Monday, March 28, 2011

Why does God allow this?

The last couple of weeks have been, well...a bit hard on me. A nasty cold has morphed into a less nasty cold yet it is still there refusing to die. And now it appears that's the easy part. It feels like multiple problems in my life have decided to all conspire against me at the same time, including new problems and brand new situations that make me say:
"Oh, come on!!!!!!"

You of those times in our lives...

Also, there is pain and suffering to people close to me right now...physical and emotional pain.

And I admit it, times like these my faith and my sense of reason are both fully challenged. And I am pushed to these questions:
Why does God allow this?
Where is God, the same God that the Son of Man himself called "Father"?
Is this not the "Father" that should protect us?
What do I do?
What can I do?
Can I even "do" anything?

The Son of Man was both God and one of us.
As one of us he cried.
As one of us he suffered.
As one of us he saw the suffering among friends and strangers, Jews and Gentiles, men and women, girls and boys...

It is to the Son of Man that I pray to at this moment.
And for now that's all I can say...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oscar Romero...

The 24th of March 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated. He said: 

Peace is not the product of terror or fear.
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. 
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. 
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. 
Peace is dynamism. 
Peace is generosity. 
It is right and it is duty.

Days before his murder Archbishop Romero told a reporter, "You can tell the people that if they succeed in killing me, that I forgive and bless those who do it. Hopefully, they will realize they are wasting their time. A bishop will die, but the church of God, which is the people, will never perish." 

Descansa en paz, rest in peace Oscar Romero...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

God loves real people without distinction...

A quote from one of my favorite theologians...may you have a good morning :)



"While we exert ourselves to grow beyond our humanity, to leave the human behind us, God becomes human; and we must recognize that God wills that we be human, real human beings. While we distinguish between pious and godless, good and evil, noble and base, God loves real people without distinction. " 
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Monday, March 21, 2011

What is hell?

What is hell? Many Christians have thought about this and we have debated this for centuries. This in not a new question. Once we realize this then we can try to understand the controversy about Rob Bell's book "Love Wins".  I cannot wait to read it. In the meantime all I have is a book description, a couple of interviews and the video in youtube; you may know the one, the one when he asks "Gandhi is in hell? Really Do we know that?"

But let us stop for a second: if Gandhi is in hell (or not) is not THE question to me. Because I believe that is one of many, many questions. And every time I think of this, I ask: what is hell?

Depends who you ask since to start, it has many names:

And those are just the names. So what is hell like?
Is it to be taken literally as described in those places in the Bible, using the names we mentioned before?
Is hell something like we see in a Bosch painting?
Is hell separation from God?
Is hell a separate place from heaven?
Is hell a spiritual state?

Out of the many reactions that I have seen regarding Rob Bell (I believe one phrase was something similar to "progressive Christians like Rob Bell") I found one very interesting. A writer admired that many people have been able to get help at Mars Hills (Rob Bell's church) with drug problems, marital problems etc.  But then he said: "a therapist can do that." He went on to say how important it is that people like Rob Bell tell the truth (with love) about the orthodox Christian teaching of hell and how a soul can end up in hell.

That got me thinking about two things:
1) If one of us, or someone we know, is a drug addict and gets the help he/she needs, what is more important: that the help was given without strings, or that the helper must fit the proper definition of a helper?

2) The "orthodox Christian teaching" of hell? What is that? And even if we had the answer, why are we so concerned about the AFTERLIFE teaching of hell? What about hell in THIS life?

If a 9 year old boy is forced to fight in a war, is he not in hell?
If a 9 year old girl is forced into prostitution, is she not in hell?
If a friend looses his house and everything that he owns in a flood, is he not in hell?
If a friend is bullied every day at school, is she not in hell?
If a family member is in pain every day due to a medical condition, is he not in hell?

So, is hell ONLY the place we go in the afterlife because we did (or not) this or that, we thought (or not) this or that?

Or is hell also right here right now.

And if you, me, or someone we know is in that hell right now, would we care for the "love" of the "orthodox Christian teaching of hell"?

Or, would we say: help me get out of this hell, please...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My visit to EDS and the "Merton Prayer"

Today I had a chance to visit EDS (Episcopal Divinity School) in Cambridge, MA.  It was a great experience and I enjoyed talking to faculty members and students. This could be the place where I continue my studies and the next stage in the discernment of my vocation, to figure out where my path will lead where....

As I was thinking of "where", I thought of one of my favorite writers: Thomas Merton. In his "Thoughts in Solitude" (Part Two, Chapter II) you will find fifteen lines (including a line about "where I am going") that have become known as "the Merton Prayer."

Mario :)


My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

- Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

...Boston, and some words by Phillip Brooks....

It is Sunday afternoon here in Boston.  Every time I come back to my "second home" I think of all the memories that are linked to this place. This evening I will attend Trinity Church at Copley Square for Sunday 6pm Eucharist. I cannot think of a better way to give thanks for the weekend I had and a great way to start a new week. So for now I will say goodbye and I leave you with the words of a Boston patriot, abolitionist and Episcopal clergyman Phillip Brooks:

A man who lives right, and is right, has more power in his silence than another has by his words...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Hey Mario, what about Rob Bell?"

Since last week, a few people have been asking me to give them my opinion about Rob Bell. Of course, they are referring specifically to Rob Bell's upcoming book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. Interesting note: One of my friends will present his views on the book in late April for our "History of the Christian Afterlife" class and I am looking forward to it.

So, what is my opinion of the book: N/A.
"N/A you say?"
Yes, N/A...because the book is not out yet; the book comes out in March 15.

Sure, the description of the book is available now. Also, there is the promotional video for the book by Bell and a group of us at church decided to find it. In the video he tells us that someone attached a hand written note to an art piece related to Gandhi (one piece among many different works that were part of an art exhibit at his church) and the note said: "Reality check, he is in hell."  This is Bell's reaction: "Gandhi is in hell?" "Really?" "Do we know that?"

I can see where Bell is coming from on this because similar questions have been on my mind for a long time: Eternal punishment? To a finite/non-eternal being ONLY because he is not a Christian? These are all questions connected to Soteriology and Biblical Hermeneutics. In a less formal way, anyone opening a Bible and trying to understand what may be coming in the "afterlife" may ask these questions.

I also know a lot of people (personally, not just in the virtual world but people of flesh and blood) that have asked similar questions, about themselves AND people like Gandhi; these are very old questions and I am not talking 50 years or a couple of centuries but all the way back to the early Church. And it appears that this book will look into these questions.

But still, my opinion of the book: N/A.  When I read the book (quite frankly after all the controversy I cannot wait to read it) THEN and only then, I will give my opinion.

If I had to do a book report and I gave one single page to my teacher with the words 'I don't like this book' I think we all know what the teacher would say: "Very well Mario. Now, can you tell me why?"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"You Are Accepted"

The following was written by Paul Tillich. While it may take you a while to read this, and you may or may not agree with part of it, I found it useful for reflection and meditation for some questions that I have been asking myself for a long time. Perhaps there may be something here that you may find useful as well. :)



"You Are Accepted"

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. Romans 5:20.  

These words of Paul summarize his apostolic experience, his religious message as a whole, and the Christian standing of life. To discuss these words, or to make them the text of even several sermons, has always seemed impossible to me. I have never dared to use them before. But something has driven me to consider them during the past few months, a desire to give witness to the two facts which appeared to me, in hours of retrospection, as the all-determining facts of our life: the abounding of sin and the greater abounding of grace.

There are few words more strange to most of us than "sin" and "grace". They are strange, just because they are so well-known. During the centuries they have received distorting connotations, and have lost so much of their genuine power that we must seriously ask ourselves whether we should use them at all, or whether we should discard them as useless tools. But there is a mysterious fact about the great words of our religious tradition: they cannot be replaced. All attempts to make substitutions, including those I have tried myself, have failed to convey the reality that was to be expressed; they have led to shallow and impotent talk. There are no substitutes for words like "sin" and "grace". But there is a way of rediscovering their meaning, the same way that leads us down into the depth of our human existence. In that depth these words were conceived; and there they gained power for all ages; there they must be found again by each generation, and by each of us for himself. Let us therefore try to penetrate the deeper levels of our life, in order to see whether we can discover in them the realities of which our text speaks.
Have the men of our time still a feeling of the meaning of sin? Do they, and do we, still realize that sin does not mean an immoral act, that "sin" should never be used in the plural, and that not our sins, but rather our sin is the great, all-pervading problem of our life? Do we still know that it is arrogant and erroneous to divide men by calling some "sinners" and others "righteous"? For by way of such a division, we can usually discover that we ourselves do not quite belong to the "sinners", since we have avoided heavy sins, have made some progress in the control of this or that sin, and have been even humble enough not to call ourselves "righteous". Are we still able to realize that this kind of thinking and feeling about sin is far removed from what the great religious tradition, both within and outside the Bible, has meant when it speaks of sin?

I should like to suggest another word to you, not as a substitute for the word "sin", but as a useful clue in the interpretation of the word "sin", "separation" . Separation is an aspect of the experience of everyone. Perhaps the word "sin" has the same root as the word "asunder". In any case, sin is separation. To be in the state of sin is to be in the state of separation. And separation is threefold: there is separation among individual lives, separation of a man from himself, and separation of all men from the Ground of Being. This three-fold separation constitutes the state of everything that exists; it is a universal fact; it is the fate of every life. And it is our human fate in a very special sense. For we as men know that we are separated. We not only suffer with all other creatures because of the self-destructive consequences of our separation, but also know why we suffer. We know that we are estranged from something to which we really belong, and with which we should be united. We know that the fate of separation is not merely a natural event like a flash of sudden lightning, but that it is an experience in which we actively participate, in which our whole personality is involved, and that, as fate, it is also guilt. Separation which is fate and guilt constitutes the meaning of the word "sin". It is this which is the state of our entire existence, from its very beginning to its very end. Such separation is prepared in the mother's womb, and before that time, in every preceding generation. It is manifest in the special actions of our conscious life. It reaches beyond our graves into all the succeeding generations. It is our existence itself. Existence is separation! Before sin is an act, it is a state.

We can say the same things about grace. For sin and grace are bound to each other. We do not even have a knowledge of sin unless we have already experienced the unity of life, which is grace. And conversely, we could not grasp the meaning of grace without having experienced the separation of life, which is sin. Grace is just as difficult to describe as sin. For some people, grace is the willingness of a divine king and father to forgive over and again the foolishness and weakness of his subjects and children. We must reject such a concept of grace; for it is a merely childish destruction of a human dignity. For others, grace is a magic power in the dark places of the soul, but a power without any significance for practical life, a quickly vanishing and useless idea. For others, grace is the benevolence that we may find beside the cruelty and destructiveness in life. But then, it does not matter whether we say "life goes on", or whether we say "there is grace in life"; if grace means no more than this, the word should, and will, disappear. For other people, grace indicates the gifts that one has received from nature or society, and the power to do good things with the help of those gifts. But grace is more than gifts. In grace something is overcome; grace occurs in spite of something; grace occurs in spite of separation and estrangement. Grace is the reunion of life with life, the reconciliation of the self with itself. Grace is the acceptance of that which is rejected. Grace transforms fate into a meaningful destiny; it changes guilt into confidence and courage. There is something triumphant in the word grace : in spite of the abounding of sin grace abounds much more.

And now let us look down into ourselves to discover there the struggle between separation and reunion, between sin and grace, in our relation to others, in our relation to ourselves, and in our relation to the Ground and aim of our being. If our souls respond to the description that I intend to give, words like "sin" and "separation", "grace" and "reunion", may have a new meaning for us. But the words themselves are not important. It is the response of the deepest levels of our being that is important. If such a response were to occur among us this moment, we could say that we have known grace.

Who has not, at some time, been lonely in the midst of a social event? The feeling of our separation from the rest of life is most acute when we are surrounded by it in noise and talk. We realize then much more than in moments of solitude how strange we are to each other, how estranged life is from life. Each one of us draws back into himself. We cannot penetrate the hidden centre of another individual; nor can that individual pass beyond the shroud that covers our own being. Even the greatest love cannot break through the walls of the self. Who has not experienced that disillusionment of all great love? If one were to hurl away his self in complete self-surrender, he would become a nothing, without form or strength, a self without self, merely an object of contempt and abuse. Our generation knows more than the generation of our fathers about the hidden hostility in the ground of our souls. Today we know much about the profusive aggressiveness in every being. Today we can confirm what Immanuel Kant, the prophet of human reason and dignity, was honest enough to say: there is something in the misfortune of our best friends which does not displease us. Who amongst us is dishonest enough to deny that this is true also of him? Are we not almost always ready to abuse everybody and everything, although often in a very refined way, for the pleasure of self-elevation, for an occasion for boasting, for a moment of lust? To know that we are ready is to know the meaning of the separation of life from life, and of "sin abounding".

The most irrevocable expression of the separation of life from life today is the attitude of social groups within nations towards each other, and the attitude of nations themselves towards other nations. The walls of distance, in time and space, have been removed by technical progress; but the walls of estrangement between heart and heart have been incredibly strengthened. The madness of the German Nazis and the cruelty of the lynching mobs in the South provide too easy an excuse for us to turn our thoughts from our own selves. But let us just consider ourselves and what we feel, when we read, this morning and tonight, that in some sections of Europe all children under the age of three are sick and dying, or that in some sections of Asia millions without homes are freezing and starving to death. The strangeness of life to life is evident in the strange fact that we can know all this, and yet can live today, this morning, tonight, as though we were completely ignorant. And I refer to the most sensitive people amongst us. In both mankind and nature, life is separated from life. Estrangement prevails among all things that live. Sin abounds.

It is important to remember that we are not merely separated from each other. For we are also separated from ourselves. Man Against Himself is not merely the title of a book, but rather also indicates the rediscovery of an age-old insight. Man is split within himself. Life moves against itself through aggression, hate, and despair. We are wont to condemn self-love; but what we really mean to condemn is contrary to self-love. It is that mixture of selfishness and self-hate that permanently pursues us, that prevents us from loving others, and that prohibits us from losing ourselves in the love with which we are loved eternally. He who is able to love himself is able to love others also; he who has "learned to overcome self-contempt has overcome his contempt for others." But the depth of our separation lies in just the fact that we are not capable of a great and merciful divine love towards ourselves. On the contrary, in each of us there is an instinct of self-destruction, which is as strong as our instinct of self-preservation. In our tendency to abuse and destroy others, there is an open or hidden tendency to abuse and to destroy ourselves. Cruelty towards others is always also cruelty towards ourselves. Nothing is more obvious than the split in both our unconscious life and conscious personality. Without the help of modern psychology, Paul expressed the fact m his famous words, "For I do not do the good I desire, but rather the evil that I do not desire." And then he continued in words that might well be the motto of all depth psychology: ?Now if I should do what I do not wish to do, it is not I that do it, but rather sin which dwells within me." The apostle sensed a split between his conscious will and his real will, between himself and something strange within and alien to him. He was estranged from himself; and that estrangement he called "sin". He also called it a strange "law in his limbs", an irresistible compulsion. How often we commit certain acts in perfect consciousness, yet with the shocking sense that we are being controlled by an alien power. That is the experience of the separation of ourselves from ourselves, which is to say "sin", whether or not we like to use that word.

Thus, the state of our whole life is estrangement from others and ourselves, because we are estranged from the Ground of our being, because we are estranged from the origin and aim of our life. And we do not know where we have come from, or where we are going. We are separated from the mystery, the depth, and the greatness of our existence. We hear the voice of that depth; but our ears are closed. We feel that something radical, total, and unconditioned is demanded of us; but we rebel against it, try to escape its urgency, and will not accept its promise.

We cannot escape, however. If that something is the Ground of our being, we are bound to it for all eternity, just as we are bound to ourselves and to all other life. We always remain in the power of that from which we are estranged. That fact brings us to the ultimate depth of sin: separated and yet bound, estranged and yet belonging, destroyed and yet preserved, the state which is called despair. Despair means that there is no escape. Despair is "the sickness unto death." But the terrible thing about the sickness of despair is that we cannot be released, not even through open or hidden suicide. For we all know that we are bound eternally and inescapably to the Ground of our being. The abyss of separation is not always visible. But it has become more visible to our generation than to the preceding generations, because of our feeling of meaninglessness, emptiness, doubt, and cynicism -- all expressions of despair, of our separation from the roots and the meaning of our life. Sin in its most profound sense, sin, as despair, abounds amongst us.

"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound", says Paul in the same letter in which he describes the unimaginable power of separation and self-destruction within society and the individual soul. He does not say these words because sentimental interests demand a happy ending for everything tragic. He says them because they describe the most overwhelming and determining experience of his life. In the picture of Jesus as the Christ, which appeared to him at the moment of his greatest separation from other men, from himself and God, he found himself accepted in spite of his being rejected. And when he found that he was accepted, he was able to accept himself and to be reconciled to others. The moment in which grace struck him and overwhelmed him, he was reunited with that to which he belonged, and from which he was estranged in utter strangeness.

Do we know what it means to be struck by grace? It does not mean that we suddenly believe that God exists, or that Jesus is the Saviour, or that the Bible contains the truth. To believe that something is, is almost contrary to the meaning of grace. Furthermore, grace does not mean simply that we are making progress in our moral self-control, in our fight against special faults, and in our relationships to men and to society. Moral progress may be a fruit of grace; but it is not grace itself, and it can even prevent us from receiving grace. For there is too often a graceless acceptance of Christian doctrines and a graceless battle against the structures of evil in our personalities. Such a graceless relation to God may lead us by necessity either to arrogance or to despair. It would be better to refuse God and the Christ and the Bible than to accept them without grace. For if we accept without grace, we do so in the state of separation, and can only succeed in deepening the separation. We cannot transform our lives, unless we allow them to be transformed by that stroke of grace. It happens; or it does not happen. And certainly it does not happen if we try to force it upon ourselves, just as it shall not happen so long as we think, in our self-complacency, that we have no need of it. Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when we feel that our separation is deeper than usual, because we have violated another life, a life which we loved, or from which we were estranged. It strikes us when our disgust for our own being, our indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us. It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: "You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything; do not perform anything; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted!" If that happens to us, we experience grace After such an experience we may not be better than before, and we may not believe more than before. But everything is transformed. In that moment, grace conquers sin, and reconciliation bridges the gulf of estrangement. And nothing is demanded of this experience, no religious or moral or intellectual presupposition, nothing but acceptance.

In the light of this grace we perceive the power of grace in our relation to others and to ourselves. We experience the grace of being able to look frankly into the eyes of another, the miraculous grace of reunion of life with life. We experience the grace of understanding each other's words. We understand not merely the literal meaning of the words, but also that which lies behind them, even when they are harsh or angry. For even then there is a longing to break through the walls of separation. We experience the grace of being able to accept the life of another, even if it be hostile and harmful to us, for, through grace, we know that it belongs to the same Ground to which we belong, and by which we have been accepted. We experience the grace which is able to overcome the tragic separation of the sexes, of the generations, of the nations, of the races, and even the utter strangeness between man and nature. Sometimes grace appears in all these separations to reunite us with those to whom we belong. For life belong to life.

And in the light of this grace we perceive the power of grace in our relation to ourselves. We experience moments in which we accept ourselves, because we feel that we have been accepted by that which is greater than we. If only more such moments were given to us! For it is such moments that make us love our life, that make us accept ourselves, not in our goodness and self- complacency, but in our certainty of the eternal meaning of our life. We cannot force ourselves to accept ourselves. We cannot compel anyone to accept himself. But sometimes it happens that we receive the power to say "yes" to ourselves, that peace enters into us and makes us whole, that self-hate and self-contempt disappear, and that our self is reunited with itself. Then w can say that grace has come upon us.

"Sin" and "grace" are strange words; but they are not strange things. We find them whenever we look into ourselves with searching eyes and longing hearts. They determine our life. They abound within us and in all of life. May grace more abound within us!
(Paul Tillich)

Love and Passion, Reason and Logic, Heart and Mind.....

What is love?
What is passion?
What is reason?
What is logic?

Does my heart rule my mind?
Does my mind rule my heart?

Are heart and mind like brothers/sisters?
Are they strangers trapped in the same cell?
Are they one thing?

Can we know real love without opening our hearts to the fullest?
Is opening our hearts to the fullest a mistake?
Is "mistake" the right word?

Is reason the good friend that we know is right,
and we refuse (over and over) to listen to?
Is reason being driven (without knowing it) by fear,
not allowing us to experience love they way we should?

Is worrying about love pointless?
Should we instead worry about other things in our lives?
Is love an illusion or is it real?

Is passion like a chariot that must be controlled by the rider (reason) for direction?
Are passion and reason both riders of the same chariot?

When it comes to love, are heart and mind working together?
Or are they working parallel to each other,
each with its own agenda?
Do we sacrifice one for the sake of the other?

In the end, are we asking the right questions?
Or, are we wasting our time asking questions?

Are we just meant to live?
Are we just meant to be?

(from a note I wrote back in October 29, 2010)

No really, what the heck is an "Episcopalian"?

Sometimes when people find out that I am an Episcopalian, I get asked: "Episcopalian"? "What is that?" "Are you like a Catholic?" "Are you a Protestant? , etc...  So thinking about that, I decided for the moment to take a more comical view (per Robin Williams) of what it means to be an Episcopalian, and later I will put some thought into what it means to me....

Top 10 reasons to be an Episcopalian (by Robin Williams)

10. No snake handling.

9. You can believe in dinosaurs.

8. Male and female God created them; male and female we ordain them.

7. You don't have to check your brains at the door.

6. Pew aerobics.

5. Church year is color-coded.

4. Free wine on Sunday.

3. All of the pageantry - none of the guilt.

2. You don't have to know how to swim to get baptized.

And the Number One reason to be an Episcopalian:

1. No matter what you believe, there's bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.

"I ____, therefore I am" Some of my random thoughts on what to say before 'therefore I am'.

Most of us are familiar with Descartes's "I think, therefore I am."  As I was meditating on this a few minutes ago (taking a break from my studies) I recalled the first day of our Existentialism class this semester. We had a discussion on what it means to "be human".

We made up an entire list on the 'distinct' qualities of a human including "reason", "potential for arts and/or creativity", "self-awareness", etc. We went into the questions of how we are "different" from other creatures. We also had a discussion into why some of us believe in God, don't believe in God, have faith, don't have faith, etc. It was truly one of the best discussions I have been a part of in a long time.

We explored the question of what comes first, since it is an Existentialism class after all:
Essence before Existence or, Existence before Essence? 

I even remember someone saying that maybe we do not exist, maybe this is all an illusion. Well, I personally believe that in the end love of God and my neighbor will lead me to defeat all illusions and lead me to "see" the ultimate reality. Perhaps this goes back to something similar to what a priest, in both Roman Catholic and Episcopal Churches, declares as he holds up the Eucharist: "By him, with him, in him..."  For some reason, that came to my mind.

But maybe you agree only with a part of this or disagree with all of it. In the end I go back to the following:
"I ____, therefore I am." And what is that? What can I say before I move to "therefore I am"? Maybe, just maybe, is some of the following:

I sing, therefore I am.
I read, therefore I am.
I believe, therefore I am.
I doubt, therefore I am.
I hope, therefore I am.
I scream, therefore I am.
I seek, therefore I am.
I cry, therefore I am.
I laugh, therefore I am.
I feel, therefore I am.
I love, therefore I am.....

(from a Facebook note I wrote during interesting an afternoon back in January 25, 2011)

Well, it happened...

I make fun of a friend of mine constantly because he states that he will never join Facebook.  And I used to say that I will never create a blog. So, here I am finally creating my blog and my friend is still separated from the realm of Facebook.

More from "An Episcopalian in Planet Earth" (including what the heck is an "Episcopalian") coming soon...