Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Halo Plate

If my Mom had a halo over her head, as in a Saint, it would be in the shape of a dinner plate, just like the halo over the head of St. Martha, the patron saint of cooks, depicted on the early cover of The Joy Of Cooking cook book by Irma Rombauer,  My Mom cooked us countless meals all my life.  Even as a priest I would love to go "home" to her cooking.  She never complained or seemed to be resentful or angry about cooking.  She just cooked, night after night.  As a boy, I rarely said "Thank you."  Sunday dinner was in mid-afternoon, so there was no cooking at night on Sundays.  Friday was fast and abstinence in Catholic homes, so the meal was simpler, but still she prepared it.  I grew up on pork loin, lamb, chops, goulash, pasta and meatballs, roast beef, and some chicken.  She served without complaint.  She did put on the plate what portions we were supposed to eat.  Eat everything was the rule.  I would like to be a saint who serves without resentment, complaint, or whining.  I have a long way to go.  How about you?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Run The Show

Now that I am older, I no longer want to run the show.  But there are times when I realize that my ego does not want to retire from running the show.  I know that this is happening when I find myself judging others, being critical, resentful, with feelings of self-pity.  I still work, but try to stay out of the way of managing parish decisions, or the machinations of people for whom I am working.  My good days are really good.  Bad days, not so good.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


If a person is not willing to change, why bother to tell them about their faults, or spend useless time focused on their faults as you see them?  It won't change those persons.  You are the only person you can change.  Concentrate on your own faults.  If another person wants to change and asks for advice, opinion, help, then you can bring things up.  You can only help people who want it.  Of course if you don't change then you probably don''t want to either.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Cans can rust.  They is metal.  To prevent rust, the cans are coated on the inside with a plastic based product.  However, the chemicals in the liquid soda drink can react with the plastic coating.  Stuff happens.  It is called chemistry.  It is best to store a can upright so that the sealant of the lid does not interact with the soda itself. Lid interaction seems to especially bad.  The sugar of the soda itself is actually used to keep rust and bad interaction down.  "Rust" is a book by Jonathan Waldman.  See, you don't have to read my blogs just for spiritual issues.  Enjoy your next plastic, I mean soda drink!  Yikes, in Boulder, our rectory stores the cola cans on their side.

Friday, December 2, 2016


"Sobriety" is not a word for drunks only.  It refers to a way of living for everyone: live in the present moment.  Everyone is called to sobriety, but many of us spend time and energy escaping the reality of the present moment.  Addicts do it through their drug of escape.  Others do it through fantasy, or resentments which keep us in the past, and fear which keeps us in the future.  Spirituality is all about getting us anchored into the present moment where God lives and loves.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Who?  A fellow named Exsuperius lived in the 5th century.  He was a bishop so concerned about the poor that he sold off the church's fine vessels to obtain more money to help the poor.  He carried the consecrated host in a willow basket and the consecrated wine in a common glass vase.  Why would God want to dwell in expensive gold while God's people suffered hunger, homelessness and nakedness?  I think that maybe he has a point?  I like it that our Paulist Church here in San Francisco does not have much in altar finery, and that we inconvenience ourselves so that the hungry might be fed through a feeding program that is organized and distributed from here.  Our finances are scary, but we seem to hang on.  Maybe God wants us here?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Empty Pockets

Generosity is not measured by what is in our pockets, but rather what is in our hearts.  It is quality and not quantity that makes for change.  Even if we feel that our pockets are empty, that we do not have much to give materially, we still can give of our hearts.  We can have an attitude of compassion, attention to others, kindness and time.  Too often, do we not pray to have more in our pockets, our material stuff, than to have a change of attitude?  I have the potential for riches of heart more than I have the potential for material wealth.  It is all a matter of banking on Grace, outside help, or inside help, who I call God.