Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Friday, June 06, 2014


 JUNE 6, 2014

Today’s newspapers tell us Israel is building new settlements on disputed territory in response to the Palestinians unifying their government with Hamas and alleged terrorist organization. The Israeli government does all in its power to keep the Palestinians weak and divided. Fortunately world leaders for their cruel action have condemned the Israeli government.

The SF Muni sick out has apparently ceased to the relief of the commuters. A new contract is to be worked out.  The Muni system is reportedly badly broken. Why doesn’t the city really overhaul the system and improve it?  The answer is that it would take a lot of money.  The no tax-averse attitude of the citizens prevents the needed overhaul. As usual people would rather complain, suffer inconvenience and blame the drivers than do the obvious, which is fix what is broken, the Muni.

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day the invasion of France by Allied forces to begin and finish the war against Germany in 1944. The war ended a year later. As a boy I remember reading about the invasion and the carnage that took place on both sides. It did not have any impact except the exhilaration that that our soldiers were winning. The pain and sorrow of so many killed and wounded did not impact me until years later when I began to realize the horrors of war and the suffering physical, mental and emotional of the people who did the fighting.

We visited one of the beaches a couple of years ago and it was a beach with sun and water bathers, peaceful, calm and beautiful. We also   visited the American Cemetery with gleaming white crosses and stars of David, green lawn and the Red, White and Blue everywhere. It is a celebratory cemetery.  We also visited the cemetery where German soldiers were buried. It was dark, ochre and somber. The effect elicited sadness and the pain visited on the troops buried there.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014


The Palestinians try to unify their country by connecting to Hamas. This harried people want strength, unity and cooperation among their dispirit communities. Hamas is labeled a terrorist organization. Who voted to decided to call this people by that name? Terrorist is thrown around when someone feels threatened. That does not make them terrorists.

Labeling and name-calling is a sure way to create hostility. Mr. Netanyahu and the Israeli government do not seem to really want to find peace. Their tactics create enemies not unity and peace.

Sunday, June 01, 2014


God's Joke on the World

Funny Lord, how we love this life you have given us.  Of course we get tired, bored, worn down by the stupidity that surrounds us.  But then that stupid person does something, says something that is wonderful, funny, insightful.  How we hate for that to happen.  But, thank God, you have given us one another, ensuring we will never be able to get our lives in order.  Order finally is no fun, and you are intent on forcing us to see the humor of your kingdom.  I mean really, Lord, the Jews!  But there you have it.  You insist on being known through such a funny people.  And now us--part of your joke on the world.  Make us your laughter.  Make us laugh, and in the laughter may the world be so enthralled by your entertaining presence that we lose the fear that fuels our violence.  Funny Lord, how we love this life you have given us.  AMEN
--Stanley Hauerwas.

Jesus looked up to heaven and said….” What follows a complex prayer about the relationship between Jesus and God. I suggest you take this Gospel home and read it very slowly and figure out what it means to you.

Jesus prayed a lot. We are supposed to pray a lot. Sometimes we even do pray. When we remember to or if we want something. God’s Joke prayer gives us a humorous and realistic way to think about prayer and then do it.

Anne Lamott teaches us the basic prayer:
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you
Help, Help Help

We often pray for things over which we have no control.
Please God:
Don’t let this plane crash. Let the Giants win. Bring peace to the world. Feed the hungry. Don’t let my mother die.

The prayer that brings the most sense to our minds and pleasure to our hearts is the prayer of Thanksgiving.

We give thanks for our food, family, and friends; our money, freedom and democracy.
We also give thanks for the unearned gifts in our lives:
Life it self
Our brain
Our hands, feet, eyes and ears, sight and hearing.

We did not earn these things. They are God’s free and unearned gifts to us.  That makes me humble, that these essential parts of my being are not something I earned, but have been given.

Few specific thanksgivings in the prayers of the people – The late Jean Cathcart was a long time member of Trinity. In the prayers of the people she would pray aloud in her good strong voice. “That you God for all the beautiful things, the flowers, the trees.” We all chuckled bit, but then we realized she was absolutely right. She gave thanks for specific things she saw.

Prayer works on us, not on God.

We have a healing station for those who are ill or if you want to pray for someone who needs healing. Healing.

Meditation: Meditation – Maya Angelou – “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you may hear the voice of God.”

How I pray. I swim laps at the pool. I thank God for my wife Ann on the first lap, me daughter Leigh on the second lap. My daughter Sarah on the third lap and Jessica on the fourth lap. I pray for Richard, our Vicar, our congregation and other people on subsequent laps of the pool.  

I pray the Jesus Prayer– Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner. Say it 3 times at least when taking off and landing. Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner

PRAYER WORKS ON US, NOT ON GOD. God the sustainer of the universe has lots of other things to care about than my concerns.

PRAY FOR A SICK PERSON, then do something, send a card, pay a visit, make a casserole. DO SOMEHING

Pray for peace, then DO SOME THING – Attend the vigil on Thursdays. Write letters to the president and congress, lots of letters.

Pray FOR THE HUNGRY – then do something. VOLUNTEER IN FEEDING PROGRAMS, find something to do.

We pray for pure WATER in Nicaragua, – Join and support EL PORVENIR, a program supported by our church community.

Pray for IMMIGRATION REFORM – Do something. WRITE CONGRESS, Join a COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION – Our Vicar is a hero for Immigration reform.

Pray for LGBT RIGHTS – DO SOMETHING. Join a group, send checks, talk with neighbors and friends about human rights.

SOME TIMES WE ARE POWERLESS – Malaysian Airline Tragedy. The 9/11 DISASTER. MASS KILLINGS -PRAY ANYWAY. Helpless. Hope for a miracle.

PRAYER WORKS ON US. It helps us focus on our most important values. So pray and get to work.