Archive for April, 2014

April 30, 2014

“All believers were united and shared everything. Acts 2:44
On the corner of Stanyan and Haight, I stood feeding people. A man brushed by, and said some hateful remarks about “dirty, f…king homeless people.” Standing there in my collar I said under my breath, “F..k you ..” and a young man at my side, affirmed me by saying, “Amen, f.. k you too,” and he reached over and hugged me. I thought of the quote by Loretta Ross-Gotta in those moments,
“Ministry requires us to be willing to be looked at, to be seen as our true selves. Those we look up to and those we allow to gaze down at us in our brokenness need to be people who are willing to be seen.”
Hospitality is our willingness to be seen, to share of ourselves, our time, our food, our money, with others. From the earliest time in the deserts of the world, people have given others hospitality because without it they would die. Today we too need to give people hospitality—to share with them of our very being—to listen, to feed them, to walk with them—in order that we might all survive, to become more fully human.
Hospitality is not a “religious concept”, but an act of simply being a human being—caring about others. During these weeks after Easter we read in the book of Acts the examples of the early Christians—as they lived out hospitality to their fellow human beings, these actions of giving of themselves to others even in the face of death illustrated for the world the presence of the Risen Christ.
For me hospitality means to live simply and to share my life with others; We all need to examine our lives and see how we can move away from centering on our selves, and care for other people. When we do that all of our basic needs, physical and emotional, will be fulfilled. Personally for me hospitality includes the wellbeing of all creatures.
My friend Dr. Will Tuttle writes: “By confining and killing animals for food, we have brought violence into our bodies and minds and disturbed the physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual dimensions of ourselves in deep and intractable ways.
Our meals require us to eat like predators and thus to see ourselves as such, cultivating and justifying predatory behaviors and institutions that are the antithesis of the inclusiveness and kindness that accompany spiritual growth.”
In this time of turmoil in our society, let us open our eyes and look at each other, at all creatures, and see the beauty of God’s creation, and move out into the way of hospitality. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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April 29, 2014

April 29, Catherine of Sienna Acts 4:32-37/ Jn 3:7-15

Catherine of Sienna said, “To the servant of God every place is the right place, and every time is the right time,”  and in that comment she summarizes the heart of the Easter faith. Our calling is to share the gospel in words, and in our sharing of our material goods. Only when we can let go of our material goods can we truly be free. When we can let go of our need to always be busy, and take time for people will we be free.

What I see going on in our community and society in general is the inability of people to share, to listen, and to walk with people.  I am asked “how do you always have time for people,”and for me it is easy–I let go of those things–email, appointments, texting, worrying about material goods–to walk with people. I am learning ever so slowly to walk in the Wind of the Spirit and trust, with all of my heart and soul and mind. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration
Because of herding animals, we have cast ourselves out of the garden into the rat race of competition and consumerism, ashamed of ourselves. It is this low self-esteem that drives the profits of corporations enriching themselves on our insatiable craving for gadgets, drugs, and entertainment to help us forget what we know in our hearts, and to cover over the moans of the animals entombed in our flesh.

The choice is set before us at every meal between the garden of life or the altar of death and as we choose life and eat grains and vegetables rather than flesh, milk, and eggs, we find our joy rising, our health increasing, our spirit deepening, our mind quickening, our feelings softening, and our creativity flourishing. Dr. Will Tuttle

 

 

 

Born Again

April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014  Born Again  Niall O’Brien Acts. 4:23-35; Jn. 3:1-8

Jesus told Nicodmus that he must be “born again”, be born in the Spirit to see through the eyes of Jesus where the people and creation are holy in God’s eyes, and where all are loved, regardless of their color, nationality, gender, sexual orientation–we are one in Christ. People asked me how I can be queerand Christian–with the hatred that spews out of many of our brothers and sisters, and it is simple–I serve Jesus of Nazreth.  Therefore it is not an issue.

Fr. Niall O’Brien sums up for me what it means to follow Jesus:

“The churche’s teaching is unambigous with regard to the pursuit of justice.  Christianity is grostesque when it turns its back on justice.  It’s not Christianity, it’s something else.”

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

From one grain spring hundreds, thousands, and millions of grains, each of which has the same potential. How do we respond to this existential exuberance of life bursting with more life? Our response depends on our food!

Universally, we feel a sense of wonder and joy upon entering a lovingly tended organic garden. It exudes beauty, magic, delight, and blessedness, and we instinctively feel grateful and blessed in the presence of the gifts we receive so freely from forces that accomplish what we can never do: bring forth new life from seeds, roots, and stems.

And universally, we are repulsed by the violence and sheer horror and ugliness that are always required to kill animals for food, and at a deep cultural level, we feel ashamed of our relentless violence against animals for our meals. Dr. Will Tuttle

April 27, 2014

April 27, 2014, “Sharing In Common”, Acts 2:42-47; Jn. 20:19-31; John Paul II; John XXIII

What made Christians stand out was not their belief in a man who rose from the dead–for there were many cults with the same theme-it was their lving out their faith in the living Christ–selling their property, giving it to the poor, living in common, taking care of the sick–their experience of the living Christ led them to risk their lives in caring for others.

Today as I left church, James, asked me for a couple of dollars, some food, socks, and showed me his identification card he had purchased with some money I had given him, he has been homeless since he was fifteen, and he asked me to pray with him. And I thought to myself, this is the ministry to which I was called, and I am thankful. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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We can transform this culture we live in, and which lives in us, by transforming our own motivations and exemplifying this to others. We owe this to the animals. In the end, we are not separate from others, and we each have a critical piece to the great puzzle of cultural awakening to contribute, and our success and fulfillment depend on each of us discovering this piece and presenting it persistently.

As Albert Schweitzer said, “One thing I know. The only ones among you who will find happiness are those who have sought, and found, how to serve.”Dr. Will Tuttle

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Live It/Believe It

April 26, 2014

April 26, “Live It or Tell It” Acts 4:13-21 Mk. 16:9-15  Qeen Emma of Hawaii

Rick, hurting, broken, was at my door last night. His 3 month old baby had died four months ago and returned to the streets with no hope,  quit  a good job, usin speed again,  looking for the friends he had 15 years ago when he hustled–they are not here. All I could do was listen, give him some food.

St., Francis said, “preach the gospel–using as few a words as possible,” that is the way I try, failing alot, to live my life, for I not only believe in Jesus, I know Jesus.  That is what made the early believers so powerful, a mystery to the culture around them–they gave of themselves, all of themselves-caring for the sick, feeding the poor, sharing their goods–it was not the belief in Jesus–for there were plenty of other “myst ery” cults within their society–their lives lived out the Gospel–were a living presence of Christ.

For in living out the Gospel you come to know the Jesus who is real, vibrant, ever present.Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

 

We need never look for universal peace on this earth until men stop killing animals for food. The lust for blood has permeated the race thought and the destruction of life will continue to repeat its psychology, the world round, until men willingly observe the law in all phases of life, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’”
~ Charles Fillmore, “The Vegetarian,” May 1920

 

April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014, “The Ever Present Christ”  John 21:1-14 St. Pedro de San Jose Betancu


The one attitude that Jesus does not have is failure.  He calls us to forget about that word.  For I know in my own life–each Wednesday as I protest the death penalty alone–that is not failure, each sandwich I give, ever so simple is not failure for that person feels loved in the moment.  Failure is giving up, doing nothing.  We are called to followe the Resurrected One–the  one who brings victory in all things. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

VegInspiration
This is the wonderful news! Each and every one of us can help transform our culture in the most effective way possible: by switching to a plant-based diet for ethical reasons and encouraging others to do the same. This is veganism, which is a mentality and lifestyle of radical inclusion and compassion, and it is the antidote to our culture’s sickness, going to the hidden root of our dilemmas.

It is the beckoning revolution that will make peace, sustainability, and heaven actually possible on this Earth. It’s wonderful, because it is not difficult! Anyone can go vegan today and help transform our world with every meal. We can each be the change we want to see in the world and bring forth the benevolent transformation we all yearn for in our hearts.

April 24, 2014

August 24-Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu–“Fish or Cutbait” Lk. 24:35-47

The Risen Christ basically tells the disciples to “fish or cut bait”–we either get off our asses sharing with each other the good news of the gospel and our material possessions or we simply cut bait.

The early believers stood out because they lived their faith–sharing equally with everyone, caring for the sick, the dying, and being present to people–they were killed living out the resurrection in that manner.

Today 20 per cent of our population in California and San Francisco faces danger of not having enough food for today, and then there is the 5%-10% who are homeless with no where to lay their heads, 65 % of the homeless are mentally ill. It is time for us who call Christ the Lord to fish or cut bait.

Today I am going through old picutures and items of the past 20 years, there is much sadness as I see my failures, remember the early deaths of so many, and the lives that have been lived in pain and still are, there is grief, and yet their is joy even in my failures I have tried to fish, I have never tried to cut bait, and so ultimately that is all we can do–fish–in season and out of season. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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The ancient wisdom ever holds: Violence begets violence. As we sow, so shall we reap. Now is the time to sow seeds of understanding, patience, and inner reflection, and to truly live more simply, encourage a more plant-based diet, and work to transform our culture, with a view toward caring for all the humans on this beautiful earth, all the precious creatures here, and all those of the future generations who depend upon us to be responsible for our actions.

As Gandhi said, “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.”

Dr. Will Tuttle

 

April 24, 2014

April 23, Caesar Chevez, “God’s Presence and Our Trust”  Lk. 24:13-35

Caesar Chevez said, “We when we are really honest with ourselves, we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us.  So it is howe use our lives that determines the kind of people that we are.” 

We are all a mixture of good and bad–that is the beauty of the resurrection–Christ knows and appreciates that about us. It is in the living of our lives that we determine who we really are–the call of Christ is to live our lives out in care and love for our fellow human beings. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

As people learn more about the consequences of eating animal foods, we see increasing numbers of individuals and groups acting creatively to raise consciousness about this, thus helping to eliminate the roots of hunger, cruelty, pollution, and exploitation.

Food Not Bombs, for example, organizes volunteers and food donations to feed disadvantaged hungry people organic vegan food in over 175 cities throughout the Americas, Europe, and Australia. It is intentionally decentralized and web-like in its approach, with autonomous local units organizing their own compassionate operations.

The worldwide followers of Ching Hai, a noted Vietnamese spiritual teacher with students numbering in the hundreds of thousands, have set up vegan restaurants in many cities and contribute vegan food, clothing, shelter, and aid to disaster victims, prisoners, children, and the elderly in countries around the world
These are but two encouraging examples of the vegan revolution of compassion, justice and equality taking firmer root in our culture and in the world. Dr.Will Tuttle

 

April 20, 2014

April 20, Easter Sunday, “Go Into the Tomb” John 20:1-9

In reading facebok yesterday there were the people putting down Easter, pointing out all of the resurrection narratives of the gods in the time of Jesus;  and then at the Christian Vegetarian Booth at Earthday yesterday I was bombarded with Scripture pro and con on vegetarianism, and one angry tirade against Christianity after another.

But each time I looked into the face of a hungry  person yesterday and fed them, and I listened to them,  I heard the words, “Go into the Tomb,” for in going into the tomb I come face to face with the empty tomb, and the risen Christ, and nothing else matters.

I have been trained to look at my faith through the eyes of experience, Scripture, reason and  tradition,and through those eyes I experience the evolutionary Christ who calls us to look at our eating habits and see their destructiveness to the environment, and to our own moral compass, and to love each person with our whole hearts, To me I experience God through Christ, I know God through the loving arms of Christ who is all inclusive and I am not ashamed to share  Christ for that reason.  Jesus for me has become so real and alive, and his inclusiveness and love for all of us is so real. Even in my darkest moments I know I am not far away from that love, no matter what I have done or will do–I am loved.

My heart bled yesterday as I gave two kids with no shoes, socks and just blankets around them all that I had, and I thought how much I have, and how what I do is so little. Their eyes burned into my consciousness as I saw their tears when I fed them, but my pain was that I have so much, and so many have so little, and I am selfish and self centered, and I pray that God will help me move from that selfishness and self centeredness.

Yesterday was a painful day–but an awesome day–for in experiencing the pain  ” I go late into the Tomb” and in it’s emptiness I will find the Crucifed and Risen One! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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The most solid and enduring motivations for action are ultimately based on caring for others—in this case imprisoned animals, wildlife, starving people, slaughterhouse workers, and future generations, to name some of those damaged by our desire for animal foods. The health advantages of a plant-based diet are the perquisites of loving-kindness and awareness, and the diseases and discomfort caused by animal foods are some of the consequences that follow from breaking natural laws. Dr. Will Tuttle

 

April 19, 2014

April 19, “The Risen Life” Earth Day Holy Saturday

Matt. 28:1-10

Yesterday I saw the risen life in those who walk the Stations of the Cross-their care for each other, for those around them, their sensitivity.  I saw the risen life as I gave out food and talked to people last night, and today I go and have a table at Earth Day for the Christian Vegetarian Association and I see the risen life in those who work to preserve our enviornment. Christ is present, he walks with us. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

We are all in this together. The vegan revolution will never include violence; it is a celebration of the joy and beauty of life, and an awakening to the beauty and potential of our shared life on this planet.

The only strategy for each of us is how to love and give more deeply, fully, and authentically, and in harmony with our unique talents and gifts. Together, we are transforming our world! Dr. Will Tuttle