to let him do speed at my place.  Joey, 32, was in my face.  The alleys were full of people tonight.

The guys like Billy are tough. And I find myself being worn out after dealing with him.  On the street tonight it was like that, the older they get, the tougher they get because their options are closing, they are limited in what they can do and get.  People ignore them after a certain amount of time.  I find Christ most present in them, because they are the one out of the 99. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

October 13

October 14, 2008

Galations 4:22-24, 26-27, 31-5:1;  Luke 11:29-32

I had dinner with a friend who cries poverty, when he has plenty of money.  He is always talking of moving to Europe, if things do not get better here politically and he has plenty of money. But he is so poor, spiritually. He misses out on the present moment, on what is around him.  He is so enslaved to his own needs that he loses sight of the world around him.  Galations tells us that we are set free in Christ–free to live our lives in this world in the knowledge that he is with us, and to die knowing that he is with us.

I spent the day in my room, my day off. I watched t.v. and just vegetated.  Lynn, 28 came by, decked out in fancy clothes, with his new stereo, wanting to borrow money. He spent all of his money on these material items, thinking he had made it, but the reality is he so poor spiritually that he is empty. He will never be filled by material possessions. Bed at 2:00 a.m. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

October 11 Is. 25:6-10 a; Phil 4:12-14, 19-20; Mt. 22:1-14

October 13, 2008

Paul is content with little–I fight this all the time, always wanting more, and yet when I have little, I am most happy.  I have found that to not let having little money effect my work, I simply just do it.  People sometimes complain when I do not have desserts, feed them what I have, but I always point out–you are being fed–not a banquet, but good, basic food be thankful. I am content with what I have. I find these guys always wanting more materially, never having enough, it is a reflection of our society at large–for like everyone else they will not have enough–what they are looking for to fill their needs is within themselves, not materially gained. So like Paul I am content with what I have, be it little or much, and for the most part little.

I went to two movies today. One was The Duchess, a sad story of a young girl caught up in a marriage she hated, who did her duty, and The Body of Lies, a story of a CIA operative in Iraq and of the lies and the violence and the uselessness of the war.

Had dinner with Stephen, and did outreach on the street. Matt  was by for a while and drew a picture on my wastebasket, said it was slow on the street; Styx was by and hung out for a while. Several back on the street, who are just out of the state hospital–no where else to go.  I find that all of the politicians stuff is bull shit. They do not mention the needs or the concerns of those below the middle class.  Like Dorothy this is a “dirty, rotten, system,” and like Dorothy this is the last election I am going to vote in.

Bed at 1:00 a.m. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

October 11–27th Week in Ordinary Time

October 12, 2008

Gal. 3:22-29; Lk. 11:27-28

got up at 6 a.m. and went to vallejo, where i spent time down by the ferry reading and relaxing, and then i celebrated mass at st. victors. nice crowd, i feel at home there. came back and then went out to ocean beach to celebrate the wedding of Gabriel Cano with Jeff. I have known gabe since i have been here. he was on the street, using speed, prostituting. one of the reasons was that he was kicked out of his home for being gay. he became hiv positive and got off the street. he has his life together with a job in sacramento, he is happy, and as we lover looked the ocean it was a beautiful ceremony. my first same-sex ceremony. they are saying that prop 8 could be winning, so i hope this is not my last legal wedding, so it was really a beautiful day, a beautiful event.

i have been exhausted, getting up at 6 this morning. went out and did outreach.  there were several who have recently been in prison and one in the state hospital.  they were just put out on the street. the one from the hospital had a lot of medicine to take and is going back to speed. it is tragic how we treat human beings. they do not stand a chance being put on the street without money or a place to stay–and then low and behold they commit criminal acts or get sick again, it is tragic, and it is obvious that none of the presidential candidates are even aware of what happens–they are concerned with the middle class. i spent a couple of hours with Track, who is in and out of jail–on the street, can not get any money until after monday. i gave him seven dollars, but that is all i have.  i find myself feeling guilty when i do not have blankets are money, but all i have is my presence, and that is what i give. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

Friday, October 10

October 11, 2008

Gal. 3:7-14

Lk. 11:15-26

today i have felt stressed, the meals tire me out, the lifting and then just dealing with large groups of people., but i am grateful for each day of work, i am blessed to have a life full of people, full of feel helpful and i am fulfilled. three guys were in my face, dan , nathan, and mike this morning, they are in everyone’s face, and they have a hard time with me because i will not give them money, but oh well!

went to vallejo for a novena and enjoyed the people. i am a pastor, simply a pastor, and being with people in all settings is what i do. i am going to say mass tomorrow and have a wedding. i am tired tonight, very tired, but again i am grateful for each moment, of each day i have, with a healthy body, and work that is fulfilling.

did outreach tonight. cool night. talked to lennie, 30 for a while, he has been hustling for fifteen years.  as i was walking down the street, i thought of not feeling well, my head constantly aching, feel dizzy, low blood pressure, and thought how i could drop dead, and no one would miss me. i could die in my room, and no one would miss me for days.  i would simply be no more.  but for me it is worth it. even though the people i work with get no notice at all, in fact they are ignored, and basically put aside. the presidential campaigns have never mentioned the poorest of the poor, always the middle class, and so even though i would probably be not even noticed, God notices, and ultimately that is what counts.  It is God that counts the hairs on my head, and on theirs, and to him we are blessed.  the scripture talks about demons, and in our rational world they do not exist, but there are demons, those demons are those things that keep us separated from God and from each other.  i am reading through the old testament, and it is bloody, but is no bloodier then our news today–people kill in the name of God, missing the point of God who is in the silent whisper, who is in the those that no one wants, and who cares less about property.  we have not changed much–the demons seem to be winning, but i think that God has the upper hand.  Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

October 9-Denis-Companions/John Lenoardi Lk. 11:5-13

October 10, 2008

i laugh every time i hear the gospel because it could be me and is me. i get so damn tired of people asking me for money, for food, i walk out the door, the phone rings, and it is “give, give, give”. i do provide, sometimes with resentment, but i do provide and that is our  calling to be available to people, even when we do not want to  be.  God i am sure feels the same way–all we do is ask, and ask, and ask, and then blame her when we do not get what we want–but God is always available. cooked and served meal, rose and another volunteer helped. did not go out last night, i was simply tired, just plain exhausted from the meal. two meals a week wear me out–people think i just throw it together, but it is a 12 hour process, and then lifting and cleaning.  but it was a great day. deo gratis! thanks be to God!