Archive for April, 2010

“God Is Always Present”

April 18, 2010

“God Is Always Present” Jn. 6:16-21 “Night came on and Jesus still had not come to them.  By then a strong wind was blowing and stirring up the water.”

There is no night so dark, no wind so strong no waves so menacing that Jesus is not with us in them.  Then Jesus comes quietly but surely to guide us back to where we belong.  I have been struggling with fears of death, and getting ill the past few days.  But I know that Jesus is walking with me in the darkness.   I celebrated mass in Vallejo this morning, doing outreach.  The guys seem happy with the weather, and I was thinking of how the leaders in the government–all sections–do not see them–and they move without really being seen, heard, or given support.   They are each the face of God. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

This is my personal journal, my thoughts that reflect my journey, not reflecting on any one else.

“Taking the Hits”

April 16, 2010

Acts 5:34-42; Jn. 6:1-15

I remember several years ago in a church where I was serving as interim pastor a gentleman telling a group that “Chrisitian’s do not suffer any more.”  There was a time I would have believed the same thing, but in the past nearly sixteen years I have been threatened, and assaulted because of my belief in Jesus.  Last week two men pushed me against the wall because “you fucking Christians are the worst.”  But for me there is no end to the gifts that God gives us in life.  The great act of faith lies in coming to understand that even when we cannot see it.  And I see God’s gifts, even in the bad and negative times. Yesterday was a hellar long day. I spent the morning working with my guy on SSI, and then the evening serving food.

A Note:  This blog is my personal reflections, on my journey with God, it is not judgment on anyone, so when you read it, do not perceive I am judging, I am simply writing of my own journey, in the hopes that in sharing it might assist others.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Being Happy”

April 15, 2010

“Happiness is not an achievement of self-gratification, but true fidelity to a worthy purpose.” Helen Keller.

People are always asking me why I do what I do, and the answer is it makes me happy, content.  Helen Keller summed it up in her quote, happiness comes from faithfulness to a worthy purpose. I have spent the day working, and doing outreach. A long day tomorrow as well. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Be Born From Above

April 14, 2010

Acts 4:32-37; Jn. 3:7-15  “ Do not be astonished that I said to you, You must be born from above.” The followers in Acts shared their possessions and no one went without; in John we understand the reason–we can not fill our hearts only with the things of this world with no vision to guide us–for our spirits become dry, our souls bereft, and our lives empty.  When we have Jesus in our hearts we know our calling is to share, to walk with our brothers and sisters. If we all would share from our goods no one would go with out.  The world is full of selfishness.  I prepared and served the meal tonight, I sent to a Pride meeting.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Work Your Ass Off”

April 12, 2010

Acts 4:23-31; Jn. 3:1-8  “Very truly I tell you that no one can enter the reign of God without being born of water and the Spirit.”

In order to know Jesus we must spend the time and energy it takes to come to understand the heart, soul, and mind of Jesus.  We must immerse ourselves in Jesus. We must take on the mind of Christ.    We must work our asses off to follow Christ, to know Jesus.  I have a friend who worships all the various religions in order to “cover all the bases”. The reality is to follow Jesus means to struggle in our study of him, and in giving our lives in service==feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison, and the sick. To follow Jesus is not about listening to what others say, but to come to know him yourself.  For me my relationship with Jesus has consumed me since I was 12 years old–and I am still letting go in order to follow him. I am still working my ass off.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Find Your Blessings Where You Are”

April 12, 2010

2nd. Sunday of Easter, Jn. 20:19-31  “Finding Your Blessings Where they Are”

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing … not healing, not curing … that is a friend who cares.

– Henri J.M. Nouwen, from his book Out of Solitude

“We feel we have to have something to say, but the reality is if we can just simply be with people in their pain that is enough.  The Scripture for today “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Jn. 20:30-31 point out to me that we if we can not find our blessings where you are, do not look for them elsewhere.  As Hildegard of Beingen said: “Holy persons draw to themselves all that is earthly.”  It is what we’re given to work with in life that are our real blessings.  Accepting ourselves for who we are and as a gift from God opens doors to service and to our own self identity and self-esteem.  I have been in bed the past twenty four hours simply exhausted and am working tonight, but taking the next two days off and away, simply exhausted. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Jesus: The Meaning of Life”

April 9, 2010

“Jesus: The Meaning of Life” Jn. 21:1-14  “All night they did not catch a thing–He said to them, ‘Throw your net out on the right side of the boat”. It is when we attempt to what we do without Jesus that life seems barren, a failure, empty.  But when Jesus is the aim and the pinnacle, the beginning and the end of what we do then life is forever full of meaning. I am around people who seek meaning in drugs, sex,  money–all ends up futile.  I have found in my own journey that so long as I am centered in Jesus my life is rich with meaning–no matter how poor I am, how weak, how much pain I am in.  People asked me how I keep from burning out–and all I can answer I am centered in Jesus–for I know that he will bring meaning out of all pain, poverty, and misery around me.  We served the meal last night, and I went to bed I was exhausted, will do outreach in the Haight and on Polk today.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Called to Be Witnesses”

April 9, 2010

Lk. 24:35-48:  “You are witnesses of these things. . .and in his name the about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations beginning in Jerusalem.’

The spiritual life is not a private matter.  We are not only called to repentance and forgiveness.  We also have a responsibility to witness to others what we ourselves have come to know of the goodness of God, the heart of Jesus. St. Francis said: “Preach the Gospel, using as few as words as possible.” 90 per cent of my preaching is using few words, if no words, through loving, caring for people.  I operate from Christ and love people because he loves me and calls me to love them.  Ultimately it is our actions that preach the Gospel not our words.  Spent day cooking, serving meal, and doing outreach. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Knowing Jesus in the Changing Events of Life”

April 8, 2010

“Knowing Jesus in the Changing Events of Life”

In the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus we read:  “As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and talked to them.”

Learning to seek the presence of Jesus in the changing events of life is one of the most difficult—but most developmental—stages of the inner journey  Then we grow up spiritually.

Through my own life I see the presence of Jesus in those changing events. As a young boy I was called to ministry. I saw ministry as being that of a church pastor, pastoring churches, preaching the Gospel.  I saw my ministry in the context of a very middle to upper middle class ministry.  And for a number of years I practiced that ministry.

I then moved into that stage in which I was trying to find out who I was in all of my aspects.  My experience of Jesus just did not fit the Jesus I had grown up with and known.  But then as I begin to find the presence of Jesus in the changing events of my life I found a Jesus who moved with me, loved me, and guided me. He  was not one who remained the same, but was always changing, always leading me in new directions.

I moved into that second stage in which for me Jesus is identified with the poorest of the poor, in which the Church is far beyond the organized church of the middle class and the organized bureaucratic regime of my child hood.  Jesus is alive, he is open to all aspects of  humanity  and is accepting of us as we are.

And the third stage—is in process—following Jesus into Galilee. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


“Recognizing Jesus”

April 7, 2010

Jn. 20:11-18  It is just when we think we have lost Jesus somehow that we must learn to recognize him in  new ways and with eyes focused by faith and open to change. I have learned never to categorize my faith, for in so doing I narrow myself and I fail to see Jesus. Spent day cooking and served meal tonight. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!