Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year Little Ladies

Here is a suggestion from Terry Hershey:
"If you need a new year resolution for your list, I have a good one.
A simple act. With a simple verb.
Be willing to light a candle."
(Papa does this almost everyday of his life)
Terry continues...
"We learn from the Jewish tradition that one who is willing to light a candle is a 'rodef shalom,' a pursuer of peace."

Ladies,
What a wonderful way to begin your day. What a wonderful way to begin a spiritual practice.
If you do nothing else to begin your day, just try taking time long enough to light one simple candle in a prayerful way.

And then take that light out into the world.

Happy New Year Ladies!

Love,
Papa

Saturday, December 21, 2013

CHRISTMAS 2013

CHRISTMAS GIFTS








A CHRISTMAS LETTER (2013) TO MY LITTLE LADIES

THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS

DEAR
CAROLINE, ALICE, LILY AND ELEANOR,

AT CHRISTMAS WE CELEBRATE THE GIFT OF GOD IN THE FLESH. AS THE STORY GOES :

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being.
What came into into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.
The Gospel of John
1: 1-5

Mysterious words indeed Ladies!

That Word came to be known as The Christ.
And that word now is The Cosmic Christ.

Jesus revealed in himself, the God who is in all of us.

What a great Christmas Gift!

Believe it or not, you too can be that gift to the world.

You too can be that light to the world.

You too can be that light that cannot be extinguished by the darkness.

You all have a particular gift to give to the world!

SO,

As you receive all your gifts this Christmas (whatever Christmas 

it is while you are reading this) Papa would encourage you to 

discover what gift it is that you have that can become your light unto the world.

Finding that gift is finding that image of God which was given to you at your birth.

And in finding that Christmas gift in yourself you create 

Christmas over and over again in the ways you live, love and be in this world.

And that gift is not under a tree, up in the sky and not even in Santa’s bag.

That gift is and always has been deep inside you.

God, the God in you, is closer to you than you are to yourself.

And when you find it:

The Word becomes flesh again.

So Merry Christmas Ladies.

Thank you for being such a gift to Papa!

I love you all!

Christmas 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Apples, Fall, Leaves and Dying


Eleanor,
It's the season of Fall. Fall is Papa's favorite time of the year. And if you like apples, and I see you do, it's really great.
It's  a time of harvest. A time of gathering the fruits of summer.
It's also that time of year when the things of nature go back to the earth, from which they came.
The leaves let go of the tree and die, going back to the earth.
I guess you could call it the season of dying as much as you could call it the season of fall.

Everything that is given life is also given death Eleanor.
Realizing death can enhance your life Eleanor.
Someone somewhere once said, " we need to learn to die before we die."
Chew on that for a while.

love you,
Papa

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Where People Are Gathered in Love, Christ Is Incarnated


Eleanor,
Never forget that God is as close to you as the next gentle kiss from those who love you.


Love,
Papa

Thursday, October 3, 2013

My Prayer For Your Dedication This Past Sunday



 

Eleanor,
I witnessed your dedication this past Sunday, September 29, 2013. This is the prayer I have carried in my heart for you, Alice, Caroline and Lily as you come to know the God who created you in your mother's womb. May you go to the limits of your longing and incarnate the Love of God in your life. May you become who you are in Christ and gift the world with you true self.




God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
(Rilke's Book of Hours, I, 59)

Love,
Papa

Saturday, July 13, 2013

WHO ARE YOU







ELEANOR






WHO ARE YOU



Body and soul contain thousands of possibilities out of which you can build many identities. But in only one of these will you find your true self that has been hidden in Christ from all eternity. Only in one will you discover your unique vocation and deepest fulfillment. But, as Dag Hammarskjold argues, you will never find this "until you have excluded all those superficial and fleeting possibilities of being and doing with which you toy out of curiosity or wonder or greed, and which hinder you from casting anchor in the experience of the mystery of life, and the consciousness of the talent entrusted to you which is your I." We all live searching for that one possible way of being that carries with it the gift of authenticity. We are most conscious of this search for identity during adolescence, when it takes front stage. At this stage of life we try on identities like clothing, looking for a style of being that fits with how we want to be seen. But even long after adolescence has passed, most adults know the occasional feeling of being a fraud-a sense of being not what they pretend to be but rather precisely what they pretend not to be. With a little reflection, most of us can become aware of masks that we first adopted as strategies to avoid feelings of vulnerability but that have become parts of our social self. Tragically, we settle easily for pretense, and a truly authentic self often seems illusory. There is, however, a way of being for each of us that is as natural and deeply congruent as the life of the tulip. Beneath the roles and masks lies a possibility of a self that is as unique as a snowflake. It is an originality that has existed since God first loved us into existence. Our true self-in-Christ is the only self that will support authenticity. It and it alone provides an identity that is eternal. Finding that unique self is, as noted by Thomas Merton, the problem on which all our existence, peace and happiness depend.
 'Nothing is more important, for if we find our true self we find God, and if we find God, we find our most authentic self.'



David G. Benner. The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery (Kindle Locations 69-71). Kindle Edition.


LOVE PAPA

Thursday, June 20, 2013

INTIMACY










ELEANOR,

You won't remember this day but I hope I always will. Your mother left you with me while she went down to the beach with Daddy and Alice.
We had such a special time together, one-on-one.

Thank you for these moments.

I pray we will have them again.

I love you Elie,
Papa






Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sharing Our Sadness

Dear Elie,
It seems something has made you sad or at least a bit unhappy.
This I'm sure is just the first of many times like this in your life.
We can't always avoid unhappiness or sadness, they are part of this wonderful life you have been given. 
To think otherwise would be foolish.
What matters is what you do with the sadness or unhappiness.
May I suggest you always remember to share your sadness and unhappiness as much as you do your joy and happiness.
This kind of sharing can make you feel very vulnerable but it is in our times of vulnerability that we may be most open to transformation.

But be careful to share this with those you trust with your soul.
"Never cast your pearls before swine."

Love,
Papa

Thursday, May 9, 2013

You Are Becoming...



Elie, 
May I call you Elie just this one time sweet Eleanor?
This picture of you brings a hush to my spirit.
A delicate innocence.
What a gift you are.

Thank you for being.

Love,
Papa


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It Really Will Make You Laugh

 Love's Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition


Never Lose the Way
Don't lose the trail
of wisdom's scent.

While on this hunt,
don't go astray,
worrying if every little thing
is good or bad.

You are the traveler,
you are the path,
and you are the destination.

Be careful
never
to lose
the way to yourself.

And in finding yourself Eleanor you will be able to laugh at yourself and at life a little bit more.
Happy April!
Love,
Papa

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Spring




Eleanor,
This is your first spring (2013). Your daddy has planted his first garden (that's his lettuce plot above) and hopes to harvest some good fresh vegetables for the family. He’s hoping this is going to become an ongoing thing for his family. You will have lots of opportunities to watch Mother nature do what is so natural for her, being fruitful, when we take care of her in a gentle, kind and healthy way.
All the seeds he has planted have the potential to become something which can feed your family.
And just like those seeds, you are a little pod, turning towards the light, growing to your full potential that you might someday become food for those around you and the world, sharing your fruits of the spirit that others might pass those seeds along to the next generation.
May you grow this spring in many ways Eleanor,
Sprouting all your potential fruits.
Love,
Papa

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

WELCOME ELEANOR


WELCOME ELEANOR GRACE FAULKNER




Eleanor Grace Faulkner
born Saturday February 23 at 12:06pm
weighing 7lbs - 1oz and measuring 19 inches.


Dear ELEANOR

So there you are in your momma’s tummy at 39 weeks. Pretty impressive, don’t you think?
And there is your precious, sweet (a bit adventurous) sister snuggling close to you at momma’s side.




You see the love in this picture?
I pray you remember this closeness as you get older.
There will always be someone you can cuddle up to who loves you for just who you are.
There is just a bunch of love waiting to be given to you.

Welcome to our love!

Love,
Papa

Monday, February 11, 2013

Looks Are Deceiving



Dear Baby Faulkner 2

Don't let the above pictures fool you. You have a very loving, fun, exciting and sometimes a little too brave sister to watch over you in these upcoming early days. I promise she will keep you laughing.

I carry you in my heart with great attention these next few weeks as you prepare for your grand entrance into this world.

I offer this as a way of baptism for you, even now:


God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.
(Rilke's Book of Hours, I, 59)



Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hello







Dear Ladies and Baby Faulkner,
Papa, (the grandfather formerly known as Grampa, morphed by Caroline and Alice into Papa), has continued to be delinquent in his writing to all of you on a consistent basis. I have much catching up to do with Circus Girl and Lily especially. Caroline, as you know, you are a once a month person at this point. But as a way of explanation, I offer the following thoughts about my own personal struggles in this wild and crazy life I have been given. 
Seems this spiritual life, like my name, is constantly being morphed into something else. I’m not saying that is bad. You should know that if you become very intentional about this great Mystery we call God you will find the plates shifting all the time as far as your own understanding of God. Does God shift, maybe? But I really don’t know but life has a way of peeling back layers and layers of our conditioning so we might see better just what it is we need to see for the moment. Paul reminds us that we see through a glass dimly (darkly) but there will come a day when we see things just as they really are. Maybe that’s partly what I mean about an intentional spiritual life, seeing things as they truly are. For sure the reality is just what it is but it may take us a while to see it. And I am beginning to understand that the only way to see that reality is by dying. I don’t mean dying in the sense of not breathing anymore. I mean another kind of dying. The kind of dying Jesus talks about when he says “if you would find your life you must first lose it”. There are those who say we must die before we die. I’m still not sure just what that experience is but in some ways I believe I have been doing some dying over the last six months. It would be impossible for me to go into the details of that in this love letter to all of you but suffice it to say that I had to step back and do some deep personal work before I could begin to write to all you again. It has been wonderfully painful and tender at the same time. The pain was experienced mostly by my ego but the tenderness was experienced by my soul, a grace mysteriously given. 
So I haven’t really been ignoring all of you. I just had some things to work on if I was going to try and continue to be a good Papa. 
Let me sum it up by using one of my most favorite quotes from T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land.

We shall not cease from exploration 
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time.
So here is Papa, arriving where he started, and knowing the place for the first time.
I’m not going to unpack all this for all of you. You need to do that for yourselves, just like I am and will continue to do until the day I take my last breath.
I will leave you with these words from Richard Rohr’s Book, Immortal Diamond
The Song of The True Self
Within us there is an inner, natural dignity. (You often see it in older folks.)
An inherent worthiness that already knows and enjoys. (You see it in children.)
It is an immortal diamond waiting to be mined and is never discovered undesired.
It is a reverence humming with you that must be honored.
Call it soul, the unconscious, deep consciousness, or the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Call it nothing.
It does not need the right name or right religion to show itself.
It does not even need to be understood. It is usually wordless.
It just is, and shows itself best when we are silent, or in love, or both.
I will call it the True Self here.
It is God-in-All-Things yet not circumscribed by any one thing.
It is enjoyed only when each part is in union with all other parts,
Because only then does it stand in the full truth.
Once in a while, this True Self becomes radiant and highly visible in one lovely place or person.
Superbly so, and for all to see, in the body of the Risen Christ.
And note That I did say “body.” It begins here and now in our embodied state in this world. Thus, the Christ Mystery travels the roads of time.
Once you have encountered this True Self—and once is more than enough—the False Self will begin to fall away on its own.
This will take most of your life, however, just as it did in Jesus.
Love,
Papa

Sunday, January 13, 2013

You and Your Momma, Eating Chicken


Dear Baby Faulkner,

There you and your momma are about six weeks before you are to enter this world, eating chicken right out of the box I'm told by your Daddy.

Just so you know, You have a lot of good eating to look forward to.
Breaking bread and good conversations.
A holy thing we do as a family.
Good food, good conversations!
Intimacy.
No different for me than being in the presence of "The Holy".

Welcome to the table Baby Faulkner!

Love you,
Grampa