Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mandelbrot

Look up Mandelbrot as in Benoit Mandelbrot.  What the Mandelbrot set says is that you are a replica of the universe.  Say what?  Christians say that each person is in the image and likeness of God.  For them, each person replicates the universal Godness.  In Hinduism, the particular soul is the Atman and each Atman has the identical structure of Brahman, the spiritual nature of the cosmos.  The Bhagavad Gita says, "See the Atman in every creature, and all of creation in the Atman."  So if you are having a bad day, putting yourself down or being put down, remember that you are a walking universe, and if you cannot walk, you are still a universe in miniature.  Aging, unemployment, illness, does not change this.  I feel better already!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Intercessory Prayer

Numerous studies, scientific ones, indicate that intercessory prayer improves the healing of a patient. It does not matter where you are physically in relation to the patient, in the room or in a different country.  It is all part of the scientific "Quantum" world of interconnection.  So if you are praying for someone, don't mind if others call you a simpleton.  Science is scratching it s head over this phenomenon.  What the contemplative world says is that God is everywhere, so we are all interconnected anyway.  Your prayer might send vital, positive energy toward someone.
It helps if the person you are praying for wants to get well.  Some just want their opioid fix, or prefer to wallow in self-pity.  But pray anyway.  Who knows.

Corpus Christi Homily At Monastery Sunday, June 18, 2017

HOMILY NOTES
FR. TERRY RYAN, CSP
FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI
JOHN 6: 51-58
JUNE 18, 2017

         When I was a boy in the Bronx in Catholic elementary school, when the priest came into our classroom we would ask him questions about when the communion bread became the Body of Jesus?  What if the priest messed up the Latin words, would it still be Jesus?  What if the priest dropped dead before he finished the words, would it be bread or Jesus?  And if a person in mortal sin came to receive, would Jesus leave the host that went onto their tongue?  We tried to stump Father. 

         Nowadays there is another way that some of us look at the Eucharist.  Bonaventure said that Christ is in all.  Christ does not enter creation through Latin words, or special vernacular words.  Plus, science is beginning to tell us, with computers, telescopes, that each of us is the universe, that our individual chemistry has what makes up the universe, if you look microscopically deep enough.  There is the talk of Holons, and so forth. 

         With Bonaventure, the Franciscan view, and modern science, when Jesus held up the bread and said, “This is my body,” he was simply saying what is already there.  All is Christ.  So what is Jesus doing?  He is not making the bread his body, it is already that, just as we are, but he is giving it meaning, energy and challenge to all those who dare to eat it.  He is saying that he will always be with us, that he is always relational, and that if we eat of this food, then we need to become and act like his words challenge us to do.

         He says this bread is his body given up for others. Can that be our body too?  Will we give up of ourselves for others in Love.   Will we pour ourselves out for others in a bonded way, forgiving others even when they don’t ask for it or change their behavior?  Will we see ourselves as one with all creation, rather than better or worse than?  Will we selfishly use up creation for our own wants?  Will we ultimately be about others, and “follow” Jesus rather than the easier path of Belief? 


         The question is not when does the communion wafer become Christ.  The question is when do we who dare to eat it act like Christ in he world.  What has to be changed is us?  That is the transformation the world needs. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Thin Membrane

Some people say that they don't meditate because they don't believe in God, being that mediation is all about God thinking.  Maybe not.  Mediation, for me, is more about not paying attention to my thinking mind.  So, whether I believe in God or not, is of no consequence.  I try not to pay attention or to focus on thoughts anyway.  Besides, such thoughts are only my thoughts.  So what might happen if I meditate?  Well, a thin membrane, if you will, surrounds my crazy, thinking mind, and sets up a barrier, between my mind and my actions.  After mediation, I might experience the world around me, people, places, and things, with new insight.  Why? Because my mind, which houses judgments, false pride, bloated ego, or wounded ego, negative emotions that have little to do with reality, and so on, no longer get in the way of seeing and experiencing the world in this new post mediation way.  My mind houses and releases a lot of emotions that do me little good in most cases. The thin membrane keeps all this in check.  But it is thin, so I have to meditate regularly.   So, mediation is not so much about God, as it is about emotional sobriety.  I have found it so.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Teenager

The reason I think I am good with teenagers is because I was one for so long.  I had arrested teenageness.  When I fell in love, I became emotionally drunk.  As we know, when drunk, we make silly decisions and do even sillier things.  When not with my beloved, I was unhappy in my own skin, discontented being with me.  This is teenage romance, except I lived it way past chronicle teenage years.  When I got dumped, which was inevitable, I got angry at her and felt deep self-pity for me.  I grieved as a teenager might do.  Then something happened and I began to receive the gift of emotional sobriety.  What happened?  I came to realize that the problem was me.  This is when I began to grow up.  Whenever something bothered me, or I felt wronged, or innocently rebuffed, I asked myself what is my part in all this?  It may be that the event or person in question did register negative on my radar, but often I found this was because I had unwarranted expectations, or was plain ole jealous, or had undue pride, or felt I am the center of the universe, and so on.  When I could get out of my own way, and recognize my part in an emotional wave, I calmed down.  I found that the same so called negative events did not bother me anymore, and often they were not so negative at all.  Sometimes I have to laugh at myself, but you can't, or else I will put you on my resentment list and off my preyer list!  Oops!  Felling like a teen there for a moment.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

How We Do It

It is not what we do that makes us holy, but that we make holy what we do.  Mister Eckhart and Krisha said this, for instance.  A lot of people focus on devotional activities thinking that it will make them holy.  Then they wonder why they do not seem to be getting much better in spite of all the time in church, temple, ashram, or their special holy place.  Other people thinking they have not the time for all these devotions, assume they will never become holy.  Not to worry.  A way to holiness is first, stop trying to get holy by direct actions you deem "holy."  Rather, before you do something, direct it to the One, the Source, the Infinite, God or whatever your title.  You might say something simple like, "May I do this for your greater honor, to praise you, and give myself to you.  May your will be done in this task I am about to undertake."  Or some words to that effect.  It brings the spiritual journey into the daily life activities and relationships.  We get away from separating spiritual from secular.  We enter more into the "Allness" of life.  And we keep the Divine, the Infinite, the Supreme, in mind on a more continuing basis.  I do this before entering a blog.  Sometimes, God is praised.  Sometimes not so much.  Keeps me humble.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Relief For Not From

Many a believer prays for relief from pain and difficulty so that they will feel better.  "God, or whoever, I feel so bad, please take away my pain and misery."  Sometimes such prayers add on a codicil, that the sufferer will be good in the future if healed.  I've been there.  A bit self-centered, I have learned from adepts in spiritual growth.  I have discovered a prayer that asks for relief from difficulties, even from bondage to such self-centeredness, in order TO HELP OTHERS!  What?  Yes, it is prayer that began to get me out of myself.  I sometimes feel so compelled to a bad habit, that only the thought of not doing it, in order to help others, makes me pull back from my bad behavior.  That is real change.  So the next time you think of going down the drain yet one more time, your will-power broken, think of being of use to others.  Like who and how?  Pick up the phone and call someone.  Ask them how they are doing.  Have a list of people who might benefit from a call, a sick person, an elderly person living alone, a recent widow or widower, a recent marriage breakup person, or just a friend.  Even us selfish people have someone who is a friend.  Oh the recovery from insanity!