Monthly Archives: April 2009

Spirituality of Beer

St. Brigid’s Prayer

I’d like to give a lake of beer to God.    
I’d love the Heavenly    
Host to be tippling there  
For all eternity.   

I’d love the men of Heaven to live with me,    
To dance and sing.  
If they wanted, I’d put at their disposal  
Vats of suffering.   

White cups of love I’d give them,    
With a heart and a half;  
Sweet pitchers of mercy I’d offer  
To every man.   

I’d make Heaven a cheerful spot,  
Because the happy heart is true.  
I’d make the men contented for their own sake  
I’d like Jesus to be there too.   

I’d like the people of heaven to gather  
From all the parishes around,  
I’d give a special welcome to the women,  
The three Marys of great renown.   

I’d sit with the men, the women of God  
There by the lake of beer  
We’d be drinking good health forever  
And every drop would be a prayer.


(H/T: Carl Nordgren)


Trinity Prayer

God For Us, we call You Father,

God Alongside Us, we call You Jesus,

God Within Us, we call You Holy Spirit.


You are the Eternal Mystery

That enables, enfolds, and enlivens all things,

Even us, and even me.


Every name falls short of your

Goodness and Greatness.


We can only see who You are in what is.

We ask for such perfect seeing.


As it was in the begining, is now,

and ever shall be. Amen.


A Common Treasury for All













HOBT’s MayDay Parade, Ceremony, and Festival has always been rooted in two important traditional celebrations—the celebration of the “GREEN ROOT” of Earth’s green energy rising in Spring, and the “RED ROOT” of human work energy rising from mind, heart and hand.

Our theme this year celebrates the merging of the red and green energies of the world. We cheer on the great merging of the human social justice movements with the environmental movements to remember humans as responsible relatives of the earth.

As we experience the fall of our economic systems built on debt, consumer waste, the theft and sickening of earth resources, we gather to rebuild an economic system that protects and sustains our Earth as a “Common Treasury for All.”

In the Heart of the Beast Theater on their upcoming annual MayDay celebrations.

On Earth Day: Song in a Year of Catastrophe

I began to be followed by a voice saying:

“It can’t last. It can’t last.

Harden yourself. Harden yourself.

Be ready. Be ready.”


“Go look under the leaves,”

it said, “for what is living there

is long dead in your tongue.”

And it said, “Put your hands

Into the earth. Live close

To the ground. Learn the darkness.

Gather round you all

The things that you love, name

Their names, prepare

To lose them. It will be

As if all you know were turned

Around within your body.”


And I went and put my hands

Into the ground, and they took root

And grew into a season’s harvest.

I looked behind the veil

Of the leaves, and heard voices

That I knew had been dead

In my tongue years before my birth.

I learned the dark.


And still the voice stayed with me.

Waking in the early mornings,

I could hear it, like a bird

Bemused among the leaves,

A mockingbird idly singing

In the autumn of catastrophe:


“Be ready. Be ready.

Harden yourself. Harden yourself.”


And I hear the sound

Of a great engine pounding

In the air, and a voice asking:

“Change or slavery?

Hardship or slavery?”

And voices answering:

“Slavery! Slavery!”

And I was afraid, loving

What I knew would be lost.


Then the voice following me said:

“You have not yet come close enough.

Come nearer the ground. Learn

From the woodcock in the woods

Whose feathering is a ritual

Of fallen leaves,

And from the nesting quail

Whose speckling her hard to see

In the long grass.

Study the coat of the mole.

For the farmer shall wear

The furrows and greenery

Of his fields, and bear

The long standing of the woods.”


And I asked: “You mean death then?”

“Yes,” the voice said. “Die

into what the earth requires of you.”

I let go all holds then, and sank

Like a hopeless swimmer into the earth,

And at last came fully into the ease

And the joy of that place,

All my lost ones returning.

Wendell Berry, The Selected Poems of (New York: Counterpoint) 74.

Parable as Threshold

Dave Johnson knocked it out of the park last Sunday as he began a new teaching series on the Parables of Jesus. He talked about the power of a parable to “knock us off our center and create sacred space” for introspection and transformation. Jesus’ parables–always subversive and challenging were meant to unmask the world around us and give us new eyes to see. Speaking of the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Dave noted that “it would be as if he told a story where all of us [speaking to a conservative congregation] were the bad guys and a Hindu or a Muslim were the good guys”. 

Furthermore, Dave pointed out that Jesus’ use of parable helps us embrace an “imperfect spirituality.” One where we see our failures, our shortcomings, and imperfections as the very path that will lead us to God. Quoting the Psalmist, “the stone that the builder rejected has become the cornerstone.”

It’s a sermon that will turn you upside down, and you can stream it online here.

The Recession Must Go On

I went to the bakery on

The wealthy side of town

The one where they put the french onion soup

In a sexy sourdough bread bowl


On my way out the door I saw a lady friend

Who had eaten her soup

But left the bowl made of bread

She then threw the whole

Bread bowl

Into the garbage


She threw the whole bread bowl into the garbage!

Sixty-two grams of carbohydrates

Three hundred and thirty two calories

Ten grams of protein

With a one way ticket to Gary, Indiana

And that is when I knew

The recession must continue


As long as we eat our soup out of a bowl made of bread

Only because its looks nice and is a bit trendy

As long as we possess the lack of conviction which allows us

To dump precious wheat which had been grown by the earth

Harvested by the farmer

Milled by the river

And kneaded by the baker

As long as we loose sight of those who hunger

While we feed our bread to our beloved ravenous dumpsters

The recession must go on


So lay your bed in the gutter, lady friend

Put your ear to the sewer

And learn the wisdom of the homeless man

Who has mastered contentment, simplicity, thrift, and stewardship

Who understands the law of abundance

And shares everything he has with others

Somehow trusting God to get him through each hour of the day

While he feasts on used sourdough bread bowls

Consuming our sin before it hits the garbage dump for good


Gods grace to those suffer in a recession

For those who are missing their meals

And forced from their homes

Gods grace to those who think they suffer in a recession

For those who are missing their double shot mocha lattes

And forced from their second-home high rise condos

And may each of us look the recession in the eye

And ask the dear friend, “What have you to teach me?”



*Bread bowl nutrition information courtesy of The Daily Plate.

He’s My Spiritual Son

An incredible Easter story, Mary Johnson shares of the experience of losing her son to murder and what it has meant forgive the man who took her son’s life. 

“I have claimed him as my spiritual son,” she said. “It’s not pardoning what he did, and it’s not reconciliation. It’s true forgiveness.”