Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanks from a Grateful Elder


This snow storm here in WNY is not a joke. Today its danger compounds. Snow  - hard cold snow is piled so high. Half of my large garage is covered. I cannot see the house across the street. The snow is up to my windows now and it keeps coming down. Power outages are being reported in nearby towns. Eight deaths are attributed to this disaster. Because that is what it is - a disaster. My town has made the national news. It has been constantly on the major networks and the weather channel. It is clear so many of us are in danger. 

Especially seniors.

I consider myself pretty fit for my age and very resourceful. But the fact is, as you age, there are limits to what you can do physically. This storm has presented many challenges. I have met them emotionally and spiritually. I am unable to respond physically, however. 

It's an age thing. All I can do is wait out this frightful episode.

This is why calls and texts and messages from friends and family mean so much and make me feel like I will be okay. They understand my situation. Glenn and I are lucky to have one another. To enjoy as best we can this internment. But we, being social animals and doers, if you will, are anxious to rejoin the human race. 

I cannot believe the people in my life who couldn't take the time for a quick phone call, email, text, Facebook posting or tweet. It is terrible how self absorption and lack of empathy pervades so many. Well, I accept your careless natures. You are what you are. I will always remember that.

I will also always remember those sweet people who love me enough to check in. 

Thank you nephews Michael and Adam. Thank you niece Anne Marie. Thank you dear friends Don Paul,Cathy Hechler, Jane Eve and Ken Ruisi.. Thank you cousins Nancy and Donna.  Thank you Aunt Grace & Rose. Thanks cousins Diane and Maryanne in San Francisco AND sister-in-law Colleen and brother-in-law Colin. And a special thanks to a great neighbor and friend, Jean Feldman.

You all understand that at whatever age , humans need to feel they matter. I am grateful. Michael, Adam, Anne Marie, Don, Cathy, Jane Eve, Ken, Nancy, Donna, Grace, Rose, Diane, Maryanne, Colleen and Colin & Jean - you all matter to me -  especially because I matter to you. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


The Synod on the Family convened by Pope Francis is a gathering of bishops to discuss in frank dialogue the church's role on divorce, marriage, remarriage and gays. A Synod is rare - done only 2 other times by a Pope. Pope Francis presents a beacon of hope by just making this happen. With hope comes despair. Many responses to the Synod by mean spirited people is alarming and just plan sad. If you believe in prayer, take the time to do so. Another good man, Fr. James Martin urges prayer and explains why below. Please read his compelling meditation by a good Catholic.. Thank You - tony 

Evening meditation:

Over the last few days, we've all prayed a great deal for the Synod on the Family, and there have been many postings on the question of the church's pastoral response to divorced and remarried Catholics. But yesterday's New York Times op-ed, the number of vicious responses it engendered on this page, and the moving testimony of Ron and Mavis Pirola at the Synod today, make me ...
think that perhaps it would be good to pray specifically for LGBT people tonight. For, as the Pirolas said, they are part of our family too.

Today I received dozens of messages from LGBT Catholics expressing their pain, after having read some of the comments on this page. It's not surprising that they feel so much pain. I'm sad to say that too many Catholics, in almost every corner of our church, from chanceries to sacristies to homes, still harbor hatred and fear of gays and lesbians. It's not only scandalous but sinful.

But there are other reasons for their pain. Some people may not know that over 20 percent of hate crimes are violence against people based on their sexual orientation (the vast majority being LGBT people). Or that LGBT youth are in this country four times more likely to commit suicide. Worldwide, in five countries and in parts of two others, homosexuality is still punishable with the death penalty, while a further 70 countries imprison citizens because of their sexual orientation.

Today's Gospel, in which Jesus tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan, may also speak to us about LGBT persons. For the parable is not only about being compassionate to someone in need, but how the carrier of grace is often the one who has been rejected, despised and marginalized.

So tonight, perhaps we could pray for our LGBT brothers and sisters. Let us pray for an end to violence against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, as well as an end to the kind of language, especially within our church, that may lead to hatred for, rejection of, or violence against gays. And let us work so that every gay person feels as welcome as everyone else does in the church into which they were called at their baptism--by God.

Our friend Fr. William Hart McNichols has graciously allowed me to share with you his icon "The Passion of Matthew Shepherd," which depicts the murdered young man before the fence post to which he was tied and beaten to death in 1998. May it lead you to prayer. 

                             Matthew Shepherd murdered IN AMERICA because he was gay.
Icon "The Passion of Matthew Shepherd," which depicts the murdered young man before the fence post to which he was tied and beaten to death in 1998. May it lead you to prayer.

Thursday, October 2, 2014



I honor all paths to the spiritual. When religions argue "We are the way - the only way" it is shameful! They act like exclusive clubs. "Join us. We are better. We know the truth"

God is present in all religions. 

The truth - the only truth is BE GOOD. It's that simple. Rituals, prayers, mantras  mean nothing if you are not good.

Being good is a subjective thing with all the different religions and cults telling their followers what being good is. "Do what we say and you will go to heaven. Believe only us. We are the only way. If not, then you are damned." This usually entails condemnation, punishment, ostracism. Now, who's being good?



The path you chose need not be through a religion or cult. In fact, you are better off forging your own path. Learning and living the truth through creativity is my path. I allow myself to exist in a world of diversity - to block out those who use God to punish, to validate their hatred. I wage a personal war against those bible thumpers who interpret its pages to define their prejudices - who extract the beauty and poetry from the bible turning it into a manifesto of bias, intolerance and fear.

The world - life - is a work in progress. ALWAYS always moving forward - lessons learned and applied. This is how the wise live. We are extensions of everything that has gone before us. It is our duty and privilege to participate in moving society forward - to iron out the wrinkles - to strive for goodness - not a subjective judgemental goodness. No, strive for the objective good. It's not difficult to know the objective good. Breath, listen and it becomes all too apparent. 

Unfortunately, many of the world's religions lag far behind. They use the bible written in ancient times reflecting those times, to domineer their followers.








They all say the same thing.




Love one another


Dear Readers, Friends, Brothers and Sisters, Men, Women and Children,

Hear what I say. Love one another. That's it. All the rest is talk.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Proper Strangers


It's like falling out of love. 

It's sad. 

It's rather like a fine piece of broken china that is impossible to mend or a beautiful clock that has ceased running for good. It's beautiful to look at so you don't throw it away but its value has diminished considerably. Eventually, you will throw it away. 

A close relationship ends after years. A close family member becomes estranged. Trust has been broken. Words were spoken -  actions taken. 

Silences begin. Weeks go by. Years go by. 

How do you fix it and reunite?

How do you unring a bell?

A return to a once close relationship is never as it was. A starchy civility sets in. You watch  every word and action. You are careful. Too careful.

It's not what it was. What it was was honest, messy and real. Trust was what allowed you to NOT be careful. 

Honesty without malice - that's a true relationship.

That all goes. And it will never return.

Civility is for strangers NOT friends - NOT family.

What happens in reconciliation?  

You now have a familiar, cordial ever so proper stranger in your life...........back in your life.  

You trade pleasantries. A few attempts are made at rekindling what once was but it is half hearted. 

You stop caring in that deep way - that way that haunted you when you were estranged. Now, it's all about smooth sailing - no ripples, no waves just a nice pleasant cruise. Don't go out too far. Stay close to shore. Life rafts won't be necessary. It will be a safe journey - no bumps, no leaks. And that's good. Right? 

"Hi, how are you?"

"Fine - and you?



"Uh huh - good."


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

San Francisco September 2014

I left my heart in San Francisco - really, I did!!