Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My heart aches for the families and community in Newton, CT.  It is a tragedy that is so painful.  I find my self grieving much more in these times. This of course is so close to home that the pain exceeds my empathy for those who suffer around the world.  This can be a painful  reminder that death and destruction has been happening in the Middle East and elsewhere continuously for years.  We must not let this pain fail to teach us of the pain of others and carry it to all our action.  Peace on Earth and Good will to all.....  Every parent in Afghanistan whose innocent children or family members die from drone attacks, or others who have been victims of terrorism.  They feel the pain we all feel now. After our grieving when we all go back to our lives, and the pain becomes a distant memory, let us not forget those who suffer around the world.    
I pray that our human condition will be released from these destructive forces and the Peace of Christ will touch us all.    

Monday, July 30, 2012

Where do we go Now

Saw a great movie this past week end.  Where do we go Now?

A movie about a small village in Lebanon that depicts the strength of the women in our lives. Remarkable. I am so grateful for the women in my life. My wife and best friend, Allison, my mother, grandmother and aunts. I never had a sister, but I have many platonic women friends going back to high school.   We men need to realize where peace can be found.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Taking time Off must include some mindful time.

I had the week off from work. My best friend and wife and I went to Bar Harbor for a few days. We stayed at the Quimby Inn.  My brother Doug and his wife Michelle met us there and we hiked around Jordan Pond then had lunch. We ate outside and had the exciting event of a rain shower in the middle of our lunch of Lobster Quiche, garden salad with grilled chicken AND of course popovers.  What a wonderful day. We had many mindful discussions, shared old and humorous stories, and simply just relaxed.  I am so grateful for this wonderful day.  Today's message from Robert Sylvester really hit the spot.  I realized I had already done what he is suggesting, but I decided I must share this.
Being mindful is a universal activity that brings unity to the world.

Back to work on Monday, July 9th after a week of mindful gratitude. All good things.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Storytelling is part of our human recovery to Peace

Sometimes, I am just a story teller….with no audience.  I do realize that there is little time for stories in production environment.  Telling my story was the transforming process that brought me recovery.  I do believe story telling is an integral part of every rehabilitation success. Because,  in order for the  vocational rehabilitation process to be successful it must allow, if not encourage, the claimants to tell their story, so we as rehabilitation counselors and professionals can facilitate a change in the ending from their self-fulfilling prophesy of I can’t recover, get better and become productive to I can do anthing.  Just like the little engine that could

  More on the power of storytelling. Stories are parables and we can always learn from these lessons

Truth of Humanity and the Soul

We can rationalize almost anything to feel good about our actions. In our worldly victory we win the battle but loose the war for our soul.  I just wrote this today.    I sent it to my twitter blog.  I decided to post my thoughts leading up to this. 

 I have been thinking about the political process and how we rationalize all kinds of human behavior.  The United States Constitution states we have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  It really does not say that those pursuits must be moral and based on universal truth.  They are based on civil behavior. Some argue that the intent of the founders was to encourage moral behavior. but that is another topic. The present interpretation seems to be if it appears to not hurt another, no matter how full of greed, or hedoniism or selfishness it appears to be, it is OK.      I'd like to think that as long as we treat each other with kindness and Love, respecting differences and permitting each to live their own life all will be well in the world and in heaven.   But do we loose anything by making decisions according to only human desire? I am not sure but I think we should move forward with caution. We need to include all views, both spiritual and civil before making our final decision.

Over the course of the last few years as I have discerned, through contempletive prayer, my understanding of the perfect truth of the Creator I have learned and now believe there is absolute right and wrong in most things. Do I know this truth? Not even close. But, I have become much more anxious living in the gray areas.  There are very few gray areas in the Mystery of Creation.   But in our human imperfection there are all kinds of gray.  How do we decide what is right or wrong and what to permit here on earth in a civil cociety.  And what do we do when it seems that the world is going in the wrong direction?

 In this country we have the right to be on either side of a civil issue.  So if the majority votes to permit behavior that seems immoral, then our only recourse is to work through the democratic process, being sure to vote for what we believe to be truth.  Anything less is unAmerican.

Be sure to vote on the side of truth, the souls of All Americans are at stake.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dark Night of the Soul

My last few posts have been from a space I did not embrace, although most of us have those moments in our lives.    I think it might have been a "dark night" as St John of the Cross called it.  That is very interesting, since I have been in that "whoa is me" or "Where is God?" place before, but in the past those times have been short.  Prayer and meditation usually put be back on the path again with confidence.  This occurred a lot in my early spiritual life when I was searching for God with no direct feedback from my spiritual other or true self regarding how I was doing.  But as time went on these time came less and less. And,when I saw my spiritual director, I was re-directed.     Although living in the world with all it's temptations remains a challenge I seem to have gotten past this time.

I read a great book recently called 25 Books Every Christian Should Read and found it uplifting and very educational.  Seems all Christians, be they Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox have at least one thing in common.  That one thing is a desire to do the will of God in their daily life.  God speaks to us in various ways. Through scripture, homilies, or various anologies or metaphors that demonsrate the perfection of the Creator in our worldly existence.  I have made the comment to friends on more than one occasion: Wouldn't it be nice if you could call God on the phone and ask him for his three year plan for holiness and divine intervention in our life.  I think practicing contempletive prayer is the closest thing to that. 

I am reading three books now.  The first is to help me maintain healthy eating and exercise. It is called "You are not your Brain", by Jeffrey Schwartz and Rebecca Galdding who are both doctors. The book describes a 4 step process for changing your own behavior such as bad habits (like eating too much of the wrong thing) and/or negative unhealthy thoughts.  It teaches something called Self Directed Neuroplasticity. Which is a scientic term for learning new healthy habits.   The second book is by the Dali Lama called Beyond Religion which describes a world where we each can follow our own religious beliefs but co-exist with respect. The author describes a more compassionate definition of secular society and seems to advocate cooperation rather than competition.  I am reading it because our company CEO recommended it to each of his direct reports. Seemed like a good book to read.  The third book is about the historical significance of Constantaople given to me by a friend.  I look forward to my evenings over the next few weeks.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

God Is

God is mystery.  My faith empowers a confidence that is uplifting when I let go of trying to control my every action.  God is mystery, even when noble or righteous preachers tell us what God wants us to do, or what rules to live by or even who to vote for.  When a human being is so sure of their individual interpretation of God's will that they are willing to verbally attack those who might believe different, I get very concerned.  Sometimes I cannot argue with a particular interpretation. Sometimes the message clearly appears to be from God and after some prayer I know it in my heart. But will I act upon that by attaching another or joining a band wagon that attacks whole groups of people?  No, this is not what Jesus taught us. The battle is spiritual battle.  God does not take sides in politics, only by being present in the world, in our daily life, does the Grace of God influence our decisions, actions and discernment.  Be cautious, be wise, our decisions will make some things permanent in our society.  Some things need to be changed or reversed, other new approaches need to be instituted.  I pray that decisions from our discernment will not result in immediate gratification and long term eventual destruction, but rather Love and respect for our fellow humans.  Praise be to God Always

Friday, February 24, 2012

You know what happens when something new enters your life? You try it on for size, see if it fits, test  your thoughts, dreams and values against the new things presence. You may pray about it.  I pray about new things releasing them to God and then listen to the quiet voice who speaks.    Sometimes that new thing becomes a permanent part of your life, and other times you discard it as an experiment gone bad.  It always seems wonderful when a new thing excites, inspires and motivates you.  But, in the final moment, you do make a choice. Is this who I am?  Is this who I want to be?

The black and white new things are easy.  The shades of gray make it much more difficult. So it goes sometimes new political campaigns, new relationships, new roles, new food, new TV shows, new music, new anything. Sometimes the new becomes a very real old thing that has a new skin and you are fooled into thinking it is a new and a better answer to your life challenges then the tried and true.  It is the rabbit speed overcoming the turtle's methodical continuous improvement. When the newness wears off, the plodding turtle succeeds when you see it is the same old nemesis from years before.   You may be tempted to tilt at a windmill or two but in reality, it is best to stay positive, welcome the challenge, develop some self discipline and maintain your integrity with faith that most people have honorable intentions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I have been sick since Christmas. Sick and tired that is. Sick and tired because.... Wait a minute, that is pretty negative. Negativity feeds unreasonable comment and complaining. We all know how much fun it is to sit in a room, especially a waiting room, be it a doctors office, or car repair, or tax/accountant office when someone starts complaining to the room at large. Everyone gets embarrassed and quiet  Unless another complainer engages the conversation.  Then it spreads like a virus.  Whew.  Unfortunately our media is rampant with complaining, editorials, political attacks, he said, she said drama. We don't need more of that. So lets start again.

I had some challenges over the holidays which prevented me from functioning at my best. I did not get the time off from work because I did not put in for the vacation time early enough.  I usually spend the time between Christmas and New Year rejuvenating, meditating,  getting some exercise, visting friends and relatives.  This year I had to work.  What a pain.   I prayed for the strength to maintain my cool self, but on a few occasions I broke.  I got angry, I cried, I whined. What a mess. I need to make amends to all those who experienced my self pity and ridiculousness.  It was Christmas, the birth of the child Jesus, love and joy unto you.  But somehow I missed it. I completed a Novena last week and finally the veil has lifted.  I am beginning to feel myself again.  It is with a humble and contrite heart I say thank you to all my friends and relatives who noticed. Thank you for not mentioning my out of norm presentation or comments.  Most of all I thank God for staying with me.  PBTGA