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Jul 6, 2013 - Music, Resources, Vatican    No Comments

Day 18: An encyclical, canonizations and embezzling, oh my…

Dear Pope Francis,

I had another day off today. You, on the other hand, had quite the busy Friday.

First, you approved the canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. I think the former is deserving. We may have to agree to disagree on the latter.

Then you and your predecessor released your first encyclical. Congratulations. I know from personal experience how great publishing something can be. I must confess I haven’t read it yet, but will download it to my Kindle as soon as I can.

And, of course those stories about corruption at the Vatican Bank continue. I’m really sorry about those. You inherited quite the mess it seems. I wouldn’t try to fix it all in one day. It took centuries — millennia, in fact — for things to get where they are. They are not going to resolve themselves overnight. But I applaud you for your efforts and am definitely in your corner.

Well, I hope you’re getting a good night’s sleep in your room in the the Domus.

Here’s a lovely Peter Mayer song to ease you into sleep. I’ve had this one on repeat lately.

Your friend,

Kevin

Day 17: Drew Dellinger

Dear Pope Francis,

I had the day off today and it was really nice. I got some errands done, read, did some tinkering on the behind-the-scenes of the blog, and even went to a local farmer’s market.

Which is to say I was busy relaxing, and not writing.

Thankfully, I have another writer’s work to share with you. Drew Dellinger is a poet and activist from the San Francisco Bay Area. I love his work. His poems are best appreciated when spoken aloud. So, here’s Drew with one of his most well-known pieces.

Hope you enjoyed that.

Your friend,
Kevin

Jul 2, 2013 - New Cosmology, Resources    No Comments

Day 14: Wait, Matthew Fox is writing to the Pope, too?

Dear Pope Francis,

So, it seems someone else is writing to you. He’s not blogging, but Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing, other works on creation spirituality, and one of my favorite books on creativity, is writing to you too, Pope Francis.

I happened to be browsing Amazon last night and came across Matthew Fox’s new book, Letters to Pope Francis: Rebuilding a Church with Justice and Compassion. Of course, I had to buy a copy for my Kindle to check out the competition. OK. This is Matthew Fox, so I’m not really in his sphere, but I found it interesting that someone else decided to write to you.

It actually speaks volumes that someone like Matthew Fox would write to you, Pope Francis. After all, he’s had some issues with the institutional Church. And, if you don’t mind my saying, he wasn’t treated that well. So, the fact that Matthew Fox believes you’re open and approachable enough for him to write a book of letters, says something.

I’m not sure any of your predecessors would have inspired people such as Matthew Fox, or me, to write you publicly. Maybe Pope John XXIII. But no one since, I don’t think. People loved Pope John Paul II, but I don’t know that they felt they could write to him. I didn’t. And I did not for once think of writing to your immediate predecessor.

But in you, Pope Francis, I see openness. I know we might not agree on some significant matters of doctrine. But I perceive in you at least the willingness to listen and ponder. There has not been enough pondering in the Church the last little while. Not enough true listening, either, for that matter.

I hope your week is going well so far.

Your friend,

Kevin

(By the way, should you order any of those books and add them to your library — I’m not sure there’s a lot of Matthew Fox on Vatican shelves — I get a little bit of money from each purchase.)

Jun 30, 2013 - Music, New Cosmology, Resources    No Comments

Day 12: Praises for the World

Dear Pope Francis,

Summer has finally come in my part of the world. We’re having a very warm Saturday — with the promise of more warmth to come. The various weather authorities are even predicting a heat wave.

It’s been an interesting transition, given that we’ve been rain, cold and gloomy for the past couple of weeks and it has not been very summer-like around here. It’s a rather quick transition. This, coupled with other weird weather news we’ve had of late, makes you wonder if things are actually shifting in terms of our weather patterns. I kind of think they are.

Which, to my mind, makes an engagement in the world around us all that much more important. If things are going to get unpredictable in terms of weather, the only way we’ll cope is by becoming meteorological experts ourselves. We need to re-learn the signs all around us, as they’re new signs.

One of my favorite singers is Jennifer Berezan. This is one of her most well-known works, “Praises for the World.” The YouTube clip doesn’t do the beauty of the song justice, so I’d suggest you go to her website and buy a copy of the CD. It’s money well spent.

I’m always taken by the lyrics “The holiest words I’ve ever read or thought or sung or prayed, were praises for the world.”

Yours friend,

Kevin

Jun 26, 2013 - Music, Resources    No Comments

Day 8: What to do when you hit overwhelm

Dear Pope Francis,

It’s been a really busy couple of days. I’ve had a lot going on. Too much, perhaps. On days like this I sometimes hit a point of overwhelm, where I just can’t handle one more bit of new information or talk to one more person.

If I’ve been paying attention to myself and the warning signs, maybe I’ve headed things off at the pass. But sometimes a little overwhelm happens. And then it’s only a matter of stopping, refocusing and getting myself back on track.

For me, this means tuning out the world for a bit and focusing my mind. I guess you could call it meditation, but I’m not always so formal. Posture? Ummm. Well, sometimes I use a chair. But, don’t tell anyone, sometimes I lie down. Shhhh…

More often than not, I put some music on. One of my favorites is Hymn of the Universe.

Hope you enjoy.

Your friend,

Kevin

Jun 24, 2013 - Music, Resources    No Comments

Day 7: Some music for your Monday, Pope Francis

Dear Pope Francis,

It’s Monday, so I won’t barrage you with anything too heavy today. If you’re like me, you need to ease yourself into the week and Monday’s are not for anything too complicated.

I saw this story about your snub of that gala concert. Have to say, it made me chuckle. You are sure confusing the Curia. Keep it up.

Since you missed that music on Saturday, thought that I would provide you with something to watch and listen to today. It’s by Symphony of Science and is called “We are all connected.”

Hope you enjoy.

Your friend,

Kevin

Day 5: The Dear Pope Francis book club!

Dear Pope Francis,

Apologies for the late post today. Was a busy Saturday of running errands and enjoying the second day of summer. Even managed to work in a nap and some reading.

Speaking of reading, I’d like to start a book club. There are some books I’ve read that I’d like to re-read, and others that I want to read for the first time. It’s always good to have someone to talk to about a good book, so I thought you and I could be our own book club.

Don’t worry. You won’t have to speed read to make a tight deadline and there won’t be any pop quizzes. We’ll spend a lot of time on each book. In fact, you might want to use the book as part of your daily lectio divina, if that resonates with you. I like to change it up a bit myself and branch out from Scripture occasionally.

The first book is probably the best grounding in the New Cosmology that you could get. It’s The Universe Story by Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. Much of what I wrote about in this post came from that book. It’s one of my favorites and I’m happy to give it another read. It’s widely available, and that link will take you to an Amazon page where you can purchase it. (Note that it’s an affiliate link, and I’ll get a little bit of money if you buy it through there. Will help keep us in vigil candles and incense around here for awhile.)

Anyway, that’s all for today. I look forward to discussing The Universe Story with you.

Your friend,

Kevin

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