Archive for the Sermons Category

2014-01-07 13.06
January 1, 2014
‘cloudy with a sense of rain’

Gospel:
“With the breakdown of the medieval system, the gods of chaos, lunacy, and bad taste gained ascendancy.”
Ignatius was writing in one of his Big Chief tablets.

After a period in which the western world had enjoyed order, tranquility, unity, and oneness with its True God and Trinity, there appeared winds of change which spelled evil days ahead. An ill wind blows no one good. The luminous years of Abélard, Thomas à Becket, and Everyman dimmed into dross; Fortuna’s wheel had turned on humanity, crushing its collarbone, smashing its skull, twisting its torso, puncturing its pelvis, sorrowing its soul. Having once been so high, humanity fell so low. What had once been dedicated to the soul was now dedicated to the sale.

By Ignatius J. Rielly
From A Confederacy of Dunces

Sermon:
Brothers + Sisters, fathers + sons, mothers + daughters, husbands + wives, friends and family, consider with me your souls, your energies, your essence. Free from any other applied construct of economics, of spirituality, of sociology, your soul stands here on Earth, under the influence of these ideas but not commanded by them. Your souls! The biological electricity of your being, the coded programming of your ancestry, the psychological persuasion of your mind, are allies in your journey of discovery, a discovery of yourself, your universe and yourself IN the Universe. Your soul is your vessel in this odyssey. Your soul is abstract, undefined, nebulous, luminous, enlightened. Scientists have searched for it. Clergy have claimed possession of it. But it has eluded theircontainment and runs free. With intimacy we cling to it. And sadly, at times we feel it slipping away, but for this moment, for us here now, today, it burns blue, blue, blue.

July 17, 2011
‘scattered showers’

Gospel:
By Joe Campbell
a studier of mythology
“But then comes this discovery of the great cycles of the heavens, and what you find is a great concern to relate the whole organization of the society to this cycling–a tremendous accent on seasonal festivals. These festivals are not meant to control nature. They are meant to put you in accord with nature, and when you are in accord with nature, nature will yield its bounty. This is something that is coming up in our own consciousness now, in the ecology movement’s recognizing that by violating the environment in which we are living we are really cutting off the energy and the source of our own living. It’s through this sense of accord, living properly in relation to what has to be done in this world, that one fosters the vitality of the environment.”

Sermon:
Pay close attention and consider with care the spin and swivel of our world, our pale blue dot. Be in harmony of the cicadas of summer, the falling leaves of Autumn, the long road of Winter and Spring’s green gold’s. Notice the transitions from camellia to azalea to gardenia to magnolia. To recognize the cycle is apropos, to revel in it is divine.

Further:

July 24, 2011
‘a slow, wet Sunday’

Gospel:
From “Ethica Nicomachea”
by Aristotle
A thinking Greek

for the end at which boxers aim is pleasant — the crown and the honours — but the blows they take are distressing to flesh and blood, and painful, and so is their whole exertion; and because the blows and the exertions are many the end, which is but small, appears to have nothing pleasant in it. And so, if the case of courage is similar, death and wounds will be painful to the brave man and against his will, but he will face them because it is noble to do so or because it is base not to do so. And the more he is possessed of virtue in its entirety and the happier he is, the more he will be pained at the thought of death; for life is best worth living for such a man, and he is knowingly losing the greatest goods, and this is painful. But he is none the less brave, and perhaps all the more so, because he chooses noble deeds of war at that cost.

Sermon:
A lot has been said about the worth of life, it’s value, whether its riches are in its joys. The value of life and thus the tragedy of death as its negative space is measured in the void, the sacrifice of a hero or soldier is what they give for their cause or even their art or even, their passion. The noble warrior’s sacrifice of all his previous and future happiness is the measure of his tragedy.

July 10, 2011
(hotter than it feels)

By Aristotle a Greek philosopher and tutor to Alexander.
From Ethica Nicomachea

Gospel:
AFTER what we have said, a discussion of friendship would naturally follow, since it is a virtue or implies virtue, and is besides most necessary with a view to living. For without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods; even rich men and those in possession of office and of dominating power are thought to need friends most of all; for what is the use of such prosperity without the opportunity of beneficence, which is exercised chiefly and in its most laudable form towards friends? Or how can prosperity be guarded and preserved without friends? The greater it is, the more exposed is it to risk. And in poverty and in other misfortunes men think friends are the only refuge. It helps the young, too, to keep from error; it aids older people by ministering to their needs and supplementing the activities that are failing from weakness; those in the prime of life it stimulates to noble actions — ‘two going together’ — for with friends men are more able both to think and to act. Again, parent seems by nature to feel it for offspring and offspring for parent, not only among men but among birds and among most animals; it is felt mutually by members of the same race, and especially by men, whence we praise lovers of their fellowmen. We may even in our travels how near and dear every man is to every other. Friendship seems too to hold states together, and lawgivers to care more for it than for justice; for unanimity seems to be something like friendship, and this they aim at most of all, and expel faction as their worst enemy; and when men are friends they have no need of justice, while when they are just they need friendship as well, and the truest form of justice is thought to be a friendly quality.

Sermon:
Be weary of those who claim not to need or to have “enough” friends, they are only attempting to excuse their inability to love or be loved. Within friendshiups there is warmth, compassion, trust kinship. It is through friends that societies, cultures and nations are born.

June 5, 2011
‘a drizzling, periodic rain’

Gospel:
By T.S. Elliot
a career writer and poet

When a poet’s mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experience; the ordinary man’s experience is chaotic, irregular, fragmentary;…in the mind of the poet…experiences are always forming new wholes…

Sermon:
All the pieces matter. Not in some obvious Butterfly Effect manner but within the scope of you, the solitary soul, the vessel of humanity: Every life experience, the hues of every tree, the rhythms of all the songs and the songs before them, the suffering and joys throughout your life and the lives of those you come in contact with. An awareness and self actualization to the Universe’s wholeness will yield great rewards for the soul, much more than the isolation of egotism.

Afternoon Sermon
May 23, 2011
(humid still, though less so)

Gospel:
By Edwin Arlington Robinson
a poet and Pulitzer Prize winner

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean-favoured and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good Morning!” and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine — we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread,
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet in his head.

Sermon:
Brothers and sisters, do not compare your majestic selves to others, you will always find souls more wretchid and wicked, more brilliant and beautiful. Be the hero of thy own life and act as a hero would. Do not harbor your sorrows. Do not bury your sins.

572011

May 7, 2011
‘partly cloudy, medium temps with swampiness’

Gospel:
‘Ah Sunflower’
by William Blake
An English Poet + Illustrator
Written in 1794

Ah! sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;

Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves and aspire;
Where my sunflower wishes to go.

Sermon:
Blessed be the godless, for they travel through time intrepid. Their lives though, are not without sacredness. For every steady day begins and ends with a brilliant turn into and away. A dozen billion years ago the elements of you and the Sun were crafted in massive supernovas. 7 billion years later, the mighty yellow dwarf we call “Sun” was forged from nothingness. In addition to it’s life-giving warmth + light, it has also delivered to us our simple, crucial essence, the essential elements in our blood and bones. Eventually we may all “go home” as Blake’s yearning Sunflower wishes. The Sun is a god for the godless, an atheists afterlife.

May 7, 2011
‘partly cloudy, medium temps with swampiness’

Gospel:
‘Ah Sunflower’
by William Blake
An English Poet + Illustrator
Written in 1794

Ah! sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;

Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves and aspire;
Where my sunflower wishes to go.

Sermon:
Blessed be the godless, for they travel through time intrepid. Their lives though, are not without sacredness. For every steady day begins and ends with a brilliant turn into and away. A dozen billion years ago the elements of you and the Sun were crafted in massive supernovas. 7 billion years later, the mighty yellow dwarf we call “Sun” was forged from nothingness. In addition to it’s life-giving warmth + light, it has also delivered to us our simple, crucial essence, the essential elements in our blood and bones. Eventually we may all “go home” as Blake’s yearning Sunflower wishes. The Sun is a god for the godless, an atheists afterlife.

4222011

Good Friday Sermon
April 22, 2011
“a hot, swampy vernal day”
* Reuban’s favorite sermon

Gospel:
“A Threat”
By poet and machinist Fred Voss
From The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry

A Threat

My fellow workers and I
operate machines that cut steel blocks.

As the machines cut the steel,
my fellow workers like to stare and laugh at each other.
They are ready to piss on each other’s graves.

They fear me.
They call me crazy.
They don’t like the poetry I read.
They don’t like the paintings I have hung
on the board behind my machine.
They look at me
like they want to cut my balls off.

Tomorrow I think I will start bringing roses to work.
Each day I will stand a rose in a jar of water
on the workbench behind my machine.
I want to really terrify my fellow workers
this time.

Sermon:
Brothers and sisters, on this mortal coil, the Universe will often task us to beautify or adorn our paths along the way. Do not be bashful or terrified of this bidding for tyranny + hatred run deep in the youthful hearts of the wretchid. Though often we may feel crippled and powerless against it, our counterattack can be manifest in art and beauty. It’s said that the best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passion and intensity. Go forth art soldiers. Prove them wrong.