Archive for June, 2009

“Staying the Course”

June 30, 2009

Acts 12:1-10; 2 Tim. 4:6-8, 17-18; Mt. 16:13-19, Solemity of Sts. Peter and Paul  June 29

“Ultimate confidence in the goodness of life cannot rest upon
confidence in the goodness of human beings. If that is where it
rests, it is an optimism which will suffer ultimate
disillusionment. Romanticism will be transmuted into cynicism, as
it has always been in the world’s history. The faith of a Christian
is something quite different from this optimism. It is trust in
God, in a good God who created a good world, though the world is
not now good; in a good God, powerful and good enough finally to
destroy the evil that we do and redeem us of our sins. This kind of
faith is not optimism. It does not, in fact, arise until optimism
breaks down and we cease to trust in ourselves that we are
righteous.

… Reinhold Niebuhr, “Beyond Tragedy”

People often talk about how well we human beings are doing, how we have progressed, how we  can trust in the goodness of human beings. That is bullshit. To trust in human beings and their goodness leads to cynicism.  It is God within the human being that brings goodness and righteousness.  Peter and Paul both on their own were egomaniacs, they were self-righteous, but with Christ, they changed the world.  Our environment is being destroyed, people are suffering in poverty, because human beings are greedy, selfish, and could care less about anyone about themselves, but with God they open their eyes to people, they see life not as an end in itself, but as simply a part of the journey, and they reach out and care about those around them and the environment.  The God I serve is One of love, of acceptance, and she opens her arms to the world. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

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“Strive for Equality”

June 30, 2009

June 28

Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24; Mk. 5:21-43

2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15

. . .Strive for equality; at present give from your abundance what they are short of, and in some way they also will give from their abundance what they lack. .”

Today is Pride Sunday.  But equality for queers is not whole. Here in California we are free, accept for being able to marry, here in San Francisco there is so much freedom. But in other parts of the state, and in most of the country queers are oppressed.  Today we stand for equality for all.  The Scripturen calls us to stand for equality–for all people, in all areas of life. People look at me like I am crazy when I talk of living simply because I believe that what I do not use can be shared. If all of us would live simply then the world would not be without. The Gospel calls us to share. What we see is so much poverty, because people want so much.  All we have to do is share.  To share is to give life, and in so doing to find live.

Today I was walking through the Pride area, wearing clericals because i had had a service, and someone, yelled out “pediphile”,  “all priests are pediphiles”.  It is painful to hear that anger, it hurts like hell. People have been so abused by religion that they have lost any sense of God, and the presence.  My witness is to be that presence. I was asked by my intern why I donot react in an aggressive manner, and my answer is I follow the non-violent Jesus, who understood that it would do not good–what does good is to bear witness even in the pain. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

Spent day working at Pride. Had dinner with Stephen and to bed early, hellar exhausted. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

“Bearing One Another’s Burdens”

June 28, 2009

June 27  Gen. 18:1-15; Mt. 8:5-17

. . .He bore our infirmities and took on himself our diseases.” Mt. 17

Jesus walks with us, he carries our burdens, he bears our problems, and our diseases with us.  So often in our society we see helping people without really getting involved, without being emotionally involved, but Jesus suffers with us. He is involved in our lives, he feels with us. That is  what we are called to do–to walk with people, to bear their burdens, to suffer with them. I feel for everyone on Polk and in the Haight. People talked of a “beauty”, and when they do I want to throw up. The suffering people endure is beyond the beauty, the pain they feel is far beyond the beauty. When you go home at night to a nice place, have a nice dinner, yea you can see the beauty, but when you walk with people day in and day out, in the grittiness, and the pain, then that is a different story–we are called to bear the burden’s of another–we are called to walk with them.

Long ass day at Pride.  Came home and went to bed. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

“The Lepers”

June 27, 2009

June 26; Mt. 8:1-14

Today we have an0ther account of Jesus cleansing the leper.  There is a part of each of us that is like the leper in need of healing. God shows us compassion and heals us when we but become aware. We have a whole new set of lepers today, people whom people ostracize, whom we exclude and reject, declare unclean and push aside.  In our culture we ostracize people on death row, people with AIDS, people with disabilities, people who are Muslim, or people who are just different.  We often think they’re the cause of our problems: lets push them aside or imprison them or ignore their sufferings; or kill them and thet rid of them.  Then we will be ok; we will be safe; we will be secure.  But Like Jesus, we must side with the lepers of our time, cultivate a heart of compassion, stretch out our hands and welcome them into our community. We have to reconcile with everyone everywhere.  Only, then like Jesus, will we become people of infinite compassion.

Today has been a long ass day. Mike came at noon and we ate and did Bible Study, jim and Emma came for their antropology survey. We went to the Haight for five hours and then three on polk.   I went to bed at 1:00 a.m. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

“Following Jesus”

June 26, 2009

June 25 Gen. 16:6-, 12, 15-16; Mt. 7:21-9

Today Michael Jackson and Farrah Facett died.  They were larger than life, and they are now no more.  I am reminded each day how short life is, it is short, and ultimately all we have is Jesus.  The Gospel today points out that following Jesus is more than shouting “Lord, Lord, Lord”, it is living out an ethnic of love. Whether one believes in Jesus or Buddha or no one, it is love to which we are called, and we judge ourselves. God does not judge us. We separate ourselves from God, from others, in the way we love. The woman who has basically turned on me, has done so in the “name of Jesus”,  rather than a relationship of mutal caring and love, she cut off any kind of relationship.  I see it day in and day out–violence, hatred, selfishness cuts the people on the street off from wholeness. I see it in the lives of people I know in churches, and in other areas of life. It is there inability to accept people, to forgive, to love that cuts them off. I see it in the world–the world is torn apart by violence and death because of our own self centeredness.  We are called to follow Jesus–and to truly follow Jesus is to love each person for who he or she is without judgment.

I spent the afternoon with intern, served meal, and came home and dropped. I am totally exhausted, really exhausted, long weekend ahead. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

Called from the Womb

June 25, 2009

Is. 49:1-6; Lk. 1:57-66, 80,  Solemity of John the Baptist

I have known all my life that I was called from my mother’s womb to ministry. There was never a doubt in my mind.  Even when because of my sexuality I was told I was not called, I found another route.  It is ministry which has given me purpose in my life, sustained me in the midst of pain, hardship, and much fear. Tonight I met a group of young people on a march for queer youth. They are determined. The leader asked me how I did not get depressed, and simply burn out. She is struggling with the pain she sees on the streets.  I told her I lived in the moment, but it is the eternal moment I live in–the moment in which God is in all, and that I have faith that she will bring purpose, meaning, and wholeness in the midst of all of the pain and suffering. That is why I struggle and do so with faith and hope.   I trust in the God who called me, who has sustained me, and I continue to trust in God with my fears.  The past several years my depression has lifted as I have placed complete trust in God, he is all that I have to hope in,  and she is in the eternal moment.  I spent the day with Mike, an intern, we went to the food bank, worked in the Haight, worked Polk Street, met with youth group on the road tonight. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

“Throwing Pearls Before Swine”

June 24, 2009

Mt. 7:6, 12-14

“Jesus said to his disciples: Do not give what is holy to the dogs or throw your pearls before swine. .”

So often I feel deeply rejected when people do not accept  me. I can remember in my last Master’s program in Iowa a professior who taught a course on sexuality telling me after I wrote a paper for him, “You will have a hard row to hoe, you do not back down, and you walk a path so many fear tread.”  It has not been really a “hard row to hoe.”  But I have been, am, and will be rejected by a lot of people because of my views on sexuality and faith.  My faith is one that preaches Christ, but a non-judging, accepting, understanding Christ who accepts everyone, and does not look at things black and white. He simply tells us to love one another, and that is our basis for judgment. I do not believe he judges us, but that we judge our selves by the way we respond to his commandment to love. That for many people is very scary, but for me has been freeing.  The Gospel tells us that the gate is narrow, it is rough, but it leads to life. And yes, it is rough as hell, I hurt a lot, but I have much joy in my life and I am happy, even in the rough times. Through the years I have had difficulty accepting the toughness, but in the last two years I have come to see that that is a part of the journey I have chosen, to accept it, to embrace it, and it has freed me from depression, and my life simply has much joy.

Spent day cooking, with my intern, ben came in to help, served meal, i  came home early, exhausted, purely exhausted, took a shower and went to bed at 11:00 p.m. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

“Judging–The Most Destructive Behaviour”

June 23, 2009

June 22, Mt. 7:1-5

Paulininus aof Nola, John Fisher, and Thomas More

Jesus is speaking to us about seeing faults.  He is a little humorous and yet sobering, as he contrasts the speck and the plank in our eyes.  Jesus wants us to open our eyes to see what he sees, not only with our eyes, but with our hearts.  Let’s not be in the group that Jesus speaks about: those who, having eyes, do not see. it is difficult, but our culture, for all its image based video orientation, is flat out blind.  We should not make our word, our religion, our view points a law for everyone else., not pass judgment upon others for no reason.  Our world is filled with people who judge and their judgment is painful and destructive.  An elderly woman I have known and visited has judged me harshly because I am not Roman Catholic, she  basically does not want to see me, and while she is elderly-her judgment is one shared by many young and old that leads to destruction, broken relationships and even death. We see that in the religious wars through the centuries and in the Middle East today.

I spent the day working with intern, dinner with friends, and outreach. long ass day. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

“The Storms of Life”

June 22, 2009

Mk. 4:35-=41 June 21

I am still hurting over the brutality I received from an elderly woman yesterday.  But she is the one who is suffering. I have seen her for months turn herself inward to all she thinks about is herself.  She lives in a place where she could let the arms of Jesus embrace her, yet she pushes them away. She is terribly lonely and a fraid and will likely die that way. Rather than pushing the very arms of the One who wants to embrace her she pushes them away.  I blame myself, but I have done my best, and that is all I can do. It is in the storm so of life that Jesus stands, but we have to reach out to him, and embrace him.  Those storms are not just those last days but the storms of finding meaning in life, and purpose, of living day to day. I am working with someone now who is has sought purpose in his life and it is difficult, when all he has to do is grasp Jesus–there is a cost, but the reward is so much greater.  Today I read all day, and worked with intern, and bed at 1:00 a.m. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

“Keep Focused on Jesus”

June 21, 2009

2 Cor. 12:1-10; Lk. 2:41-51 June 20 “Immaculate Heart of Mary”

“As for his mother, she kept all these things in ther heart”

Mary was focused in her life–on God and on her Son.  She put God above everything and followed him.  She protected her son and kept faith in him.  That is what attracts me to her–her heart for Jesus and for God.  There are times it is so difficult for me to stay focused. I visited and elderly woman in a nursing home today. I have known her for several years, but she has always been difficult, very difficult, and I have kept on seeing her. Today she let me have it.  She is Roman,  I am not, and so in her eyes I am not a “real priest”, and she basically told me that. It was a painful experience, but as I backed off I realized the pain she has lived with through her whole life. She hates men, probably dating back to being abandoned by her father, but while I understand that, that is no excuse to treat someone with the lack of respect and cruelty she treated me. For me to keep my heart on Jesus and God is to understand and forgive her, but also to take the words of Jesus literally: “when you are not received, to shake the dust off your feet.” It is really not about me–it is her, and there is nothing I can do. My heart hurts, it has hurt all night long, the rejection, and the pain. I keep thinking of how I do not think I want to get old. Lately the older people I have met have all been like her, my uncle is terrible, and I do not want to put people through that or put myself through that.Getting old sucks, but in God’s eyes there must be some grace in living a long life. And so for now I will keep my eyes focused on Jesus and take it one step at a time. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!”