Thursday, July 26

reflections on plants, people and sanctuary

A potted plant is one which is trained, groomed, doted over and requires great attention for it to grow at all.   As it sits, it becomes dependent on outside sources for water and food.   With its roots bound and all the tender care pored over it, the plant can never grow to its full potential.

To grow, thrive and succeed, a tree must be planted outside in the ground where wind, water, fire, insects, disease and drought threaten to kill it.  It must be tested and tried, forced to become independent and find creative ways to survive.

It is easy and right to wish to provide a safe haven for those who we see as troubled, but there is a danger in this.  Temporary refuge to hold people over is like watering the trees in the ground, giving them emotional water and spiritual food so that they may have respite. If that sanctuary becomes more than an emergency measure, then each day the people run the risk of sacrificing their independence, limiting their potential and even causing developmental dieback as they surrender parts of themselves for the illusion of security.

Better, then, to meet people in the field...water, feed and tend to them there and allow them to flourish in their own way and in their own time. That is where compassion is.

Wednesday, July 25


I should say at the first that I am a rather meticulous person when it comes to handling money.  From the cash in the collection (presidents front and upright, stacked in ascending denomination) to my own personal funds, things are ALWAYS handled in a very specific, organized and accountable manner.  With that as a backdrop....

I went out last night to do some personal counseling and work with a young man who is in some straits and figured I would get petrol on my way there to him.  Lo and behold, I had left my wallet in my other pants (no, really), so I gave a ring to a buddy who lent me $10.

After picking up the young man, we swung by my place to retrieve my wallet, partly for legal reasons but mostly because he's flat broke and I offered to pick up dinner.  Over the course of the evening, it became obvious that this fellow is trying to make it and, given proper support and help, very well may succeed.. On the way back to his place, we were talking about the use of subtlety and implied vs.explicit in social situations. when I stopped by another petrol station to top off the tank and get the $10 to pay back my buddy.

Coming back to the car, I shoved my hands in my pockets only to find a $20 bill, folded neat as you please into a small square.  You I NEVER handle money.  I just looked up and thought, 'Really, Dad?' because this sort of thing is seeming to happen with increased frequency.

So, of course, I got in the car and handed him the little square.  "Here, Coyote said this is yours."
Subtle, you old Dog.

Friday, July 20

Quote of the day

"Never let anyone make you feel inferior for being who you are. When you live the life you were meant to live, in freedom and dignity". - Desmond Tutu

Preach it, brother!

Wednesday, July 18

That word.

I don't normally do politically based posts, but today there appears to be an intersection of politics and religion.

Mitt Romney, criticizing the HHS birth control requirement, said: “I know we are not all Catholic in this room, but I feel like we are all Catholic today” in our effort to preserve religious liberty. (H/T to TPM)


The HHS 'requirement' is to offer the option of contraception as part of a broader package of health care coverage for women's health.

98% of catholic women have used contraception and, generally, the laity (you know, the folks who ARE the Catholic Church) are overwhelmingly in support of Free Will and a woman's right to choose.

This same freedom is being actively thwarted by a vast minority of old, (purportedly) celibate men.

Religious Liberty.  I do not think it means what you think it means.

Thursday, July 12

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

From Trent....
I have recently started my doctoral work, which is at least partly why I have not been blogging much as of late.  There was some church history in a section I was reading lately and, through various machinations and some good ol' fashioned wiki-creep, I ended up reading the 12 Conclusions of the Lollards. Some of their conclusions don't hold as much truck today as they did some 100 years before Luther....but I find the following four of real interest.
To Vatican II

  • The Church, once it began to deal in secular, temporal matters, drove out Faith, Hope and Charity.
  • Celibacy in the clergy leads to prejudice against women and 'induces sodomy within the Holy Church'.
  • The clergy 'feigned of a power higher than angels, is not the priesthood the which Christ ordained to his Apostles'.
  • Clergy should stay out of secular offices and should be accountable to civil laws.

These are reasons Wycliffe, who influenced Hus and, by extension, all of the Reformationists, wanted to break with Rome.

 Aren't these recurring themes?

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Tuesday, July 3

Synergy and Harmony and Wisdom will come....

So, I am in the middle of writing a response to a comment when it happened again.  That point when all the parts fit into place and, for an instant, things make sense.  So, lets see if I can capture entlightenment in a bottle, ya?

Taking the following as premises:

1. That we all carry within us the spark of the Divine, created in Her image and His likeness, who created all that was and is and shall be.

2. We all have the capability to discern the presence and workings of the Divine in Creation.

3.As children of the Divine, we have the capability to affect creation (both mundanely and esoterically) and, more importantly, to work with the Divine to manifest in Creation that which we put as intention.

This co-creation is an expansion of the theological Synergism I talked about some time ago, though at that point I had no idea of the formal concept. Springboarding off of that idea, I wish to explicitly state that we, as humans, cannot do this without working with the Divine.  It is through the interplay of Creator and created that creation is manifested.

Here is the rub, though.  Our understanding of the Universe and the Divine is limited and the more constrained it is by pre-conceptions, misperceptions and internal traps, the less capable we are of engaging in that interplay.  Further, those who have spent the most time studying, writing, lecturing and explaining matters of religion and spirituality are, generally speaking, the most constrained by the aforementioned conceptions.  That is the basis of Taoist tzu-jan, (self-such).  By losing inculcated 'explanations' and returning to direct experience, one gains wisdom and understanding.

The more we put down the books and walk in the brook, the more we understand that creation, created and Creator are braided strands, the more we see the Christ within, the Christ in all...the more we know that we, each and every one of us, has the power to change the world if we dare to imagine large enough and trust deeply enough in God.

Monday, July 2

A reply, a reading and a story

Synchronicity strikes.  I was going to reply in the comments to this post, then I read the gospel for today and saw that this is looking for it's own post.

How do people not see?
I would put it that many do not see the miracles which happen around them because they are too focused on watching their own feet to look up and around them. 

People are looking for 'magic', not miracles and miracles don't always work.
I agree with you about the "magic" thing, especially combined with the idea that the ways of the Divine (by whatever name you wish) are quite often different than what we would like and just because things don't manifest exactly as you would like, doesn't mean that something marvelous and miraculous isn't happening right in front of you.  Thus, I would say that miracles DO happen and they DO work, but if we're only looking for a specific manner of response to a specific input (i.e. - I want my prayer answered in X way in Y timescale), then you are correct.
Jesus answered them, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' it will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive"  (Mt. 21:21-22)
Note, Christ never said WHAT you will receive, nor in what timescale, nor how that would manifest itself.

This all reminds me of a story:

A flood threatens a town, forcing everyone to evacuate, But Joe thinks, "I'm a devout man, God will save me," and stays put. As the waters rise, Joe's neighbor comes by and says, "Joe come with me, we've got to go." Joe declines, "I'm a devout man, God will save me."

The waters keep rising, Joe scrambles to his second floor. A firefighter in a rowboat comes by. "Get in the boat or you'll drown," he says. Joe again declines, saying, "God will save me. So this flood story goes."

Finally, the flood waters force Joe to his roof. A police helicopter comes by and throws down a rope. "Climb up or you'll drown," the policeman yells. "No, I'm a devout man, God will save me," Joe replies.

Soon, Joe drowns.

He arrives in heaven and challenges God. "Why didn't you help me?"

"What do you mean?" God says. "I did help. I sent a neighbor, a firefighter and a helicopter."

It's about being open to the Divine, attentive to how the universe is manifesting itself and fluid enough in how we think and are willing to act that we can intera