A Catholic Priest in Bangkok's slums

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By Tom Holmes

Contributing Reporter / Religion Blogger

Greg Barrett, The Gospel of Father Joe, Revoltions and Revelations in the Slums of Bangkok

100 viewing the world from another's perspective can make your own appear decidedly less definitive. Greg barrett

101 fear is the pathto the dark side.  Fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hatred, and hatred leads to suffering.

38 the golden rule should be elementary to follow, I told father joe.  It is, he said.  In theory.

45 what frightens me the most is the morality leakage.  Fj

49 stones are thrown from the moral perches of affluence  gb

67 these are the people I was sent to.  And them to me.  Fj

80 you have to take the journey, tke the journey and you'll understand.  Fj

90 to put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, w must first put the family in order; to put the fmily in order, we must first cultivate our personllife, we must first set our hearts right.  Confucius

93 sometimes they wait till everyone goes—so they can die alone—cuz we won't let them go and thus it makes the dying that much more difficult.  Fj

104 breathe in and you are born.  Breathe out and you die.  Telve times each minute we are born and w die.  Fj

105 this whole thing of life is not ours, not ours to keep  fj

110 looks like a deadend to me gb  can you turnaround? Fj  sure. Gb  then it's a turnaround. Fj

 117 most of society most of the time is in sync.  Fj

1182005 un human development report 1/5 $2 a day

119 With 10 percent of my famly's gross divided between Sunday offering plates, NGOs, and charities, I could sip the caramel foam off my $3.65 venti-sized esperesso without a trace of guilt.  One-tenth, and I could sleepwalk and still feel damn good about myself.gb

119 "we know not what we do, fathe joe repeated softly.  We forget.  Every day.  You, me, we do it too.. . . .we all struggle with this fj

119 "it's about selfishness and greed, isn't it?" he asked.  "the satisfaction we get from material things is supposed to fill the void.  That's the gospel today. Consumerism.  Materialism.  These are our idols.  We're told that these things will bring you happiness.  It's everywhere in the West, but it's here now too. Fj

120 UN world summit in n 2005  "of the world's twenty-two richest countries in 2005. . .were giving the smallest percentage of their gross national income to poor countries.

121      it seems like a contradiction, doesn't it?  If we are totally filled with God, why then do we act so selfishly? . . . .we are really just fighting against ourselves, aren't we?"

126 we don't push them (condoms) and we don't endorse them, he said.  We just put the information out where it needs to be.  Fj

130 Condoms are what I call a doubtful more issue.  . . . this is a doubtful moral issue.  It's not murder; it's not abortion.  Doubtfu..  Moral.  Issue."

131 these are the facts—listen up girlies.  Maybe they talk ome sense into the.  He thought about that.  "Probably not."

140 he raised his arm again. . .pointing toward the sky, the sun, the moon. . .whatever.  "It's the way of living that produces the fruit of the spirit. . . .It works.  But we can't get caught up looking at the finger.  Look toward the moon."

143 The Church is focusing on the finger. .  . .The realissuesare that religion has dropped out of the critical stuff in clulture and has banalized God and the clergy have become cretakers stumbling along with no real leadership. Fj

154 why come here  "To become a missionary priest and to work with the people and to convert them to Chrisianity and become holy, I gues.. They converted me, though.  The Buddhists and the Muslims.   I've only learned to be a Christian by learning from the Muslims and Buddhiszts of tolerance and calmness and peace.

155 While Christ came so that the world could be saved and came in love, He is not weak and willing to submit to other religions just so that their supplicants can feel free to be Christians without any discomfort."

157 Inshallah  God willing

158  Wooords.  Words are real.  Words are things.  Words are actions.  Fj

159 Lines in the sand are easily drawn but difficult to erase.   When you speak, you have to be responsible for your woooords.  Fj

160 They all die.  Eventually.  That'sthe battleI have with my ego.  I want to save them all.  I want to keep them forever, watch them grow up, and watch their children grow nd the children of their children.. . .

166 It felt like the thing to do.  It was just one of those moments when you know you're supposed to do it.  I knew what I needed to do; I could taste it.  Sometimes you know because you feel it—he backhanded my paunch—right here."  fj

171 To know Jesus is to love Jesus.  Know him and you will love him.  Fj

175 nee mai pon   there is no escape   funeral sutras—nee mai pon. To run and there is no escape.  Bhy mai glap  to go and not return.  Lap mai dhern  to sleep and not wake up.  Fern mai me to not return to consciousness

176 It tears your guts out.  (kid's funeral)  It. Jus. Tears. Your. Guts. Out."

178 There's no theism in buddhism.  There's nowhere to hang Eastern shame or Western guilt, no absolution granted by a monk, priest, or baptism . . .you own the karma you sow—or purchase. 

180 no escape, no God, no need for Him.  Do it yourself. . .But the West does this now too.  It's taken God out of it.  The religion of the United States today is materialsm and commercialism and it spreads this new religion throughout the worl, proclaim that this is what will bring you joy; this is what will bring you peace.

181 Everyone just wants to own God gb and fj

185 Are these the things that are most important to us right now?  Is this where we should be focused? 

204 Andrew lloyd webber joseph and the amazing technicolor dream coat—any dream will do [world was sleeping]

204 Lula di Silva  "Hunger is actually the worst of all weapons of mass destruction. . .fighting hunger and poverty and promoting development is the truly sustainable way to achieve world peace."

206 priviledge lullsits beneficiaries to sleep.  Gb  re "the easy fit of complacency"

206 gb "I think he prefers to let people fish and see if the catch on through revelations of their own.  If they do, it could strike a chord in a way a sermon never could.  If they don't, perhaps they weren't ready to hear or to see or even to listen.  Re SOLV

206 gb "distance paints poverty in abstractions that invite comfortable conclusions."

208 never ask permission for something like that [breaking into power lines] from somebody who can't give it to you  fj

209 Any success I've had is all by accident. . .i've had to be dragged into it by the scruff of my neck kicking and screaming."  Fj

214thanksin ousted 9/16,06

235 gb  he was referring to the kinetic nature of selfless action

249 gb Do you know" a writer from the Wazshington Post hd sked me years earlier, referring to God's existence. "Yes I do." "How do you know?" Well, I've twice witnessed the miracle of childbirth. . . .and all too rarel—but even once is enough o know—I write, but I do not feel as though I'm the one speaking."

254 father joe loses his jai yen

Jai rown (rawn hot heart; jai yen cool heart; jai dee good heart

259 abiding sin of our culture: acedia—a weariness which comes when we are not amused or happy and are depressed or dissatisfied with life in general and our own life in particular—leads to desire distraction. . .fr joe's daily journal

262 to forgive is a gift we give ourselves

278 always look twice. Always.

293 someone "when people walk into your house, can they imediately convicty you of being a Christian?

304 thomas merton on ps 23  "My Lord God I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me, I cannot know for certain where it will end, nor do I really know who I am myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.  Byut I believe  Lord that the desire to please you does in fact please you.  And I have that desire to please you in all that I am doing. . . .":

307 I used to cry a lot in the confessional. . .usually with ppeople. . .literally. . .who are almost Saints and just need a tiny little leap. . .jump. . .to totally throw themselves into the arms of Our Lord and Our Lady. . .I would beg them. . .please. . .som did and some weren't there yet.

311 gb the imam and Father Joe went back more than thirty-five years, and they'd watched from a distace as religio worldwide was used to pry things apart rather than bind them together.

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Tom Holmes from Forest Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2015 5:20 PM

I am interested in discussing Fr. Joe. He's hard to pin down, in my opinion, because he is a man of action rather than of systematic thought. For example, he follows the Catholic teaching about birth control in theory, but he always tells the girls from the slum who going to be sex workers to be sure to use condoms.

reading between the chimes  

Posted: January 30th, 2015 10:09 PM

Very interesting.Are you willing to talk with folks about this book/point of view? I think it's a radical idea worth pursuing.

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