Opening letter Christmas Quarterly

Tis the Season to be Merry!

Now that many of us have spent over 50 years of Christmas celebrations we all must have several that were memorable.

I remember being one of the first brother missionaries sent to Baltimore in 1971 and meeting up with our Brothers in Philly and with other missionaries on the Eastern seaboard for Christmas.

Just before the Christmas Eve mass that night we hiked in a park and stood before a shrine in which the Blessed Mother was said to have appeared. Her presence was very strong  and carried over into that mass with a sacredness and intense presence and light.

The one that stands out the most was Mother Ruth’s last Christmas just weeks before she passed on, which was at our house In Portland, Oregon.   Quiet, serene and almost other worldly, candlelight dinner and an incredible feast. We were all truly in awe of her beauty that night and united in Spirit and love.

We are all truly blessed when sharing together the simplicity and beauty of Christmas with family and friends.

May we grow stronger together in the years ahead as we continue to celebrate the gift of all gifts, the birth of the only begotten Son Of God our Lord and Master, Jesus the Christed one!

Peace on Earth!

Father Ant

From Father Paul Excerpt from The Fire of Life Speaks, 1969 class

…Back in the dim, dark days of long ago, when man’s being, as it is said, was of a prehistoric nature, according to science.  And he discovered the element of fire and took it within his house, there to give him comfort on the long dark evenings and to protect him from the elements of the animal world.  It became a sacred symbol in his life. ..throughout this grand glorious creation of God, our Solar System, whether you be on Earth, Venus, or Mars, there’s a pattern of creation.  There are certain very few dynamic and infallible laws.  These laws branch out through what we might call the Tree of Life, and are the motivating forms and actually form  the path on which men travel.

Was man prehistoric?  Or was his body prehistoric?  Or was it that just outwardly he did not have the realization of the infallibility of God’s mighty works?  Let us go back now to our statement.  That he took the fire within his own home–his cave, his hutch…his house.

Here man is following a form.  The form of taking the fire within, looking within for the fire.

All through the Holy Bible and the works of many great orders, we find that parallel statement of the fire of the Holy Spirit within.  And so even today, man looks within and invites the fire of the Holy Spirit when he is searching his temple for the great Self, the God within.  And what does this fire do?  What is its purpose?  What is its likeness and its character?

In the first place, let us go back to Moses’ experience on Mt. Sinai, where he was spoken to by the voice.  You call it what you will.  You think of it from where you will, but that he was distinctly told not to get too close to the fire, for it would destroy him.  Out of these vast, far-reaching laws of God -creation, we find the repeated mention of the Holy Spirit.  Yes?

Student:  Well, on this burning bush.  I always wanted to know whether this is kind of symbolic of, you know, within.. this is going on within, or is it actually literal?

Father Paul:  Oh, yes.  That’s why he says “don’t get too close, you are walking on sacred ground.  And you prostrate yourself before it when it comes.  And that’s all there is to it.  You begin to recognize your impurity when you get to that stage.  And if it wants to save you, it’ll say, “Don’t get too close or you’ll get burnt.”  And you’d better listen.

In fact, all the churches and religions of earth, regardless of their creed or dogmatic teaching, whether you be Catholic, Jewish, or Brahmin, or Christian, all things are built on the great Trinity, a great and fundamental teaching that you have been led to believe was too complex and too holy for you to understand.  That only those who entered the holy of holies and who wore the priestly robes could possibly conceive of the ponderous teaching.  It was a mystery.  And I am sorry to say as I look back, that it looks like an almost determined secreting of the basic foundation of universal truth on the part of many teachers.

It is quite true what the Master said, “Do not cast your pearls before swine.”  But surely the multitude of millions are not all swine on earth, God’s earth.  Let us explode one more of the great barriers that the money-getting teachers and the gold-grubbing priests have used to cover up their inhibitions and perpetuate darkness, ignorance and blasphemy in the face of our illustrious Christ.  And this one is “That when they are ready, they will find the truth.”  Another is “When they are ready, the Master will come.”  And the teacher will come, and God will come, and we’ll all come.

Now, I ask you as an intelligent being, at least as intelligent as you have been permitted to be, by all the dogmatic school teachings.  Doesn’t it sound pretty childish to say that a person will seek greater truth in the masses, when it has been covered up, blanketed, blocked up, and secreted away to some private vault of the church?  I say unto you priests and you ministers, examine yourselves, for I think you have blasphemed against the Almighty.

Let us go back again to the fact which we related to the bringing of the fire within.  For truly this prehistoric man was searching for the eternal flame and light within himself.  He was searching for the Holy Spirit within.  So let us compare this with today.  Scientists in these past two decades have been searching within the materialized structure of their sciences, searching, searching, searching.  Into that microcosmic world of power and force and attraction.  They have built instruments through which they might multiply the size and proportion of these worlds.  Those instruments which would measure the millionth part of a volt.  Those instruments which would show the movement of power from the cause to the effect, from the positive to the negative.  Ah, yes.  Yes, the law of cause and effect exists in our science the same as it exists in our Bible.

For in the microcosmic world, man has discovered the ever-evolving, I should say, involving worlds upon worlds upon worlds, through which the same fundamental principles, through which the same fundamental laws still funtion.  Likewise, throughout all God’s universe, throughout all God’s creation, throughout all God’s being, these same principles, these same laws, these same functions of beauty exist.  So our scientists, too, have been searching within this world.  And our astronomers, our spacemen, are going out in the great macrocosm, sacrificing lie…their own…willingly for the exploration of God’s universe, trying to find these things they do not know, trying to discover the greatness of God’s creation.  Let me ask you one simple question.  would you take your life in your hands and know that perhaps, if you went to church, you would lose it?  Now I ask you this question.  These men of science, these astronauts, within them burns the eternal flame for which they are willing to put their lives upon the block for the purpose of discovering new vistas, new knowledge, for new sources of supply.  I think we should look with a great profundity of acceptance upon these people who are willing to sacrifice all–families, children, time–with a discipline which would be far more right and stringent than any of us have every gone through.

And I ask you again.  Would you undergo this discipline to find the God within yourself?  I think I am ashamed to answer this question myself.  But I think perhaps it might be in the negative.  I have called this chapter Man the Seeker…but I believe it might be called God Revealing

That’s it.  That’s the end.  Over and out.

Alright.

The Meaning of a Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree comes to us from Germany. Martin Luther is credited with being inspired by the starry heavens one night, and expressing his feelings to his family by bringing a fir tree into his home, and attaching lighted candles to its branches. Fir meant fire, and fire is an ancient symbol for spirit. The tree also pointed toward the heavens.

Evergreens were thought to represent the ever-burning fire of life. The color green signified the life force through the year. Eventually decorative balls represented the planets, while the star that radiates from the top reminds us of Bethlehem. The entire tree and decorations teach us that the universe is witness to the Incarnation.

Red at Christmas reminds us of the fire of the Spirit. Green affirms nature, and the ongoing life. And in the Incarnation, Spirit unites with nature.

In fact, the Christmas tree symbolizes to us a further appreciation of Jesus’ birth. It is a means of retelling a miracle in a colorful and beautiful way so that we can further understand and appreciate Jesus’ entering our world.

Actually, the tree is a reinterpretation of pagan rites, along with the use of other greens and decorations to commemorate in ancient times a celebration of the feast of Saturnalia – the birth of the Sun in the sky at the Winter Solstice. Along with the giving of gifts, the feast was later adopted as a Christian celebration, with the selection of December 25th to announce the birth of the Son of God to the world.

The tree also tells the story of a cosmic event – a mystery. In personal celebrations of Christmas the tree begins its use in the 16th century, and is later brought to America by German immigrants.

The heavens and earth rejoice in the coming of the Lord of Life.   

-adapted from The meaning of a Christmas Tree by  William V. Rauscher

HOOM Christmas letter from Father Paul and Mother Ruth 1971

…Words that we hear frequently sometimes lose their meaning and the great spiritual depth that lies behind these words seem to become dimmed in the hoary halls of time.

Our blessed Mother Mary:  the two most outstanding attributes of her personality which of course were the foundation of her long years of total devotion and selflessness, are the attributes of compassion and love.

The word “compassion ” from the standpoint of its folk use is a sort of tolerance which allows the individual to overlook and still love the other individual.  But this is not the important thing in compassion.  For the true reality of compassion is the last part of the word–passion.

In Mary our Blessed Mother, we have a great passion:  so burning, fertile, that its multiplication has encompassed all of mankind.  For Mary strives to bring the sinner, the wayward one, to her Son, whom for so many years not only she, but her mother also, was prepared for this one great purpose:  the birth of our Lord Jesus.  While she was here on earth and even sat at the foot of the cross and saw her son crucified (which was to be and she knew it before she had given birth to him) she also knew that this being was so great and had risen to such heights that mankind would not be able to readily reach the consciousness of his great and loving heart.

Therefore, through the aid of our Father in heaven she reached the pureness of the Fire and Spirit which permitted her to rise to a place of vibratory level and consciousness just above the earth plane so to speak, between man of earth and the consciousness of her Blessed Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the great passion to bring those of earth who truly sought– but whose consciousness had been dulled, that they could not quite reach that level to be able to get a glimpse of the magnificence of his being–this draws humankind up so to speak on another platform of consciouness from which they can reach to the Blessed Master and gain fully the atonement which he gave to all mankind, if they would follow him.

In this act of lifiting our hearts and opening our arms and heart to Mary, His Blessed Mother, we are receiving and being lifted toward her and through receiving her consciouness we are able to reach our Lord in reality and thus gain the full atonement, which he went to Calvary for.

Many people who have not been schooled in the deep mysteries of the heart look at the statues and see the heart symbolized, and feel this is a strange and unuseful reality.  But actually the symbolization of the heart is referring to the heart center which the mystics of the east also spoke of, and which the ancient teachers and wise men all strove to use, and through the heart on the upper level of spiritual reality and consciousness comes this burning fire of passion, the passion of selfless existence for the atonement of the errors and sins of the human race.

For Mary strives also in so doing this to bring woman kind to the fullness of her spiritual reality and act as the cosmic mother of her children.  In recent years Mary has been sort of forgotten about and in many places church politics has sort of taken her place.  But we will not criticize: we will beg man, both layman and church man to look again at the great reality of the cosmic drama, for it is not just a play but it is the way which our Lord spoke about in the New Testament.

I am not saying forget our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ:  but those who cannot or have not reached him before open your hearts and your souls to Mary and accept her aid in reaching him and to glorify our Father in heaven.

This is my Christmas gift to you as true brothers in Christ seeking the great cosmic reality of being the carriers of the Light of the Christos and becoming a cell in his body.

Merry Christmas,   Father and Mother Blighton

The Pope urges church, nations to remember the poor

Pope Francis has called for countries to shrink the gap between rich and poor, some of whom he said were getting only “crumbs”, in a message to mark the Roman Catholic church’s “day of peace”.

The pope, who said in the first peace message of his pontificate that huge salaries and bonuses were symptoms of an economy based on greed and inequality, said: “The grave financial and economic crises of the present time … have pushed man to seek satisfaction, happiness and security in consumption and earnings out of all proportion to the principles of a sound economy.

“The succession of economic crises should lead to a timely rethinking of our models of economic development and to a change in lifestyles.”

Francis has urged his own church to be more fair and frugal and less pompous and to be closer to the poor and suffering.

His message will be sent to national leaders, international organisations such as the United Nations, and NGOs for the day of peace, marked around the world on 1 January.

Titled Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace, the message also attacked injustice, human trafficking, organised crime and the weapons trade as obstacles to peace.

Anger at huge payouts for executives has swept across the globe as the economic crisis has deepened and the gap between the super-rich and the poor has widened.

But last month, Swiss voters rejected a proposal to cap the salaries of top executives at 12 times a company’s lowest wage, heeding warnings from industry leaders that the measure could harm the country’s economy.

Francis said many places in the world were seeing a “serious rise” in inequality between people living side by side.

He attacked the “widening gap between those who have more and those who must be content with the crumbs”, calling on governments to implement effective policies to guarantee people’s fundamental rights, including access to capital, services, educational resources, healthcare and technology.

The new pope’s style is characterised by frugality. He shunned the spacious papal apartment in the Vatican’s   Apostolic Palace to live in a small suite in a Vatican guest house, and he prefers a Ford Focus to the traditional pope’s Mercedes.

A champion of the downtrodden, he visited the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy in July to pay tribute to hundreds of migrants who had died crossing the sea from north Africa.

Last month, in a document seen as a manifesto of his papacy, he attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”.

Since his election in March as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, the Argentinian has several times condemned the “idolatry of money” and said it was a depressing sign of the times that a homeless person dying of exposure on the street was no longer news but a slight fall in the stock market was.  –from The Guardian

Christmas Must Be Tonight (Lyrics from The Band)

Come down to the manger, see the little stranger
Wrapped in swaddling clothes, the prince of peace
Wheels start turning, torches start burning
And the old wise men journey from the East

How a little baby boy bring the people so much joy
Son of a carpenter, Mary carried the light
This must be Christmas, must be tonight

A shepherd on a hillside, where over my flock I bide
On a cold winter night a band of angels sing
In a dream I heard a voice saying “fear not, come rejoice
It’s the end of the beginning, praise the new born king”

I saw it with my own eyes, written up in the skies
But why a simple herdsmen such as I
And then it came to pass, he was born at last
Right below the star that shines on high