Mike’s Rumblings – 03-17-23
This is an audio version of Mike Murphy‘s Friday rumblings. This is a regular post on Facebook that I’ve turned into a podcast. I decided Mike’s words needed a wider audience. You may agree or disagree with what he says, but there is certainly much food for thought contained here. You can friend Mike on Facebook for the printed version or read it below
1. “God is not indifferent to or far from anyone’s life, but rather draws near to those who know pain because of the sin and indifference of others. The prophet loudly insists that God is not impartial and that God will not allow anyone who professes belief in the Holy to harm another.” ~ Megan McKenna
It seems to me that amidst any sort of spiritual awakening, a desire is formed in a person to do what they can to help others live their very best life.
The reality is that far too many real people have more than their fair share of obstacles. Instead of helping, there are those who callously point fingers, call them names, and tell lies about them. Somehow, they actually believe that’s what righteous American Christians do. It isn’t.
Even if we don’t point and name call, our silence emboldens those who do. That my friends is what the good book calls ‘sin’. And the wages of that sin ain’t pretty.
2. “We will be known as a culture that feared death
and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity
for the few and cared little for the penury of the
We will be known as a culture that taught
and rewarded the amassing of things, that spoke
little if at all about the quality of life for
people (other people), for dogs, for rivers. All
the world, in our eyes, they will say, was a
And they will say that this structure
was held together politically, which it was, and
they will say also that our politics was no more
than an apparatus to accommodate the feelings of
the heart, and that the heart, in those days,
was small, and hard, and full of meanness.” ~ Mary Oliver
Whew. “…the heart in those days was small, and hard and full of meanness.”
3. Someone once asked me what it might be like to live under authoritarian rule. I smiled and replied that I had first hand experience, explaining that “in the 1950’s I attended a Catholic grade school staffed by nuns. It was not a democratic regime.” 😀 The truth is that as hard nosed as they could be at times, they shaped me in some rather wonderful ways. I’m grateful.
My attempt at ‘growing up Catholic’ humor, I hope, doesn’t detract from the very real and sinister threat dictators today and wannabes (even in the USA) pose to individuals and countries.
I pray these attempts, both here and abroad, fail. Please join me in those prayers.
4. “If they spit at you behind your back, it means you’re ahead of them.” ~ Confucius
It could also mean you’re a jerk, racing to the front of the pack, oblivious to those you stepped on in order to be first in line.
5. “Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart … The strong back is having grounded confidence and healthy boundaries. The soft front is staying vulnerable and curious. The mark of a wild heart is living out these paradoxes in our lives. It’s showing up in our vulnerability and our courage, and, above all else, being both fierce and kind.” ~ Brene Brown
6. My approach to politics is pretty basic these days.
I will vote and make it a habit to stand against those who habitually lie and who delight in plotting and doing cruel things to others and/or defend those that do.
7. When the owner of a TV network admits they lied to you and their hosts lied to you and you still believe them, congrats you’re in a cult.” ~ The Other 98 %
I know people in this particular cult. They are hard to reason with. Dialogue is next to impossible. “What about” is a favored strategy. It’s very sad and dangerous.
I keep reminding myself that they think the same thing of me. That reminder helps me do some soul searching.
8. “We are either chaplains of empire or prophets of God.” ~ Rev. Dr. William Barber
Prophets challenge the ‘empire’. The Empire wants prophets to go away. Far away. Forever away.
Read the prophets of the Bible. Listen to the prophets God has raised up today. Then do a reading of your own life. Compare and contrast. Ask the harder questions. See what happens.
9. Mea culpa
Mea maxima culpa
Growing up I prayed these Latin words at Mass. They were part of the Confiteor, a prayer of confession.
Loosely translated it means:
I blew it.
I messed up.
Seriously, it’s my fault.
Confession is good for the soul. As is, God’s forgiveness.
“God of a familiar light, God of a heavy familiarity … help us turn our weariness into readiness; our hesitance into curiosity; our ending into beginning; so this heaviness becomes light. Amen.” ~ Daily Prayer: Prayer from The Corrymeela Community
10. We went to a luncheon this week sponsored by a Sarasota non-profit named Project 180 which seeks to reintegrate formerly incarcerated citizens into community life.
Each year 365+ incarcerated individuals are released and come back home to Sarasota County. It’s not always an easy homecoming. Ex-prisoners need a support structure. They need housing, employment, health services and recovery programs. Project 180 helps provide a pathway to success.
All around our country non-profits fill in the gaps in the system in all kinds of ways. They give people hope who have forgotten what hope looks like. They remind us that caring is a virtue and every human life has value.
I’d like to remind us all that our generosity keeps non-profits afloat. Find one. Find more than one. Give. Give again. Volunteer. Pray. It will make a difference.