It is quite a thing. As I have written about previously, at my Mum’s funeral having neighbours share about the food pantry she used to run for the neighbours, knowing she would provide child care, and really there was always an open door for friends and family.

Throughout my life volunteering with the Guys and Dolls Seniors Club and work with churches, as many elders transitioned from homes to apartments they felt the need to aid me and sent quite a few household items and furnishings my way that has built many homes for many folks transitioning out of homelessness; garage sale fodder to support many youth projects, non-profits and political campaigns. Heck in 2006 I kicked of my campaign by doing a donation drive for the Mustard Seed.

This week as the last few donations have left the house, garbage swept up…it is obvious that the era of that for our humble abode has come to an end after nearly 40 years.

Yet a note in one of the condolence cards from my work rings out, that points out live the lessons she taught.

So that is a guiding point in restarting our potluck nights/afternoons with movies, etc…through our home to gather together.

One era ends…another is renewed this Sunday.

Our home has always been a bee hive of activity. During my journey in the ministry, one saint has been there, St. Francis of Assisi, former rich boy, failed soldier, and beggar. Trouble Maker, or as I worked spiritual development with the Lay orders and explained it to my Dad, apptly described as “shit disturber.”

It is interesting that as my family goes deeper within the New Thought Movements, and we begin to discern which path for us to take, and perhaps rejoin the ministry within (Centres for Spiritual Living or Unity) it strikes me that Francis re-enters my mind more deeply. The formation, the vows, the Rule of Life all have spoken so deeply and engrained themselves within my life that I walk the Charism daily without even formerly acknowledging it, it just happens when I am healthy.

It was the basis of my book, Pilgrimage to the Heart of the Sacred, how to develop one’s own spiritual praxis.

Matthew Fox’s (the defrocked Dominican priest, current Episcopal Priest, wisdom teacher) recent works around Hildegard of Bengin and Meister Eckhart showing the connection of wisdom/mystery schools, panentheism, mysticism and the Holy Mystery.

For the untrained reader this may appear as a senseless ramble, yet like the two mystics Fox writes on and works with, Francis shook the world just as much– it not more. When he renounced the world of materialism to be one with Holy (full on acknowledgement of the Unity of all things) and entered into the world to transform it…well he attracted followers that also challenged and shaped his understanding of the world.

Clare, a wealthy young lady, who renounced aristocracy, and would prayerfully fight four popes on equality fo women to choose their own path…an she would win (we remember this blessing each Easter with our eating of Hot Crossed Buns).

And then little randy Brother Leo, who well couldn’t keep from leering at the ladies, and chasing them, Francis could have cast this friar out, but Francis was astute. If the whole world was celibate, soon there would be no more children of God for it is very hard to have babies in celibacy. So Francis would commend, release and re-vow Leo to go forth with the love of his life, And with a slight wink, to produce many fine bambinos.

As I continue to reflect, I ponder the metaphysics that connect with Francis’ story, connect with the Master Teacher, Rabbi Jesus, and wonder about my own city and community, and wonder if there is a place for a grassroots Franciscan Mystic movement within Alberta?

Discernment continues—

Okay so yesterday is one of the hardest days in my journey thus far. While in the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living’s Mother’s Day Service, great music as usual, inspirational talk, but a void in the heart…or is there?

It has been just 18ish months since my Mum, and best friend, transitioned to Nirvana…and a year before that My Nan, another bestie, tranistioned to Paradise.

I am the deeply spiritual man I am because of their encouragement to discover my own beliefs and path.

I am who I am when it comes to raising my daughter to believe she can do anything because of the women in my life who taught me and showed me that gender roles were only societal constructs.

My heart is open to decisions on life/end of life that probably do not fit with most Christian’s norms because I have walked the Dark Night of the Soul with both these matriarchs.

Yet here I was choking on tears in SAIT Orpheus Theatre, as my son read his books and song along to music, and my wife held my hand, for in the moment as we reflect on the women who shaped our lives and souls, it felt like mine was empty…

Yet my Mum fought hard to be with my family, and her new grandkids. I still remember over hearing her having my wife promise to take care of me while she was in extended care at the Bassano Hospital. I remember the daily phone calls, some good, some talking her into simply waking up the next morning, the long road trips to and fro, and affirming her choice to end/restart treatments…knowing that she knew we loved her deeply.

I still remember the last day, two days before she passed, when she had her miracle day with her grandkids, was able to talk and play a little with my boy and girl so they could always hold in their hearts and not the illnesses that claimed her.

So here I reflect mourning a loss, but as we drive home from SAIT a spark of hope in my heart.

For while my Mum & Nan may have transitioned, the loving qualities of family that shaped me shine through in my beloved, my wife, and the mother of my two babies (three with the fur one)… so yes, my own Mum transitioned, but her love and character lives on in the love shared with my wife, and through her.

No matter when we meet in this world, or where on our journey we are, it is love that truly binds us as family, and whom our mothers are that shape us.

I am a blessed man for the beautfiul matriachs who have shared my journey.

It started with a trip up memory lane for a high schooler on the verge of graduation… but I would not know the origin of the story until later. For this is a series that I must admit I came to not as a fan per se, but a bandwagoner experiencing a walk down memory lane when I first saw the news feed stating “Death of Archie”.

For it is picking up Archie the Married Life #36 where Archie takes a bullet to save Sen. Kevin Keller’s life and a town reflects on the “every boy” character is where I was introduced to the concept. Then a dollar bin bringing the series finale into my readership. Which has led to a binge purchase and binge reading of not only the 6 volumes of the Married Life…but the Archie Marries collection (Archie issues 600-606) where the youth first takes the walk up Memroy Lane, and it explores in broad strokes what life would be like if Archie married Veronica or Betty.

This mult-versic swing would then spin into a well written series that explores the what if of life growing up. Where would each fork lead where you choose, and as you grow into your true self in life during the post-formative years of high school. Sociologically it is a living narrative of the Western Teenager as they move through young adult to middle aged. The ups and downs of the gang with winks to all generations of Archie, from Lil Archie to Josie and the Pussycats, to the whole line since its inception (for more on the meta-narrative that existed in Archie I direct you to 12 Cent Archie by Bart Beaty).

So I encourage you to take a walk up memory lane, for with the Archie-Veronica-Betty Triad is a meta-narrative for life, growth, wholeness. A pathway that lays out that life will have ups and downs, friends passing, violent crime, parents sick and dying, seperation, divorce, chicannary, friendship, joys, life and blessing of the next generation.

But the true thread that permeates through it all…is simply this… discover who you are…discover your bli(e)ss, live into it and watch how your life transforms for the better.

First off, yes as a pragmatic socialist I am still riding a bit of the euphoria of an NDP majority in the province that my whole life has been PC Blue. Love that Orange Crush.

No, bias aside, this is a question beyond the definitive tie of Calgary-Glenmore. It goes to the riding of Calgary Foothills and the “winning” candidate former Premier, former Progressive Conservative Party Leader and Former MLA for Calgary Foothills Jim Prentice.

I realize he resigned in the midst of the votes being finalized, and there needs to be a clear 48 hours before the vote for a candidate to be removed from a ballot. B-U-T…

It begs the question as folks in Calgary Foothills will have their THIRD vote in less than a year, at a quarter-million bucks…where is the accountability for those seeking public office? And where is the ethical jurisprudence for the voters who supported the now resigned winner? I state ethical, because technically what Mr. Prentice did was in the “legal” domain of legal/illegal.

The question in my mind is simply this: Did Mr. Prentice not commit fraud on the electorate by entering in a race to represent the people of Alberta and then deciding after the vote to resign?

If so, is there not civil recourse for the Alberta Government to get the monies to cover the by-election from the PC Party and/or Mr. Prentice?

Just questions to ponder, from a night on May 5, 2015 that produced many bizzarro happenings.

As a native Calgarian-check that- as someone born, bred and raised in NE Calgary, and has lived my entire life in Rundle-in the same home even where the 3rd generation of my family is now being raised…I must say I remember 1989.

I remember the electricity coursing through my city as a child as the Flames fought their way back to the Stanley Cup Avenue, hearing of the mysterious Electric Avenue. Watchning the games as the Flames played the Habs, and Lanny McDonald who my Dad went to school with for a time in Hannah, score on the way to the Cup.

I remember my Dad taking us to the celebratory parade.

The Name Song faux pas when they reached Hakan Loob: “Hakan bo Bakan mana fano fo F—” well you get the picture.

Fast forward to the 2014-15 edition, the rebuild year of younglings. Too young, too inexperienced the hockey analyst would say to expect more than a cellar finish for a few years.


Professionals like many policitical polls of recent yore were wrong.

Welcome to the Duck Hunt of Round 2 of the NHL Playoffs 2015 edition.

Honestly as a city tax paying Calgarian and homeonwer, even though I am a Habs fan, no matter how far these kids make it as a city we need to throw a parade and a party that ends with them White Hatted, in Olympic Plaza (just watch the names you toss into the Name Song).

For they have truly shown what team and heart can do.

This is not going to be a post going down the path of pointing out the horrors visited upon the world due to the Jude0-Christian religion, for that one just needs to open a Western History book, or catch the current events in the Middle East. No, this is a reflection on the understanding of the Holy Mystery over the past 6,000 years since Oral tradition shared the story of Abram and Sarai’s call.

See it was a tribal religion when it began, steeped in the oral tradition for thousands of years. Stories shared to understand the how and why of the world (currently our world’s meta-narrative is science). That is where the truth lay, in the story and understanding one’s own life. This tribal oral tradition eventually codified into the Hebrew Bible texts. Through this there is thousands of sects of Judaism the 3 most common known post-World War II are Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. Yet before the distruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE there was a few more famous sects: Pharisees, Saduccees, Zealots, and Essenes. Inspired by their culture’s meta-narrative of the Holy Mystery.

This meta-narrative under the Roman Empire’s occupation bread many messiahs, the most notable for the transformation of the world being the peasant labourer Rabbi born out of wedlock, Jesus of Nazareth, whose teachings would inpsire a fifth way within the Temple that would go on to become its own religion: Christianity thanks mostly in part to the winning writings of Paul of Tarsus. In the 300’s Constantine became Emperor of Rome and shrewdly knew poltiically monotheism would allow for better control than many gods, and made Christianity the Empire’s Religion.

So as he forced a Canon of the “holy Scriptures” three hundred years of mystery, Gnosticism and variance vanished from the world.

In 1054 CE a schism shattered Christendom as the Pope of Rome and Patriarch of the East drew the line in the sand for power and control of the people and mutually excommunicated one another.

Over the next 500ish years mystics in both traditions would found Religious orders to get to the heart of the Holy Mystery and free the people from religious oppression. Most notably being the Mystics of Assisi: Clare & Francis; the Jesuits, etc. This period would also show the territortial might of another tradition shared through Abram and Sarai, that being Islam and the Qu’ran which would lead to many Crusades to be fought for control of the Holy Land (kinda like today).

Yet in the 1500’s CE a perfect storm would brew with the rise of indulgences in the West, Kings wanting control over their own kingdoms and church lands, the printing press, and coming through the Bubonic Plague that saw 30% of the population wiped out and saw clerics preach it as God’s wrath for sin yet even clergy were wiped out by it. The people were not ea

ting the pablum no more.

Enter the Reformation which would shatter the Vatican’s political control outside of Rome and see 8 books stripped from the Holy Bible to bring the number to 66, not to mention the rise of the state church that saw Kings decried to be ruling by divine right in Germany (Lutheran); Switzerland (Zwingli); England (Church of England; Cramner, Henry the 8th) to name but a few.

This period would see the craziness of multiple denominations establish through the next four hundred years, each with their own flavour and understanding, and the strongest defining belief being that they were not “Papists”. Unique movements of note being Calvinists; Anabaptists; Methodists; Quakers (Society of Friends).

Within Islam there grew synergy with already exisiting Middle Easter Mystics known as the Sufi Movements.

There was also the rise of what is colloquial known as Mormons in 1830-known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, with the mystic Joseph Smith.

Then there was the broad strokes of Christian Science, which diverged into many paths today encapsulated under the banner of “New Thought”. Those being Church of Christ Scientist; Divine Science; Religious Science; Science of Mind and Unity to name but a few.

Within both Islam and Christianity univeralism gained footholds and specific expressions: Bahai; Universalist; Unitarian-the last two would merge mid-20th Century.

Also the 1900’s saw the launch of the Salvation Army, a militaristic structured church for social outreach and impact. It also saw the rise and decline and re-rise of the Social Gospel which later in the century would return as Red Letter Christians or Liberation Theology. As well as the Catholic Worker’s Movement synergy with the Labour Movement in the 1900’s and the collective living movements.

These are simple broad strokes to reflect on the history of a faith tradition that has shaped the Western World, where will it take it next?

Where will it take you?

How does your own faith journey tie into the journey Abram’s people?