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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Path to nothing.

A bully finds someone who they think is weaker, then taunts and terrorizes with name calling, lies, barriers, demeaning gestures, lines in the sand, and physical threats. Ignoring and walking away from the bully is always one option, however a true bully will always pursue, drawing another line, then another until their victim is in a corner, back against the wall, with what seem to be only two options: submit or strike back.

Submitting, like walking away, leads eventually to more derisive treatment from the bully because what the bully really wants is for their victim to strike back, even in the least way. Unfortunately, because of the bully's gradual, incessant tactics, striking back without force becomes more and more difficult. Then the bully has a reason, although twisted, to attack with pseudo moral authority.

However, when the bully is confronted with true moral authority they will melt. Standing up with such authority reveals that the bully is actually the weak one. The bully is actually a coward. The bully is the real victim of his or her own delusion.

There is a lot of bullying going on in the world today that needs confronting. Already there are too many backs against too many walls. A bully, large or small, left unchecked by true moral authority will become a tyrant. As numerous wise people have noted, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.”  

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm taking a few days to relax away from the regular hustle and bustle of daily routines, the internet, etc.  I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day wherever and with whomever it may be.

Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Here Forever!

"Let's stay here forever, Papa!"
the young boy said to his grandfather
"Ok. Let's." replied the old man,
stretching out on his back
in the shallow water of a warm tide pool
while proclaiming
"This is the life!"
A broad grin filled the boy's sun kissed face.
"This is the life!' he mimicked.
They laughed as one.
"Where will we sleep, Papa?"
"Right here. Under the sun and stars."
"What will we eat?"
"I dunno. Tiny crabs maybe.
What ever comes into our tide pool."
"Maybe a big fish!" the boy stretched his arms
nearly as wide as his grin.
"This is the life, Papa!"
"Yup! This is the life.

Silence settled in.
They both watched
wet sand sift through the boys fingers.

Here forever
knowing without knowing
forever is here
in a moment
in a tidepool
on a beach
under the sun
wrapped in laughter
held in silence and wonder.

Looking up from the sifting sand,
eyes toward the sky
as if he knew the sand's source
the boy said
"Let's talk about planets, Papa."
"Ok, let's."

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Better Place?

Yesterday, while a quarter of the people of the "United" States of America were voting, word came  that a parishioner had been admitted to a hospital with chest pains. I went to check on her. It turned out that she had already been through a corrective procedure, was in a better place, and looking to go home in a day or so.

On the elevator back down to the lobby I struck up a conversation with a woman with an armful of cards, other papers, and a flower arrangement. Her forty-something daughter had been in the hospital for a month and was going home - under hospice care. I offered empty words of consolation for which she thanked me. Her parting words were, "At least she will soon be in a better place."

A better place. We all seem to be striving for a better place. Some walk across Central America and Mexico escaping violence, poverty, and oppression most Americans can't even imagine. Many Americans simply want adequate health care, or security in old age. There are others simply looking for meaningful work that provides shelter, food, and comfort for family. There are even those who appear to have everything anyone would could want or need, yet they too look for an even better place. And yes, some look to death for their better place. We all have an idea, hope, or dream of a better place.

The elections are over. Some people feel, at least for now, they are in a better place than they were yesterday.  Many are still walking, still wanting, still looking, still needing a "better" place in life. Our hope, to quote Thomas Merton, lies in "...labor[ing] with inexhaustible patience and love, in silence, perhaps in repeated failure, seeking tirelessly to restore, wherever [we] can, and first of all in [ourself], the capacity of love and which makes [humanity] the living image of God.”

There is a better place.