Saturday, June 22, 2013

Colleagues List, June 23rd, 2013

Vol VIII No. 35


Wayne A. Holst, Editor

My E-Mail Address:


Colleagues List Web Site:

Canadian Anglican Google Groups Web Site:

"Quicklinks" are included with many items.
Otherwise, scroll down to find your selection
in the body of the blog.


Dear Friends:

First of all, we want to let you
know that we are on "high ground"
in Calgary and have not suffered
from the flooding - anything like
many others in this city.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers,
and just remember that Calgarians are
a resilient, "can do" people!

We will have everything ready for the
Stampede that is now only a few weeks
away - even though the grounds there
are currently under water!

Marlene and I have discovered on our
global travels that if people know
anything about our city (and many do
because of the Olympics, etc.) they
talk about the stampede and most of
them say they want to visit Calgary
for that annual event sometime!


Special Item: Book Notice -

"Immortal Diamond" by Richard Rohr
is the book I have recommended as our
fall Monday Night Study selection at
St. David's Church. It was approved
by our committee and will be the focus
of our attention for ten weeks, beginning
the middle of September, 2013.

By the way, Jock and I have been doing
these study series at least two times a
year for 15 years. That means at least 35
titles for which we have study notes posted.

Click the Study Archive link for all of them:


Colleague Comment:

This week we hear from Gary Nickel,
Lutheran pastor and friend for more
than forty years. Also, Isabel Gibson
who writes for the third week in a row.
Thanks, Isabel for continuing insights.


Colleague Contributions:

Lorna Dueck - interview on prostitution
in Canada and on keeping prostitutes
safe in a dangerous world. (Youtube)

Jim Taylor - expresses disappointment
with President Obama. It is a rarity,
but I disagree. Still, Jim's thoughts
are worthy of our consideration.

Ron Rolheiser - writes on the human
need for one's father's approval.


Net Notes:

"Europe Divided by the Cross" - an
insightful article on how Europe is
going through a secularization process
that is quite new for many of them
(New York Times)

"Found - A Lost City of Cambodia" -
science is opening new doors to the
ancient history of Asia that is
most revealing for all humanity
(Christian Science Monitor)

"How American Society has Changed" -
a perspective on America from the
UK that throws light on the growing
gap between the rich and poor there
(The Guardian, UK)

"US White Deaths Outnumber Births" -
demographic studies show that America
keeps moving away from being a society
dominated by white persons
(Washington Post)

"Nouwen Story Wins Top Media Prize" -
colleague Michael Higgins shared the
honors with others in NYC who produced
the CBC "Ideas" special recently
(St. Jerome's University News, CBC)

"Is Papal Honeymoon Nearing the End?"
- pope-watchers raise the question if
Francis can continue without resistance
from Vatican bureaucrats, etc (Uca News)

"Empowered, Independent Indian Women"
- a revealing video on how Dalit/low-
caste Indian women are moving forward
at their own initiative (International)

"Catholics and Lutherans to Bury Hatchet"
- special healing events are in the planning
stage for the five hundredth anniversary of
the Reformation in 2017. Exciting!
(Religious News Service, The Tablet, UK)

"Anti-Gay Group Apologizes and Closes Down"
- an organization of conservative Christians
that advocated "changing" one's sexual
orientation admits doing damage to people
and folds its tents (The Washington Post)

"Gay CofE Clergy Must Prove Sexual Chastity"
- in the UK, the conservative Church of
England now "allows" for gay clergy, who
must prove they don't engage sexually
(Christian Post)


Wisdom of the Week:

Provided by Sojourners Online -

Anne Frank, Common Prayer and
Saint Benedict of Nursia share
thoughts worth pondering.


On This Day:

Contributed from the archives of
the New York Times -

UN Declaration of Human Rights Adopted

Muhammed Ali Guilty of Evading Draft

Hitler Triumphs, France Signs Armistice


Closing Thought - Scott Bader-Saye
writes on the power of true surrender
and of risk-taking.


Next week is the last issue of
Colleagues List in the 2012-13
series. It will appear as issue
#36 of Volume Eight.

(Not bad since I missed about
three months last summer and
fall due to illness and surgery.)

From July to mid-September 2013
issues of Colleagues List will
appear every two weeks, as usual
during summer months.

Summer blessings
(in the northern climes)



Our New Fall Programs will be posted here
shortly, as they develop over the next months.


Contact us at: (or)
St. David's Web Address -

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



An accumulation of thirty-five books studied
since 2000 can quickly be found at:

This collection of study resources represents
more than a decade of Monday Night Studies at
St. David's, plus extra courses too!

You are welcome to use our course outlines,
class notes and resource pages in your personal
and group reflections.



Book Notice -

by Richard Rohr
Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2013.
Hardcover, 255 pp. $18.00 CAD
ISBN #978-1-118-30359-7

Publisher's Promo:

Dissolve the distractions of ego to find our
authentic selves in God. In his bestselling
book Falling Upward, Richard Rohr talked about
ego (or the False Self) and how it gets in the
way of spiritual maturity. But if there's a
False Self, is there also a True Self? What
is it? How is it found? Why does it matter?

And what does it have to do with the spiritual
journey? This book likens True Self to a diamond,
deep within us, formed under the intense pressure
of our lives, that must be searched for,
uncovered, separated from all the debris of
ego that surrounds it. In a sense True Self
must, like Jesus, be resurrected, and that
process is not resuscitation but transformation.

Shows how to navigate spiritually difficult
terrain with clear vision and tools to uncover
our True Selves Written by Father Richard Rohr,
the bestselling author of Falling Upward
Examines the fundamental issues of who we
are and helps us on our path of spiritual
maturity "Immortal Diamond" (whose title is
taken from a line in a Gerard Manley Hopkins
poem) explores the deepest questions of
identity, spirituality, and meaning in
Richard Rohr's inimitable style.


About the Author:

Fr. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest of
the New Mexico Province. He founded the Center
for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque,
New Mexico in 1986, where he presently serves
as Founding Director. An internationally known
speaker to many thousands of people a year,
Richard’s travels have recently taken him to
Europe and Australia/New Zealand. Teaching on
such themes as adult Christian spirituality,
spirituality, and politics and spirituality,
Richard has partnered with such esteemed teachers
as Thomas Keating (author of books on centering
prayer), Diana Butler Bass author of Christianity
for the Rest of Us), Ronald Rolheiser (author
of the best-selling The Holy Longing), Joan
Chittister (author of The Gift of Years),
Phyllis Tickle (author of The Great Emergence),
and Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and authors
of bestsellers such as God’s Politics.


Author's Words:

Your True Self is that part of you that knows
who you are, though largely unconsciously.

Your False Self is just who you think you are -
but thinking doesn't make it so.

We are made for transcendence and endless
horizons , but our small ego usually gets in
the way until we become aware of its petty
preoccupations and eventually need a deeper
truth. It's like mining for a diamond. We
must dig deep; and yet seem reluctant, even
afraid, to do so.

Resurrection - which I am going to equate with
the revelation of our True Selves - is actually
a risk and a threat to the world as we have
constructed it.

Whether human beings admit it or not, we are
all involved with - even addicted to - the
status quo and the past, even when it is
killing us. Resurrection offers us a future -
dare I say a permanent future - but one that
is unknown and therefore scary...

The clarification and rediscovery of what
I am going to call the True Self lays a
solid foundation - and a clear initial goal -
for all religion.

I believe the risen Christ is the icon of
full consciousness. He carries us across with
him, assures us it is OK and thus models the
full journey and final direction of what we
understand consciousness to be.

That is my major thesis about how Jesus
"saves us." Christ is the archetypal True Self.

God is never an object to be found possessed
as we find other objects, but the one who
shares your own deepest subjectivity -
or your "self."

Some will think I am arrogantly talking
about being "personally divine" and eagerly
dismiss this was of talking about resurrection
as heresy, arrogance or pantheism. The Gospel
is much more subtle than that.

The True Self is neither God nor human.
The True Self is both at the same time,
and both are a total gift.

Jesus resurrection is permanent and
definitive for human history. He is a
stand-in for all of us.

So let's try now to roll away the rock,
clear the debris, and get back to mining
for our True Self.

You will find a diamond.

- from "Invitation" to the book


My Thoughts:

One of the challenges facing Christians
who quest for spiritual insight from other
faith traditions and study disciplines
like psychology is that we approach these
rich fields of discovery with a lack of
awareness of our own Christian tradition.

The result is that we are easily swayed
by our findings and can head off in
directions that might be considered lacking
in Christian substance. I have gone on these
intriguing journeys myself, but have learned
that when there is a disconnect between the
faith that shaped me and my new discoveries -
I invariably end up confused, superficial
and unfulfilled.

Richard Rohr is not about to throw the
hard-won substance of Christian faith out
with "the bathwater" as it were. He is
willing to explore and learn from other
faith and study disciplines but as we read
him, we know we are in the company of a man
of deep Christian grounding.

Protestants and others will recognize the
Catholic tradition out of which he works,
but they will also find him to be one who
calls everyone backward to old verities.
as well as forward to new vistas.

What I find Rohr is also good at is his
ability to interpret God, Jesus and such
classic Christian themes as 'resurrection'
in ways that do not compromise their old
meanings, but which offers new meanings
as well.

Rohr has worked with a number of our
own colleagues like Rolheiser, Butler-Bass,
Tickle and Wallis - so his net is cast wide
and the result of his expedition is inclusive.

I highly recommend this book. It will help
you to discover more of who you really are.
It will also give you tools to relate more
effectively with other Christians, and
people of other faiths or no faith.


Buy the book from



Fort Edmonton, AB

June 17th, 2013

Hi Wayne,

In your latest Colleagues List, you refer
to a commentary on "The Idea of the Holy"
(Rudolph Otto) with your lead into it:

"Here is a peace on mysticism..."

Now keeping primarily in mind "Christian"
mysticism, your wording could be - a piece
on mysticism, or a piece on the peace of

But then it could perhaps refer to "the peace
which passes all understanding" then relating
to mysticism, as one of its aspects is "beyond
all [human] understanding..."

... or perhaps it should be a piece on peace,
keeping in mind that total peace is so very
elusive; meditation often helps uncover peace...

... or perhaps it should be a piece on a piece of
mysticism, keeping in mind that Christian [and
other] mysticism has so many varying forms and

Before I disturb your peace too much with this
piece, I will close for some personal peaceful
meditation on the meaning of, you guessed it,
"pieces of peace and meditation..."



Editors's Comment: I've replaced "peace" in my
Colleagues List intro for June 16th, and it
now reads "piece."

Thanks, Gary for that venture into possible
meanings of mysticism.


Ottawa, ON


A hat trick this week!

Thanks kindly for the link to Ron Rolheiser's
lovely tribute to Andrew Greeley (we've been
on the road and I had missed the death notice).
Don't we all hope for someone who sees our virtues
and our value, without having to deny our failings?
I guess that might be what Christian love is, eh?

Thanks for the "six stunners" on Pope Francis'
comments.  Although if caring for the poor is a
stunning thing for a Pope to talk about, then
I'm stunned for another reason...

Thanks also for Chesterton's comment - if I were
a social media type, I'd say LOL, because I did!*



*Chesterton said -

"The whole modern world has divided itself
into Conservatives and Progressives. The
business of Progressives is to go on making
mistakes. The business of the Conservatives
is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.



Toronto, ON

Youtube Video Interview
June 19th, 2013

"Keeping Prostitution Safe in Canada"


Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
June 16th, 2013

"Obama's Fall From Grace"


San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site

"Struggling for Our Father's Blessing"




New York Times
June 19th, 2013


Decline and Fall of Egalitarianism

The Guardian, UK
June 19th, 2013


Significant Demographic Change

Washington Post
June 12th, 2013


Discovery Opens New Doors

Christian Science Moniter
June 17th, 2013



St. Jerome's University News
June 17th, 2013

Original CBC "Ideas" Broadcast
From New York Film Awards Website


People Love Him but Insiders Suspicious

Uca News
June 20th, 2013


Lower Caste Women of India Take Charge

The International
June 21st, 2013


500th Anniversary of 1517 a Time of Change

Religious News Service
June 19th, 2013


The Tablet, UK
June 21st, 2013


Apologizes, Says it Hurt People

Washington Post,
June 20th, 2013


Church of England Establishes Guidelines

Christian Post
June 19th, 2013



Provided by Sojourners Online -

I see the world gradually being turned into
a wilderness. I hear the ever-approaching
thunder, which will destroy us too. I can
feel the sufferings of millions and yet,
if I look up into the heavens, I think that
it will all come right. In the meantime, I
must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time
will come when I shall be able to carry
them out.

- Anne Frank


Much of our theology has been so concentrated
on heaven that it invalidates any concern for
the earth. Some images in Scripture have even
been misconstrued to perpetuate a disregard for
the creation, such as the image that in the last
days the world will be consumed by fire. But
nearly every other time the ‘consumed by fire’
image is evoked in Scripture, it is a fire that
purifies rather than burns up, a fire that frees
up life rather than destroys it. No doubt, the
way we live is shaped by how we imagine the end
of the world — whether we think God’s final plan
is for everything to go up in flames or for
everything to be brought back to life.

- Common Prayer


The first step of humility is to cherish at all
times the sense of awe with which we should turn
to God.

- Saint Benedict of Nursia


June 16th - 21st

Provided from the archives
of the New York Times







CLOSING THOUGHT - Scott Bader-Saye

Following Jesus will mean surrendering the power
that masquerades as security in order to love the
neighbor and welcome the stranger. It will mean
avoiding the safe path in order to pursue the
good. But in a culture of fear, we find such
risks all the more difficult since our natural
inclinations lead us to close in on ourselves
when we face danger. How can we maintain the
posture of the open hand toward a world that
scares us?


No comments:

Post a Comment