Monday, April 30, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I am exceedingly lucky that my voice, along with
perfect pitch and perfect rhythm, was given me at birth.

Kate Smith, singer; she was born
on this day, 1907.

Ed  Sullivan’s show was broadcast in Canada when I was a child …and we watched it every week … despite the fact that Canada had a slight anti-American bent at the time. Ed had Kate Smith on a lot. Kate was portly .. she reminded me of the ladies who were members of the United Empire Loyalists who used to parade each year in a service at St Paul’s, Bloor Street, Toronto. She, like them, wore floor-length white beaded gowns,  … but the UEL ladies also wore big sashes … and they carried large Union Jacks and the provincial flag of Ontario down the aisle during the procession! (Inappropriately enough, rifles were also carried down the aisle by ancient British-background veterans … and placed on the altar for the remainder of the liturgy!!)

But boy could Kate sing!! And Ed would place her on a pedestal, from which she would sing “God Bless America”. I loved her!

I had the privilege of knowing the great (in my view the greatest soprano of the 20th C … ) Leontyne Price, through a mutual friend. I was once at a party after a Met performance at Madam Price’s house in the East Village. She told me a story that, one day, she was vocalizing in preparation for the night’s performance at the Met (Madam Price was from Laurel MS) ; her maid of many years, she said, shouted down the stairs at her, “Keep going Ms. Leontyne; you’ll get it right soon.”

Then Ms. Price said, “I’ve worked hard to sing. But I would never have been able to do it if God had not give me the lungs and rib cage and the breath to start with”.

Leontyne also had perfect pitch and perfect rhythm.

Every one of us has been given specific capacities, gifts, abilities to develop. All of which give us the start to become a beautiful human being, and then to contribute that person we are to the World and to the human community.

There is no doubt that so many things have conspired against our being free to do that.

The purpose of any good faith or religious path is to free us to make this contribution to the human community.

If you have been deprived of making that contribution …. and so many of us have … change course. It’s never too late. Each of us has a unique contribution to make to the design of the kind of Being that the God of Infinite Compassion desires.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Monday, April 30, 2012

I make fun wherever I go...
If I go to a restaurant by myself,
rest assured, people will be talking about it.
I always have a great deal of fun being with people.
It's part of the journey.

Cloris Leachman, actress; she was born
on this date, 1926, in Des Moines Iowa, and
celebrates her 86th birthday today.

Here’s a picture of Cloris. She was the Grand Marshall of the Rose Parade in 2009. And of the San Diego Gay Pride Parade in 2010. She has won 8 Primetime Emmy awards … more than any other performer. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in “The Last Picture Show”.

The word “fun” probably derives from the Middle English (c. 1400) fonnen, to befool.

Fools were very important in the Middle Ages at royal or aristocratic courts in the West. Why? Because they not only “played the fool” … making fun of their masters or mistresses. They also told the truth … and were exempt from punishment for doing so. Interesting, isn’t it! People of power could not then “hear” the truth from their peers. But it seems they knew it was important, spiritually and politically, to hear the truth. So, Fools  -  makers of fun  -  were philosophers and wise persons in disguise; they provided a source for hearing critical things which pride or station normally excluded.

Fun is essential to a balanced, wise Life. Comedians are an important source of fun. Remember “I Love Lucy”? Milton Berle? Burns and Allen? George Carlin? They could “poke fun”, make us laugh … but they pointed out truths that, without humour, we would not “heard” as easily.

Christianity doesn’t have, I don’t think, “Fools” as part of the tradition – though I think that Theresa of Avila would qualify. But, Rumi, many of the Buddhist sages, Hindu holy men, and many of the Jewish rabbis  -  they were “Fools” through whom Truth spoke.

Today in America, I think our most powerful Fools are … politicians. Just listen to them … and listen to the foolishness they spout.

And learn the truth.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Brian's Reflection: Sunday, April 29, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Sunday, April 29, 2012
[ Easter IV, Year B, RCL ]

[ The full texts for the readings can be found at: ]

In our Episcopal tradition, this Sunday is “Good Shepherd Sunday” … which makes it the “Feast of Title” of our parish here in Silver City (the only Episcopal church in Grant Co. NM).

Have a look at the Readings. They are so charming in their anthropomorphism! They take the deeply mystical concept of a creative force at the heart of Being, and they shape a Myth which, in my view, has the power to connect us emotionally to a positive and supportive and loving force as the foundation of our lives … a Rock of Faithfulness and Compassion and Justice and Mercy upon which we build our lives.

I wish that we  (by which I mean Christians) paid more attention to the second of the Ten Commandments in the Hebrew Scriptures: Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth”. I think that at the heart of our “religious” problems today lies our having constructed too many idols about this Mystery we call God. We have forgotten that “God” is the definition of our character as persons, and made Him (yes, almost exclusively Him!) the Policeman of the Universe. Result? Alienation … on many levels. And I say, Rightly So … such a God deserves to be alienated.

When I was a parish priest at St. Thomas, Amenia Union NY, I brought with me one Good Shepherd Sunday, a 19th C etching of Jesus the Good Shepherd. I bought it in Connecticut at a yard sale at a Roman church I passed one day … for 25 cents. Many were the Good Shepherd Sundays I used that picture as a sermon illustration! On this particular Sunday, I used it as such … and after the service, the first female Senior Warden of St. Thomas, a superb octogenarian named Ester Pollard, marched up to me after the Liturgy and said, “That belongs here!”. She got a hammer and nail and hung it on the wall behind the raised pulpit… where it remains to this day.

The Gospel image of the Good Shepherd is so breathtakingly loving! The Good Shepherd (“God”) is faithful, self-sacrificing, lives with the sheep, intimate, accepting, valuing, honouring, protecting, sharing of and in the wandering and the trusting nature of the flock.

What is the message of the Myth in the parable of the Good Shepherd?  Simply this.

If you do not have an experience of “God” that meets the picture of the Good Shepherd, you have settled for a “graven image”.

Smash it.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brian's Reflection: Friday, April 27, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Friday, April 27, 2012

Education has for its object
the formation of character.

Herbert Spencer, English philosopher;
he was born on this date, 1820

I wonder if schoolchildren in America ever get taught the wisdom of people like Dr. Spencer? Somehow, I doubt it! I have to admit that I am appalled by the limitations and ignorance of American young people today who go through the public school system … just as I am appalled by the narrowness and bigotry of the young people who do alternative schooling … especially home-schooling. Bad alternatives, in my opinion.

Who thinks of “character” today? Who thinks of the development of character as the “first object” of education? Is this because we have completely lost any sense of what “character” is … and hence have no sense of how to “teach” it??

Jesus didn’t teach moral rules and regulations … though those who shaped His character in the creation of the four Gospels tried to make Him such. Jesus taught, in word and deed, Love. Love is not about ethics; Love is about Character. It is about the very essence of being a person.

Preaching should be about the “formation of character”. So should civil education. So should worship. So should sport. That’s what I think anyway.

The word “education” derives from the Latin “e-ducare” … “to lead out from”.

In the great Christian Myth, the Holy Spirit is the Great Teacher. She shapes Character. She doesn’t want us to behave properly; She wants us to shine with the love, passion for justice, and compassion which radiates from the Cross.

Boy:  if you take this stuff seriously, we have our work cut out for us! But remember, setting forth on that inner path, surrendering to it, is, as Jesus said, a “yoke that is easy and the ‘burden’ light”.

Because we know in our heart that this is the path to freedom.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Friday, April 20, ‘12 

I keep my friends as misers do their treasure, 
because, of all the things granted us by wisdom, 
none is greater or better than friendship. 

 Pietro Aretino, Italian poet; 
born on this date, 1492 

 Pietro has good backup on this. Jesus is reported to have said to his close followers, “I no longer call you servants, but friends”. (John 15) And further, “I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father.”

 I can fully endorse what Pietro says from personal experience. As I have entered into the Mystery of God, and come to know the boundryless intimacy of the relationship and identity in the trinity of Self, God, Others, the “title” that makes most emotional and intellectual sense to me re “God” is “Friend”.

 I have been and am blessed with many friends in my Life …. and I have spent much time staying in relationship with them, remembering significant events in their lives, being in contact, visiting. All to indicate that they are treasures I value deeply. I am often aware how they have shaped my Life.

 To be befriended … and to befriend … is one of Life’s greatest gifts.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, April 19, '12

The gods perceive future events,
mortals present ones,
and the wise perceive those that are imminent.

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana VIII.7

Men have knowledge of the present.
As for the future, the gods know it, alone and fully enlightened.
But for matters on the verge of occurring,
things that are imminent, these the wise perceive.

Sometimes, when they are deep in study, their hearing is convulsed.
The veiled hum of imminent events approaches.
And they listen rapt.
Meanwhile, out on the street, the people hear nothing.


mother earth
the far-flung stars and galaxies
the neural pathways of the brain
winds of all kinds
through trees, through cultures,
pain, war, fear, anger
cries for peace
silence in eyes of hunger
helpless longing for love

matters on the verge of occurring
archaic meaning: overhanging

I, on the street
talk a lot
thinking it prayer

do I listen … rapt?

- Orrock

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Do people say that I am both your father and your lover?
Let the world, that heap of vermin as ridiculous as they are
feeble-minded, believe the most absurd tales about the mighty!
You must know that for those destined to dominate others,
the ordinary rules of life are turned upside down and duty
acquires an entirely new meaning. Good and evil are carried
off to a higher, different plane.

Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) to his daughter Lucrezia Borgia;
She was born on this date, 1480, at Subiaco

Was this a “normal” way for 15th C autocrats, political and religious, to think and believe? Having read a lot in this area, I would say yes. Has it changed? No. The Pope still thinks and believes this way, as do those who rule with him. Are there other examples in the World today? Many. All patriarchies think this way … and they span the globe, in every country and religion. Islam is most obvious … but American fundamentalist Christians run a close second. You can see it in the politics of Arizona and Wisconsin most clearly, in what is now being called “The War on Women” … but they are only the most vocal and brazen of many Americans … alas. All these people are political and spiritual descendants of the Borgia’s …. autocrats who recall those American colonists in what Colin Woodworth calls the “Deep South” … colonies founded on ruthless Barbados slave-owners who wanted no-one except them to wield power. Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Phyllis Shafley, Paul Ryan … all are kin to those who think that all other people are a “ridiculous heap of vermin”, who deserve to be dominated.

Do you think that Jesus reflects them, as the Image of God? Does His Life and behaviour and teaching reflect them? Or does it reflect their victims?

Clear to me. It’s the victims of the heartless powerful who die on crosses.

There is no political policy today in America espoused by the Republicans that Jesus would support. None.

Christians have to decide today if they support the Gospel as preached and lived by Jesus, or not. On that decision depends the credibility of the Gospel … and of the credibility of both American democracy and its constitution basis. Many today are abandoning both.

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, April 17, 12

All mankind is divided into three classes:
those that are immovable,
those that are movable,
and those that move.

Benjamin Franklin, polymath.
He was born on this date, 1706

Ah. So. Sound familiar?

Some archetypes are embedded essentially in the human psyche. They ‘emerge’ if different ways in human societies.

God the “Father”: We blossom and flourish like leaves on the tree / and wither and perish .. but nought changeth Thee.

God the “Son”: Thine Eternal Word, O Lord, lept down out of Thy royal throne, Alleluia (Antiphon for Matins of Christmas Day)

God the “Holy Spirit”: The Spirit blows here it wills.

And should we be surprised that this dynamic manifests itself in each one of us??

Clever man was Ben!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Monday, April 16, 2012

Don't matter how much money you got,
there's only two kinds of people:
there's saved people and there's lost people.

Bob Dylan. Poet. musician. It was on this date, 1962,
that he debuted his song “Blowing in the Wind”
at Gerde’s Folk City in New York

“Saved”. “Lost”. Bob wouldn’t - I don’t think, anyway - have been thinking of those terms in ‘traditional’ American fundamentalist Christian context. I think Bob Dylan was more profound and more spiritual than the purveyors of that form of American Christianity. I don’t need to expand on this. Those of you who get these Reflections will, I think, understand what I am saying. No, I think that Bob’s comments well up from a deep intuitive sense of what it means to be “lost” or “saved” ….. either one has found the way to the heart of being human or one has not. I’ve listened to Bob Dylan for decades .. and I hear his Wisdom.

“Lost people” are alienated from the Universe, from themselves, from sympathy, from others, from Compassion, from their mortality, from friendship, from the freedom which wells up from self-knowledge.

“Saved people” know and respect themselves, are One with the Universe, understand others’ suffering because they know their own, comprehend the poignancy of their mortality and therefore share the common humanity, see themselves in every other person no matter their perceived “otherness” (which they share), sense a friend in all other struggling persons, and live in Freedom because they are not “attached” - in the Buddhist and indeed Christian sense – to transitory things. They live only for the Love which is, as Jesus and St. Paul and other wise teachers teach, the only standard for judging the “success” of a Life.

I’m ‘saved’. Meaning I’m on the path. I know a lot of ‘lost’ people … people who aren’t open or who are unable to shift their consciousness or heart into the ‘Christ-mode’ … even in the face of their own unhappiness or discontent. I also know that, as St. Paul said, I have to ‘work it out and fear and trembling’.

But let me tell you, after 45 years of serious Christian striving: the working out is exhilarating!!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jesus invites each one of us, through Thomas,

to touch not only his wounds,

but those wounds in others and in ourselves,

wounds that can make us hate others and ourselves

and can be a sign of separation and division.

These wounds will be transformed into a sign of forgiveness

through the love of Jesus

and will bring people together in love.

These wounds reveal that we need each other.

These wounds become the place of mutual compassion,

of indwelling
 and of thanksgiving.

We, too, will show our wounds

when we are with him in the kingdom,

revealing our brokenness

and the healing power of Jesus.

Jean Vanier “
Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus
through the Gospel of “John.”

[ The full texts of the Readings for Easter II_Year B_Revised Common Lectionary can be found at : ]

Given this Gospel passage of Jesus inviting Thomas to “put your finger here in my side”, we tend to concentrate on Thomas. But perhaps, as Jean Vanier invites us, it is the wound in which we might find insight in concentrating.

Julian of Norwich says of the wound in the side of Jesus …”there he revealed a fair and delectable place, large enough for all mankind that will be saved and will rest in peace and in love.” And then comments … “that is the endless love which was without beginning and is and always shall be”.

In a sense, we can think of the wound of Jesus as, metaphorically, the window into our “souls”, our deepest core of Being. Touching this wound, as Thomas did with Jesus at His invitation, invites us to contemplate how bringing our woundedness as persons into intimate embrace with the Divine within us makes us whole … i.e., heals us, “saves” us.

Bruno Barnhart, OSBCam, says that this connection is the “the interior ‘touch’ which is unitive experience of the Spirit” … and the Spirit is what gives Life.

Jesus invites Thomas to enter into the “bosom” of Himself … and so this is an invitation to us to enter into the “bosom of God” - into our own complete Selves.

And then, Jean Vanier reminds us, we are invited into unity with each other and into the central “work” of “bringing people together in love”.

As I pondered this, I experienced a sense of freedom and wholeness. I know how “wounded” I am as a Lover … but see the possibilities, joined with my Inner Christ.

As always, thanks to my friend and admired colleague Amma Suzanne Guthrie for offering these quotes!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, April 12, 2012

Human decency is not derived from religion.
It precedes it.

Dr. Christopher Hitchens, a-theist;
he died on this date, 2011, age 62

I wonder if Dr. Hitchens would like being compared in his thinking to the Biblical theologian (if we may be so bold as to designate him such) who affirmed, in his/her imaginative creation of the “Creation Story”, the concept that we human beings are “decent by nature”, i.e., “made in the Imago Dei”.

The mythologist of the Book of Genesis had, by whatever means, come to the conclusion that all human beings were “decent” by nature … as God was “decent by nature”. I applaud his/her optimism! I can’t help but wonder what John Calvin thought of this Mythologist.

Personally, I agree with the proposal that Human Beings are, by nature, Decent … except for the relatively few psychopaths we’ve encountered. I’ve had enough experiences in my Life to have seen human beings, when confronted by a need for decency, triumph over the temptation to be miserable, selfish, vindictive bastards. (“How” is another Reflection.)

I think of Decency as a core human characteristic. And I think that “religion” should concentrate on nurturing this characteristic.

Now I have to work on myself. I have a great deal of profound difficulty conceiving of Rush Limbaugh and of his supporters as “decent”.


Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, April 12, 2012

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do
to intervene in a stormy world
is to stand up and show your soul.
Struggling souls catch light from other souls
who are fully lit and willing to show it.

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

I have come to believe that Life is essentially Choice. Faith paths, philosophy, study, meditation … all these things prepare us to choose the principles upon which we will live out our lives. And choose we must.

One of the choices is: I Am Essentially Good, or, I Am Essentially Bad.

I think there is plenty of “evidence” to decide / believe either.

And that’s where the critical freedom of Choice comes in.

I’ve been meditating back over my Life. Being Gay, and especially living for now 45 years in the United States, I could easily have been led to think that I was essentially Bad. But I was given an opportunity to seek out a path of Life. I chose to join the Order of the Holy Cross … where practically everyone was Gay, though I only intuited that in the beginning at the naïve age of 20. And where I also saw the message lived out that we are “created in the image of the God of Love”.

Cutting to the chase: I quickly saw that I had to choose - to make a stand - on how I was going to live out my Life. I had to choose what I believed about myself (and about others and God and Being), and act out of that. I had to “build my house upon a rock”.

In some small way, I worked my way towards being a soul at least somewhat “lit and willing to show it”. I’ve preached perhaps 3000 sermons in my life, and presided at countless Eucharists. But I’m willing to bet that what spoke more about God and Freedom to those I met and served was my choice to believe that God and I and Life were “Good” … a choice that gave a little light to my soul.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In any country there must be people who have to die.
They are the sacrifices any nation has to make
to achieve law and order.

Guess Who?

Is that so? What do you think? Are there people who must die in order for “law and order” to be preserved? Does such a destiny seem like the teachings of the Christ or of the Prophet, intelligently interpreted when freed from the human accretions? And do we think that this man is truly living by his religious background ~ he was a Muslim ~ or is he just using his own perversion of his religion to back up his own selfish political power-seeking agenda?

Is “law and order” more important than anything else? Is it “legitimate “ to kill people to preserve power, however just you think your concept of society? What other questions does this raise up for you about being a person and living in this World together?

The frightening thing about this quote is that is so often used in this World by politicians and by those who claim to know Jesus and to know what America “is” ~ including in America today. “Kill those abortion providers; it is necessary to preserve ‘law and order’ ” and uphold “American values”.

Who said these words? A man who murdered countless of his countrymen and women. And who, when deposed, was shamefully allowed by America and others to live in luxury on the Core d’Azure until his death.

Idi Amin.

- on this date, 1979, he was deposed as president of Uganda as rebels and exiles backed by Tanzanian forces seized control of the capital, Kampala.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hold on to what is good, even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe, even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do, even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life, even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand, even when I have gone away from you.

Pueblo Blessing

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.

I think of what Jesus said about how hard it is for the rich to enter the “Kingdom of Heaven”. Bottom line, it has nothing to do with being rich, intrinsically. What the rich fall victim to, by virtue of their riches, is the incapacity to be compassionate and loving and generous. They can so easily become the slaves of their “goods” … meaning not only the material “stuff”, but the sense of privilege and power that is “their due” . When that happens, you get plutocracy … and in America at the present time, you get the Republican Party in particular … most of whom are Wannabes … they didn’t have wealth and power in the past, but they fancy themselves in their religious arrogance “worthy” of aristocratic status.

I’m pondering the Pueblo Blessing. As with so much of Indian wisdom, it is powerful and it bores in right to the point. I am pondering it’s Wisdom today, and I hope it will engage you. OK, I don’t know a lot about Bill Gates and Warren Buffet … but despite their vast wealth, they seem “simple” to me. Oh, they have vast “goods”, and undoubtedly “complicated” lives. But. They seem to care about others, and they “act on their faith”, i.e., they give and work for the welfare of others.

I hope you will have time to think about the Pueblo Blessing today. Two things I will be thinking about: the ability to hope for the future, and the need for and the blessing and support of friends.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Sunday, April 8, 2012
[ Easter Day in the Christian Kalendar ]

… life is not properly measured in significance by length,
but by depth.
If the grass withers -- which it most certainly does –
and if the people surely is grass –
which we most certainly are,
the key to freedom is to embrace that knowledge and then,
like Dr. King, to find each day an amazing gift,
however grim may be its immediate prospects.

The Rev. Fr. Harry Cook, a most valued colleague & friend

The Mystery of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection gifts us … all human beings … with one thing: LIFE.

Is this not what any divine message should be about?

“God” can’t be anything but about Life. Life is the force at the center of it all.

Set aside all mind-games. Put in context what the preachers may say today … even perhaps those preachers among us who are grounded in Compassion. Listen to your own deepest longings for Life … they were put there by Life Itself.

The simple reality is this: We are made to Live. All Scripture is about Living.

Worship nothing that does not unconditionally give Life anchored in Compassion, Justice, Kindness, Understanding, and above all Love.

Christ’s Death and Resurrection is about “laying hold on Life”.

Let us fail not. Our lives depend on it ... as does the Life of the whole Human Community.

Christ is Risen. And we rise with Him.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Friday, April 6, 12
[ Good Friday in the Christian Kalendar ]

We remember that Friday called "good"
because it is the basis on which
we meet the world's sorrow with God's love.
Because the cross is the healing of the world.

- Jay Sidebotham

I would suggest that we not get too much into our heads about this Mystery.

It’s simply about how Love can transform all sorrow, as Jay says.

The Day is about being grateful for a holy Man in whom we can see our own capacity for generous Love.

A reminder that we, each of us, can choose Love and heal sorrow. Jesus said, “You will do even greater works than I”.

The cross heals us … it reminds us who we are, if we choose to act.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, April 5, 2012
[ Maundy Thursday in the Christian Calendar. ]

There is a communion of more than our bodies
when bread is broken and wine drunk.

M. F. K. Fisher

The only thing that can save the world
is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world.
That's what poetry does.

Alan Ginsberg, poet; he died on this
date, 1970, age 70

I love M. F. K. Fisher! She writes about food. I recommend her book The Art of Eating. I’m not sure where she got the sense of “communion”, i.e., I don’t know if she was religious. But she expresses the mystery of “Eating God”, which is found in many World religions. Ms. Fisher understood food and eating … and she intuitively knew that eating food and drinking wine together had a “spiritual” parallel. So did Jesus. Eating food and drinking wine together, we “eat each other” … we become part of each other, share the gift of each other … which is the meaning of “Communion”. I am not at all surprised that, at the last Passover He celebrated with his disciples, Jesus superimposed upon bread and wine His body and blood. Simple elements (bread and wine) become the bearers of Mystical Union. This is the dynamic of “Sacrament”.

Dear Alan Ginsburg, American Jewish poet, understood that poetry was an element of a Sacrament. Poetry reveals the mystical hidden in the World, revealing the awareness of the World. So what does poetry do? It uncovers the World’s beauty … and we become aware that the World is in us and in “God”. All is One.

Jesus was deeply wise. Just as Passover unites the Israelites to their God, so Jesus binds His followers to Him and to God. Food and Drink become nourishment of the Inner Reality.

Alan reminds us: if we want to give new life to the World, we must commune, have communion, with the World, God, ourselves, others.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A lie cannot live.

Faith is taking the first step even when
you don't see the whole staircase.

I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous
than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Martin Luther King, Jr. He was shot and killed by
an assassin on this date, 1968, at Memphis TN

Here is some of the wisdom of Dr. King that resonates with me. And some comments. But: meditate on these words today.

I think a lie can live! It’s up to us to make sure that lies are exposed … and we in America have many lies being spouted by our politicians.

Stick with Love. Yep.

“Ignorance and conscientious stupidity”. We are stifled with it today in America.

So: there’s are work for today. Seriously pondering these things will be an honouring of Dr. King … not only an authentic Christian, in my view, but an evolved human being.

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In life, there are no perfect affections.

Jean Harlow, actress; she was born on
this date, 1911, at Kansas City

Well! Here is a “perfect” and sound theological insight. Alas, the “church” hasn’t quite risen to the theological sophistication of Jean Harlow! Ya never know, do ya!

Harlow’s comment could easily be re-written to say, “We human beings are all misshapen by our frequent choice not to love”. Such is the human condition. Unless you think that “God” is a sadist ~ and what a silly and masochistic thing to think! It certainly indicates the lowest level of “self-esteem” as well as of Imagination.

I was raised until age 16 in a Presbyterian context of “striving for perfection”. Perfection was the standard held up in the preaching, based on a misunderstanding of the Biblical phrase, “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”. But Harlow reminds us that perfection isn’t humanly possible, strive as we might. And the Gospel reminds us that we won’t get far “striving” on our own. We need each other, and “God”, and the Universe as allies.

Accepting imperfection is, I think, the first step of evolution towards “perfect love”. Our focus has to be not on the goal of perfection, but on a daily hunger and thirst for it ~ and work anchored in reality and humility.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Monday, April 2, 2012

Your vision will become clear only when you
can look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams;
who looks inside, awakes.

Carl Gustav Jung, psychotherapist

I find Jung’s words and insight to be profoundly true. Further, my observation is that the Christian Church has essentially fallen victim to “looking outside”. With the obvious result that the power of the Gospel (and of the Jewish Myth) to show us the Path of Transcendence has lost all power.

Jesus is not going literally to “return” on the pink cloud”. Jesus has “written the Covenant on our hearts” … and therefore lives within us … which is the same as saying that He “sits at the right hand of God”. Listen up, folks: we are not going to be absolved from making the choice every human being must make to choose our Destiny. Jesus did it, with blood dripping from his eyes. It will be as agonizing for each of us! But this making of the choice is the touchstone of our having reached a level of human evolvement such as to bind us to the Living God.

I do not want to dream; it points to my abdication from my Journey to Myself.

I want to Awake.