Archive for July, 2012

Sewing Seed

July 31, 2012

Matt. 13:36-43

Seeds are the beginning of things, not the end. Good and evil will be separated at the end of time. Our faith calls us to love God, to plant the seeds–that is our joy and freedom. That is why I do not worry about having “success” stories–I simply plant seeds-and the rest is in God’s hands. St. Therese of Lisieux puts it so well: “Your love has gone before me; it has grown with me, and now it is an abyss whose depths I can not fathom.” Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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The Bread of Life

July 29, 2012

Jn. 6:1-15 When Jesus asks Philip how the people will be fed, Jesus refers to the amount of money he has. Last night a guy was telling me “when I get enough money, I will do what you do.”  I wanted to laugh. There are times I have so little money–but I continue to feed people for  I have found that like the little boy–the food of the poor–that if I am willing to give Jesus takes what I have and I always have enough–, just enough.  We will never have enough–but once we realize that and start giving it away like the disciples we will find it multiplied. Feeding people is a Eucharistic celebration to me–the sharing of the body and blood of Jesus–for it brings wholeness. Each night the expressions I see as I give out food thank me enough. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

My Daily Life

July 28, 2012

Strange how life happens.  Last night I was helping a young kid who was hurt and another one tried to stabb me, he was simply out of his mind; Strange, I held him down, and let him go, he just wandered off.  I called ambulance for the other kid, got him to hospital, and moved in a daze through the rest of the night–hitting me how precarious life is. A friend called asking me to go protest the new archbishop’s appointment and I thought of Thomas Merton’s quote: “To be detached from all systems, and without rancor towards them, but with insights and compassion. To be truly “catholic” is to be able to enter into evderybody’s problems and joys and be all things to all humans.” I told him “no”-he became angry. My daily work is simply to serve God to best of my ability, and let God be the judge. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Ferral Kids

July 27, 2012

Mt. 12:46-50 I was asked today why I work with “those feral” kids–they are people who were not raised in a family to be “domesticated”. is one word, but raised to blend in with society, they are “wild”.  In other words they are considered unworkable. For me they are never unworkable.  Through the years I have been labeled by people as “unworkable”–largely because I did not fit into their realm of doing things–and so I see these guys as my brothers and sisters–and they are lovable regardless of what they do. “Feral”–no they are simply lovable children of God.

Father

July 25, 2012

St,  James the Apostle 2Cor. 4:7-15, Mt. 20:20-28

In both passages we are reminded that the call of Jesus is not easy–but difficult and painful. For me that call began at church camp many years ago, and has lead me hear. Easy–hell no-but fulfilling–hell yes. Last night in the Haight a young kid called me “Father”, and it was with affection and respect. These are feral kids–and yet they show me respect, and that moment was enough for the month. For ministry is not easy, my calling is not to having a stable income, or a nice place, bot be with these feral kids. I read this quotation this morning and this is how I seek to live everyday–to survive, some days:

If you think of the name ‘Jesus’ continually and cling to it devotedly, then it will cleanse you from sin and set your heart aflame; it will enlighten your soul, remove turbulence, and eliminate lethargy; it will give the wound of love and fill the soul to overflowing with love; it will chase off the devil and eliminate terror, open heaven, and create a mystic.” – Richard Rolle,  The Form of Living

One People

July 24, 2012

Matt. 12:46-50. .”These are my mother and brothers..who ever does the will of God is my brother and sister.” I remember being told twenty years ago I could choose–when I was considering adopting a youth–you can have the “one or the thousands,” and I chose the thousands, for we are all one family, when we love our neighbors as ourselves–to do that would eliminate many problems,divisions from hunger to war. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Being A Priest

July 24, 2012
JOURNAL OF AN ALIEN STREET PRIEST
 
“You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek,” are powerfuol words when they are pronounced at your ordination, and they are the words that will be engraved on my gravestone.  For these are not simply words to me, but words that sum up the very essence of who I am, the way in which I live my life, and the what shapes its very meaning and purpose.
 
Recently I was returning late at night from the hospital and a drunken young lady screamed at me, “All priests are from the devil;”, and two friends recently were making  some pedophile jokes  as well, and I lost my temper, jokes to them, jokes to most people, but those jokes hit me right where I live, what gives my life its very sustenance.  For you see the priesthood is not simply a job, or a role to me–it is that for which I have studied many years, have fought life and death battles with the institutional church  and individuals, over sexuality, and what the tasks to which I am called.  It is a mystical calling that radiates from my very being.
 
That calling for me is for now best expressed in the  thousands of people we feed each month, and in each meal that I prepare I believe we are serving the Eucharist–the broken body, the shed blood–to bring life to many, in the 500 or so with whom I talk and listen to each month giving them socks, a snack, and harm reduction supplies, and most importantly, pastoral care, in the hospital calls, the memorial services, and the weddings–all to the broken body of Christ.. It is expressed in the anti-death penatly demonstratons each week in which I represent the executed Christ, who hangs upon his cross and in the public liturgies, where Christ is lifted up.
 
For me priesthood is seeking to be the presence of Jesus to people, it is my daily life, and it is my call to encourage those who are in sorrow and pain and to afflict the comfortable.  For me being a priest is a calling to invite others to become the living body of Christ to those they come in contact with. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
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A Twist of Faith

July 22, 2012

A Twist of Faith An America Christian’s Quest to Help Orphans in Africa

This book is about  David Nixon’s faith based journy to save the destitute in Malawi.  John Donnelly explores the tenets of true service to underserved communities and with the poor.  He explores Nixon’s journey of conversion, disappointments and ultimate frustation. Donnelly explores the approaches of other American faith groups who come in with their own way of helping and ultimately simply become like their colonial ancesters. For me this journe with Nixon opened up my own feelings with my own journey working on the fringes of society, with the most destitued and the most rejected.  I have experienced many of the same disappointments and pain.  My journey is about me, as well as my call, and for me what I have learned is serveral things: First live simply,  and do not over extend yourself, secondly, walk and live with the one’s you serve, and finally to be single focused in your committment. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

White Flour–A Book Review

July 21, 2012

WHITE FLOUR written by David LaMotte and illustrated by Jean Hales

 
 
White Flour is a children’s book written by David LaMotte illustrating an event on May 26, 207 when a white supremist hate groujp came to Knoxville, Tennessee from out of state to hold a ralley in a public park there.  The counter-protestersters did not try to shjut down the racist demonstrators but met them with humor. What this story points out is that there is the third way of meeting hatred with love and humor rather then fight or flight.
 
For me this is what I try to practice and teach. Today I was demonstrating agains the death penalty in front of the State Office Building. I was met with hatred and anger by several and I simply made humor out of the situation and the hatred dissipated.
 
This does not mean this always works, but the realtiy is that only by returning violence and hatred with love and humor can one really show value to what we believe.  Hatred simply begets hatred. This is what this book illustrates for children in a spectacular manner.
 
Fr. River Damien Sims

Mercy

July 20, 2012

Matt. 12:1-8 Apollinarius

“Mercy”–or “love”–the word Hosea used towards his young spouse.  God’s love is like that. I find myself going my own way–both liberals and conservatives seem set in their ways–and so I move out separately. These days I see my life narrowing to two priorities: Loving Jesus, which leads me to serve as inadequately as I can the people on the street–“John, James, Vanessa”–last night joking around, yet homeless. For me that is all that matters. Today I celebrate the Eucharist, go to the foodbank, demonstrate against the death penalty and so outreach. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!