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Jun 28, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Day 11: Rest

Dear Pope Francis,

I love the poetry of David Whyte. I have dogeared the life out of several of his books. I also love that he has recorded many of his lectures. If it were possible to wear a groove in an MP3 file, all of my David Whyte audiobooks would be unplayable.

On one of these recordings, “The Poetry of Self-Compassion,” Whyte talks about a time in his life when he was completely burned out. One night he met up with David Steindl-Rast and asked him to talk to him about exhaustion. Steindle-Rast replied that the opposite of exhaustion is not rest; rather, it is wholeheartedness.

I’ve been through burnout. In fact, I was dealing with burnout when I first listened to this David Whyte lecture. And it really resonated with me. I began to focus not just on resting my body and mind, but also what I could be wholehearted about.

This blog is the result of that. Having been touched by the New Cosmology, eco-spirituality, and the implications of the Universe Story, I feel a deep need to spread awareness. Through this blog I hope to provide a conduit for information about the New Cosmology to a broader audience. It’s my bit of what Thomas Berry would call the Great Work.

So, this daily discipline of putting a few of my scratchings out in the world is one way I can stay wholehearted.

I’ll leave you with some of David Whyte’s poetry.

Loaves and Fishes

This is not
the age of information.

This is not
the age of information.

Forget the news,
and the radio,
and the blurred screen.

This is the time
of loaves
and fishes.

People are hungry
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.

  — David Whyte
      from The House of Belonging
     ©1996 Many Rivers Press

Have a blessed day, Pope Francis.

Your friend,

Kevin

Jun 27, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Day 10: Why it would be nice if Pope Francis gave Cardinal Dolan a call

Dear Pope Francis,

So, I don’t mean to get all political in this blog, but sometimes it’s required.

As you probably know, the U.S. Supreme Court made a couple of long-time-coming decisions yesterday, striking down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and also invalidating California’s Proposition 8.

And then Cardinal Dolan and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops went all emo about it.

OK. I can appreciate that Cardinal Dolan and his colleagues have some issues with marriage equality. I don’t agree, but that’s also my right. But, a “tragic” day for marriage and a risk for the nation? Really? Where was Bishop Dolan when Brittany Spears got married for 55 hours? Where is Bishop Dolan on the near-daily degradation of “straight” marriage? Why are the Knights of Columbus not spending money battling that? Anyone? Anyone?

What I think Cardinal Dolan and the USCCB don’t understand is that they don’t have to conduct same-sex marriages in their churches. It would be nice if they did. Really nice. And just. But nobody is forcing them.

Also, I wonder if they have looked north lately to us in Canada. We’ve had marriage equality for more than a decade now. Is the country in peril? No. Is marriage under threat? No.

If you’re going to decry something, at least base it on some kind of evidence. This hate-based hyperbole is just not respectful.

I know you have been mainly silent on the issue, Pope Francis, but you seem to be a person of reason, tact and respect. Could you give Cardinal Dolan a call and let him know his tactics aren’t helping anyone? All he’s doing is widening the trench, and hurting a lot of people in the process. Thanks.

Phew. Ok. I need some Peter Mayer after that.

Your friend,

Kevin

Jun 18, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Day 1: Dear Pope Francis

Dear Pope Francis,

I hope this blog post finds you well. My name is Kevin. You don’t know me – yet – but I’ve been following you in the media the last few months and, I must say, I’m intrigued.

You seem to have an entirely unique handle on what it means to be Pope. Take these answers you gave to schoolchildren when they asked if you wanted to be Pope and why you don’t live in the Papal Apartments. I found that refreshing. Then you seemed to open the doors of Heaven just a crack to welcome all, even atheists (though your minders then, respectfully, said you might have been misinterpreted). Most recently your off-the-cuff comments to a group of South American religious set off a tizzy of stories.

In fact, Pope Francis, you’ve seen more media coverage in your first 100 days than most newly-elected Presidents or Prime Ministers.

Despite this, I worry a bit about you, Pope Francis. You seem so earnest in your attempts to stay real and connected with the world outside the Vatican. But even the most casual observer of The Vatican and its machinations will tell you what a daunting task that might be. So far,  you’ve managed to eschew many of the trappings of your office, such as the elaborate vestments preferred by your predecessor. This is good. But, as time goes on, I hope an invisible Papal straightjacket doesn’t settle about your shoulders, and begin to tighten. The world so desperately needs a pastoral Pope, Francis, not a patriarch.

Which brings me to why I’m writing this blog to you. It occurs to me that you might need some eyes and ears in the outside world to keep you informed. I’m just a guy, tapping away on a laptop, but I think I might be able to offer up some helpful insights once in awhile to keep you in the loop. Think of me as an outside reality consultant. Just as companies and organizations employ consultants to give them the straight goods on how they are operating, I can offer a little perspective to you. I might also make you aware of things you hadn’t heard about, or provide some additional information you might not have considered.

My credentials? As I said, I’m just a guy with a laptop. Though I did just complete my Masters at the Sophia Center at Holy Names University, where I studied culture an spirituality, so I have a little bit of book-learning on my side.  I’m a writer and keen observer of the world. I’ve written a couple of pieces for the National Catholic Reporter, and maintain another blog. In my professional life, I’m a communications consultant, so I know all about keeping up an image and getting messages out.

So, Pope Francis, expect to hear from me on a daily basis from here on out. I’m looking forward to this journey with you, and what we find together.

Your friend,

Kevin

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