Showing posts from January 4, 2015

A prayer for my friends

A prayer from the Episcopal Church Prayer Book: - 

for my friend Sally C as she moves towards death, and for her husband Jim C and their daughters Ann and Mary.

Mary C is an especially beloved friend from my days at St. James's, Cambridge, MA

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie **

**  Title taken from an article by that name by Arthur Chu in  "The Daily Beast".

Following the ghastly and murderous rampage against staff of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, so folks have taken to saying and writing "Je Suis Charlie" as an expression  of support for the freedom of the press.

I cannot say that.

Of course I deplore the massacre  (why do we always have to include such disclaimers?)

Of course I believe in freedom of expression and freedom of the press (although the press in the U.S.A is not nearly as free as we would like to believe).

But Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie.

Charlie Hebdo is allegedly a satirical magazine.  I am all for satire.  But the best satire is subtle, and not immediately obvious.  (I think of  some of the satirical articles in "The Onion" which are so close to the truth that they are often taken for truth and passed around the internet).

Having (to the soiling of my eyes) seen some of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons I believe them to b…

Retirement life: Wednesday and Thursday, 7th and 8th December 2015

Wednesday mornings see me at Resurrection House (a day shelter for homeless people in SRQ), to lead a prayer service.  Attendance has been sparse in recent weeks. But on both Wednesday 31st December 2014, and on Wednesday 7th January I met two different homeless men who each wanted to talk about their lives and failures. I don't normally offer counsel, but on both weeks I decided to listen, and to respond with care. In each case the men: 1. Blamed others for the failures which best them. 2. Could not be honest about their own responsibility, until I pressed them not to evade the truth. 3. Found many reasons to reject my suggestions regarding possible ways out of their mire. "Tut tut", you say. "Oh yes", I say. "I am often just like that".  I want to blame others for my failures; I fail to be deeply honest about my life;  I reject those suggestions which might upset my apple-cart (even though those suggestions might lead to a greater wholeness in my lif…

Westb-rough B-ptist Ch-rch and the N-w Y-ork P-lice Dep-rtm-ent.

If you wonder about the hyphens in the title -  I use them to try to escape from folks who troll the net and make nasty comments.

Many of us have been greatly disturbed at the actions (or threatened actions) of some members of the infamous antigay  Westb-rough B-ptist Ch-rch, who have demonstrated at funerals (including funerals of military men and women who were killed in action).

There has been a consensus "across the board" (right-centre-left) that funerals are not the place to make political statements.

With that consensus in mind,  I suggest that the actions of some members of the NYPD (and other forces)  at the funerals of recently murdered NYC police officer are equally indecent.

One of the NYPD unions is convinced that the Mayor of New York City is insufficiently supportive of their service.  That union leader appears to believe that Mayor De Blasio should have unequivocally condemned public witnesses (demonstrations) against "out of line" cops.

Mayor De B…

Jesus the surfer?

He was walking towards me on the other side of the street -  and the colours he was wearing were so bright and vivid that he could not be missed. Multi-coloured tee shirt, shorts with bright coloured trim, and tri-coloured sneakers. Then he crossed the street just ahead of me, and I called out "great colours".  He, a lad of about seventeen, said "did you notice the tee shirt.  It's the resurrected Jesus, you can tell that because of the wound marks in his hands.  And because he is resurrected he does not need a surf board". "Google images" enabled me to find an advertisement for that tee-shirt.  It was the young man's way of "witnessing".  He was so sweet, so sincere, and so engaging that I decided to say nothing except that I thought his shirt was cool. And of course -   we believers also project so many of our own  hopes, prejudices, political ideas and thoughts onto the enigmatic Jesus of Nazareth, even if we do not wear tee-shirts. …

Morning bonus

As I walked Penne in the semi-darkness soon after 6:00 a.m. today I paused to watch the first morning flight from SRQ airport,  as  the plane first flew east, and then made a huge turn, first to fly west, and then north.

As I looked into the western sky I forgot the plane and began to enjoy the almost full moon in the western sky.

The moon was shining bright in a gap between the clouds.  It was lovely, so very lovely. (Isn't it so great that the bright shining of  an almost full moon (or a full moon) still evokes delight.

This morning there was a bonus.  As I gazed west I saw a shooting star (or maybe a meteor). It evoked more than delight: -  for a second or two I was filled with wonder; a great antidote to my sometimes jaded view of life.