Spiritual Being Immersed In the Human Experience

Spiritual Being Immersed in the Human Experience

“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“When they climbed out on the shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty three large fish. Even though there were so many the net was not torn.”

        I am uncomfortable talking about myself. When I am  in distress, scared, in pain and someone   asks: “You still have your faith don’t you?” I want to scream unrepeatable words and beat the person over the head.The truth is I am  usually like the disciples early in morning on the Sea of Galilee, afraid, doubtful, and feeling guilty. I  am a  spiritual being, and my  chief anchor has to be in the Triune God. So I have  looked at the eleven  items I  practice, which keeps me  anchored, and remarkably they are similar to a set Sr. Helen Prejean presented on her 80th birthday, so that tells us me are not far off from perfection:

1, Read. We read a book a week. Helen uses a quote from Tokien’s Hobbit: “When in pain, learn something new. Your mind can’t possibly be learning something new and at the same time dwell on what makes you sad.” When I am in pain,  sad, depressed–I read, it works.

2.  Meditate. Spend a lot of time in solitude. I pray the  Daily Prayer for All Seasons  eight  times a day,  I  celebrate the Eucharist each day. No matter my mood. I follow these practices.

3.  Stay close to community. People have often said to me “You have no community, how can you survive?” Community are the people you trust, and love, and who love you. The past year and a half I have had my “Team”, and my “homies”, young guys, who have taken care of me when I was physically incapacitated, and with whom I be just myself, and with whom I have so much fun, Mary, David, and Vicki (she was always there, even in the week before her death), who walk  with me, , and who are  just a text away, Cindi and Karen, who live in New Mexico, but who have nurtured me through paying my health  insurance, and standing with me all these years, my gifter’s–I do not have donors, but gifter’s, who give us the gifts, to sustain our ministry, and finally all my guys on the street, who show me so much love, even when they hate me. This is my community.

4.  LIVE LARGE, worry small. Do soul work–avoid the gossipy, boring stuff, as if it is contagious. Don’t worry about life. I am  going to die anyway, so die doing something meaningful.

5.  Get past the constant, nagging ego, live for others, make yourself second. Hang out with people give to others.

6.  Keep a soul journal and face your feelings head on, especially those that are sad, heavy, or angry feelings. I am  not happy, content all the time, never are we on a continual high. When I hit a tough spell I face it, name it: “Feel f–king alone, want to die, I am a f–king failure.” (January 22, 2018).

7.  Be available to your friends, especially when things are tough.

8.  Stay playful. Tease, goose life up a bit. See humor in everything–it certainly gets you through it.

9.  Stay clear of self pity. existere: Take hold of life, actively respond to life as it comes. Live and breathe agency. It is up to me how I will give into injustice or energetically resist it. We can say: ‘We are just monkey’s, what can we do, people are just people, they will never change,’ or we can fight  with all of our energy and being to resist injustice.

10. Fight for All Creation. Fight for our environment, all creatures, for they are passing due to humanity’s  injustice towards them. Walk lightly in this world. I am a vegan, and I participate  in climate change and animal rights activism.

11  When Everything fails:    I cave into depression, and the waves of sorrow crash over me. Then I look  God in the eye and ask for grace, the spiritual power I need to carry on. The prophet Isaiah tells us “Behold I am making all things new.” And than I get up, wash my face, and set my  sails against the wind, and go forward. I move “towards Galilee”.

We are spiritual beings, we sit around the campfire, and Jesus feeds us and then sends us forward. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Philip Workman Memorial Banquet

May 9, 2019

12 Noon: Polk Street side

We will worship and then serve pizza sandwiches in honor of Philip’s life. He was executed on this date in 2007, giving his last meal of vegetarian pizza to the homeless, a man whose life had been transformed in Christ. It is time tol end the death penalty.

Volunteers needed to make sandwiches.

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



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