Archive for March, 2014

March 31, 2014

March 31, “Icons of Christ”  Mother Maria Skobtsova-Orthodox Nun and Martyr

John 4:43-54

It seems looking  around today there is political corruption, greed which leads to eviction and homelessness–in one word selfishness.  Human beings see themselves as the number one creation–and all things come second. 

Mother Maria Skobtosova  viewed each persons as the “very icon of God incarnate in the world.”  When we approach people from that point of view,  our hearts open to seeing them as equals, and we want to share of what we have, so that their basic needs are fulfilled. 

We are each called to give of what we have, to see each person as an icon of Christ.Each of us is called to be a part of the solution to our social problems.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration
The act of regularly eating foods derived from confined and brutalized animals forces us to become somewhat emotionally desensitized, and this numbing and inner armoring make it possible for us as a culture to devastate the earth, slaughter people in wars, and support oppressive social structures without feeling remorse.

By going vegan, we’re taking responsibility for the effects of our actions on vulnerable beings and we’re resensitizing ourselves. We’re becoming more alive, and more able to feel both grief and joy.

Kahlil Gibran points out in The Prophet that unless we are able to feel our grief and weep our tears, we will not be able to laugh our laughter, either. Turning our pain and outrage into action on behalf of vulnerable beings will bring healing to us and to our world. Dr. Will
Tuttle

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March 30, 2014

March 30, “Blindness” John 9:1-41

Today as we read this story of the blind man and his continued questioning and rejection by the Pharisees. our  thinks of the homeless young adult, John,  being questioned by a well dressed young woman yesterday–“Why don’t you get a job?” “Why don’t you live with your family?”  Each question tore him down.  Rather then trying to lift him up, give him some food, this young woman played the Pharisee. We all do that, without knowing that.

During this Lent let us think inward of how we each treat and judge people, and move out to now we can assist, and walk witht them. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration
As vegans, we’re a force for healing and compassion every day and at every meal. Our way of living exemplifies mercy and promotes freedom, and offers opportunities to unfold wisdom and help heal our world. These are true causes for an abiding sense of joy. Even in the midst of grief and outrage at our culture’s cruelty, we can be glad that our ability to feel is reawakening.

March 29, 2014

March 29, The Strangeness of God’s Mercy,” Sr. Thea Bowman, Lk. 18:9-14

I recently received an email asking me how I could be so tolerant of “homophobes”.   Graham Greene wrote: “You can’t conceive, my child, nor can I or anyone, the appaling strangeness of the mercy of God.”  Watching Noah, over looking the various movie effects, we see God choosing Noah and his family, and killing everyone else. We see Noah struggling with his own sinfulness and  coming to redemption in the end. This is a myth that points out the “strangeness of God’s mercy.”

Henri Nouen once described “our deepest identity”,which he wrote, “is rooted where we are like other people–weak, broken, sinful, but sons and daughters of God.   Rather then turn our gaze outward this Lent, let us turn out gaze inward, not for the reason of judging others, but in order to recognize that we  too stand in need of God’s mercy and care. Deo Gratia! Thanks be to God!”

VegInspiration
From the viewpoint of its deepest and most eternal and universal teachings—to love God, and to love our neighbor as ourself—the Bible unequivocally condemns animal slavery just as it condemns human slavery. We must stop using the Bible to justify animal abuse, but rather use it to guide us in our quest for peace and justice for all beings. Dr. Will. Tuttle

 

March 27, 2014

March 27, “Opposing God’s Reign”, St. John of Damascene Lk. 11:14-23

In the Bhagavad Gita there is a story told of Arajon who wrestles with one of the god’s ,and when they are done–the god comments “job well done.” The lesson is that  wrestling and struggle is about life, and we do not take it personally, we learn from it. The struggle in World Vison is similar, rather then condemn we should simply see this as a part of the struggle, and not take it personally. Win some, lose some,  They do good work, and they  are wrestling with an issue–ultimately in that wrestling they will come out on the more progressive side. Personally I tell my friends who  oppose queers,  to wrestle with me on the issue–in the reign of God we will see whose right–even though I know that I am right! But no grudges. World Vision does good work–let us not put that aside.

The same is true with the issue around care for others in our society, rather then make judgments we should see to it that housing, healthcare, and food is provided,  and if each one of us with equalize our lving income all those needs would be met. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration
What goes around comes around. We must as a species stop the violence that is inherent in our meat habit. This should be of paramount importance for all religious movements and teachers. It is the call of spirituality. If our religions don’t hear this call, we must revitalize them or create new ones that do. Dr. Will Tuttle

 

March 26, 2014

March 26, “Little Things/Little Ways”, Mothers of the Disappeared  Matt. 5:17-19

Therese of the Little Way set the example that it is in the “little ways” of love that we live the Gospel.  That is what Jesus is pointing out–the heart of the law is loving one’s neighbor and one’s self. 

Our work is that of the “little way”, a pair of socks, a conversation, a cup of soup or sandwhich, and that ultimately in the human connection is what makes changes in people’s lives. 

The “Mothers of the Disappeared” in Argentina from 1977-83, when their loved one’s disappeared in the government take over practice the little way of a silent vigil and made a witness.

One mother commented “When everyone was terroized we ddn’t stay at home crying–we went to the streets. We were made, but it was the only way to say sane.”

Practicing the ‘little way” of reaching out to others, loving each person at a time–speaking to a homeless person, petitioning and demonstrating against injustice–is the only way to stay sane. Practice the little way!

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration
“Since the decision to become a vegan is at its core an ethical one, spirituality, which is the foundation of ethics, must be the foundation of veganism as well.   The spiritual element within us encourages us not to harm others, but to express love and practice compassion.

Compassion brings the intuition of spiritual awareness into daily life as actions that serve to help and bless others. Veganism is clearly a vital expression of this compassion that springs from our felt sense of connectedness with others. While it may not necessarily be religious, at its core, veganism is spiritual, and it is an expression of love. It is a concrete way that we can all be lovers.” Dr. Will Tuttle

March 25, 2014

March 25, Lk. 1:26-38,  Ida B. Wells, “Intimacy” Annunciation of the Lord

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Veganism is, I’ve found, a litmus test of religious teachings and religious teachers. To the degree that religious teachings do not explicitly encourage veganism, which is the practice of nonviolence and lovingkindness, to that same degree these teachings are hypocritical and disconnected from their spiritual source. Dr. Will Tuttle

As we mov einto Spring the Church centers the the faith into moving from darkness to light into placing the Annunciation at the Spring Equinox.  Dr. Will Tuttle expresses the same life giving force in veganism, and last night we  heard Face Book described as the worst form of “crack”,  in that people become so addicted, so self-centered they lose sight of what is meaningful.

Last night as we walked Polk, talked and handed out food, we saw another form of “crack” in the lives of people–it to is addicted, makes a person self-centered and lose sight of what is meaningful.

Lent calls us to become connected to our Source of Being and to move into being a presence and witness to those who are so self-enclosed, so cut off with themselves. We are called to walk with others in order that they might have the life giving of Equinox of Christ. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

March 24, 2014

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March 24, Oscar Romero, “Moving Out of Our Social Boundaries” Lk. 2:24-30

Jesus simply moved out of the social/racaial  boundary of Israel in his talk and they wanted to kill him. Oscar Romero moved out of the social boundary of the ruling class and they killed him.

Each day Jesus calls us to move out of our social class boundaries, and racial boundaries.  Yesterday in the Chronicle there was an article drawing the new real estate boundaries of the City. What was interesting it was all social boundaries–the rich stay in some areas, and the upper middle class one area, and the middle class and poor, and homeless–oh well they have no place.

This happens when we do not speak up together, move out and share with each other, and make a place for everyone.  That all of us have to share, give up something, and work together, so that all might be provided for. Dr. Will Tuttle sums it up best for all things:

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“Each of us is radically and profoundly interconnected with all other living beings, and by blessing and encouraging and seeing the best in others, we help everyone, and by condemning or turning away from others, we harm everyone, including ourselves. Shining compassion to everyone, even our apparent opponents, is the essence of the benevolent revolution that is veganism.

And not only that, going vegan’s a practical contribution to the energy crisis, hunger, and climate change. So keep building that connection to the inner sun and shine!”

 

 

Waiting and Wanting

March 23, 2014

March 23, “Wanting and Waiting”  John 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

There is a desert scene on and surrounding the altar of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in San Francisco.  As one meditates upon it one finds moments of waiting and wanting For the desert forces us to look for help beyond our own iniative, plans, or grasp, and to long for pure, unmerited, no conditions grace. Grace is a gift given, as to the Samaritan woman at the well who looked for meaning in multiple marriages.

We see people looking for meaning in wealth, in drugs, in power–when the meaning that gives life is found in the grace of the Gospel.  Will Tuttle in talking of the veganism way of life says:

“Looking around, we can see the tremendous urgency in the task required of us: to do all we can to influence our culture to evolve and embrace the vegan ideals of interconnectedness, freedom, and caring.

The same urgency is required in our inner lives as well. Going vegan is much more than minimizing the cruelty and suffering we cause others; it is awakening the heart of loving inclusiveness and realizing that there are, ultimately, no separate selves. We are all connected.”

Only Jesus of Nazareth or your way to the Divine can quench your thirst. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

 

The Prodigal

March 22, 2014

March 22, The Prodigal, Luke 15:1-22

“We have vainly tried to work for truth and just, but we are not entirely with Christ so long as we do not take our stand alongside the outcasts.” Emmanuel Mounier

In Golden Gate Park last night nineteen year old “Rush” was telling talking about how at 4:30 a.m. the park personel come into the park and run them out, and when he sleeps on the street, the same thing happens, but this time they spray water on them “cleaning the streets.”

Later on Polk young people were partying and in the corners were the street people, shivling, and trying to stay warm. 

Yesterday afternoon a forty five year old man talked about being out of work for over a year and a half from his tech job, and now he is simply ready to give up looking for work.

These are the prodigals in our society–that no one wants–and we are called, each one of us to “stand alongside the outcasts”, and bring them home.  If each one of the 7 per cent Christians in this City would take a stand–there would be no more outcasts. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration –Dr. Will Tuttle When we come to this earth, we find ourselves in a culture that is at its very core organized around confining and killing animals for food. We are forced virtually from birth to look at beings as mere commodities and to treat them as such by eating them in the most powerful daily rituals we engage in: our meals.

All cultures naturally propagate themselves through their various institutions, and ours is no different. Our scientific, religious, governmental, educational, and economic institutions all reflect the same underlying mentality and reinforce it, which is why veganism is so strenuously resisted, and also why it is so urgently needed as well.

Fortunately, as we awaken and stop disconnecting from the suffering we cause others by our choices, we resensitize ourselves and begin to be a force for kindness and respect that can impact others, and we can work through our culture’s institutions to raise consciousness and spread the light of inclusiveness. The more clearly the inner light shines in us, the more clearly we can shine it into the world.

We must, if this process is actually happening in us, be drawn toward veganism, and it is in no way a limitation on us, but the harmonious fulfillment of our own inner seeing.

The Little Things

March 21, 2014

March 21 “The Little Things” St. Catherine of Vadstena Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

Last night as I was headed out to the meal, and to celebrate a memorial service for Bear, “Vamp Child” called–and I was stunned, for five years ago I had had a memorial service for him.

He was laughing because he said he left town and told people to say he was dead and then he wanted to see if “you cared enough to have a memorial service for me,” and of course I had one. He told me how much that meant to know I would do that.

It is the little things that matter–it is those things that we think no one really cares about that ultimately matter, and so I continue to have memorial services, nearing 3000 now, whether there is one or a hundred present,  knowing that they matter.  It is in the little things where we touch people’s lives–the phone calls, the visits, and the memorial service–they matter more than we know.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!