Monday, August 06, 2007



Someone once wrote of Johnny Cash, "He's a walking contradiction." Sometimes I think that's true of my friend Jimmy. I don't know of anyone else that is always so ready for a confrontation, and is able to diffuse said confrontation so easily. If someone's being an ass, I can count on Jimmy not to put up with it. He may rant a bit about what he'd like to say or do to the individual, and I cringe for how things may go, but then he confronts the guy and offers him a fruit snack.

Here is an account of a recent situation. Names have been changed to protect the guy that's not Jimmy.

Hey! If you guys have a problem then you can talk straight to me!!!

Excuse me?

I said if you have a problem you can talk to me!!!

Well I would if I knew where to find you.


Don't talk to me like that.


Go ahead. It makes no difference to me.


Alright. Have a nice day, dude.


JIMMY holds a box of chidren's fruit snacks. He spots Major E. De Ott and approaches him.

Hi! Would you like to have a fruit snack?

Er... Uh... Sure. Thanks.

You're welcome.

Hey, uh, I... uh... just wanted to let you guys know... we really appreciate what you do.

Hey, thanks. You, too.

Thank You.

Have a good day. God bless you.

You, too.


This is Jimmy's nature. I'm learning a lot from him. A soft answer turns away wrath, and doesn't take any crap from anybody. A walking contradiction.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007



I am.

Before Abraham was, I Am.

Before the first evening and morning, I Am.

Before the Beginning, I Am.

Simplest Being, Our Christ, You Are.



Home is the place where someone you love wraps their arms around you and says "I love you."

Home is a heart enflamed by love, welcoming you into itself.

Home is where you are free to be exactly who you were meant to be.

"When did I see you a stranger and take you in?"

When you wrapped your arms around her and said 'I love you,' you took me in.

When you welcomed him into your heart, you gave me a warm place to stay.

When you ran and played with them, you gave me a home.

When they come running into heaven, it will feel familiar, because you already showed them the house.

Monday, May 07, 2007



A strange little title we have given to stand for the ineffable Name of the One it represents.


Outside of me. Before me. Apart from me. Permeating creation. Breathing within it. Separate from it, and yet intrinsically connected with it. Untouchable, infinite, eternal.


Outside of me. A person who existed within time. Before me. Apart from me. Born into creation. Separate from it, and born within it. Breathing air. Touchable, finite, temporal.

God chose to be born into the created world. The outside-of-us, before-us, untouchable, intimate, and eternal "God" was made present and intimate.

He talked a lot about his Father, and told his listeners that they were correct in calling him "Son of God." He seemed to indicate that God was a person, or more accurately "persons," since he himself was God and had a Father named God. He knew this would be confusing, and since he didn't want to walk around being addressed only as "God" or "God 2" he asked us to please call him Jesus.

He found the term "God" an inadequate term for describing this Person who was his Father (kind of like addressing a person by their job title), and asked us to please call this Person "Dad." That was a little more intimate.

Then there was this other Person we were to call the Holy Spirit, which has something to do with the special bond between Dad God and Jesus God being the embodiment of Love Itself, and that when we participate in this Love we are taking part in the very Life of Father God and Jesus God.

But I guess that's a whole 'nother story.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I write my latest (and long-overdue) entry from a computer in a Franciscan Friary in San Miguel, California.

I came here on Friday for a short weekend retreat on Franciscan spirituality. I was supposed to leave Sunday. It's Monday and I'm still here. I left yesterday, drove about 2 miles up the road, and... SsssssssSSSsssss!!! Smoke and steam. Seems the ol' coolant level was a little low. Long story short, I'm back at the mission while a friar-friendly mechanic (he does their cars) down the road has a look. I'm awaiting his call.

The Friars and novices here have been incredibly welcoming. There is a spirit to the Franciscans that is so refreshing. The men here make it easy to imagine what Francis himself was like. Times like this are life to me, and I really needed this right now.

I've been in the midst of a lot of doubt and confusion about God's calling on my life. While there are still more than a few question marks over my head, there is also a much greater degree of peace. It's amazing what waking up at 6 in the morning can do for you. Simple prayers. Love and friendship. Christ himself in the Eucharist, giving himself freely, so that I can give myself to him. In times and places like this, my heart opens wide, like a baby bird to his mother.

I don't know if I'll end up with the Franciscans one day. Maybe. I do know that, with or without the collar, God has made me a priest, and Francis and his Little Brothers will always be a great part of what makes me me.

Praised be You, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light...

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful....

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your Love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.

Blessed are those who endure in peace,
for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned....

Praise and bless my Lord and give him thanks,
and serve him with great humility.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

D and E


They are things I live in. I move into them in the morning, and often I've trashed the place by the time I leave that evening. Sometimes, though, I keep the place nice. I explore all the rooms, and realize the place is much bigger than I thought it was. I mean, you can do anything in this place! Other days, I spend mostly in the basement. I crawl up the stairs, crack the door open, maybe even go to the kitchen to grab a bite, but quickly descend the stairs back down into my cold, dark, self. But most days, the Living Room is full of friends, and those are good days.


Are you ready for some crazy? Okay. Let's go.

I'm developing my own view of eternity, somewhat apart from, though not disconnected from, the theological ideas. My theory has to do with the speed of light. According to the theory of Relativity, one's experience of time slows down the faster they travel. It's been proven by an experiment with atomic watches. One was kept on the ground, and one was taken on a plane. When the traveling one was reunited with its grounded counterpart, the traveling watch was a tiny fraction of a fraction of a second behind. So the theory goes that someone traveling at the speed of light or faster would have practically no experience of time. Remember the 80's Disney movie 'Flight of the Navigator'? The kid goes away on a space ship for what he believes was a short time, but when he returns he's been missing for several years. No experience of time.

For part two of my theory, we turn to Star Trek. In Star Trek, the Enterprise travels at 'warp speed.' This is a speed that is faster than light, which allows them to travel great distances in little time. Warp One is the speed of light, warp two, twice the speed of light, etc. Now, there can be no warp ten, but only 9.999 and so on. This is because, as the actual science part of Star Trek goes, there would come a speed so great that you're actually just there. There is no passage of time whatsoever between traveling from point A to point B. That means you're both places at once. If a being could reach this speed, they would actually cease traveling and simply be in all places in the universe at the same time, and the universe is infinite.

This brings me to God.

God is limitless. In a sense, he is traveling at Warp 10 at all times. He is everywhere in the universe at all times, or more accurately, everywhere in the universe is, at all times, inside him. If one's experience of time decreases exponentially as one closes in on "Warp 10", then to be experiencing "Warp 10" is to experience no time at all. Often theologians will say that God is outside of time. More accurately, if God is "traveling at Warp 10", then he is not outside of time at all. In fact, all time is inside God. Physically speaking, he is present at the farthest star and in the smallest quark at the same time. Temporally speaking, God is fully present in the smallest measurable fraction of a mili-second. He has no experience of traversing time, as a rope stretched from point A to point B is fully present in both places.

And this brings me to the Eucharist.

When the Most Holy Mass is celebrated, time and space, in our experience, are split and inverted upon a moment that happened 2000 years ago. Christ's sacrifice at the cross and his resurrection are re-presented to us through the bread and wine. Because all time and space are inside him, he's free to do whatever he wants with it. In a sense, he enters time and space, and, in a sense, we leave time and space. We're present with him at his passion, death and resurrection. He invades the bread and wine with his presence, so that it's not just bread and it's not just wine, it's him. We partake of it, he becomes a part of us, and we become part of him.

When we die, we step out of time in an even fuller sense, and enter into his "Warp 10" experience of time and space, and enjoy his beauty and love forever, which is really... in no time at all.