Yearning for Perfection


“Where Jacob Wrestled With God. “

Newsletter of Temenos Catholic Worker

July 2021


Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

Yearning for Perfection

“You have heard it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; so that they may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and wicked alike. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much? And if you save your greetings for your brothers and sisters, are you doing anything exceptional? Do not even the gentiles do as much? YOU MUST THEREFORE BE PERFECT, JUST AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT?” Matthew 5: 43-48


    Jesus calls us to be “perfect, just as “your Heavenly Father is perfect,” and elsewhere tells us to aim for perfection, to practice until we reach perfection. Our goal is to “be perfect, and that goal is found in our love of our neighbor-it is a goal that we must practice, and practice each day, we never stop working at perfection, doing so in following the Great Commandment:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all that mind, strength and soul, and love  thy neighbor as thyself.”

    In reading the Gospel we can find three ways in which we can “work our salvation in fear and trembling,(Philippians 2:3):

    First, we can love without judgment. Meeting people where they are, not trying to change them, gives them the possibility of transformation; recognize that all of us suffer, we all have trauma in one form or another.

    Second, learn to listen. We live in a time when listening seems to have faded away–social media–texting, snap chatting, email-have replaced the gift of listening.      Listening, without judgment is a balm of the soul. When we can express our feelings to another without judgment, we encounter the Divine Presence.

    Listening allows us to release our tensions, and in talking we see all sides and find transformation.


“Compassion lies at the heart of our prayer for your fellow human beings. When I pray for the world, I become the world; when I pray for the endless needs of the millions, my soul expands and wants to embrace them all and bring them into the presence of God. But in the midst of that experience, I realize that compassion is not mine but God’s gift to me. I cannot embrace the world, but God can. I cannot pray, but God can pray for me. When God became as we are, that is, when God allowed all of us to enter his intimate life, it became possible for us to share in his infinite compassion.” Fr. Henri Nouwen

    God calls us to let our fellow travelers enter into our hearts, and in doing so we encounter the Divine. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Fourth of July Barbecue in the Haight:

    Beginning at Noon, on the Fourth of July we will begin barbecuing veggie hot dogs, and veggie burgers, with a  side dish of baked beans at Stanyon and Haight. We will begin set up at 11:00 a.m.



   We provide pastoral care, food, socks, and other necessities on Polk Street, and the Haight and we come to you as beggars, please give as you feel lead:

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

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