John Chuchman: Journey of loss, healing, and hope

I came across a spiritual reflection by John Chuchman the other day. I see them from time to time on the Internet and some of his books are next to my desk on my book shelf.

Some of you might be familiar with his mission and work as a pastoral bereavement educator and companion. In this capacity he has done a lot to help Hospice programs, parishes and the grieving. More recently he has also been sharing his thoughts on the Spirit through other books and poetry.

His journey, his story, his writings have lifted many spirits over the years and he shows one person, living out his faith, can make a mark and can strengthen the lives of others.

A Chuchman poem that caught my eye the other day appeared on his Web site and later was reprinted on an Australian Catholic Web site, Catholica.

My religion has largely to do with Doing
while my spirituality has to do with

I guess this is why so many religionists
can be spiritually destitute
so many deeply spiritual people
are able to transcend religion.

At our deepest core,
there seems to be an inviolable truth
that attracts, heals, inspires, and unites.
It is a truth which defies description and articulation.
It is
A Communion of Spirit.

It seems that the deepest level of communication
is not communication,
but wordless Communion,
beyond speech, beyond concepts.

The metaphor of life
that works for me is that
we are all climbing the Mountain of Life
albeit on our own unique path.
One author, however, suggests
that we are not all climbing different paths
up the same mountain,
but in fact climbing different mountains.
If so, they are all part of one mountain range.

I discovered that
I do not have my own private supply of Love.

As John says in his First Letter (I JN, 4, 7-16)
God is Love,
and as a child of God
(as we all are)
I have been implanted with God's seed;
I have genetically inherited
a capacity to, a need for,

And my capacity for Love
knows no bounds;
it is an inexhaustible source of energy
and transcendence.

When I am not open to Love,
for whatever reason,
I commit the ultimate sin,
condemning myself to
self-serving interests and motives.

Sin is a refusal of God's Love.

God re-creates and renews me
at every instant.
I know that if I continue to faithfully
climb my mountain
I will come to know the Love of God
beyond all knowledge.

The tenet of my Faith
is that God will bring me
to full-being,
to full personhood,
through Love.

God is Love
and when I live in Love,
I live in God
God in me.

Chuchman has written a number of self-published books. These include, “Springtime in Autumn,” “Pebbles of Wisdom,” “Quest,” “Sunset Awakening,” and “Journeying Through Life.”

Some other recent books inlcude, "I Love My Church, but oh my God!,” “We Are Church,” “Is God laughing or Crying?” “Let’s Hospice our Church,” “Spirituality and Spiritual Growth beyond the Hierarchical church,” and “In Search of Spiritual Growth.”

All of his books can be found on They are also available directly from him.

You can keep up with Chuchman by reading his blogs, Speaking My Truth and God:Laughing or Crying.

Thank you, Poetman.

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