Sunday, February 25, 2018


   Imagine someone handing Jesus an AR-15 automatic rifle.

   I see him looking at it very sadly and then even more sadly handing it to a soldier.  Yes, in this world of ours it is will be necessary at times for soldiers to fight just wars of defense.  Of course, we must do everything we possibly can to make any kind of war a thing of the past.  But we are not naive.  Obscenely, even now we are faced with threats of war, even a nuclear war.

   The Second Amendment gives us the legal right to have certain guns in case we need to form a militia.  Today's militia takes the form of the National Guard units of the various states.  The "militias" that are paranoically formed for defense against the federal government are corruptions of the militia mentioned in the Second Amendment.  

   We can legally have guns, for example, for target shooting, hunting and personal self-defense.  That is reasonable.  But as a Christian and spiritual theologian, I deeply believe that no one, no one, outside the military should have an assault gun, which is a weapon of war.  To permit civilians to have such weapons is not necessary, not reasonable, not human, not Christian.

   Philosophy and science describe us as rational animals.  To be human is to be able to act rationally, reasonably.  How rational or reasonable is it for civilians to own and use weapons of war whose only purpose is to mutilate and destroy an enemy?  

   We are images and likenesses of God and the people of Jesus the Christ, who is the greatest expression of God's peace and love.  Christians who present God as a war-like, avenging judge who, for example, sends hurricanes to punish us because of homosexuals, seriously misrepresent God.  They never move forward in the Old Testament to see God's great love for us all and for all creation. (Ps. 23; Jer: 31:3; Joel 2:17-14.)  And when they arrive at the New Testament they can't worship and preach a God who is Infinite, Overflowing, Self-giving Love, as revealed in the person of Jesus, who taught us how to live in love.

   In the name of Jesus, the Christ, and of human reason, how necessary is it for anyone other than a soldier to have an assault weapon like the AR-15?  The children in the Florida high school who were murdered were not just pierced with the killer's bullets.  The AR-15 mutilated and destroyed their young limbs and organs.  Were these precious children so horrifically destroyed so that we American civilians could have the right to own and use a weapon of war?

   The NRA and the politicians who depend on the NRA for money and reelection have actually said that the mentally ill should not be prevented from owning a gun--any gun.  Now they are reconsidering their irrational stance.  But what do we mean by "mentally ill?"  Do we mean clinically diagnosed paranoid schizophrenics?  How about people who are  depressed, or upset, or politicized against our government, or angry at their parents?  And in today's overly individualized and broken culture, how much do I have to stretch the point to say that if I believe I just have to have an AR-15, am I in some way mentally ill?

   Thank God for the students of the Florida high school who, having seen hell first hand, are bravely speaking up.  With rightful anger they are crying out to all adults to wake up to the truth about assault rifles and to the special sacredness of human life.  Isn't war horrific enough without bringing it upon our own children!?  May their voices grow in volume, redound to heaven and bring reason and sanity especially to our legislators and President!

   As an American and Christian, I cry out to all my fellow Americans.  For the sake of reason, of humanity, and of our very souls, "Enjoy ordinary guns if you want to, but leave military weapons to the military!"   



Tuesday, January 16, 2018


   Our faith tells us that we are one family under God.  But our churches remain divided as the ecumenical spirit wanes.  And sadly, the heavily politicized Evangelical churches blatantly defy the oneness given to us by God.

   Our American founders dreamed of one nation under God.  But the Declaration of Independence excluded the slaves from enjoying their inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  And racism continues to poison our nation.  Our Constitution begins, "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union..."  But under President Trump we are a very sorely divided nation.  Our national motto, "E Pluribus Unum," is losing its meaning.

   Our economic system divides us into the very rich and the many poor, sick, vulnerable and outcast.

   The great philosophies of both East and West have been abandoned by most schools

    Yet, there is hope.  It is coming from today's science.  An increasing number of physicists are offering a radically new view of the oneness that is the universe, the world and all of us on earth.

   Here I will repeat a little story that I told in a previous post.  Two young fish were swimming along a stream when an old fish came swimming toward them.  As the old fish was passing them, he said, "The water's fine today, isn't it?"   The young fish did not respond.  When the old fish had swum past them, one of them turned to the other and asked, "What's water?"  They didn't know the world they were living in.

   The physicists I am referring to are saying that the universe/world we live in is not made of material but is all non-material energy.  The universe, they explain, is made of atoms.  Until recently we thought that the atoms were made of material nuclei and electrons that scientists saw as little balls of matter.  Now they say that the nuclei and the electrons are actually little non-material waves in non-material energy fields.  The atom has no physical dimensions!  So the universe is made of non-material energy that has no physical dimensions.  

   (Our brain turns the non-material universe into a three dimensional, "physical" world but that's another story.) 

   Also, these physicists say that the non-material energy that the universe and we are  made of is living, intelligent consciousness.  To go back to our little story of the fish, the "water" we are swimming in is an ocean of universal, living, intelligent consciousness.

   Every galaxy, every star, planet, rock, plant, animals and person arises as an individual expression of one, living, intelligent, universal consciousness.

   So at one point in our history we were all one, same reality.  If we trace ourselves  back to our original reality, each of us is an individual expression of the one, basic living, intelligent consciousness that is the universe.

    Today, to many of us, especially the young, science is more respected than religion.  And more respected than philosophy, which also tells us of our basic oneness in terms of essence, i.e., we are all human.  So I wonder if today's science can do what our politics, education and mainstream religions are not doing.

   God can now be described as Eternal/Infinite Living, Intelligent, Divine Consciousness, who is Love.  The universe can be described as the space/time, finite, created image of Eternal/Infinite Living, Intelligent, Divine Consciousness/Love.    

   Genesis tells us that God created the universe and then entered into it, filling it with divine presence.  (Gen. 1:1-3)    The God-filled universe  is the living, evolving Christ Reality.  As Teilhard de Chardin said, "Cosmogenesis is Christogenesis."  

   Jesus was a 1st century Jewish male who at his conception became the universal, God-filled Christ Reality.  He was both human and Divine.  He is God's living, intelligent, conscious Reality/Love overflowing into the world. 

   In and through Jesus, we work to build the Kingdom of God on earth that Jesus prayed for, "Thy Kingdom earth..."  In Jesus' power and love, we evolve, slow step by slow step, toward the full meaning of our lives, which is global wholeness in love.    

   Thanks to the new insights of today's science we have a contemporary and very persuasive way to renew our understanding and our faith in God and in Jesus the Christ, so we can renew and reinvigorate our lives and the world in the Oneness and Wholeness  of Love that God created us to be.   


Saturday, December 16, 2017


   Christmas, of course, is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, 2000 years ago.  But if we are to understand and appreciate the wonder that is Christmas, we must also celebrate the birth of Christ, who was born 13.8 billion years ago.  For at Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ.

   Genesis tells us that at the beginning of creation the universe was in a state of chaos.  And then "a mighty wind swept over the waters," bringing calm and order to the chaos.  (Gen. 1:1-2).  We understand the mighty wind to be the Spirit of God.  From the first moment of creation, God was present in the universe.

    In the Hebrew mentality in which Genesis was written, we could say that God became present in the universe by anointing it.  The universe became "the anointed one."  The Hebrew name for "the anointed one" is Messiah.  The English translation of "Messiah" is Christ, or the Christ Reality.  The universe with God present in it is the Christ Reality.

    The Christ Reality, or simply, Christ, was born 13.8 billion years ago along with the creation of the universe.  God's living, conscious, intelligent, self-giving loving presence in the world/universe makes the world/universe the Christ Reality. 

   Christ is all in all.  (Col. 3:11).  Every galaxy, star, planet, all water, soil, rock, insect, plant, bird, animal and person lives in the God-present, Christ-ed universe.  God is present in everything and everyone.  Theologian-scientist Teilhard de Chardin said that we live in, "The Divine Milieu." 

   Note:  God's universal presence in the universe is not Pantheism, which makes the universe God.  It is panentheism:  God is present in the entire universe, which makes the universe the Christ Reality. 

   "Unto you is born a Savior who is Christ the Lord."  (Cf. Lk. 2:11).  When Jesus was born
2000 years ago, the Christ that he was, was already 13.8 billion years old.  The amazing, joyful wonder of Christmas is that Jesus was the living, conscious, intelligent, loving, universal Christ Reality in the form of a first century, Jewish man.

   The word, "Catholic" means "universal."  Our Catholic faith in Jesus the Christ opens us beyond the Jewish faith to a global, universal faith, from within which we look back to the Jews as our beloved elder brothers and sisters in faith.  

   Jesus the Christ moves us through the dualistic thinking that occurs naturally to us, e.g., I am me and not you.  I am White and not Black, or Brown, or Yellow.  I am a Catholic, not a Protestant, or Jew, or Muslim, or Hindu, etc., to unitive thinking that arises from a global, universal faith.  In and through Jesus, the Christ, we open our consciousness to embrace the entire world in love.  "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:28).  Christ is all in all. (Col. 3:11). 

   Also, as Jesus did, we turn believing into acting, and we reach out, as effectively as we can, to all other in love.   

   Being the global, universal Christ, Jesus knows no boundaries or restrictions of love for the world and everything and everyone in it.  So as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ, we should make a new effort to open our eyes, minds and hearts and extend ourselves in good will and love to everything and  everyone, without exception.

   We are not naive.  We know that some people will reject us.  Some will hate us and even want to kill us.  Nevertheless, we should offer to join with everyone of good will, whether people of faith or of no faith, to work together to build up the Reign of Love in the world, especially in the form of order, justice, peace, joy of life, and gratitude, and with a special option for the poor, sick, vulnerable and outcastThis year we can especially note that the political and corporate culture contradicts Christmas very deeply.

    As we gather up love of all others in Jesus the Christ, we offer that love to God, The Father, through Christ, in the Spirit of joyful gratitude and worship.  With Christ and through him we joyfully proclaim, "Peace on earth, good will to all."

   And to all, a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!



Sunday, December 3, 2017


   In this Advent season, as we anticipate celebrating the birth of Jesus, a new wave of spiritual darkness has invaded our country.  

   The Senate just passed a Tax Cut that is going to do great harm to the poor and sick of our country.  The House will no doubt follow through with their own votes.  If there was ever an example of something that clearly and totally contradicts the joy of Jesus' birth, this is it.

   And yet, Franciscan spiritual writer, Richard Rohr, is writing of a newly emerging spirit of Christianity.  I see it too and it encourages me.  But first, let's understand the depth and thickness of the darkness we now face.

   The senators who voted for this Tax Cut are driven with the need to pass some kind of legislation, any kind, to show that they can govern.  Any spiritual adult knows that they are not capable of governing.  The proof of their incompetence shows in that the bill will serve only the super-rich to the detriment of the majority of people.  Many will suffer.  For example, doctors who treat cancer patients came to Washington to tell the senators that there will be less money for them to treat their patients.  In the face of such looming suffering, the doctors' plea fell on hardened ears.

   These same senators have constantly demanded that every tax cut has to be matched by some cut in service or new revenue, so that national debt, whose greatness they routinely condemn, will not rise.  Yet they voted to raise the national debt by one trillion dollars.  That's the figure their own accountants gave them!

   Many senators say that they are Christians.  Then how could they not see what they have just done?  Sadly, the answer to my question is easy.  The senate is one example of the very serious breakdown of Christianity in our government and in our country.  To understand the breakdown of Christianity, I look to my fellow Christians who are Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, and to fellow Catholics who are woefully malformed in understanding our faith. With such Christian darkness in our land, our politicians have degraded themselves to the level where they are acting on the basest of motives.

   And in the White House the very notion of Christianity and sanity has disappeared along with the notion of governing.  We are faced with an autocratic, narcissistic president who daily shows that he understands absolutely nothing about being president.  And as the pressure is mounting that he might be exposed as having been involved in criminal activity, he slides in and out of psychosis, as we see in the wild rants he tweets daily.  

   There is no need to diagnose him personally; his public behavior is more than sufficient for any mental health professional to see the truth of his condition.  He has become dangerous even to the point of bringing us close to nuclear war.

   And yet in all this darkness, Rohr sees a new birth of Christianity coming.  As I said, I agree with him.  In fact, this blog is one way that I look to contribute to the new birth.  It is rising especially within Christians who have put away the old institutional notion of church, and who are working to create a new, loving Christianity in the everyday world, in communion with all people of good will.

   I highly recommend that you log on to Richard Rohr's Daily Meditations.  Yesterday, for example, he outlined the way we can process our pain and frustration with the institutional and inherited forms of church.  He tells us to manage our idealism.  As I have written often in this blog, neither the church nor Christianity itself will ever be perfect here in space/time. We are building the Kingdom of God on earth; it will never be completely built here but will be complete only in eternity.  

   Also, we can't do everything.  Yes, we can and should vote to put more spiritually alive and responsible people in our government.  And we can and should work to heal our society from the curses of racism, poverty, sexism, and all forms of ignorance and hatred.  We do all this by being directly influential within any group we can be, e.g., our family, our friends, our workplace, our voting, etc.  For example, a good friend, after retiring from a career in Catholic education, is now engaged in what he calls, "The ministry of speaking up."  This past year he has written thirty-one relevant an substantial letters to the editor of a Philadelphia newspaper.  They have printed nine of them.

   We should celebrate our victories, large or small, with humility and with praise and thanksgiving to the Spirit of Christ, in whom we live and breathe.

   Yes, today's darkness is deep and cruel.  We are not naive; we do not deny it.  At the same time, we can and do look forward to the star that will shine in the heavens this Christmas.  We will experience renewed life in the peace and good will of Christ.  So in the darkness, we say anew, "Come, Lord Jesus."   


Tuesday, October 17, 2017


   America is in clear and present danger.  President Trump has repeatedly shown himself to be severely and dangerously unqualified to be president.  He is dangerous even to the point of flirting with nuclear war.  He has put not only America but the whole world in danger.

   At a moment in history that calls for profiles in courage, most of the majority Republican legislators are showing themselves to be political and spiritual cowards who are doing nothing but thinking of their own reelection.  Thanks to gerrymandering they will be reelected and then continue to do nothing because they have nothing positive to offer the American people. The minority Democrats are simply ignored.

   There is no political solution presently available to save us from possibly destroying our country and maybe even the world.

   There could be a spiritual solution.  A majority of Americans who identify themselves as Christians can speak up with one voice and denounce the obscene insanity that is now afflicting us and fight for justice, peace and love for all Americans and for the world.  What are the chances of this happening?  Right now, little to none.

   Many politically active Republican Christians attend meetings and rallies where they loudly proclaim that Donald Trump is "Making America Great Again!" They are mostly White and their idea of making America great again means regaining the political and cultural power that they say has been unjustly taken from them by African Americans, Hispanic immigrants and homosexuals.  To these Christians, a great America is a White, heterosexual America.  Many arm themselves and say they are ready to fight a shooting war against any form of government they oppose.  There is a terrible shortage of Christianity here.

   Many Catholics, laity, clergy and bishops, voted for Trump to ensure that there would be a Supreme Court judge who would vote to revoke Roe vs. Wade and make abortion illegal.  Unable to prevent their fellow Catholics from having abortions, they voted to do politically what they cannot do spiritually.   

   Today, our culture is marked by a cult of individuality in which others are seen as competitors or even enemies.  Our Catholic faith should move us to oppose disunity and  reach out to all people as our beloved brothers and sisters, without exception.  Christians are supposed to humanize our politics and make them work for people of all faiths and of no faith.  But too many Christians let politics dehumanize them and distort their faith.  

   Needy children will now get less food.  Millions of Americans will now lose their Health Care.  Our society is becoming more crude and debased.  And we are flirting with the obscenity of nuclear war.  The Ten Commandments are lost and the Beatitudes are out of sight.

   There is a shortage of Christianity in America today.  But it doesn't have to be so.  Will enough Christians learn to rise up and start working to correct their terrible error of spiritual discernment and judgment and start working hard to put America back on the right path of justice, peace and love for all?  An anxious world awaits the answer.     



Tuesday, August 29, 2017


   The violence of Hurricane Harvey is both natural and human.  

    From its very beginning, creation has been marked by natural violence.  The universe was born in violence when the initial energy dot expanded/exploded to begin forming space/time.

   Earth itself was born in violence.  Four and a half billion years ago a star died and exploded.  The debris flew out into space and there it mixed with cosmic dust and then came back together again to form our sun and solar system, with Earth being the third planet out from the newborn sun.  

   From the beginning, earth was a hot violent place.  Great pressure pushed mountains up toward the sky, earthquakes shook the earth and reshaped it, and floods covered the land and then receded, leaving the land more fertile.  Evolution advanced when living things began to eat other living things.  In time, animals ate other animals.  All this happened long before humans and sin came to earth.

   When we humans arrived, evolution became conscious of itself and responsible for itself, within human possibilities and restrictions.  We alone are gifted with reason and faith, so we have the power and responsibility to avoid violence and build peace.

   Unhappily though, some humans will add their own form of violence to the natural calamity that is Harvey.  Some "religious" people will no doubt proclaim that this devastation was caused by homosexuals, or maybe by transgendered people, or maybe even by immigrants, or by God only knows whom else they don't like.  What a horrible, violent expression of Christianity!

   Writer Ann Coulter, who I believe knows better, just said that she would prefer to blame the hurricane on the fact that the past mayor of Houston is a lesbian, rather than on climate change.  Good old American capitalism!  Anything for more profit!

   Actually, it is very possible that global warming could have made the hurricane more intense.  The politicians and corporate executives who deny global warning for their own personal gain or profit should take note.  I urge them to take a good hard look at the people who are suffering so greatly.    

    Let us all take a good look at the people who are suffering.  I just sent a donation to the Red Cross to help the victims of the hurricane.  I sincerely recommend that you do the same thing.  We are one people, one family, one world.


Saturday, August 19, 2017


   At first, as I watched the horrific ugliness in Charlottesville, VA, I felt angry.  "These stupid thugs!"  I exclaimed.  "Don't they have anything better to do than join idiotic causes and mindlessly chant expressions of hatred and untold suffering?"

   Then I learned that many of them have good jobs and are thereby contributing to society.  And I felt sad.  My God!  How can these beautiful young men, with so many gifts and so much promise in them, turn so ugly?  What has gone so wrong in their young lives?

   Finally, I realized that these young men are part of a society and culture that lives in the back woods of the American psyche.  I paused and looked into those woods.  And I felt fear.  Fear for these young men.  Fear for their victims.  Fear for our country.

   Deep in that human darkness;, the "Superior Christian White Man" still reigns supreme, as he did when he owned slaves on his plantation.  Uneasy, he has to find ways to confirm his White supremacy.  To begin with, he refuses to concede defeat in the Civil War, and is waiting for the South to rise again.  He certainly does not consider Blacks to be his equal in any way.  Very importantly, in the 1930's he found a modern "savior" for the White race in Adolph Hitler's notion of the White Superman with a demonic hatred for Jews and other "inferior" people.

   As an offspring of the back woods of the American psyche, the "Superior Christian White Man" is an angry, hateful child in an adult's body.  So, for example, he is big enough to  wield a heavy club or drive a car into a crowd.  Yet, he is small.  He stands for nothing real or positive.  He confounds reason and lives in dark human, spiritual emptiness.   He must be told by spiritual adults, "When you act hatefully, there is no humanity in you."

   Often encouraged and "inspired" by badly educated, disoriented preachers, he shows his allegiance to his Christian God by chanting hatred toward people of color, Jews, and all who are different from him.  He and his misguiding pastors must be told by spiritually adult Christians, "There is no Christ in your Christianity!"

   The "Superior Christian White Man" is a living example of someone who has fallen into evil.  Evil is not the opposite of good; it is the absence of good that should be presence in any given society, culture or situation.  In the back woods of the American psyche, human development has been arrested.  Educational and social evolution is stymied. Where such human emptiness abounds, prejudice and hatred fill the vacuum.

   I wonder:  do these beautiful young men know that 600,000 lives were lost in the Civil War so that America would not be an inhuman country that enslaved our fellow humans?  Do they know that almost 400,000 Americans died defeating Nazism, whose hateful slogan they chant over and over again?  Do they know what the Holocaust really did to millions of fellow human beings?  Do they know the horribly violent history of the KKK?  And if they know, do they care? And if they know and don't care, then what happened to them when they were younger?  Certainly, they were deprived of the normal, loving human education and upbringing that they deserved.

   These beautiful young people, with galaxies of possibilities for good living withing them, must somehow be stopped in their tracks, taken up and lovingly re-formed into the human persons God intends them to be.  We owe this both to them and to ourselves and our country.

   The back woods of the American psyche does not exist only in the southern United States.  It exists throughout our country, among men and women, and tragically, in our President, who is a hopelessly empty man.  He understands nothing and cares about  no one and nothing but himself.  And he surrounds himself with a whirlwind of aggressive confusion to ensure that he remains empty of understanding and of caring for others.  

   We live in an especially dangerous and fearful time.  America is under attack from without and particularly from within.  Some politicians are putting their self-interests aside and are beginning to openly question the President's ability to govern.  We must encourage more of them to do so.  And we must speak up every time we get the opportunity, and demand a better educated, more just, more united, peaceful and loving country.