For All the Saints

The Feast of All Saints or All Saints’ Day falls on the 1st of November each year and is often an Autumn afterthought, truth be told.

Halloween sucks all the oxygen out of the room, so to speak, even though it’s true that its relevance, its meaning can be elusive unless seen in context as the prelude to All Saints’ Day.

The same is true of All Souls’ Day, which is the cherry on the Sundae, so to speak. In many places–in Mexico, in particular–it often goes by Day of the Dead or Dia De Los Meurtos and is quite a celebration.

I hope this day becomes a day for you to reflect on those who’ve gone before.

Those who have been called Saints in a formal or official way. And folks in your blood family or simply folks whose Faith and acts of love, fidelity and compassion have inspired you and informed your own Faith journey.

Blessings to you all on the Feast of All Saints, 2021.



Ben Lawrence Basile

© 2021 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

For You are my stronghold

18 For my part, I will sing of your strength; *
I will celebrate your love in the morning;

19 For you have become my stronghold, *
a refuge in the day of my trouble.

20 To you, O my Strength, will I sing; *
for you, O God, are my stronghold and my merciful God.

Psalm 59:18-20

I spent a few moments this afternoon meditating on this Psalm and it reminded me once again that “the day of my trouble” comes around often. A bit more often for some of us than others, but it does come around for every one of us often enough that we can all relate to what the Psalmist is saying in this passage.

Do you claim the Divine One as your stronghold when these days come around? Are God’s mercies something you feel, experience and can appropriate for yourself when you see the storm clouds begin to gather?

I sincerely hope that you can say yes to those questions. God’s Love and Mercies are there for every Son and Daughter, for every last one of us if we open ourselves to them, if we reach out for them.

Benjamin Basile


© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile. All Rights Reserved

Of Love, Death and Grief–and of Constant Change

Here’s a post about changes. About changes, the passing of a friend in particular, and the way changes and endings come at you as long as your heart is beating.

Pebbles Bundy crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this afternoon. She was a few weeks short of her 12th birthday and had been suffering from a digestive condition for several months.

She was as sweet a cat as you could ever hope to meet. Gentle, sweet with a wonderful, mellow feline disposition. Food in her dish twice a day and some petting and stroking in the evening was all she ever asked of life.

When we went on our two day camping adventures she would watch us pack and go with an unruffled, mellow manner and greet us at the door when we came back home.

I helped Joan get her ready for her final trip to the vet as I was getting ready for work. Joan is a wonderful Cat Mom and it was her sad duty to take her to the good docs and staff at St Charles and be with her as she made that final journey.

I was relieved in a way that I had to get myself in to work while Joan made final arrangements. Being a part of that scenario would have added another layer of deep sadness to what has already been a challenging time for me.

I have been grieving the loss of another cherished relationship: Joan and I had come to a parting about three weeks before Pebble’s time with us came to its own end. I’m moving back to Orlando next week.

As I reflected on the last three or four weeks, and what happened today, it occurred to me that Pebble’s passing was — among other things — the last event where Joan and I would focus together on a matter of great and enduring significance to both of us; The final time we would be fully engaged in something that had the power to move us deeply and to touch a place in our hearts. The final time we would share deeply-felt emotions that no one else shared or could fully understand.

Changes and endings. They’re a huge part of life. They keep coming. It’s not going to stop. In fact, when we get to a certain stage of life, the changes accelerate, they fly by so quickly that we sometimes are hard-pressed to take in fully their true significance.

Some of those changes involve a death. A death of a friend, a family member. The death of a dream, of a cherished relationship.

It’s not going to stop.

Hold on tightly to your friends, your loved ones. The friends who walk on their hind legs and the fur-bearing ones who love you unconditionally, with great ardour and whose love has the power to touch us in the deepest places in our hearts.

Hold tightly to them when the fire of love burns brightest. Love them, return their love and release them to the love, care and wisdom of the Universe when a time of ending comes.

And trust that your love — mingled with theirs — and the memories of shared experiences, of your time together will sustain you.

Sustain you and offer a sweet note of consolation. Especially if you must walk life’s path alone for a time.

Healing Love to all of you. And all whom you love.

A loving, grieving and hopeful man, I am,

Benjamin Basile 

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile
Photo credit Joanie Bundy

The bomb-making Bible Study

Sometimes reading an article in the news leaves me stunned and incredulous.

It happens to me fairly often, truth be told. Well, it happened again just a few minutes ago. An article from the Washington Post tells the story of a violent insurrectionist who participated in the January 6th riot, putting together a plan to form a new militia-like organization to commit more violence in the wake of that tragic and shocking event.

Here’s the most shocking part of this nearly-unbelievable tale: the “cover story” for his efforts to organize more violent, insurrectionist acts was to be the forming of a Bible study group.

Plans for violence and killing wrapped in a cloak of dark, fake religiosity.

Things like that are certainly not new. When the writer of Proverbs penned this text, he recorded for posterity a situation to which these more recent events bear an uncanny resemblance:

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
   and do not walk in the way of evildoers. 
16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
   they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. 
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
   and drink the wine of violence. 

from Proverbs, Chapter 4

There’s no doubt in my mind that Fi Duong has been imbibing the wine of violence for a long time. It’s a very good thing that law enforcement uncovered this particular plan for evil in time.

Ben Lawrence Basile

© 2021 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Pandemic and Big Changes

The COVID Pandemic and the early lockdowns which were put in place to mitigate its spread led to so many changes in the ways we go about our lives. Zoom meetings and all forms of virtual get-togethers became common, for example.

The changes most certainly have affected the ways the Church goes about its business. Especially when it comes to “gathering” for worship.

It would be hard to overstate how big and thorough-going these changes are and will be for how the Church operates. This article from Religion News Service treats shines a light on this issue and it’s well-worth the next few minutes of your day.

Changes come. We adapt. The Church adapts.

We move forward, hopefully, into our future.

Ben Lawrence Basile

© 2021 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

Burning in Seattle

It’s hot in the summertime. It’s always hot in the summertime.

But it’s getting hotter each time Summer comes around.

The Pacific Northwest here in the United States is baking right now and it’s a very serious situation. High Temperature records are being set on an almost-daily basis in that region of our Nation.

This timely and informative article treats this alarming matter in detail but isn’t wonky at all. I recommend it for all who’d like to have a closer look at what’s going on as we get deeper into the Summer of ’21.

If People of Faith are serious about caring for God’s Creation, we cannot merely sit on the sidelines while the Planet continues to warm.

The consequences of doing so are too bleak to contemplate.

Ben Lawrence Basile

© 2021 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

You Are Not Forgotten

20 Praise be to God,
    who has not rejected my prayer
    or withheld his love from me!

The Psalmist wrote those words nearly three millennia ago in the 66th Psalm and it’s a declaration that still rings true in our souls today.

Your fervent prayers have not been rejected. The Master of the Universe — of all that we know, or can ever know — loves you deeply.

You are not forgotten.

Praise be to God!

Ben Lawrence Basile

© 2021 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

NTD is a perfect time to…

One of my favorite National Days is this one; today is National Trails Day in the US and it’s a perfect time to walk a favorite — or brand new — trail or put together a plan for your next outdoor excursion.

There are so many ways to enjoy and exult in the beauty of God’s Creation and taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors is a very important and fulfilling one.

If you visit this site, you can find ways to help spread the word about hiking and trail-walking and advocate for this splendid way to build fitness and promote serenity.

Enjoy the day, whether or not you’re exploring a new or familiar outdoor trail or simply walking down life’s path.

Navigating Earth’s lovely terrain, I am,

Ben Lawrence Basile

© The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

100 years ago in Tulsa

The story of the Tulsa Massacre is a very, very ugly one. It’s one that you may have heard about recently, as there is no longer immense pressure to keep the whole sick and brutal event on the down-low.

The effects and the legacy of this shameful attack are almost too great to assess. It’s truly hard to wrap one’s mind around it all.

Because I spent the better part of nine years in the City of Tulsa — including my three semesters in Seminary — it’s something I’ve paid quite a lot of attention to lately. I say lately as I only learned about it approximately five to six years ago. Simply by browsing the content of an internet forum.

There’s no need for me to try to add anything to the work done by so many about this traumatizing, racist event. I merely want to say that I feel — as I look back over my time in Tulsa — that it is remarkable that I never had the slightest clue that Black Americans had been attacked and massacred on the north side of the city where I lived, the city I had grown to love.

Tomorrow will mark the 100th Anniversary of the massacre which claimed at least 300 lives and burned a 35 square block area to the ground. There were many events to mark that somber event. One will be that President Biden will travel to Tulsa and meet with community leaders and the last three survivors.

Another event will be the prayer and commemoration in front of the last standing wall of the Vernon AME Church in the Greenwood District.

There’s not the slightest doubt in my mind that there were active efforts to keep the event under wraps. It’s almost inconceivable that I could have lived and studied in that City for most of the decade of the ’70s and had no idea that I was living about ten miles from the site of what was almost certainly the greatest, most violent paroxysm of racist white violence on black Americans in our — at that time — 200 year history.

I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around that. But it highlights once again that the perpetrators of racist violence will always go to great lengths to minimize, justify and hide their crimes.

And to avoid any accountability. The last thing that should be noted about this murderous, horrific and traumatizing act of violence is that no white person was ever arrested or put on trial for the rampage.

Ben Lawrence Basile

© 2021 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

Meet the House Chaplain

Margaret Kibben is the Chaplain of our House of Representatives. She had only been in that post for a week or so when House Members found themselves in the cross hairs of a violent mob on January 6th.

Chaplain Kibben did what she was put in that job to do — she led our Representatives in prayer. As the gas masks were being put on, she led her charges in prayer.

To be in danger was nothing new for her. She served a tour in Afghanistan as a Navy Chaplain. Admiral Kibben was in that role for 36 years so serving under hazardous and difficult conditions was not a new experience.

If you’d like to learn more about one of the few folks who’ve held both the titles of “Pastor” and “Admiral”, just follow this link. It’s quite a story, one well-worth reading.

Ben Basile

© 2021 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.