Alice

Alice

Thursday, June 1, 2017

MAY 31, 2017 SIX YEARS OLD





HAPPY BIRTHDAY CIRCUS GIRL!



You are six years old. Hopefully by the time your are sixty you will have some sense of what Thomas Merton is talking about in the below quote.
I'm sixty-seven as I am writing this and have only an inkling of understanding at this point in my life.

JUST REMEMBER IT IS "GIVEN",
JUST LIKE THE SIX YEARS YOU HAVE JUST EXPERIENCED.

LOVE,
PAPA


“At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is 

untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point 

or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our 

disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is 

inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities 

of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of absolute 

poverty is the pure glory of God in us. It is so to speak His 

name written in us, as our poverty, as our indigence, as our 

dependence, as our sonship. It is like a pure diamond, blazing 

with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we 

could see it we would see these billions of points of light 

coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make 

all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely ... I have 

no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of 

heaven is every- where.”


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS


Alice,
Here you are at your sister's four year old birthday party with your cousin Caroline.
I pray that someday you and Caroline can look back on this picture and be thankful for the relationship you have had with each other over the years.

It's all about love and relationships Alice.
But I have told you that before.
I pray life teach you that in the most tender way.

Love,
Papa

Sunday, January 8, 2017

POETRY



But first and foremost, I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple— or a green field— a place to enter, and in which to feel. Only in a secondary way is it an intellectual thing— an artifact, a moment of seemly and robust wordiness— wonderful as that part of it is. I learned that the poem was made not just to exist, but to speak— to be company. It was everything that was needed, when everything was needed. I remember the delicate, rumpled way into the woods, and the weight of the books in my pack. I remember the rambling, and the loafing— the wonderful days when, with Whitman, I tucked my trowser-ends in my boots and went and had a good time.

Oliver, Mary (2016-10-11). Upstream: Selected Essays . 

Alice,
These are words from one of my favorite poets. She will be dead when you can finally read her and attempt to understand her words.
But understanding is not always what poetry is about, as she alludes to in the above. "...a place to enter...", that's what a poem can be.
I pray you take time to enter that place. I think it's even possible for that place to change your life.

Poetry Alice. 
Give it a try.


Love,
Papa

Sunday, November 27, 2016

HAPPY THANKSGIVING LOVELY LADIES


Here we all are ladies.
My gift to you all this thanksgiving 2016 was to teach all of you one of Papa's holy words.

SILENCE

You probably won't remember this but, on this day we visited the Elf Village up in the North Carolina mountains. Above is a picture of us in one of Santa's Sleighs he loaned out for the occasion.
This little elf village also had a very small chapel with just enough room for all of us to enter.
We all entered that chapel and participated in a moment of being silent together, practicing one of Papa's holy words together.

That was your Thanksgiving gift to me.

Thank you for that!

St. John of the Cross writes:

Carve out a day every week,
or an hour a day,
or a moment each hour, 
and abide in loving silence with the Friend.
Feel the frenetic concerns of life in the world
fall away,
like the last leaves of autumn being lifted from the tree in the arms of zephyr.
Be the bare tree.

Love,
Papa

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A GREAT WONDERFUL MYSTERY OF INTIMACY TO BE REALIZED




Alice,
This is your post for October, done in November.
I hope to post a post-Thanksgiving post to all of you later.

This is a piece from a book by a Celtic Theologian, Phillip Newell.

Julian of Norwich, the fourteenth-century Christian mystic, said most simply but most radically that we are not just made by God, we are made of God. We are not just fashioned from afar by a distant Creator. We are born from the very womb of the Divine. This is why Julian so loves to refer to God as Mother as well as Father. She sees us as coming forth from the essence of the One who is the source of all things.
What does it mean that we are made of God rather than simply by God? In part it means that the wisdom of God is deep within us, deeper than the ignorance of what we have done. It is to say that the creativity of God is deep within us, deeper than any barrenness in our lives or relationships, deeper than any endings in our families or our world. Within us-as a sheer gift of God-is the capacity to bring forth what has never been before, including what has never been imagined before. Above all else, as Julian says, the love-longings of God are at the heart of our being. We and all things have come forth from the One. Deep within us are holy, natural longings for oneness, primal sacred drives for union. We may live in tragic exile from these longings or we may have spent a whole lifetime not knowing how to truly satisfy them, but they are there at the heart of our being, waiting to be born afresh.

I pray you sense that longing and give birth to that mystery in your life Alice. I can already see it in this photo of you.

Love,
Papa

Friday, September 30, 2016

CONTENTMENT


Alice,
It's September 30, 2016.
One of the above persons will be sworn in as your president in January 2017.
You will probably read about this in your political science class someday.
Each of them thinks they can change the world.
To some extent that is true.
But can they change what really matters?

Here are some wise words from an old sage:

Chapter 37    

 If leaders and officials could work as the Tao works, people would be tranquil and content. Everything needed would naturally be done. But leaders and officials feel the need to push for progress, patriotism, and greed. They create dissatisfaction and keep people stirred up and angry at each other. No one understands the way of effortless living; of silence and peace; of true contentment.  

Commentary:

 “Wu-wei” - the art of “effortless action” - is sadly absent in our culture. Only aggressive action is seen as effective. In our never-ending political circus, stirring up dissatisfaction, creating fear, and casting blame are the main strategies. We are promised contentment only if we choose the right leaders, get the right job, marry the right person, and do the right things. Even then, it is just out of reach. Trying to be content is an oxymoron.   

What keeps you from being content? 
If nothing in your life changed, yet you were told you could be content - what would you think?

Martin, William (2016-08-02). Walking the Tao: A new translation by William Martin (Kindle Locations 624-636). Kindle Edition. 

Love,
Papa

Sunday, August 21, 2016

ALLOWING FOR THE GREATEST GOOD



Welcome to Pre-K 2016 Alice.
I hope you have a good year.
I wonder what you will learn this year?

Papa is still learning how to be a full human being.
Some days I am good at it and some days I'm not.
I was reading this morning about a simple spiritual practice that can help us all learn how to be more human.
Here it is below.





Asking the simple question: What will serve life today? is a penetrating practice. Not what will serve me, my problems, my family, my desires or worries. Such questions only lead us to the realm of worry. When we ask, What will serve life right here and now? we begin to live in a larger picture.
Whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, this question can help us focus our intentions. It is so fundamental it should lie within every small choice we make, not just the big ones. What will serve life today? Life does not mean our own small ego’s insistence on its own way. It means something else. What will allow for the greatest good in a particular, local setting ... keeping in mind ourselves, the people in our lives, the environment, and the community?

Norris, Gunilla (2012-02-01). Inviting Silence: Universal Principles of Meditation 

Bob Dylan said it a long time ago...

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes
Indeed you're gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody
You might be a rock 'n' roll addict prancing on the stage
You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage
You may be a business man or some high-degree thief
They may call you doctor or they may call you chief
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes you are
You're gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody
You may be a state trooper, you might be a young Turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes you are
You're gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody
You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody's landlord, you might even own banks
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You're gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody
You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be workin' in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody's mistress, may be somebody's heir
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You're gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody
Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes
Indeed you're gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody
You may call me Terry, you may call me Timmy
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray
You may call me anything but no matter what you say
Still, you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You're gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody



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HAVE A GREAT YEAR ALICE

LOVE,

PAPA