Friday, August 28, 2015

Firm Faith of Jimmy

It was easy watching President Jimmy Carter tell of his cancer. He told the world about it in the eyes of faith. His eyes. His faith. Without drama, Carter smiled as he told his tale: Cancer is in his brain. Yet, amid all this, he stood firm in his faith. And, after radiation treatment, he taught his usual Sunday Bible School class full of hundreds of people attending. Faith is his life. Carter doesn't wear his faith on his sleeve. It is him. People may laugh about his presidency, but, what is most important, is faith. His own. Mine. And, yours!

Monday, August 24, 2015

This Wednesday evening at Chene and Lafayette in downtown Detroit, a collection of clergy and other citizens are addressing the epidemic of children living with one parent in metropolitan Detroit, along with the pockets of poverty, and heroine's rise, organizers said. At 6:30 pm, the public is welcome to participate in the revival with rap, hymns and preaching for all as residents and leaders occupy the corner and hold a rockin inter-religious tent revival for all.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The 10 Commandments

What would society look like if the Detroit-area newspapers, among other towns, published the ten commandments from the Good Book once in a while?

To Life...in a Teetering Civilization That Sells Body Parts

In "Fiddler on the Roof," a central character says: "To life..." And, each time I try to engage someone about when life begins, there may be a pause, or, an impassioned statement. Then, I may speak of the trafficking of sacred body parts today, and, how I grimace with pain at how I watch a barbaric act done to a baby in his or her mother's womb. "God help us," I silently say. God forgive us for we know not what we do! And, I wonder who is the author and giver of life now? Surly not I. Or, you. Or, others. Or, mother alone. Or, ecclesiastical leaders, and, the pope. Some segments of society think that their power, or, their influence or education, or, even their place in government, or, lawyers, or, judges on the Supreme Court, allows them to be lord of life's limits. Not! To life. But, when does life start? When? Is life not a scientific issue? Hardly, is life's beginning point a theological, or, a question for philosophers, as much as they may want to resolve the issue of life's start, or, end, for that matter. In science class, perhaps biology sessions at Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish High School at Townsend and Miller in Detroit's 48213 zip code, Mrs. Newton, and, Sister Mary Assumpta, taught me that life starts when the chromosomes of the sperm fuse with those chromosomes of the ovum. Formed from this biological (meaning, "life logic") interactivity, is a distinguished and distinctive DNA compound complex that manages the new organism's growth and progress. And, unless this new life grows, and, changes daily, and, often, it will die. It will. All living organisms are like that, no? Change, grow, or, give up living as an organization. Until, and, if, a natural accident strikes or interrupts the evolving baby's growing, progress mounts in this organism's eventual fruition. That is about nine months. Like my twin sister and myself, Patti emerged from the birth canal minutes before I too was pressed to exit the warmth and the safety of my mother's womb, and, the water, and, the fallopian tube that fed me, I'm told by scientists. Later, age appropriately, my dad and mom spoke to me about the "birds and the bees," and, how God formed my siblings and me. They confessed that the sexual intimacy and penetration of dad and mom produced human and sacred life. Before those talks, I thought a stork brought my four sister and three brothers to our two-family, aluminum-sided home at 7107 Arcola Street, near Van Dyke and Lynch Road in the Detroit zip code of 48234. That cherished time of maturation is savored to this day. Even as my father drove a brown, older Dodge vehicle without a license to operate a motor vehicle (my farming dad went only through the second grade in the Port Austin, MI., schoolhouse, while my farming mother of a merged family, like dad's, finished the eighth grade and came to Detroit to work), some of his children prayed that we wouldn't be stopped by the police, and, that we would arrive uneventfully to the Detroit City Airport, for example, where we recreated as we watched ascending and descending airplanes on Sunday afternoons. The complexities of family life were limited without any surpassing of boundaries of human life's sacredness. Today, a throw-away and locomotive-like-speed of an engine's train finds many Americans traveling in the fast lane, ever ready to thrown life away in and outside the womb. Like the respect one must have for human sexuality and life, so, also youngsters, among others, must be taught to respect guns in a violence-prone culture of anger, impatience, and, the need control, and, to be right at any cost! To life. For sure. Although the Supreme Court claimed they could not determine when human life actually began, they decided, or, asserted, the impossibility of judges and lawyers really knowing. After all, they are far from the scientists who know, as, I was taught when life began. That matter and energy are not destroyed in time, but change, and, evolve. A shadow government, as a conscientious physician I know, dubs attorneys, is far from the Supreme Law of God...in the beginning. What worries me is that my own generation seems to think we know everything. However, the fact is, no one knows all things, but the Maker of heaven and earth alone. Like the mayor of Warren, Michigan, the honorable Jim Fouts, a former and much-loved teacher, security and safety in his town, is similar to the need for protection in and outside the womb, and, for that matter, taxpayers who pay for a civilized society. A civilized society remains that only with boundaries, discipline, respect for all of creation, and, the law of God in the ten commandments of the Hebrew Scriptures in Exodus, chapter 20, and, Deuteronomy, chapter 5. By now, I have to wonder what my taxes are financing. And, what is my government getting away with when there are over 40 million U.S. addicts, only to be outdone by a society with fledgling families, and, increasing numbers of precious children without a mother and a father to form, inform, and shape them, unlike my own parents who were far from perfect, but tried to raise us into faithful citizens of what I still hope is the greatest nation on the Earth.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Marriage and Family: Fortress or Field Hospital?

Family is a healing system that loves, laughs, enjoys household, eats together, and, is disciplined with praying times together, for sure. In some way, it could be a fortress against the demonic elements closing in on it, attempting to even destroy the firmness and the foundation of the family - the glue of society. My own family was a merged system on my mother's side and my dad's side also. On August 29th, we meet for a family re-union in Bad Axe, Michigan at the park. We grow as we meet- re-meet, gather and gather again. Praise God.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Marriage and Family Minute Reminder

Survival was the major focus for my dad's father who buried his wife when my own father was only six months old. Grandpa needed a wife with the merged families and the farm in Port Austin, Michigan, the thumb of the "hand" that is Michigan's shape. Today, personal, and, perhaps interpersonal fulfillment is the key expectation of spouses, it seems to me, a counselor who observes the signs of the time when it comes to family, and more, including marriage in that order - marriage and family! Respect, reconciling differences, patience, among other virtues (inner strengths), power and influence, inlaws (and out-laws!),communication, struggles, economic and spiritual wellness, all demands an affirmative commitment in a time of 40 million U.S. addicts compounding a chaotic culture of marriage and family. Your spouse does love and respect you, on his or her best days. Yet, in days of desolation, doubt, depression, denial and the demonic forces of toxicity transforming one or the others in a matter of seconds, whoa.... as the minions may mouth much in their fantasy and being-dominated days. Time out. Spouses and their sibship will need it daily. And, careful mindful marriages and families do work. They work well when worked at every moment. Praise the Maker of moments of loving, tender care and respect for each member in the family, and, then some couples meet and encounter in the 'hood, at work, at play, and in school.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sunday's Sermon: Marvin Gaye, A Homily on Saint John's Gospel, Chapter 6

Bits and bites of bread. For sure. Feeding, eating, taking, blessing, receiving, and being the Body of Christ. Being. Yes, BEING THE BODY OF CHRIST. We know Jesus as the One of history - en fleshed in Palestine, fleshed in the "ecclesia," the church, and, his body received as precious Body and Blood. Next, we are called to be his Body here. Right here. At home. In one's heart, in speech, for sure. At work, and, at play. His Body in the 'hood at Chene/Lafayette, Detroit 48207, my people/parish where routine rounds fill my day in Elmwood Park Community, west of the jewel of our Belle Isle Park, where a March for Marriage and Family occurs Sunday, August 2nd at 11 am across the MacArthur Bridge, followed by praise, and, a 'pot luck' picnic 'til 5 pm for the public at the Playscape Area. And,'God is Love,' comes to mind, recorded by Marvin Gaye in Studio A of my Motown Museum in Hitsville, U.S.A.: "Oh don't go and talk about my father God is my friend Jesus is my friend He made this world for us to live in, and gave us everything And all he asks of us is we give each other love. Don't go and talk about my father Cause God is my friend. . . Love your mother, she bore you Love your father, he works for you Love your sister, she's good to you, Love your brother, your brother! All he asks of us, I know, is we give each other love." Say it - Right on! They all got their start here in Detroit town - The Temptations, Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder. All were guided by hit maker, Berry Gordy. Psalm 78 pronounces that Israel's ancestors ate "the bread of angels, then and now, in these current days of chaos and crisis in the fledgling family amid 40 million U.S. addicts. God help us! How does the God we sing of, and, talk about, keep it altogether? In the generosity and divine mercy of a huge heart, so to speak. In the abundance of sharing hearts, food, money and more to the least of my sisters and brothers. After all I am my sister's keeper, no? Each part of the body builds up the sinewy nature of Who we receive as Saint Augustine of Hippo, Africa, notes: "Receive who you are - the Body of Christ!" At times, all we want is magic: "Feed us, entertain us, and we will adore you (Jn 6:30). "Follow me," Jesus says. Follow him. Forget the rest, will you? The lone sign God gives is the only One necessary: the flesh and blood of Jesus, God among us now in the homeless stranger at Sunday's picnic, the broken bread, the gathered people. Loads to chew on, no? And, the motto of the City of Detroit of Father Gabriel Richard feeds into my heart and soul with Bread from Heaven and the living, walking Word of God. "Speramus Meliora Resurget Cineribus" - "We hope for better things; it will rise again from the ashes." "Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer be a reproach," notes the prophet Nehemiah, Chapter 2:17. Build fledgling family at home where you are at any given moment. Family is in trouble amid 40 million U.S. addicts, and, a culture of chaos among households. Mount an offensive for marriage. Strengthen your resolve for respect and reconciliation with your spouse, siblings, sons, daughters, and more. Now, is a good time to start. It will. We will. The Bread of Life is like that!