Just be.

Just be.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Rainfall Into the Soul

When I turned 18 years of age there was no need for God because of my decision to run with my self will to simply do as I saw fit, unrestrained. If another human being got in the way of my passion then it was my right to crush them. It was my choice to choose at times kindness or cruelty. Depending on my mood.

It took a complete defeat and a surrender at age 42. Lost in a world of empty bottles and great confusion my soul emerged from the dark abyss of self absorption and fear. God was found while sitting in my backyard nine years ago while pondering it all while gazing into the heavens as the rain came down from the gray clouds.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

fire and water

In October I finally made my retreat to the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, KY. Near Louisville. One of the oldest Cistercian monastic communities in North America. Home to the prolific spiritual writer and monk Thomas Merton.

As my driver dropped me off a sense of anticipation and also a bit of foreboding ran through my consciousness. The gate read: GOD ALONE. What exactly does this mean? I think it might mean that in the end we have to find God all by ourselves. We come into this world alone and we leave alone. You might have 1,000 mourners at your funeral but nobody will jump into your casket with you.

I waited eight years to make this journey and the silent retreat was moving. Saint Francis said, "Go and preach the Gospel everywhere and when necessary use words." So true. What words
were said at the monastery had depth and weight.

The monks start their prayers at 3:15AM each day 365 days a year, decade after decade. Are the prayers keeping the world together? who can say. But I sleep sounder thinking of my friend Brother Luke praying for all of us.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Dread Street and the intersection at Despair Street. 

This is a place in the city where people are stored away like toy soldiers that a young boy has grown tired of playing with. The street perhaps contains apartments and houses all full of shut-away-people. Corporate America likes this arrangement as it needs consumers not spiritual beings.  So the TV sets, smart phones and bottles of whiskey pacify these lost ones.

These mean streets are just an urban path to"somewhere else." 

It does not have to be this way because people can take back the streets; apartment by apartment and house by house. When we fail to create... the city is doomed and next the nation fails as the society goes by-the-wayside.

To save the street it just starts with one human being humbling himself on his knees in his tiny bedroom asking for Divine Intervention: 

"Guide me today Lord."

"Guide me today Lord"

That simple Dominican Prayer...

He stands up and the world is changed forever.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

contingent reality and the clouds that vanish




A beautiful cloud billows-changing color and yet we know it will vanish quickly. A human is born, has it's day in the sun and dies. A mountain range comes into being and is rubble 150 million years later. All contingent on the Creator.

God exist simply through His own Power. Is our world so anxious because we sense that we are like a fleeting flame that burns so brightly just to be blown out?

We try and alleviate our fears with pleasure, power, honor and wealth yet these things do not calm our fears for long. As St. Augustine said it so well 1,600 years ago..."Lord,you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they rest in thee."
 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sandy Hook




It has taken some time to have the courage to write about the murder of the innocents in Connecticut. What does one say? What comfort can we give? Nothing. There are no answers. It was such a profoundly stupid incident that our humanity was just shaken to the core.

There is no lesson. There is no good that comes from this evil. Yes, God can bring a good out of any situation but this can almost sound like God had a part in this and He surely did not. He allows it and we can be angry that horror floats over our blue planet daily.

For some reason this murder of these bright eyed children haunted me for many days. Was it because I have a bright eyed child of six years of age? I'm not sure. I kept hearing a whisper in the wind saying in a hushed voice..."the horror...the horror."

My wife and I did hold our sweet child more often for several days. The only way to even see a small glimpse of God is to "look for the healers."

Dave

Friday, November 16, 2012

consciousness as a leaf falls


 
The other day as I sat in the backyard a gust of wind blew and many leaves twirled to the ground from the old tree. I sat in amazement and felt a rush of oneness with everything as they made their farewell dance to earth.

  •  Our state of consciousness allows us to see the wonder in such a display of God's Power. If we seek Him.

Truly more people seem to be awakening to the fact that they really do not have to wait to be happy. There is no reason to wait for the right job, the right mate, until they receive the right material thing. We can make a decision to just wake up and be content. Then comes happiness.

  • But you say that these thing's make no sense. You feel alienated and insane.

Good.  Recognizing your disconnection is key to breaking free to becoming a whole human being. Loss and suffering are actually the paths that many spiritual teachers started from in their beginning.

  • Can you hear a leaf fall in the middle of the night?

  • Listen.
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Father Peter


The heat of August hung over the pine forest of East Texas like a blanket. I was in a sleepy little town, Crockett on business and for some reason was drawn to the lonely little mission styled church on 4th Street. Saint Francis of the Tejas a lonely outpost of the Catholic Church. Here he is, Father Peter a bright eyed little Irishman and he was very pleased to have a surprise visitor ask for a confession at midday.

We sat on a pew in the quiet blue toned light of the church instead of the traditional "confessional."
I asked how he came to be in this tiny parish in the middle of the "Baptist Bible Belt."

Father Peter was a former pub owner and had an overwhelming conversion one night and knew he was called to be God's priest. He goes the next day to the officials of the closest seminary and is quickly ushered away. You see Father Peter was completely illiterate. How on could a man who can neither read nor write even consider priestly training which requires several college degrees and study in Latin, Philosophy, Theology, Biblical History, etc.

Father Peter starts to learn to read and write, but it is a slow process for a grown man and he still has the pub to look after. He goes back to the seminary. "No you cannot be a priest." Nine times over many years he is turned away. He studies Holy Scripture, The Catholic Catechism, St. Augustine, Thomas Merton, and he waits for an answer to his prays. It looks hopeless.

One night he angrily storms into the local church, shuts the door and locks it. He shouts every curse word he could think of at God in an angry holy rage. Why God would you call me so strongly and I can not do this thing!

Two weeks later he is tending bar on a cold and rainy night. In walks a tall old silver haired "man of the cloth." He orders a Guinness and ask for Peter. "Peter, I hear you want to be a priest." "Yes, Father I do." The man was father Kelly. He arranges for Peter to move to the Diocese of Tyler, Texas and he is excepted at seminary and after years of struggle he becomes a priest in 2009. My guess is that he is about 60 years old. He got his call at age 30. A thirty year journey. What a story for those who have ears to listen and eyes to see.

I meet a man of God, a confessor and a friend. By the way, he has learned enough Spanish for his parishioners Spanish masses. His 240 families in this tiny church are struggling spiritually and financially. Pray for his flock as Father Peter prays for us all.


Dave
 

Friday, August 10, 2012

the presence


The sun rises and God is there. I take out the trash and He is with me.  A madman murders the people worshipping in the Sikh's temple and He is there as well. Even death cannot separate us. The Sikh's do not have a word in their language for death. they say "her work is done here." 

Losing this presence is possibly the worst thing that could happen to me. This ability to speak to Him directly is the key to joy. 

The following is from the writings of an ancient monk.

"He said that a sharp distinction should be drawn between acts of the intellect and those of the will. The former are of little importance, while the latter mean everything. All we really have to do is love God and rejoice in Him." from the writings of Brother Lawrence.


-Dave 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Real Men Love Jesus... Really?




A true relationship with God is one where we question authority and have doubts. Blind faith is well... blind. True faith is a struggle if it is our own because the worst temptation for us today is to just take another person's faith without the searching. 

To have hope means you will face some frustrations.

Whenever I see a man with a bumper sticker that reads, "Real Men Love Jesus" for some reason I never think of Jesus, but I think of the man driving the pickup truck. Recently I saw a note from a women and it said " I don't care what you believe in, I care about how you act." Maybe a better motto would be: real men act like they love Jesus.

The problem seems to be that so many Christians seem to want to project their idea of Christ on others. I would much rather invite you to investigate God yourself. Have your own experience.



~ Dave

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Oringinal Child Bomb and Christ in the Desert

link to a 10 min. video, B is for Bomb
1. In the year 1945 an Original Child was born. The name Original Child was given to it by the Japanese people, who recognized that it was the first of its kind.
Quote from Thomas Merton from a poem titled "Original Child Bomb."

Christ choose a desert to pray in for forty days and on July 16, 1945 we test a bomb in the desert of New Mexico. We called the project "Trinity."

The atomic power of the universe itself is harnessed by men to incinerate a city full of human beings. Yes a bombing campaign could kill 70,000 people too, but this was different. As we say in America, "time is money" and this child is fast!

Many said it was a very good thing because it ended the war right away and we did not have to invade Japan itself. We were very angry with our enemy and surrender had to be unconditional. Because the Japanese wanted to keep their Emperor. Our government said no, you will be humiliated for your crimes. We have our principles.

So this atomic bomb would keep the peace we were told. Some said a 1,000 years of peace would prevail. The Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq, Iraq again, Afghanistan...well a few wars anyway followed. So now we stand ready to fight a new war with Iran because they might have their own atomic bomb.


 Is peace even worth the effort? We all seem to be so fatigued by the question.

~Dave

Thursday, March 1, 2012

and the greatest of these is power...



So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Corinthians 13:13

So if love is the answer, what is the problem?

The liturgy of The Church for lent starts with the story of Christ in the desert. The devil's first temptation to turn stones into bread perhaps represents our lower temptations, intoxication, lust, gluttony...the list goes on.

Even if believing in the devil is impossible or at least difficult for you as it is for myself we should not be too concerned. The lessons are still in front of us all.  The mere fact that we see ourselves and others virtually taken over by drug addiction, alcoholism, sexual addictions, food or a myriad of other problematic pleasures that all have one element of destruction. Separation from a relationship with our Creator. Self reliance. We settle for the quick high of pleasure in exchange for peace, love, joy and service to our fellow human beings. Pleasure is a good thing not bad, but we must not devote our lives to the pursuit of it.

The second temptation of the Christ was of glory as Satan takes Jesus to the high point of the Jewish Temple. Think of the wasted lives spent seeking other people's attention and admiration.

The last temptation of Christ is the most dangerous. At a glance he is shown the kingdoms of all the earth and is offered to rule them all...Power, the most intoxicating and deceiving character defect of all.

In my case my attempts to manipulate others has caused the most pain and grief for both myself and all in my path. That is why my most needed prayer is simple.

"Let Your Will be done."

~Dave

Friday, February 3, 2012

mindfulness in the desert land as the sun sets


When death comes to cover our eyes, will we be conscious enough to ask, "what did I really care about? What did I value? Did wisdom come my way? Did I love well."



Friday, January 13, 2012

the boiling over of it all


                                                                                                            photo by D. Rosen July 2011


We are witnesses to the greatest revolution-a spontaneous boiling over of the inner person.

Surprisingly it is not the Arab Spring, The Occupy Wall Street crowd, political parties, political races...no this one is deeper and much more of a desperate sort.  Are we to be hopeful or depressed? are we to destroy or build? Love or hate? We are a baffled lot.

Violence and fear rule the night and doubt and faith cling to us in the dream time as we fall asleep.
This spiritual dilemma is one that can not be avoided. Man scoffs at religion yet he makes a religion out of any idiotic thing of his own making as long as it is in his own image.

We have isolated ourselves with our technology when it was to be the answer to all our problems. Yet there is at the same time a new evolutionary enlightenment where millions of people, Christians, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, even secularist and just plain seekers of a Power that is greater than themselves are casting off the chains of their own ego's and saying...I am willing, willing to seek...finding the hidden soul that God knows deep inside each man, women and child.

-Dave

Sunday, December 18, 2011

of shadow man and leaf jumper


The shadowy man scurried across the street with a look of despair while the young lovers crossed in the other direction and did not even see this phantom soul.

As I walked down Worth Street it occurred, the thought that at that very moment my love for every single human on this spinning globe was real. Even if it originated perhaps from hearing about Thomas Merton's revelation at the corner of Walnut and Fourth Street that cold December day so long ago in Louisville.

Tonight I witness my friend celebrate 2 years as a free man and continue his spiritual journey. Tomorrow we gather to celebrate my dear daughter's fifth birthday and life is good. It is not a dead end street.  God is with us each step along our way.

Dave