“Spirituality is not about feeling good about ourselves. It’s about doing good wherever we are. It’s about bringing good to everyone. It’s about becoming the good we seek. It’s about fashioning our souls in the kind of silence that enables the whole world to feel safe in our calm and quiet presence.”

— Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life by Joan Chittister

Spirituality is at the heart of good relationships. When folks think of spirituality they think there’s a connection to religion. There can be but it’s not always a given. I’ll always be more at home with the spiritual than the religious. Dogma, doctrine and rote aren’t for me.

Power of Kindness

Friday morning I left my sister’s home in Tempe, AZ bound for Changing Hands bookstore to purchase some gifts for my children. It is my habit when out of town to remember those closest to me with a small gift. I also frequently remember my two co-workers in the same fashion. Examining the shelves of the “new non-fiction” section I came across a title that was very inviting. “The Power of Kindness-the Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life, ” just kind of leaped off the shelf into my hands. I bought four copies of the book and today I’ve been reading one of them.

I think this is the best book I’ve read in awhile. I recommend it to you. The preface is written by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

Dear Mr. President

Powerful video from Pink. No words can describe what you are about to see and hear.


Prayer request

My daughter has been hospitalized with an unusual infection in her left leg. She’s normally “fit as a fiddle,” running ten to twelve miles a week. Tuesday night we received a call that a friend was taking her to the emergency room of a hospital near her college. Continue reading “Prayer request”

All are welcome

Today as I made my way to Mt. Irenaeus for Mass I could not shut out the specter of war and an overall feeling of helplessness from my mind. Saber rattling by the Bush Administration both in Iraq and lately Iran, along with news that Russia has put its long range bomber fleet back into the air for the first time since 1992. As the father of two draft age children I cringe at the thought of a return to conscription. Continue reading “All are welcome”

Conscientious objector

Thirty-five years ago I volunteered for the United States Navy. I volunteered for the Hospital Corps because like this man I didn’t think I could kill people. It ain’t in me. No amount of training can overcome my most basic instincts and core values. Agustin Aguayo deserves a medal, but he’ll likely get jail time and maybe even a less than honorable discharge.  Agustin’s got real guts. I’m praying for him. There are hundreds or perhaps thousands else like him. We decry the violence at places like Virginia Tech and imprison people like Agustin. We have deep problems here man, deep problems.

“When I hear my sergeants talking about slashing people’s throats,” he said, crying openly, “if I’m not a conscientious objector, what am I when I’m feeling all this pain when people talk about violence?” –Agustín Aguayo.

Read more here.

The Lord hears the cry of the poor..


I just got home from a few days at St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia. I went there to help and I was helped. St. Francis of Assisi said, “it is in giving that we receive,” and that is what happened. I have never witnessed such poverty nor ever lived among its victims and I am deeply touched by what I have witnessed. I don’t have the words yet for all that has happened in the last few days. There are not words adequate to explain what I have seen and heard. Continue reading “The Lord hears the cry of the poor..”


Today was timeout. A day of silent retreat in my own hermitage. Today I read a book that’s been around for a relatively long time. I was aware of some of the principles in the book and I even practice them in my daily life, but I had forgotten to be gentle with myself and today was the day for that. Continue reading “Giving”