Inspiration

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Prayer is a Pas de Deux

There is more to prayer than recitation and rote. It is a relationship – of sorts; not just a dialog with the +Divine – it is an embracing of +That upon which we rest our minds and souls. It is a means by which we “Gather into the Center” of our beings and become one with the +Creator. Prayer, too, is an action. When we pray we move our BEing towards a now spoken goal: “Heal Me,” “Forgive Me,” “Guide Me,” “Help Me” – and others – are openings to our movement towards that for which we are asking. For …

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Being a Healer in a Broken Age: Walking Jesus’ Path

There is no greater love we can ever share with another BEing than sharing space and spending time within their suffering. Giving them the chance to BE authentically themselves, especially in their time of need, is very much walking the healer’s path. Since Jesus’ time, physical healing has dramatically changed due to significant scientific advances. Today, we walk into medical clinics for the relief of physical pain and suffering. When we have emotional or behavioral problems, we talk to professionals who specialize in alleviating mental health crises. We also walk into sanctuary spaces of all kinds to find comfort for …

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Taking a New Path – the Continuation of a Sacred Journey

This will probably be the last I speak on this particular subject. I’m tired and moving on… This is not, by any means, an objective observation of my encounters but is instead a true and faith-filled accounting of my experiences within the “Independent Catholic Movement (ICM)” (also known as the “Independent Sacramental Movement (ISM)”). The Old… I started my path of service in the ministry as a small child growing up in the Roman-lead Church. I never looked at people as liberal or conservative – they were all simply people with needs. Theirs, like my own, were hearts exploding at …

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Honoring a Restless Spirit; Embracing the Wandering Soul

We are restless spirits until at last one day we return to the +Creator; our hearts, minds, and souls seek the wholeness of the +One from whom we were made manifest. Until recently I thought wandering was a bad thing. In the past 21 years, I have gone from place to place seeking a home from which I could expound the virtues of finding peace and comfort in our +Beloved +Creator. And so I spent great amounts of energy trying to remain fixed in one place. Of course, I failed miserably – or so I initially thought. But with time …

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Senses, Be Stilled; Good Morning

Many years ago, as part of the Latino Nonprofit Leadership Program, I had the opportunity to attend a retreat where our cohort grew together through trial and tribulation. On our final morning, sitting beside the lake, I penned the following. As we enter into the season of lent next week (it officially begins March 2, 2022 – Ash Wednesday), let us allow ourselves to be moved and transformed by the +Creator’s creation! Senses, Be Stilled; Good MorningRev. Kenneth J. NelanJune 2013 Upon the blue stillness lies the immensity ofall seen and unseen,all wished and non-wished, all glorified and all condemned. …

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Want to Feel Better in Church? Reenvision the Sacrament of Penance

The following is the personal sacramental exploration and expression of one individual. The expressed view does not necessarily represent the views or teaching of any current or future institution with whom the writer may be associated. The Problem I’ve never been a fan of something I always referred to as “Bacon Strips Theology”. The whole – “whip me, beat me, take away my charge card” thing truly has no place in the church given the healing and salvific mission in which our +Christ engaged so …

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Envisioning A New Way To Minister

“Together we rebuilt what was once broken, but only after investing in the ruins – together.” Fr. Kenneth J Nelan, osfc Jesus did not endure destruction and rebuilding of the temple, that is to say, +Himself, alone. +His ministry focused on inviting people from all walks of life to minister to each other – and +He SHOWED us how. Together people from all walks of life healed the sick, fed the hungry, forgave sins, and brought a new way of thinking to an old world. We lost track of that original path at some point during the building of a …

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Don’t Just Imitate, Internalize the Teachings of the +Christ

(Remember, Christ is not a last name, it is a title…) From the baby nestled snugly in a manger, to the overly large and anglicized statues in our churches, religious images remind us our +Creator sacrificed a part of their triune +Self so we might receive +Their merciful forgiveness. Christians believe this is the result of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection. Today, Christians celebrate Jesus’ presence in the salvific vision by imitating the biblical lessons passed down to us after centuries of edits and redactions. Somehow, though, we’ve lost touch with Jesus’ real ministry of conversion and instead externalize …

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Becoming: A Journey of Faith

(This post is repurposed and rewritten from my originally published article, “Faith is not a journey, it is a way of being” on Convergent Streams, V8 N2 2020 April 2, 2020 – per their terms of service (as archived on Jan 1, 2022), I retain all rights to my published work(s).) My faith journey has always been private, but now I am opening myself so others may see what exists within the walls that is my soul. This post is a bit of self-exploration – a way for me to answer and internalize three fundamental questions: “Quién Soy?”, “Por Que …

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Rediscovering the Christ

These were the words that flowed one late night after a long prayer-filled internal examination. That night the wind was ferocious and was the cause of many a power outage throughout the state. Strangely, I find a quiet peaceful place deep within the turbulence and chaos; deep within the center there is calm and purpose if only we take the time to really look at it without bias. In my own prayer process, it is about internalizing the +Christ. No truer words were ever written than those by a man who at one-time the Catholic church labeled a heretic, Pierre …

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The Bridge – A Parable

Created by Rabbi Edwin Friedman and originally called the Fable of the Bridge, it was created as a lesson in releasing codependency. However, this powerful story has another lesson about accepting the choices people make in our lives without taking on those choices as our own. It is presented here in that light – as a lesson in allowing others to make their own life choices and to allow them to accept the consequences of those decisions. This is the story of a person who was embracing an opportunity to live the life about which they had always dreamed. One …

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Exclusionary Inclusion

The words explode in my heart and soul, as do the intrusive thoughts that follow whenever I hear the words, “We don’t exclude anyone for any reason,” followed promptly by, “Hate is not welcome here.” One group of people I thought I knew well had become experts in removing anything uncomfortable from their midst while proclaiming their own innocence and injustice, all while adhering to their previous statements on forgiveness and tolerance – so long as it fits their models. I still hear their voices only now they come from groups purporting to uphold the moral high-ground yet are themselves …

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20 Years – A Reflection

I am no stranger to reflecting on the past – I’ve done it often enough throughout my now many years on this big blue marble. In the past few days, between clients and conferences, my mind has wandered through the past 20 to 30 years of celebration and turmoil. You see, in two days I celebrate 20 years as a priest in the Independent Catholic Movement (ICM); a movement filled with saints and sinners, servants and sharks. Before the ICM, I worked for 10 years at my local parish in the Roman Catholic diocese where I lived – including the …

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Because G*d Is. Yep, Just Is…

“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13, New International Version There is no greater truth than God, the Divine being we claim is responsible for all of Creation, is most assuredly incomprehensible. Some of us have spend our entire lives seeking the Creator in everything we say and do; ever watching for that moment the Creator connects with our own being. The reality, of course, is that we awake enough to realize we have always had that special connection; we simple were never aware of it prior to that moment. In …

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Doing Isn’t Enough

For me, it’s very real. I don’t care what others think anymore, because for me, the presence is my daily call. It is what moves my entire being into service. But experiencing a thing is so much different than doing a thing – and trust me, it is such with the Eucharist. Each time I celebrate there is a moment – no matter how brief – where… Sorry. My mind must have wandered off. I have experienced the two forms of “doing” mass and “celebrating” mass at various times in my ordained life. In “doing”, I get up to the …

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Prone to Wander No Longer – Healing

I’ve struggled with the concept of hostels versus homes for many years – 27 long years to be precise but I think that has finally changed because I will no longer let others determine my path. Only the Creator has that ability and even then self-determination is a big part of the package. One small morning celebration where pen met paper and paper was placed into the capable hands of one of my Sisters or Brothers, and it’s gone. Written on the paper – “False Prophets”. There was a lot of meaning chosen in those two words. Throughout my time …

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The Desert Blooms in Vibrant Hues

I had planned to write on another subject, one dealing with professionalism and ethics in the church, but maybe I’ll write on that another day. While thinking about the subject of ethics, I remembered something that happened at my internship site years ago – something few people in my industry allow themselves to embrace, let alone experience. My internship was at a site where I gave back to my community, as was once given to me in my own youth. I worked with kids who were thrown away by their parents for whatever reason or else sold into a very …

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The +Man Called +Christ+

(This post will be a challenging read for some out there. I only ask you keep an open mind, and read all the way through before making and judgments. Be open to my style of presentation. No heresy exists, but I do challenge the age old ways of thinking, and I do toy with the possibility of heresy. Expand your mind and try to see beyond your initial knee jerk reaction.) Rarely has one man ever caused so much controversy as has the man known as Jesus of Nazareth. It does not matter by which name you refer to Him, …

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Optimism as a Way of Life

Relentless Optimism The original article was published August, 2016 in Convergent Streams – this is the heavily edited version for personal publication. Take a moment to sit back, sip on whatever beverage is beside you, and reflect on the major changes in your life – specifically how you reacted to those events. The events themselves are important, but for this moment I want you to focus on your reaction to the event. You see, most of us will react in extremes. We either knee-jerk react to what we hear without bothering to stop and think, or we do not react …

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…And the Greatest is Love

The following is my own reflection – it is not endorsed by any institution and is presented as fodder for critical thought. I am no stranger to stretching the boundaries of sound theological teaching. In fact, I rather relish the idea of expanding my own thoughts well beyond their limits. It is, after all, how we grow and learn. Sometimes I fall flat on my face, get up off the ground, brush myself off, and start again. Other times I soar through the sky with the birds where no one else dares fly. Many wanderings come from someplace, some territory …

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