Archive for March, 2022

Traveling the Thin Line With the Communion of Saints!

March 25, 2022

Traveling The Thin Spaces With The Communion of Saints!

Today Geo, who hangs on Haight Street, called and invited me to meet him at a piazza place on Haight. Arriving there were four other Haight Street guys and one girl. They wanted to celebrate my birthday.

As we talked and laughed, one item of humor was being approached by a City Outreach Worker asking if each wanted to start the process of getting off the streets.  He called them “homeless,” and Geo told him, “We are not homeless, we always have a place to sleep.”

The truth is these guys, as many others on the street, have a different view of life than the majority of the mainstream.  We have to meet them where they are.

Geo for instance sees being homeless as having no friends or sense of meaning in life, has a lot of friends, and meaning in his life, so he is not homeless.

This has been the heart of our ministry for over twenty years I have practiced, walking with them on their level, not trying to “help” them, but simply walking with each one, and letting each one make their own choice.

George Bernard Shaw, in saying “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.”

In the article where this quote was found the author commented that the unreasonable man often creates chaos, which evolves into creativity.

I am one of those unreasonable men, and out of these twenty-some years, there has been much creativity, and much joy. I am found difficult to work with, largely because as things change, so do I, simply walking with each person in the chaos of changing.

Today was my mom’s birthday and in thinking of her I thought of how unreasonable she was, and in the chaos which followed, was created.

Saturday is my birthday, much sadness surrounds me, for on this day one year ago, I witnessed on zoom a young friend’s suicide.

And yet in this sadness, there is much joy, as I walk the thin line surrounded by the Communion of the Saints– my mom, my dad, Shane,  Zach, Dorothy, Damien, Francis, and the hundreds of kids who have died these years. I have learned you never that used to violence and death, but one learns to see it simply as a part of life, and God in the midst.

My friend Matt Frederick wrote in one of my many  Bibles:

River, why else do think I’m here? You got me through some sh. .t and hard times. Happy almost  . .”120th” birthday; you’ve helped so many unfortunate people, and you still took time to mentor me. I didn’t know I needed you, but looking back, life wouldn’t be nearly so rich without you. Thank you.”

Simply walking with others has led to a very, very rich life, filled with chaos,  sorrow, pain, and so much joy! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

—————-

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www. temenos.org

415-305-2124

The Tenderloin Stations of the Cross

During the Covid19 Pandemic

And Our Bearing the Cross of Thorns

Anyone interested in participating in reading on Good Friday, April 15, 2022, please contact me!

Haunted by Zoom! The Freeing of Forgiveness!

March 23, 2022

HAUNTED by ZOOM! THE FREEING OF  FORGIVENESS–IT HEALS US!

A Story About Forgiveness—Matthew 18:21-35 (The Message)

21 At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”

22 Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.

23-25 “The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.

26-27 “The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.

28 “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’

29-31 “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.

32-35 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”

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A year ago on March 26, on my friend Rio’s birthday, Sean (not his name) from another state zoomed him before his birthday dinner in Palm Springs. The day had been beautiful, sunny, hot, a great day for a hike and swimming all day, and a birthday dinner with friends.

All that changed in an instant as the seventeen-year-old shared of telling his friends he was pan-sexual in his small conservative town.

Rumors flew, and as in small towns, rumors tend to become truth. They caused much pain, a sense of isolation.

As his fourteen-year-old brother sat by him, and I talked to him, he pulled his dad’s gun out and blew his head off in an instance. The blood-spattered all over the screen.

Rio went into shock, seeing the parents rushing in and discovering all that had happened.

The year followed has been a blur much of the time. With a great therapist, the pain has moved into the piece of rough wood of his ministry being carved into the beauty of service.

And most importantly has come the fresh air of forgiveness of self, and of others, finding peace. He will always be haunted, and he will see the smiling face of Sean in the Great Cloud of Witnesses calling him forward in ministry. Forgiveness frees! Holding grudges, hate, resentment destroys!

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www. temenos.org

415-305-2124

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The Tenderloin Stations of the Cross

During the Covid19 Pandemic

And Our Bearing the Cross of Thorns

Anyone interested in participating in reading on Good Friday, April 15, 2022, please contact me!

The Silence of the Cross-People!

March 22, 2022

The Silence of Calvary–People!

John 4:5-42

The Message

4-6 To get there, he had to pass through Samaria. He came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon.

7-8 A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.)

The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jews in those days wouldn’t be caught dead talking to Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”

11-12 The woman said, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ‘living water’? Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?”

13-14 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”

15 The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!”

16 He said, “Go call your husband and then come back.”

17-18 “I have no husband,” she said.

“That’s nicely put: ‘I have no husband.’ You’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re living with now isn’t even your husband. You spoke the truth there, sure enough.”

19-20 “Oh, so you’re a prophet! Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right?”

21-23 “Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

23-24 “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is —Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”

25 The woman said, “I don’t know about that. I do know that the Messiah is coming. When he arrives, we’ll get the whole story.”

26 “I am he,” said Jesus. “You don’t have to wait any longer or look any further.”

27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked. They couldn’t believe he was talking with that kind of a woman. No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it.

28-30 The woman took the hint and left. In her confusion she left her water pot. Back in the village she told the people, “Come see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out. Do you think this could be the Messiah?” And they went out to see for themselves.

It’s Harvest Time

31 In the meantime, the disciples pressed him, “Rabbi, eat. Aren’t you going to eat?”

32 He told them, “I have food to eat you know nothing about.”

33 The disciples were puzzled. “Who could have brought him food?”

34-35 Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started. As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!

36-38 “The Harvester isn’t waiting. He’s taking his pay, gathering in this grain that’s ripe for eternal life. Now the Sower is arm in arm with the Harvester, triumphant. That’s the truth of the saying, ‘This one sows, that one harvests.’ I sent you to harvest a field you never worked. Without lifting a finger, you have walked in on a field worked long and hard by others.”

39-42 Many of the Samaritans from that village committed themselves to him because of the woman’s witness: “He knew all about the things I did. He knows me inside and out!” They asked him to stay on, so Jesus stayed two days. A lot more people entrusted their lives to him when they heard what he had to say. They said to the woman, “We’re no longer taking this on your say-so. We’ve heard it for ourselves and know it for sure. He’s the Savior of the world!”

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This week is my birthday week. I am always asked “How old are you?”, and I always, pretty much lie. The reason is I do not want to be judged by my age.

The life expectancy during the time of Jesus was 30-35, so Jesus was an old man when he died–he was an old man! I do not want to be judged or be asked, “When are you going to retire?” When I was 30 I was told by a CEO of a youth agency: ‘You are too old to work with youth,” well we see how that turned out.

Every time I have been in Florida and gone to Walmart and observe all the grey-haired workers I tell myself,” I can always get a job here.”

Looking back to my first church, an older man very successful businessman, working full time, gave this advice: “Never tell anyone your age, in fact, forget about the number, and keep working, and your life will be full.” He dropped dad at 102, working.

I tell people if they really want to know my age  to wait until my ashes are placed at St. Luke’s and go by and look at the engraving which will say:

“Fr. Christian River Damien Sims, D.Min., D.S.T., “a priest forever in the order of Mecliesdek,” date of birth and date of death.”

I love celebrating my birthday in the spirit of Fr.  Henry Nouwen:

“Birthdays need to be celebrated. I think it is more important to celebrate a birthday than a successful exam, a promotion, or a victory. Because to celebrate a birthday means to say to someone: “Thank you for being you.” Celebrating a birthday is exalting life and being glad for it. On a birthday we do not say: “Thanks for what you did, or said, or accomplished.” No, we say: “Thank you for being born and being among us.”

On birthdays we celebrate the present. We do not complain about what happened or speculate about what will happen, but we lift someone up and let everyone say, “We love you.”

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In the devotional book, The Silence of Calvary, Meditations on Good Friday, by Christopher Webb, he writes of the people around Jesus, that faithful week.

The week began with crowds hailing his entrance into Jerusalem–and as the week continued the crowd became smaller and smaller. Like all others who came to Jerusalem preaching a new Kingdom Jesus was judged by the kind of Kingdom, he was bringing. The great majority wanted a political kingdom, where all would be well. Jesus came pronouncing a far different kind of Realm–one of love and grace.

Walking  passed James (in the photo above), giving him food, and a smile, I remembered three quotes which are my guides:

“You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.” Elizabeth Gilbert.

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded.  It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” (Pema Chodron)

“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves we commit the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” (Pema Chodron)

And so when my spirit enters into the presence of Jesus, looking into those  eyes, my prayer is that like among those who came into Jerusalem singing praises to Jesus, to be one of the few who heard his voice, seeking to follow him into his Kingdom of peace, love, and justice, to hear  saying, “Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into my Kingdom.” For like Dorothy Day all I can say is “I tried,” and I keep trying into this next year. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!”

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Fr. River Damien Sims,sfw  D.Min., D.Min.,

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA. 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Haunted By the Pandemic

March 18, 2022

Haunted by the Pandemic Through Thin Places!

Gospel Lk 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied, ‘My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father’s house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said,
‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded
if someone should rise from the dead.’”

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Thin places are spaces of mystery and encounter where we meet God in ourselves, in others, and in the wider world.  In each person’s life are thin places where we experience God’s presence in a powerful way that stirs the soul. Entering thin spaces is an opportunity that we do not normally have–to slow down, to pause, to look with fresh eyes, and to recover a sense of wonder about the world. In these thin spaces we are broken open, and we encounter ourselves, our relationship with ourselves, with others, and with God, in a deeper and more authentic way. Truth makes its home in these broken-open spaces, and we often receive a gift of new insights and memories. And we become more understanding, compassionate, and authentic, we open up to new ways of seeing, fresh avenues of thinking, and ultimately being transformed into new ways of being.

Today on the second anniversary of the lockdown, of the pandemic closing everything down, I look back and see the thin spaces that I have walked and continue to walk.

The photo above is that of two canes I use-one with the head of a bird, the other a dragon, both symbols of my life. The canes are symbolic of my brokenness, and the healing that comes through those splinters. They remind me of Jacob being wounded in the hip by God, Jacob a dishonest, conniving rascal, who was used by God. He reminds me of my own weakness, and God using them for his glory.

The pandemic haunts almost everyone that I know, young and old. And during these years personally, I have never felt alone. Three learnings in these thin places have come to mind:

Trust as a Thin Place

Through  holding the hands of people dying, my own sense of worry about catching the disease, the suicide of a young friend in front of me on zoom, my injury, leaving  me with a limp, and having the coronavirus myself with the side effects of having spots in my eyes, being dizzy, and difficulty in remembering, I have learned to pray the words of St. Ignatius, as an act of trust and the knowledge that it is only God that holds me safely in his hands:

“Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O Lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this, is sufficient for me.”

Finding the Gifts of God in All Things

I have learned to find the gifts of God in all things. Through pain, grief, and fear, one learns to simply trust; in dizziness, illness, pain, mistakes, and threats, there is only God to trust. That is the greatest gift of all.

Through seeing and being faced with death, violence, and hatred, one comes to see the gifts of God in loving each person, regardless of their actions. One comes to see each individual as the wounded Christ.

Leaning Into the Mercy of God

Sometimes the decisions we make in life or experiences that happen to us through no fault of our own can bring us low and to the edge of despair.

Thin places are often wild, messy places of rawness and beauty where God is waiting to renew and restore us. And in this journey we find encouragement to confront whatever we might find in our thin places and move forward with

God’s grace. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www. temenos.org

415-305-2124

Haunted

March 14, 2022

“Haunted”

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In a college drama class, I directed Thorton Wilder’s play, “Our Town”, a story of a small town, and the centerpiece is of the church and cemetery, with people singing in the choir, dying, buried in the local cemetery, and returning singing together as ghosts.

There was a sense of hauntedness about this play. The people all seemed “haunted” and miserable as they moved around. The living felt this presence, it chilled them.

In these past months, there has been a sense of “hauntedness” surrounding us. No matter how much we try to run, like the “Our Town” folks–we are haunted.

Haunted by our own privilege, our lack of caring towards others, our walking by pain on the street and simply ignoring the people laying in front of us; haunted by our privilege of wealth earned at the expense of others; haunted by our oppression of our Native American, Black, and other minorities.

We can begin to deal with our “hauntedness” in hearing this morning’s Gospel, and seek to live it out:

Be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate to you. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Pardon, and you will be pardoned.. Give and it will be given to you-a  good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing, will be given into your lap. For whatever measure you measure out will be measured back to you” (Tree of Life Version).

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min. D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Death In America!

March 7, 2022

Be

Dying in America!

Gospel Lk 4:1-13

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,
to be tempted by the devil.
He ate nothing during those days,
and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him,
“It is written, One does not live on bread alone.”
Then he took him up and showed him
all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.
The devil said to him,
“I shall give to you all this power and glory;
for it has been handed over to me,
and I may give it to whomever I wish.
All this will be yours, if you worship me.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It is written
            You shall worship the Lord, your God,
                        and him alone shall you serve.”
Then he led him to Jerusalem,
made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
throw yourself down from here, for it is written:
            He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,
 and:
            With their hands they will support you,
            lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It also says,
            You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
When the devil had finished every temptation,
he departed from him for a time.

– – –

The devil asks Jesus to decide a  way of ministry, and he chooses the”counter-cultural” road, the one knowingly leading to death. His choice put people over money, power, and judgment. 

Jesus knew human beings, he asked not why we are like we are, but chose to walk a path to lead humanity to more full life. Knowingly chose the path to death.  In this scene he is giving us a lesson, to be open to others knowing we will be hurt. Jesus is giving us a road to no longer ask questions but to risk love.

    Last night there was an entry on Facebook of a gentleman in his hospice bed, smiling, happy to be in a place of caring. The responses were chilling.

At the time of my reading, there were approximately ten, and each to one basically raised the question of the cost, and how the money could be better used for his family.

I would think he was simply hoping others would express care in our wasteland society.  It was simply chilling, to the point of nightmares last night. Simply chilling, wondering how this gentleman felt and the inhumanity of people.

The photo above was taken this afternoon in the heart of Van Ness Avenue. I talked to the gentleman sitting inside, gave him some food, and socks, and he shared no one ever visited with him but cussed and at times threw drinks on the outside of the tent. He has been homeless for twenty years. This too is chilling. Living death in America!

Being a disciple of Jesus is taking up the battle against evil. It is far more than repenting sin. It is helping to create a new world. Following Christ is more than keeping ourselves pure, personally, I gave up on that one along time of go–besides it was boring. It is standing with Christ, looking the devil in the eye, and saying “Your power stops with me! We will come out of our shells, we will risk being hurt.

We will feed and provide housing for the homeless, we will sit with the ill and dying, we will visit the jail, and clothe the naked–“Your power stops with me!” Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

The Echos of Time!

March 4, 2022

The Echos of Time!

The Silence of the Cross!

First Week of Lent, 2022

“The Cross of Thorns!

“. .but he was silent and did not answer again. .Mark 14:61-64.”

In the 1800s there was such a fear of leprosy in Hawaii the government placed them in an isolated area on the beach on the island of Molokai. The only way to travel to this windy sweep of land was by ship or walking along the path downhill. The cross above is found on the trail, worn and created by years of walking lepers, Damien of Molokai, and so many others. Down this hill, the Echos time rings a message of crucifixion and hope.

We hear of rumblings the Governor is going to purpose a program of giving homeless individuals with mental ill a choice between treatment or jail.

Echols of past suggestions and programs. An echo of the government acting out of fear, and of pleasing her citizens in Hawaii in the 1800s.

On our streets we continue to be overwhelmed with people sleeping; we will continue to have more and more people sleeping in trailers and cars until we begin to see in each one the Stranger of Galilee.

When we see the Stranger of Galilee in each one sleeping around us on the street, our eyes will be opened, and our hearts bursting with welcoming each into our care. They will be our brothers and sisters.  The Echos of time calls us to see the cross of Calvary.

Listening to the Echos of time in the silence of the cross one can hear the echo of love reverberating.

We are including each week a portion of our Tenderloin Stations of the Cross During the COVID19 Pandemic: Bearing the Cross of Thorns. Our invitation is to take a few moments each day, sit in silence, and pray these stations. In so doing allow the echoes of love to reverberate into our lives!

STATIONS OF THE CROSS
DURING the COVID19 PANDEMIC

And Our Bearing the Cross of Thorns

Introduction

“Haunting. .Is the relentless remembering and reminding that will not be appeased by settler societies’ assurances of innocence and reconciliation. Haunting is both acute and general; individuals are haunted, but so are societies. The United States is permanently haunted by the slavery, genocide, and violence entwined in its first, present and future days. Haunting aims to wrong the wrongs, a confrontation that settler horror hopes to evade. Eve Tuck and C. Ree”

The past two years of the pandemic has gracefully allowed us to walk the thin lines, breaking ourselves open to the pain around us.

As we walk through the streets of San Francisco, in particular the Haight and the Tenderloin, we are very award of the suffering of individuals who are homeless, and their enslavement by our neglect.

Walking by Mission Delores and St. Boniface Churches we become are aware of the enslavement of the California Native Americans, and the inability of Franciscans to acknowledge that cross of thorns.

We are aware of the neglect of the church towards homeless individuals. “There are roughly 380,000 churches in the US. On any given night there’s likely  554, 000 people living unsheltered in America. That’s less than 1.5 people per church. Math doesn’t lie but it does incriminate. (James Neal”). The church is haunted by homelessness and our neglect of our Native American brothers and sisters.

And so as we walk the Stations of the Cross, let each of us look deep within our souls and see our lives haunted, and it’s damaged, and grasp the Cross, to free us from being haunted, opening our lives to new paths.

“Teach Your Children

What we have taught our children

That the earth is our mother.

Whatever befalls the earth

Befalls the sons and the daughters

of the earth.

We did not weave the web of life,

We are merely a strand in it.

Whatever we do to the web

We do to ourselves.”

Chief Seattle (1786-1866)

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The First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death


We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
All: Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.
(Mark 14:61-64)


LET US PRAY: Lord Jesus, at the beginning of this Lenten season, ashes are placed on our forehead and reminding us that we are dust and to dust we shall return. The Coronavirus has made us realize this very clearly. We are nothing but dust. We feel our helplessness in the face of this virus which we cannot even see. Humanity is condemned to death. But we are not afraid, O Lord You have already conquered death by rising again. O Lord Jesus, help us to trust in you during this difficult time in our history. May we remember our homeless brothers and sisters as they are condemned by our apathy, and suffer on the street, and our Native American brothers and sisters, who are suffering from our neglect greatly during this time. Amen.

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 943164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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