Easter greetings to one and all today! May the power of the Resurrection give you Hope and Comfort!
I posted on a Social Media site Thursday to say that my son, Chris Basile, had taken a turn for the worse. He has been gravely ill for the last six months. Late Thursday night, he was transferred to the ICU and put on life support.
His Mom, Stepdad and Ben the younger are with him now. Brother David is on the road and should arrive within the hour.
I’m saddened to know that my eldest son is very close to transitioning out of this world. It’s sadder still to be the only family member who can’t get to Albuquerque to be with them.
The family and the Medical team are in agreement that the focus now should be to help Chris transition peacefully and with as little pain as possible.
Joseph Christopher Basile, we have loved you with our whole hearts these forty years. Take our Love with you from this world to the next.
You’re loved up one side of Paradise and down the other. You’ll be greeted by Granddaddy David, Papa Joe and Grandma Lois and your Uncle Mike. He’ll keep you in line up there!
Go with our love. Our love and our tears. And one day — in God’s time — we’ll join you all.
Saturday, February 5, 2022
Your loving Father and Family
When we go through troubles and trials, through the adversity that we all experience in our lives, it can be rough. It can be very rough.
Having the loving presence and support of those who care for us can be so key when we pass through those situations, as we all do.
Stacey Dalili is a cherished friend of long-standing and is on the FSF Board of Directors. She is a much-beloved woman who’s passing through one of those difficult times right now. She has a lot of support from a large and loving family and a great many friends as she faces some serious adversity.
Stacey suffered a heart attack last Sunday and has been hospitalized since then. The heart blockages they found were serious but the first option was catheterization. Two attempts on two consecutive days did not have the desired effect, however, and so Stacey will undergo open-heart surgery tomorrow, February 2nd. Please keep her in your prayers.
Like so many who love this loving soul, I’m feeling a very considerable weight of stress as the time of the surgery draws nearer. It is powerful consolation that her family is rallying around her, many of whom will be arriving tomorrow to be with her.
This is what keeps humanity moving forward through all the troubles and trails that beset us. I invite you to also send along your own love, good wishes and healing energy to this loving and compassionate friend. Please pray for Stacey Dalili.
Ben Lawrence Basile
© 2022 Benjamin Lawrence Basile
When the subject of climate change comes up, it’s natural to begin thinking about the places where you live, the places you know and whether they’re heating up, whether they’re changing. Or whether they’re experiencing unusual, bad or problematic weather.
This is a normal thing to do when we sift through the mountains of articles, studies and data focusing on the environment and the changes we see all around us.
Well, here’s something you may not have thought about: The changes in sea temperature are really a more accurate way to track the ways in which the Planet is warming. And how much she’s warming.
The Conversation is an Australia-based academic journal and it ran an article this week that helps to explain how this works. It can be a big help when laypeople like you or me are trying to wrap our minds around this phenomenon and what some of the consequences of rising sea temperatures are likely to be.
I recommend the well-documented article highly; we are long-past the time when we can afford to ignore or downplay the signs of the catastrophic change happening all over the planet.
Ben Lawrence Basile
© 2022 Benjamin Lawrence Basile
We are, indeed, standing together on the threshold of a New Year. The year we’re seeing out the door tonight was quite an improvement over 2020 in a lot of ways. But all-in-all, it’s been a tough year, truth be told.
None of us can say with any certainly what 2022 will be like. I’m expecting that it will bring humanity a lot of challenges and setbacks. And that some of them will be very daunting.
While I quite frankly don’t see a lot of reason for optimism, I’m quite certain of this: 2022 will be a better year if we can recover a sense of community, of being in this together.
Most of the signs are not pointing in that hoped-for direction as I write these words tonight. If we find a way to begin to heal our differences and work together to solve our corporate problems, we will all be the better for it.
I pray that we will. If we fail in that task, this nascent year may be a dark one, indeed.
Ben Lawrence Basile
© 2021 Benjamin Lawrence Basile
I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas. This piece of mine was originally posted on Christmas Day, 2007 on another site.
This has been a challenging year for me in a lot of ways, yet I find myself feeling even more than the usual holiday spirit right now as I sit at the keyboard, waiting for Santa to come down my chimney. Wait! I don’t have a chimney! Oh well, I still believe! Well, the part about Santa, who can say? The rest of it, I’m still pretty big on all the good stuff that we think about when the holidays roll around each year. No doubt a lot of you feel the same.
The Christmas story does hold a lot of meaning for me. I’m not quite sure if I still believe all of it, all the nuances and consequences and so on; not quite like one “believes it” when the assembled faithful say the Apostles Creed together at Midnight Mass. Some will be doing exactly that in just a few hours, perhaps some of you.
Yet it doesn’t seem at all “funny” to me that God comes to us whenever it suits his/her purpose. Not entirely sure if “he” did in that particular, historical way. Being raised in a Christian family and having gone part-way through seminary a few years ago, I do lean in that direction. But I’ve come to see some things in a different light now that I’ve spent a little better than a half-century on this planet. This planet where almost a billion people believe that God became incarnate, was born of a young woman who had never “known” her betrothed. And that his coming among us in that way was the beginning of a Divine plan to make it possible for all of his creatures to enjoy unending fellowship with him and with one another! In this life and in the next! Now that’s a story! One we humans have been telling one another for a very long time, and I’m quite sure we’ll be telling it for a long time to come.
I’ve been struggling for so many years now about exactly how much of the story still “works” for me and all of that. But what I’ve never doubted is that God, or the Divine, does come to us and among us all the time. And I’m finally in that phase of life where I’ve learned to look for it, to expect it and to embrace it. And I know that the other really big thing about Christmastime is to get a bit closer to my brothers and sisters who also bear the image of the Divine One in their souls and on their beaming faces. Some of them were raised on the same stories I was; this one about God being born of a virgin, and many others.
Some, of course, have heard and embraced and celebrated different stories. I’m not very inclined to quibble about the particulars at this point in my life. I’m quite sure that God would love to see us move a little closer together at this time of year, and to go on telling those stories; especially that one about God robed in human flesh, living and dying as one of us. And I’m quite sure that the heart of the Divine is pleased when we carry forward “his” mission to strip away that illusion that our sins, imperfections, and much less, our differences, should separate us from one another or from his Divine Heart.
Well, Christmas Eve has progressed, as it will, into Christmas morning as I’m wrapping up this little holiday message. And I’m sitting here, luminous and expectant, like a six year old waiting for Santa to appear. Like Simeon in the temple, waiting to bless the infant Jesus, knowing then that he has seen and embraced, quite literally, the Divine plan to end our sinful and deadly illusions of separateness. I’m expectant, waiting in earnest to see and to embrace the next manifestation of the Divine. In you, in her, in us. Perhaps–and wouldn’t this be a great story–perhaps in and across many countries and cultures, in four billion human hearts at once!
A wish, a dream, a fervent hope… Perhaps that’s all it is. But a hope to hold close to one’s heart on Christmas morning. God bless each of you today and throughout the year to come. May you be blessed to see the image of the Divine, of the Christ-child in yourself–and in one another.
Ben Lawrence Basile
Christmas morning, 2021
© 2007 Benjamin Lawrence Basile
The banner photo is covered by the Fair Use Doctrine.
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.
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; *Psalm 59:18-20
for you, O God, are my stronghold and my merciful God.
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.
© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile. All Rights Reserved
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,
© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile
Photo credit Joanie Bundy
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,from Proverbs, Chapter 4
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.
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