Archive for November, 2013

November 29, 2013

November 29

Luke 21:29-33

Trust in my word, Jesus tells us. The worst of circumstances are also when the reign of God draws near us.  Accidents, disasters, and misforturnes are also opportunities to experience the love and compassion of those around us.  The Paschal Mystery continues to color our reality, from our suffering emerges new life,and love. Disasters, high rent may tear down our physical world, damage our lives–but nothing can keep us from God’s grace. Last night there was one young guy who was truly suffering, he had just go out of the hospital, his face has haunted me all night, all I could do was sit with him; Face book, people in person are terrified of the rising rent costs and the costs of living, cost of living in the State of California is 30 percent higher then any where else–ultimately all I can do is look at the cross and see that through this there will be new life, and we must trust that that will come. A volunteer asks me alot of questions wanting black and white answers–and frankly my response–“buddy there ain’t any”–no black and white-only the grace of God is all I can hold on to. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration Geniuses like Pythagoras, Leonardo da Vinci, and Mahatma Gandhi abstained from eating animals. Plutarch wrote, “When we clog and cloy our body with flesh, we also render our mind and intellect coarse. When the body’s clogged with unnatural food, the mind becomes confused and dull and loses its cheerfulness. Such minds engage in trivial pursuits, because they lack the clearness and vigor for higher thinking.”

November 28, 2013

November 28, Thanksgiving Day

Luke 21:25-28

Fear and worry are often the largest part of our burdens;  they can weigh us down more then the actual event.  Jesus teaches us several times about the uselessness of worrying and here he challenges us again to lay our burdens down.  Instread of fear and worry he calls us to trust: to raise our heads confidently and await his grace, even in the most fearsome of circumstances. Christ the King reigns over heaven and earth and we belong to him. If he is for us, what can be against us?  Tonight I attended the Harvey Milk Memorial March and heard people full of anxiety over the evictions; it fills me with anxiety, and I think of how I have had fear over my own life being in jeopardy and that in trusting in God, I always have hope. Hope is all that we ultimately have, and Jesus is all we have. And so I raise the question each time I worry: If God is for us, what can be against us? Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration Like all animals, we are essentially spiritual beings, manifestations of a universal, loving intelligence that has given us bodies designed to thrive on the abundant foods that we can peacefully nourish and gather in orchards, fields, and gardens. Dr. Will Tuttle

November 27, 2013

November 27; Dn. 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28; Lk. 21:12-19

Daniel brings judgment on King Belshzzar, not because he has silver and gold, but because he loves it, it possesses him. I have love nice clothes, i stay in nice motels occasionally, but I do not let that possess me–for Iive very simply–we see the worship of the material in the rampant rental prices in the City, we see it in rich in the nation–it is destroying people. The reason for that is simply that is where people find their security. In the Gospel Jesus tells us that no matter what happens we have hope. People often look at me and think I am nuts because I live on a shoe string, without any security, I am criticized–verbally, and being ignored, have had violence done towards me, and the reason I can do that is because of hope-hope in the reign of God that is, and is coming. One way or another we all face death–and ultimately we either have hope in God or we die in fear.  Hope, trust in Jesus. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.” ~ William C. Roberts, M.D., Editor-in-Chief, The American Journal of Cardiology

November 26, 2013

November 26, Dn. 2:31-45; Lk. 21:5-11

There are wars and rumors of wars, the newspaper is full of stories of people being kicked out of their homes and I notice that San Francisco seems to become one color–white each day, with more money, and a sense of not caring for anyone but themselves.  Humanity in all of its forms tends to move towards self-centeredness and destruction–but each one of us can look to the Jesus, and his example–simplify one’s life, love your neighbor as yourself, equalize the way you live and give to those in need–one by one we can bring the reign of God into being or we can chooose to withdraw into ourselves, and create hell. We can be like the second son in the Prodigal Son-only think about ourselves–and that is hell in itself. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration “All ancient philosophy was oriented toward the simplicity of life and taught a certain kind of modesty in one’s need. In light of this, the few philosophic vegetarians have done more for mankind than all new philosophers, and as long as philosophers do not take courage to seek out a totally changed way of life and to demonstrate it by their example, they are worth nothing.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

November 25, 2013

November 25, St. Catherine of Alexandria

Daniel 1:1-6; 8-20; Lk. 21:1-4

In our society we high light the young, a recent article pointed out that when you turn 30 it becomes more difficult to get a job; but what Jesus is saying to us is that while the widows offering in the Gospel is small–her offering is the greatest she can give–a gift of herself, a return home to God’s embrace. In her quiet humility is a powerful prayer: You gave me all, and I am yours. We wrapped a hundred presents yesterday–of used clothing items–we will serve a simple meal for Thanksgiving–all given from the heart, all given from the very being of who we are to the One to whom we belong–that is all Jesus asks–to give our all–it is not about age, wealth, looks–it is about giving our all.   Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration A basic reason that billions of animals suffer confinement and slaughter is our cultural belief that we need to eat animal-derived foods to be healthy, yet one of the most common motivations many of us have to reduce or eliminate animal food consumption is improving our health!

Illuminating this paradox requires us to investigate our human physiology and the animal foods we eat, and to reconnect with the perennial understanding that cultivating kindness and awareness improves physical and mental health, while harmfulness and unconsciousness lead ultimately to physical and mental disease

November 24, 2013

November 24, Christ the King

Lk. 23:35-43

The Solemity of Christ the King reminds us that Christ is over all of our lives, and for it reminds us that Christ comes to us not in power, but in humilty. Tonight there was a young boy who said to me he “hated Christians, ” accept for you, because “you are one of us.” What he meant was I do not come in triumph with all the answers, but come in my own trail of suffering walking with them as equally as possible and practicing the wisdom of Francis, “to preach the gospel. .useing as few as words as possible.”  Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration “This is dreadful! Not only the suffering and death of the animals, but that man suppresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity—that of sympathy and pity towards living creatures like himself—and by violating his own feelings becomes cruel.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

November 23, 2013

November 23, St. Columban

Luke 9:57-62

Jesus calls us to follow him, and when we choose to follow we follow the best way that we can. My call has been to follow Jesus to the streets of San Francisco, and to live on the edge–and that call has lead me to see things, and into places that are dark, evil, and yet to see the resurrection as more real then ever.  I am single focused, I am stubborn, I am disagreeable, but that comes from following my call as God has put in my path. What I am discovering is that people  want to have a part of the call they see-the freedom, the joy–but the part of the danger, and the hard work they shirked away from.  The reality is we each have to follow our own individual call and God modes that into his reign–we can not copy. We each have to follow Jesus with all of our hearts, and minds and strenght.  One aspect of my call has been becoming vegan and Dr. Will Tuttle describes that call in this way:

VegInspiration By questioning our inherited cultural conditioning to commodify, abuse, and eat animals, we are taking the greatest step we can to leave home, become responsible adults, and mature spiritually, and by actively helping others do the same, we return home with a liberating message of compassion and truth that can inspire and bless others.

By leaving home we can find our true home, contribute to social progress, and help the animals with whom we share this precious earth have a chance to be at home again as well.

 

To find out who we are we have have to leave home to find our true home–and that is the hardest part–to leave the safety of what we have to step out as a pilgrim in a foreign land.

The prodigal son did just that–he wandered until he came home to his true Father, the older brother like many stayed home and never moved beyond the present, and the Father–opened his arms. And so it is with us we to grow, to mature, we too have to wander, to fuck up, and to mature–and then find ourselves in the Father’s presence. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God! 

November 22, 2013

November 22, Saint Celcilia

Luke 19:45-48

The merchants on Polk and Haight are often angry with me–I feed and care for the homeless–and at times which I find humorous I am blamed for the homeless on Polk.  In some ways this is what Jesus did-he broke their crates of doves open and released them, as I break open the crates of anger and ignorance against the homeless in their face. Jesus’ anger raises timeless questions about when any of us should fight against injustice.  Like the dove seller in the temple, what do we consider to be normal, socially acceptable because “everybody does it”, or “everybody” of our same economic, racial, gender does it shall we say? It has been a slow process for me, much as my process as a vegan, an evolutionary process, which continues, and for me the question I always asked is: “Am I going to let my fear get in the way?” Am I going to be like the obedient son in the Prodigal Son and protest change in others?

VegInspiration-Dr. Will Tuttle  In questioning our culture’s most fundamental and defining practice, that of imprisoning and brutalizing animals for food, we practice leaving home and embark on a spiritual journey that will put us fundamentally at odds with our culture’s values, but that at the same time makes it possible for us to be heroes who can help uplift and transform our ailing culture.

 

November 21, 2013

November 21, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

. .he wept. ..Lk. 19:41

Martin Buber reminds us that a society that encourages the accumalation of things to do, things to look for, things to buy, to throw away etc–risks undervaluing and forgetting the goodness of the personal, heart to heart relationships. It is through relationships, through love that we are fulfilled.  Peace is not the absence of war or conflict it is the acceptance of one another with our differences, respect for one another with out differences where we can struggle together.  In our society–our push for money, and goods has brought discord, homelessness, fear.  As we approach Advent let us look into ourselves–and remove our selves from the busyness and turn to heart to heart relationships. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration Most of us resist being told we’ve been indoctrinated. After all, we live in the land of the free, and we like to think we’ve arrived freely at the belief that we need to eat animal products and that it’s natural and right to do so.

In fact, we have inherited this belief. We’ve been indoctrinated in the most deeply rooted and potent way possible, as vulnerable infants, yet because our culture denies the existence of indoctrination, the reality of the process is invisible, making it difficult for most of us to realize or admit the truth.

November 20, 2013

November 20, Transformation

2 Macc..7:1, 20-31; Luke 19:11-28

Franz Jagerstatter, was executed by the Nazis in 1943–and he wrote this of his journey:

“Consider two things. From where? To where?

Then your life will have its proper meaning.

Whoever goes on a journey without a goal

wander poor and weary.

Whoever lives live without a goal

has flouished in vain.”

And Dr. Will Tuttle wrote this recently:

“It’s funny how we want transformation without having to change! Yet the fundamental transformation called for today requires the most fundamental change—a change in our relationship to food and to animals, which will cause a change in our behavior.”

Transformation comes when we want to change, when we are not afraid to face reality as it faces us. I have volunteers who can not face the reality of hunger and homelessness on a large scale. Last night a young guy mentioned the meal I gave him was the only food he had had all day.  On Haight Street, surrouned by fine restaurants–how can anyone go hungry. Today and until the end Lent, and possibly beyond I will go without food one day a week, to remind myself of the hunger pains that many of those I serve, to remind myself that the cuts the Congress is making in Snap is not just about money, but about lives. For transformation to come we need to have a goal of facing our fears, and look at our lives. When people asked why Iive as I live–it is because I want to be transformed into to God’s child, which will come in all its fullness  as I enter the realm of God when my life is done, but it begins now. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!