Saturday, March 04, 2017

as it rolls down the hill

I happened across an obituary:
Father Eric F. Kyle, O.F.M., 91, a professed Franciscan friar for 69 years and a priest for 64 years, died Dec. 1, [2016] at Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.
It was 1963/1964 and Fr Eric suggested I might like a conference being held that summer at St John’s University in NYC on The Theater of the Absurd. I did. Still have Martin Esslin’s 1961 red paperback.

Also still grateful for this quiet friar’s scholarly teaching and lengthy thoughtful sermons at the seminary.

As a Zen Buddhist Catholic Christian living in a small hermitage not far from Canada’s Atlantic Provinces, I continue to recollect the spirituality and studies Fr. Eric helped me begin.

I’m glad I found this obituary.

The collation of literature with meditative and contemplative practice he exemplified resonates the insight of Camus’ words, absurdly, that “one must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

I am happy to have been introduced to the absurd, as well as being acquainted with this Franciscan 54 years ago. 

Va bene, grazie Papa

 Take the worry out.
The Opinion Pages  | EDITORIAL , New York Times 
The Pope on Panhandling: Give Without WorryContinue reading the main storyShare This Page
New Yorkers, if not city dwellers everywhere, might acknowledge a debt to Pope Francis this week. He has offered a concrete, permanently useful prescription for dealing with panhandlers. 
It’s this: Give them the money, and don’t worry about it.
The pope’s advice, from an interview with a Milan magazine published just before the beginning of Lent, is startlingly simple. It’s scripturally sound, yet possibly confounding, even subversive.
Living in the city — especially in metropolises where homelessness is an unsolved, unending crisis — means that at some point in your day, or week, a person seeming (or claiming) to be homeless, or suffering with a disability, will ask you for help.
You probably already have a panhandler policy.
You keep walking, or not. You give, or not. Loose coins, a dollar, or just a shake of the head. Your rule may be blanket, or case-by-case. 
If it’s case by case, that means you have your own on-the-spot, individualized benefits program, with a bit of means-testing, mental health and character assessment, and criminal-background check — to the extent that any of this is possible from a second or two of looking someone up and down. 
Francis’ solution eliminates that effort. But it is by no means effortless. 
Speaking to the magazine Scarp de’ Tenis, which means Tennis Shoes, a monthly for and about the homeless and marginalized, the pope said that giving something to someone in need is “always right.” (We’re helped here by the translation in an article from Catholic News Service.) 
But what if someone uses the money for, say, a glass of wine? (A perfectly Milanese question.) His answer: If “a glass of wine is the only happiness he has in life, that’s O.K. Instead, ask yourself, what do you do on the sly? What ‘happiness’ do you seek in secret?” Another way to look at it, he said, is to recognize how you are the “luckier” one, with a home, a spouse and children, and then ask why your responsibility to help should be pushed onto someone else. 
Then he posed a greater challenge. He said the way of giving is as important as the gift. You should not simply drop a bill into a cup and walk away. You must stop, look the person in the eyes, and touch his or her hands. 
The reason is to preserve dignity, to see another person not as a pathology or a social condition, but as a human, with a life whose value is equal to your own. This message runs through Francis’ preaching and writings, which always seem to turn on the practical and personal, often citing the people he met and served as a parish priest in Argentina. 
His teaching on divorced and remarried Catholics has infuriated some conservative critics who accuse him, unfairly, of elevating compassion over doctrine. His recent statements on refugees and immigrants are the global version of his panhandler remarks — a rebuke aimed directly at the rich nations of Europe and at the United States. 
America is in the middle of a raging argument over poor outcasts. The president speaks of building walls and repelling foreigners. That toxic mind-set can be opposed in Washington, but it can also be confronted on the sidewalk. You don’t know what that guy will do with your dollar. Maybe you’d disapprove of what he does. Maybe compassion is the right call. 
Krishna told Arjuna not to be attached to the fruit, or outcome, of the action. 

If we need an argument from authority to do what we long to do naturally -- help one another -- this pope gives us a Lenten hand.

Friday, March 03, 2017

how so many

It's a little like liking a guy but not where he lives.
READING Jeremiah 14:9a 
You are in our midst, O Lord, 
your name we bear: 
do not forsake us, 
O Lord, our God!
Then again, as a hermit, I rarely visit another's house.

I'll have to be satisfied with hearsay.

How so many suffer so much by the unaware.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

it's just a concern

Here's the worry:
  • Scandals arise
  • Quickly an attack on America by some "foreign terrorist or enemy"
  • An immediate declaration of  Martial Law, freezing in place everything 
  • All scandals and investigations are suspended while we look for the "bad hombres"
  • Military attacks on the usual suspects commence 
  • Nuclear weapons are "strategically" used
  • And escalate until, four years later, carnage and desolation in specific areas of the geopolitic globe, there's a hiatus.
  • And a presidential declaration that, while we had to suspend the constitution and NATO and the UN and the normal system of governance in the US, there will be a new jobs program, all residents with less than 50 years citizen status or less than 1 million dollars of liquid assets, will be rounded up and deported to the former Europe for reprocessing and reeducation.
  • Blame will be assigned.
  • Former presidents Obama and Clinton will be tried for treason.
  • And massive crowds attend the swearing in of the first epoch of post-democracy "Huge Leader Reign" in the former United States.
It's just a concern.

Nothing like this could ever happen,


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

reading the day

It used to be -- "What are you giving up?

Then it was -- "What will you do as positive acts?"

Today it is raindrops on windshield and spinning prayer wheel and empty space crucifix, and cooling coffee in paper cup, and meditation beads from someone who visited India, and a small metal bell.

Everything, everything,

speaks of who we are

where our anchor sits

the perennial presence of


urging us on our way

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

tuesday into wednesday

I'm giving up lent.

I'm sitting down with silence.

Dust and death and suffering --

these I lament

these I remember

to these I do return.

stepping out beyond the veil

DT/45 is the new face of America

It looks into mirror

Seeing itself

Only itself

Others be dammed

It is time to consider another reflection

Another face looking back



DT/45 will soon fade from view

It's that way with pornography

It imprisons those whose fantasies

Play out in public

Monday, February 27, 2017

coming to word

The word is our body.

We must learn how to speak.

Pronouncing itself.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

when you hear your name, please say "here"




Go well, dear cousin!