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God created the good, green Earth, which some are intent on destroying.

I wish we’d get over this lunatical notion that we need to explore Mars because humankind is going to need it to re-locate some day.

Now that I got that off my chest…

I’m sharing this Ute Native American poem for the simple reason that I love poetry and memorize a lot of it and I liked this so much that I memorized it a few years ago.

And sharing because every day is Earth Day, or should be.

EARTH teach me stillness
As the grasses are stilled with light.

And sharing because I’m so distressed by the current administration doing everything in its power to steamroll American Natives and their sacred lands.

While, at the same time, it is thoroughly advancing the destruction of American land and water sources from coast to coast.

So I need the beauty and wisdom of these words to help me maintain my spiritual equilibrium.

And with no further ado … I invite you to reflect on these loving words, gentle reader:

EARTH teach me stillness
As the grasses are stilled with light.
EARTH teach me suffering
As old stones suffer with memory.
EARTH teach me humility
As blossoms are humble with beginning.
EARTH teach me caring
As the mother who secures her young.

EARTH teach me courage
As the tree which stands all alone.
EARTH teach me limitation
As the ant who crawls on the ground.
EARTH teach me freedom
As the eagle who soars in the sky.
EARTH teach me resignation
As the leaves which die in the fall.

EARTH teach me regeneration
As the seed which rises in spring.
EARTH teach me to forget myself
As melted snow forgets its life.
EARTH teach me to remember kindness
As dry fields weep with rain.

~ from the poetry of the Ute Native American Indians

Meanwhile, down on the U.S./Mexico border…

Art by Angel Valdez for The Houston Catholic Worker at http://www.cjd.org

The Trump administration–with all its Christians who never let us forget how Christian they are–continues its policy of cruelty toward poor, vulnerable, so-called “invaders.”

I still hear this all it time from conservatives: Parroting Trump, they say we’re being “invaded” by people from south of the U.S. border. They love that Trump is fighting to stop this invasion.

I point out to them that invaders are almost always heavily armed because they seek to conquer a land and its people by force. The desperate people seeking asylum at our borders are unarmed men, women and children who couldn’t conquer America if they wanted to.

Which they don’t.

They hardly qualify as “invaders.”

Art by Bro. Mickey McGrath, an Oblate of St. Francis De Sales, artist, author, and speaker. More on him at http://www.bromickeymcgrath.com and http://www.embracedbygod.org

It’s interesting the responses I hear from those conservatives. They typically pivot to the argument that we are being invaded by violent, heavily armed drug smugglers. Which is an entirely different issue from the issue of poor and vulnerable people fleeing violent, heavily armed drug gangs in their home countries.

I’ve said it often and will say it again: American conservatives–especially those who purport to be Jesus-loving, God-fearing Christians–simply have no defense for the Trump administration’s endless cruelty toward asylum seekers.

* * *

The wonderful Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation shared an article about St. Peter Claver this morning on its Facebook page. The Spanish Jesuit devoted most of his life ministering to thousands of African slaves who arrived every year at the port city where he lived in the 16th century.

Mary van Balen, a fine spiritual writer who penned the Shalem Institute article, writes:

    As I thought of Peter Claver’s instinctive action to first alleviate human suffering, the plight of refugees at our Southern border came to mind. They come mostly from Central and South America, fleeing unspeakable violence, poverty, and fear for their lives. How are they met?

    I spoke with Sister Barbara Kane, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace in Columbus, Ohio. She and others in her community have traveled to El Paso to serve as they could.

    She spoke of refugees’ long waits in enclosed areas (some liken them to cages) until they have their Credible Fear Hearing (when the refugee states what has driven them to seek asylum). “The enclosures have concrete floors, are kept at 60 degrees, and are so small people are packed together, unable to lie down to sleep,” Sr. Barbara said. People receive little food. Yet, despite the great needs, no one is allowed inside to help.

Thank God we still have many American Christians, clergy and lay alike, whose “instinctive actions” are to do whatever they can to alleviate the suffering that is still being compounded by the Trump administration while impeachment is in all the news.

You can read van Balen’s entire article, which I commend to you, dear readers, here.


God is packing his bags for Cancun. Let me explain why.

The godly woman in the video above, the fabulously wealthy evangelical preacher Paula White–who has the kind of hair and figure that has always appealed to Donald J. Trump–is now employed by Donald J. Trump in the White House, which is now without question The Christian People’s House.

As far as I can tell, her job description is simply to protect God.

And probably to provide the kind of Christian moral training that the president and First Lady undoubtedly want their young son Baron to receive from God’s most favored evangelical preacher.

And to always stand real close to the Chosen One and give him lots of hugs throughout the working day and night if you know what I mean and I think you do.

The candidate Donald J. Trump once told an audience of evangelicals in a campaign appearance–I am not making this up–that “You don’t have to worry about God anymore. I’m going to protect God for you.”

God has been able to relax ever since Trump moved into the Christian People’s House.

And now, with his favorite blonde Paula White a few doors down from The Chosen One Donald Trump–she whom God has sprinkled with glitter as shiny as all the gold she has made off of poor, gullible people–God can go down to Cancun and chill.

So relax, America. You’re in Paula’s hands.

Paula White, whom God has sprinkled with special, holy glitter.

Him.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

“The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”

— Psalm 46:10-11

It’s getting increasingly difficult in a world so LOUD and full of EXCLAMATION!!! to “be still” and let God be God.

It’s increasingly hard, isn’t it?, to pause and sit still, wherever you are or whatever you’re doing, and focus on your breath and be fully in the present moment — that place where you can hear your heart beat in calming, steady rhythm with the heart of God.

Every chance you get, be still, breathe, and hear the quiet, still voice of God.

Had I not learned a long time ago in my spiritual journey to monitor my anxiety — had I not learned to “pray without ceasing” by deeply breathing in the breath of God when I feel my anxiety rising throughout the day and night — I frankly think I’d go full loop.

The great old mystic Meister Eckhart said:

    “There is a huge silence inside each of us that beckons us into itself, and the recovery of our own silence can begin to teach us the language of heaven.”

“Nothing,” he also said, “in all creation is so like God as stillness.”

At bottom, there is no such thing as the past or the future, both of which we can only know in our imaginations.

But there is pleasant relief from anxiety, even in the midst of chaos, by getting still and breathing and coupling with God in the Here and Now.

Some people have the natural gift of stillness. We call them unflappable. They just seem to know how to breath.

But the gift of stillness, the gift of the Here and Now where God dwells, is available to us all through intentionality, practice, mindfulness — call it what you will.

Seek … be silent … and you shall find rest in the arms of God.

Me and Stephanie Garcia. She’s making straight As and Bs in her 3rd year of schooling at St. Ignatius High School here in San Ignacio/Santa Elena, BZ. However, because I also support her brother Felix’s high school education, and support their little sister Paulita McKay (AKA Miss Belize, my daughter) I need financial help to meet all their needs.

OCTOBER 12, 2019 UPDATE
Greetings from San Ignacio, Belize from me and Stephanie, who I am happy to report is making all As and Bs in her 3rd year at St. Ignatius High School.

When the school year started in early September, I asked for $1,200 to help me finance Stephanie’s education, with the caveat that I might need more early next year.

However, at this point only two months into school, I’ve raised only $575, well short of the $1,200 target.

Any donations that contributors can give at this point would be much appreciated.

And for those newcomers who may be unfamiliar with Stephanie’s story and her needs for school: her story is detailed at our GoFundMe account, in the Education category, at Stephanie’s Education Fund 2019-20, where donations can be made.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/steph039s-education-fund-2019-20?viewupdates=1&rcid=r01-157098462156-ad64da66061249dd&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_email%2B1137-update-supporters-v5b

Email me for more information at revpaulmckay@gmail.com, or contact me on Facebook.

(Also, anyone wanting to see receipts for tuition, books and all the other needs paid for with donations, feel free to make that request via my email.)

Donations can be made through:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/steph039s-education-fund-2019-20?viewupdates=1&rcid=r01-157098462156-ad64da66061249dd&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_email%2B1137-update-supporters-v5b

1. GoFundMe, where donors can search and find our account in the Education category under Stephanie’s Education Fund 2019-20.

2. Directly to my Bank of America checking account via my PayPaul account at revpaulmckay@gmail.com.

Many thanks for your consideration and continued support for Steph.

Paul & Stephanie.


And now for some Friday Music Therapy with The Brotherhood of Dobbie, doing one of those songs that spoke deeply to me the first time I ever heard it and speaks to me so deeply still that I will never get tired of hearing it and dancing to it when nobody’s watching or when they are.

“The Captain And Me”

Deep as a river, wide as the sea
Changin’ the ways of a captain and me
I could be happy, Lord, so then should he
If all of the universe unveiled itself to me
So then a day flows into night
Down the street the beggar man who finds himself in wine
If I am a good man and sure in all my ways
The captain of a starship that’s homeward bound today
Growin’, growin’, changin’ ev’ry day
Knowin’, showin’ all my worldly ways
Hear the chimes, hear how they ring
Marking time all through the day

A whisper, an answer, a cry in the night
Break down, turn around, a feeling of fright
The Indian, the Black Man, the Asian who see
A door that is opening, and they’re goin’ to be free

Growin’, growin’, changin’ ev’ry day
Knowin’, showin’ all my worldly ways
Hear the chimes, hear how they ring
Marking time all through the day

We are all acceptable, we are all a place in time
Moving through a passageway, bringing forth the end of time
Growin’, growin’, changin’ ev’ry day
Knowin’, showin’ all my worldly ways
Hear the chimes, hear how they ring
Marking time all through the day
Light the fire, start the day, mark the light that shows the way
Changing times of fortunes past, we will all be free at last

We are the people of the round about
We are the sails upon the sea
We’re gonna be there when ev’ry body laughs about
The way that we are changin’, you and me, yeah
We are the people of the round about
We are the sails upon the sea
We’re gonna be there when ev’ry body laughs about
The way that we are changin’, you and me, yeah
We are the people of the round about
We are the sails upon the sea
*Lyrics by Tom Johnston

And oh wait … here’s bonus therapy!

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest.

You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.

~ Leviticus 19: 9-10

The poor are not the problem: they are the result of all the problems the rich and super rich create.

I get so weary of the poor and powerless people being scapegoated and blamed for all the economic and social ills in America.

Almost every page of the Bible speaks to treating the poor and marginalized (including the aliens) with love and compassion.

If you want to know God — if you want to be transformed into the full image of God through the saving power of Jesus Christ — take time to know the poor and powerless.

Let go of your fear of the poor — they aren’t the people who wreck economies and markets around the world with the reckless manipulation of money in order to make (or try to make) big money.

Let your guard down.

Hear their stories.

Allow yourself to feel as vulnerable as that man, woman and child who struggles mightily every day just to survive.

Empty yourself of all your preconceived notions about the poor and vulnerable.

I noted in my book, The View From Down in Poordom: Reflections on Scriptures Addressing Poverty, that God himself/herself said that in order know God, we must know the poor.

God says it right here.

God said it.

I believe it.

That settles it.