Wednesday, April 18, 2018


There is wisdom for all of us in the Twelve Step Spiritual Path.  Example: Step Twelve says that we "try" to carry the message.  The word "TRY" is key.  Success is never up to us. Effort is.  God is in charge, or in my Paulist spiritual path, the Holy Spirit is in charge.  I try, in prayer, and looking at the signs of the times to ascertain what the Holy Spirit might want me to "try."  If I had to be successful in everything I did I would be all ego and whining about things that did not work out as I planned.  Many of us would make no effort if we thought we would not be successful, which is to get our way.  A mother complained how she had "tried" to bring her daughter up to be good and proper, but the daughter did not turn out as planned.  The mother said, "What did I do wrong?"  Maybe nothing was done wrong.  We simply don't have as much power and control as we would like to think we have.  I try to write a good blog, but if someone says, "This blog is trash," I don't go to pieces over it.  Though my heart is maybe broken I say to myself, "I tried."  It is all I can do.  We all have limitations in spite of what our egos tell us.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Learning Today

I heard from Pre-School pedagogy debates, that some say it is more important for a four year old to learn to be a four year old rather than to prepare to be five.  That is, let them be kids at play and don't be so concerned about them being prepared for the next level, such as Harvard.  I am seventy-five.  I think that I will learn how to be seventy-five rather than prepare to be seventy-six.  Live in today, and play more.  Will it work for you?  Someday will be our last day, and I sure hope I am learning to live that day rather than being totally focused preparing for a next year.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Funerals And Burials

I notice that many people are concerned about where they will have their funeral, and be buried.  They think about who might come to the funeral and who might want to visit the grave.  Now, as a Jesus believer, this ought not to concern me. Why?  Well, I am supposed to follow him, right?  He did not have much of a funeral at all.  They took him down from the cross and put him into a tomb.  No big rituals, songs, eulogies.  Nothing.  Then when he rose, he did not hang around much at the tomb, and after the morning of his resurrection, his followers never seemed to much interested in visiting the grave.  So I won't worry about my funeral, or where I am buried.  If it is important to someone else, then they can make a to do about it.  I would rather people pay more attention to me while I am still around than after I am gone.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Tax Day

Today is a tax deadline or else get an extension.  It can be a stressful day.  Someone gave me an idea for stress and life's difficulties.  They use an acronym for God, G-O-D.  It is "Grateful Or Dead."  I like that.  Now I am supposed to be a believer, but even if you are not a god person, the acronym can work.  If we are not grateful about some things, or live a life of gratitude, then we are probably slowly killing ourselves, with anger, fear, frustration, control issues and whining.  These feelings all funnel into feeling sorry for ourselves.  Such a deadly life, and such a wide and easy path to follow.  Gratitude is the road less taken, the narrow path.  I try to think of things that I tend to take for granted, but should be grateful for them.  "I am handsome, young, strong, and competent." Oh! Excuse me, that is the delusional path, also wide and frequently taken by many of us.  Don't make things up.  There are things in your life that deserve gratitude, that maybe you did not earn, or acquire by effort.  These things, people or places are generally right in front of us or with us on a daily basis and so we forget to be grateful.  I try to think of my "gratefulness list" when I first wake up.  It sets the tone for the day.  It allows my God an easier time of it in my life.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


What is all this "Ascension" stuff about in Christianity?  As best as I can tell, Jesus had a horrible death, and many people thought that was the end of him as a human being in this created world.  He had no future.  "Oops," say the Christians.  He got a resurrected body, which was his old body but more advanced in its creatureness, if that might be a word.  That is, Ascension says that the human body as we know it, is not the end of the creative process.  There will be more and Jesus in his Ascension, is giving us an advance on what awaits all of us.  That is, death is not the end.  Creation does not stop with death like we thought, or so believers say.  What might this have to do with us?  Well, even if you die a horrible death against your own wishes, as did Jesus, like nuclear holocaust or global warming, it will not be the end of you.  There is a cause for hope.  Ascension is not something that our normal body can do, but a more advanced one can.  You have to die first.  The catch for me, is that I might have to be a lot better than I am to become this new creation, e.g. more like Jesus lived.  I gotta go.  I got a lot of work to do.

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Miracle Cure

European drug companies are working on a pill that will reduce the amount that people drink, so that such people do not drink alcoholically.  Really?  By drinking less or not drinking at all, one will no longer be an alcoholic?  If you ever read the twelve steps, you will note that alcohol is mentioned in only one step, the first one.  What are the other twelve for?  For the alcoholic who is not drinking.  You mean you are still an alcoholic even when you don't drink like one anymore?  Well, yes.  Like how?  Like FEAR!  Alcoholics are feared based people.  The drink just buries the feeling for a while. There are other issues with alcoholics but I will just raise this one.  Those other eleven steps are to help you not let fear control you.  AND become useful and loving members of society.  I don't think science can come up with such a pill.  Spiritual paths can and will help if you work them.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Me Not Them

Many people who read my blog are much better people than I am in thought and deed.  So maybe they like to read me because it makes them feel better about themselves.  "Father Ryan is so bad, or so messed up, or so full of faults, that I am glad I am not like that,"  or something to that effect.  So here is another fault.  "I don't belong."  I don't fit in."  "I am different."  This sense or feeling of not belonging, when it raises its powerful head and commands moments in my life, leads me to  generally blame whatever group I do not feel part of.  I have found over time a pattern.  The issue is not about the group.  The group is just the group not to be judged by me.  What needs to be worked on and changed is me.  This is hard work.  If the group needed to change, I could just walk away, judging them, and saying I cannot change them, though I am better than they are.  Or I might say that the group is wonderful but I am dreadful and hopeless.  In either case, I take no action.  I have learned that when I focus on me and what needs to be changed in me good things can happen.  Like what?  First, stop feeling sorry for myself.  Second, see if I can be helpful to someone else, without my ego getting in the way.  Third, acceptance of the group.  If I do one, two and three, then I often begin to have some tolerance without judgment.  After that?  Love. I am not quite there yet, but trudging.  Aren't you again glad you don't have my problems?