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Opening Letter Autumn Quarterly


Our Daily Bread

Most of us are engaged in the task of providing for the necessities of life and maintaining all the things we’ve accumulated.  Yet there was a time when the main business of life was “letting go.”  The important thing was being on the Way, and learning to LET GO—enjoying hard work and service no matter how menial the tasks before us.

When first leaving home and striking out on our own, we felt the freedom to explore and get by on a wing and a prayer.  By middle age, the tendency is to accrue material goods and money as assurance for the future—to try to solidify our niche in life and make our mark.  As for letting go—well, it’s easy to put that into the mental concept pile, along with Jesus’ statement that He is the bread of life:  “he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”   John 6:35

Those who were among the founders of the Order travelled a rough path, overcoming many obstacles to establish a footstool for Christ on earth.  What sustained them was not the idea of getting enough materially to enjoy retirement.  In many instances, their only sustenance was the food which the Master provided—which came through their faith in doing what He had designated.

The reality is that the Christ IS the sustaining force of our universe.  The Son/Sun of God sends forth His radiance each day to supply our daily bread, through the living radiance of our Lord Jesus Christ to feed this planet and all upon it.

Let us take pause to celebrate the Life impulse from the Cosmic Christ, a spiritual ray sent each autumn to replenish the smoldering vitality of earth.  My all be seasoned with remembrance of the sustaining Bread of Life.

Love in Christ,  Rev. Mary Anderson

  Sermon by Father Paul: September 6, 1970

I’m going to take my text this morning from the 16th and 17th chapters of John not both chapters by any means, but starting with the 32nd verse:

“The hour is coming, indeed it has come when you will be scattered, every man to his own—to his home and will leave me alone.  Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.  I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world, you have tribulation, but be of good cheer:  I have overcome the world.”

This is a prelude to my text.  My text is the next four verses:

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, Father the hour has come.  Glorify thy Son that the son may glorify Thee, since Thou hast given him power over all flesh to give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given him.  And this is eternal life:  that they know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.  I glorify Thee on earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast sent me to do.”

In these last four verses, we have probably one of the greatest keys to spiritual attainment, and as I am being recorded here this morning, I want to let everyone know that I’m perfectly conscious that this message is going to go to all of the Centers.  We have failed sometimes to recognize and naturally, and humanly so.  In our striving to gain spiritual attainment, we have forgotten one thing; and that is that we only attain this, really, through our personal service and our lifting up of other people.  Now the Teacher sometimes has various things he has to do in the way of discipline; but the real key to spiritual attainment is through our lifting up of other people.  Now that doesn’t just mean the Brothers down here in the mass of the students.  It means the preachers, the Priests and Teachers; for in this great lesson which our Lord is teaching us—he said, “I have glorified Thee.  Now glorify me Father, so I can glorify Thee.,”  In other words, even the Father in heaven—it was necessary for Him to lift up his Son which He had sent to us as the great Messiah—it was necessary for Him to lift him up in glory, that he could give glory unto his Father in heaven.

This is on the level of the Great Divine Hierarchy.  Even here, these laws hold true, and their workings:  And you’ll notice that it is the students and the brothers who see the good in other people, in their brothers; it is they whom go ahead, it is they whom advance.

It is the ones who give selflessly too—in service and find the least fault, actually, are the ones that come through into the spiritual attainments secure, solid, and with a great deal of reality.  There isn’t an order, or ever has been one on earth, that hasn’t suffered the same things that you and I have experienced in these things, in this world.  We have experienced many great blessings through our Lord and Master which haven’t been experienced as easily as we have; but there is always that living up to what we have experienced and the gifts we have been given.  And if we fall short of being grateful, of thanking God and thanking our Lord and Master for what we have received, then we fall short and we will not develop in the sound and secure way that we should.

Even here, our Master whom was sent here; who came with a distinct mission; whom was commissioned to do so; said, “Father, glorify me that I may glorify Thee.”  For how can you be a brother to those whom you live with, those whom are really striving the same as you, when you do not try to lend them a hand?  Maybe lending that hand is keeping quiet.  Maybe it’s sitting down and talking with them cheerfully as a brother; not necessarily trying to teach them something; just being a friend, a brother to them.  Maybe it’s going in and helping with the dishes.  Maybe it’s seeing that no one talks against them—it might be any one of a thousand things.  Things that you would not even think worthwhile considering, that these things will turn to be most important to weigh the scale so that they can more easily move along in their attainment, and that they too will be given a chance to give that glory unto the Father.  Even our Master in the revelations said, “Do not worship me; worship my Father in heaven.  Give Him the glory.”  He was the one that created this.  Yes, I know; as we look back and as we gradually and slowly our eyes are uncovered and we start to see the immensity of this Creation.  We start to see the timeless depths unto which it goes, we become a little awed.  We wonder what it’s all about.  Why are we doing this?

Well, cheer up.  There isn’t anybody that’s ever lived that hasn’t; and there isn’t anybody that ever lived that really has attained any real consciousness of the Christ within them, that hasn’t looked at this and said ‘I wonder where it goes to.’  But there’s one thing I can assure you of:  that if you will follow the ways of Creation, and if you will make your objective service, not only in work, but in thought.  And here’s one thing that we have oft times missed:  you might turn out a good day’s work, this is fine; we all need it—that’s why I’m asking you to as much as possible keep away from my particular office this week because I’ve got work to do—you can turn out a good day’s work; but do you turn out a good day’s thinking?  How about that?  How about what you think about, Mary, James, or who else around you?  Do you turn out a good day’s thinking?   Ask yourself that; because it is not only the labor of your hands, it is the labor of your mind and your heart that determines what the nature and the vitality and the power of this Order is.  Because you could turn out a good day’s work and destroy more than what you had built; and that’d be a little foolish.

There is always a saying, and has been; it isn’t mine—I seldom ever say anything that I originate, because I don’t know very much.  You have got to climb the ladder, but you must, if you are going up, you must help somebody up onto the next rung below you, so that he will help to lift you up.

We sometimes, in acquiring the Priesthood—sometimes in acquiring certain things, spiritually; we get puffed up rather than really feeling the gratefulness that we should feel.  Remember, it’s only by the grace of God and the endeavor of your instructors and Teachers that you’re there.  Now there’s nothing to get puffed up about, and I assure you, I assure you that you will go on for many years learning many things and I assure every man in this Order that he will spend many lifetimes before he reaches the point that he will become a real self-sufficient Self.  Because there is too little to know, and it’s trying to learn how little there is that we get the greater Cosmic picture of things.

I oft times remember a thing which happened in one of the Temples where I was.  There was a picture of a certain great Teacher on the wall and this I assure you, was not painted because he wanted it painted.  It was painted by an artist who had seen him and went away and painted it; and this man was in stature and in size, was not a great big 6 foot 6 or anything of that sort; he was just, well, maybe 5 foot 9 or 5 foot 8, or something of that sort.  An average build, and there was a young man standing next to me who came into the Temple first, his first night being permitted to come in; he had reached that point where he could—and he stood there and he looked at that, and he looked at that; and he said ‘is that really him?’  And I said ‘yes, that’s right, it’s him.’  And he said, ‘he doesn’t look very unusual.’  That’s where it sets.  Look out for the person you don’t know; because it’s those who don’t look very unusual that carry the great prerogative that move the mountains and that move the destiny of man.

Within you sets that same great power; but you will only acquire greater strength, greater spirituality when you have forgotten it and only serve and glorify your brother, that he may give glory to God.  So remember, every time you say a good word about your brother, you’re opening the way for your own opportunity and for his opportunity to glorify God and our Lord Jesus.  So forgive him.  Work with it, and never mind the titles.  It isn’t the titles that count.  It is what you’re thinking that counts, and what your service is that counts.  Your glory that you give to your Father in Heaven and your brother man.  Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, so was given his Word.

REINCARNATION

 It seems as though reincarnation is the missing link, the part left out by early theologians.

It cannot be proven through material means that reincarnation is a definite fact, because we cannot see into the less dense planes to discover what takes place there.  But a very good case can be made for it, apart from certain recorded instances.  If we accept the reality of reincarnation, no longer can we blame others for any unfortunate circumstances of birth or other seeming injustices encountered throughout life. We then learn to accept responsibility for our own actions, and recognize that these conditions were previously earned, and we now have the opportunity to build for a better future..

However, I don’t think a person’s salvation depends on a belief in reincarnation, any more than it matters to his spiritual advancement whether he thinks man was created six thousand or six million years ago.

One is given a clean slate at the beginning of each incarnation.  The individual may have dismally messed up some former time on the earth plane and have been unable to clear it up before being taken away.  The experience is stored with his soul so he is not now born as innocently pure as most believe the baby to be.  But his memory has been wiped mercifully clear and he has been given a brand new slate on which to write, having no remembrance of the former mistakes.  He is born with a new vehicle in an environment necessarily different from the previous ones, and is given the chance to start over all fresh, from scratch.  He can make better progress unhampered by the memory of past error. Further mistakes may be made, but the individual will grow and learn, moving steadily beyond the place where he was before, having used up all the potential for that time and place.  Eventually he will get the lessons right, even though it may require coming back to new situations until that is accomplished

There are reasons why one would not necessarily want to peer into ones’ past lives, unless to acquire historical information, or to seek for causes of the present outworking of events.  One good reason for not looking back would be the possible negative memories of a less-evolved state than the present one; because surely we do evolve.

There are periods even in the space of this life span that can be painful to recall or dwell upon, doors one does not care to reopen  Looking further back there would be seen “before” pictures of one’s personality and experience when spiritual understanding was far in the future.  If we have evolved in one lifetime, as hopefully we have, how much more through several?

It makes sense to look at reincarnation as a fact of life.  The gift of reincarnation is blessed and kind, in that it gives the reincarnated soul a fresh chance, a brand new beginning in a new vehicle under different circumstances with an opportunity to do better and progress, while supposedly retaining the essence of whatever wisdom was gained from previous experience.

One begins attracting in this lifetime what is to be in the next.  Nor should anyone expect to “have it all” in any one incarnation.  Each is but one step.

Much as we may wish to know “who” or “what” we were or did before, it is blessed that we do not remember the heartaches and difficulties, the guilt or grief caused by past mistakes.  How good to lay down all the burdens at the end of one span.  Though misdeeds must be somehow paid for or repented and forgiven, the ache of that which went before is removed and we need deal only with the problems encountered in this one span.

Perhaps when we arrive at the other side, where we can see all things in perspective, detached from personal reaction, the opportunity may then be given to view the whole panorama of lives – if we can bear to see it.

We must so live this life that if we indeed come back, it will be to improved circumstances, and we will be much better equipped to deal with whatever challenges are encountered.

                 from Pondering by Mother Ruth Blighton

When was the Mother of God born? We can’t know for certain, of course, but for almost 15 centuries now, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated on September 8. Those who are quick with math have already figured out that September 8 is exactly nine months after December 8–the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated at least by the sixth century, when St. Romanos the Melodist, an Eastern Christian who composed many of the hymns used in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgies, composed a hymn for the feast. The feast spread to Rome in the seventh century, but it was a couple more centuries before it was celebrated throughout the West.

The source for the story of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Protoevangelium of James, an apocryphal gospel written about A.D. 150. From it, we learn the names of Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna, as well as the tradition that the couple was childless until an angel appeared to Anna and told her that she would conceive. (Many of the same details appear also in the later apocryphal Gospel of the Nativity of Mary.)

The traditional date of the feast, September 8, falls exactly nine months after the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Perhaps because of its close proximity to the feast of the Assumption of Mary, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not celebrated today with the same solemnity as the Immaculate Conception. It is, nonetheless, a very important feast, because it prepares the way for the birth of Christ.

By Scott P. Richert About.com Guide

The City on a Hill

Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.               Matthew 5:14

The state of your soul is always expressed in your outer conditions and in the intangible influence which you radiate at large.  There is a Cosmic Law that nothing can permanently deny its own nature.  Emerson said:  “what you are shouts so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”  In the Bible, the “city” always stands for consciousness, and the “hill,” or “mountain,” always means prayer or spiritual activity.   “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.”  “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”  The soul that is built upon prayer cannot be hidden, it shines out brightly through the life that it lives.  It speaks for itself, but in utter silence, and does much of its best work unconsciously.  Its mere presence heals and blesses all around it without special effort.

Never try to force other people to accept Spiritual truth.  Instead, see to it that they are so favorably impressed by your own life and conduct, and by the peace and joy that radiate from you, that they will come running to you of their own accord, begging you to gie them the wonderful thing that you have.  “I (the Christ Truth) if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.”  To do this is to make your soul truly the city upon a hill that cannot be hidden because it is the Golden City, the City of God.                  -Emmet Fox The Sermon on the Mount

Oh Father,

Whose voice I hear in the winds and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me. I am a man before You, one of Your many children. I am small and weak. I need Your strength and wisdom.

 Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunsets. Make my hands respect the things You have made, my ears sharp to hear Your voice. Make me wise so that I may know the things You have taught my people, the lessons You have hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, Father, not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy, myself. Make me ever ready to come to You with clean hands and straight eye, so that when life fades as the setting sun, my spirit may come to You without shame.

A PRAYER FOR STRENGTH , by Chief Tom White Cloud, Ojibway Indian