Cromey Online

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

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, December 19, 2016


What’s all this self righteous palaver. Putin interfered with the U.S. election. Oh Horrors. I recall that the US interfered with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Palestine, just to name the ones I can remember. The CIA disrupts governments, electorates, politicians and the military all over the world. Our tax dollars pollute other country’s activities right up to this very moment through the nefarious activities of the CIA, Secret Service and the U.S. Military.


Our Vocation
Calling of Joseph

Jesus was born into a dysfunctional Family. Joseph is engaged to Mary. Then he finds she is pregnant. He contemplates leaving.  But an Angel tells him to marry her anyway. He does what he is told.

He is given a vocation, a calling to be a husband to this woman Mary who is great with child. He sets out to travel and he presides over the birth of Jesus.

Mary of course was also commanded of the Holy Spirit to bear a child. She too is called to a vocation, bearing a child of the Holy spirit.

I want to talk today about our vocation and calling. 60 years ago yesterday I was ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church. I believe I had a calling, a vocation to be a priest.

I wish I could tell you that, like Joseph, I had a visitation from an angel, a direct powerful call from God to be a priest. I didn’t. I’d probably have fainted if I did. I just drifted into the ministry. My father was a priest. My heroes were clergy. They were advocates for the poor, the unions and for the rights of African-Americans. I realized that being a priest gave me a pulpit and opportunity to be a social activist through the church. My vocation, my calling found me.

But enough about me.

I believe we are all called to a vocation, a ministry. We even have the notion that we are a priesthood of all believers. All of us have a vocation, a calling to be followers of Jesus. Why are we all here in this church, why are we all here? It is because we are drawn to be followers of Jesus.

Susie McAlpin jouneys from Berkeley to help our church develop our community Outreach. After the liturgy this morning, we will bag gifts for the un-housed. Her’s is a calling whether she likes it or not.

Patrick Lane and Michael Reardon come on Sundays to set up the sound system and then take it down. The sound system helps us hear God’s word from the Bible and the Eucharist. Michael and Patrick have a calling to serve God in Christ in this place. Michael is an actor who gives dramatic performances of the gospels. A vocation, a calling.

Not all jobs are vocations, callings. Is it a calling from God to be a coal miner? Men, children and women dig coal as ways too make a living. Danger, cave-ins, filth, lung disease, gas leaks are the risks. Working in dark tight places to dig the coal is bruising and harrowing work and very dangerous.

However, miners themselves make mining a vocation. They band together to support and aid one another. They form unions too assure better working conditions. In England they formed mighty choruses, singing gorgeous music to express their creativity. Some even feel it is necessary, as people need coal for fuel to heat their homes and energy for industry.  They made a vocation out of a job.

Bad for environment, yes.

Perhaps you have a job rather than a vocation. Perhaps you can make your job into a calling even a ministry.

Br. Lawrence, in his monastery, had to wash dishes and scrub floors. Instead of complaining, he made washing the dish or floor an act of prayer and worship. He saw his work as an offering to God.

That never happens to me when I washed a dish.

Actors and theater people, musicians and sculptors have a calling, a vocation to create beauty.

Most killed in the Oakland fire were artists of some sort. They chose to live in a dangerous building so they could make music, paintings and write poems. Their calling cost them their lives.

Yehudi Menuin – something in my fingers on the violin – something special.

Ann knew when she was 12 years old she wanted to be an English teacher. That won out even though she had been a secretary to the Governor or Utah and also to a member of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. She persisted in becoming high school English teacher. Her calling her vocation.

Pray regularly. What is the Holy Spit calling me to do in the world? Open your minds and hearts to listen to God’s call.

What are my talents? What gifts have I been given. Organization, healing, teaching, mechanics, clothing, food.
Find a way to use those talents and gifts.

How can I best use those gifts?

Many see their purpose in life is to make money. Yes, we want money to take care of ourselves and our families. Many see amassing money as a goal in itself. Some justify this by saying, the more money I make, the more I can give away.
There is no question that the acquiring of money Is a goal in life and many are good at it, have a vocation for it.

The root of all evil is not money. It the LOVE of money that is evil.

God called Mary to bear Jesus.
The angel called Joseph to bear shame in order to support Mary.

Pray regularly. Listen in quiet and meditation. What is the Holy Spit calling me to do in the world? Open your minds and hearts to listen to God’s call.

Thursday, December 08, 2016


There are not enough fire inspectors to cite dangerous building owners and shut down illegal building uses.

There are not enough Immigration Officers to prevent illegal entrants into our country.

There are not enough police officers and firefighters to fight crime and fires.

Why? We can’t afford them. Why? We do not want to pay taxes that would improve our safety and well being.