A Grateful Life!

A Grateful Life!

(We have the statue of “Mary: Untier of Knots”/and “Asin”, the Lion of Narnia!)

Each day I pray to “Mary: Untier of Knots”, asking her to help untie the knots within my life, to Jesus the One who calls me to new life.”

2 Timothy 3:14-17

New Living Translation

“14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

     Fr. Henri  Nouwen writes of living in gratitude, and one might ask “How can we live in gratitude? Every day we have death around us, and as I walk the streets and see the pain of homelessness, I have pain and now the long-term effects of the Coronavirus.

     We look back and we can divide our lives into good things to be grateful for and bad things to forget. I have found when that in dividing the past in such a manner leaves me limping toward the future.

     Fr. Henri says gently: “True spiritual gratitude embraces all of our past, the good as well as the bad events, the joyful as well as the sorrowful moments. From the place where we stand, everything that took place brought us to this place, and we want to remember all of it as a part of God’s guidance.  That does not mean all that has happened in the past was good, but it does means that even the bad did not happen outside the loving presence of God..Once all of our past is remembered in gratitude, we are free to be sent into the world to proclaim the good  news to others.”

     I look back and see my life in the closet,  as a minister, my life as a whore, on the streets, all of which brought me here as a priest. My life good, and bad, has been a blessed life. My life in the injuries has been blessed.

    In working with people, I share their life experiences and share with them the love of Asian, “The Lion of Judah”, and Christ in The Chronicle of Narnia ( The God who loves them no matter what, and does not judge them). The God who is with them now in their pain, and fears, and always is holding them in his arms.

    The photo above is of Asian, the Lion in The Chronicles of Narnia, who represents Jeus, and

He is strong, nurturing, and always there. 

    The photo was given to me by Tony, who calls himself, “A renaissance man,” ( Harlem Renaissance that is). Tony is a young black man, and sees himself as the “personification of African-American culture, an artist, activist, B-Boy, Beatbox, Emcee, Father-Healer, Motivational Speaker, Teacher, poet, Spoken Word Artist, and Vegan.” He chooses to live in his van, where he makes art and paints shirts and sweatshirts with the same pictures.  He is a large man, always happy with a loud voice. Tony tells me he gave up on the Church a long time ago, “they preach judgment, hellfire, and tell us how to live in their middle-class ways when all we have to do is love one another”. Tony does not want to house until “everyone has housing.” He is getting me blankets, and jackets to give away. Tony is an example of being grateful for his life, he takes it as it comes and is grateful!

    As I have let go of the judgment garbage Christianity and embraced the giving non-judgmental love of Jesus, my life has become grateful, and that is what I share with the people I work with. For Asian (Jesus) teaches that we are all precious, so precious in the eyes of the Living God, for in the words of Dorothy Day, “He is disguised under every type of humanity that treads the earth!

    And each day as I lift the Bread and Wine, I am reminded that Jesus gave his life, that all might have a life! Be grateful! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



“The whole program of creation is to being us back into contact with God! “Jason Shulman

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