As we approach the time of Christmas and the return of the light in the northern hemisphere’s darkest time, I am reminded of the great gift that our Creator and our Mother Mary gave to the earth with the birth of the Christ Child. I am reminded of the pilgrimage that Joseph and Mary made as they journeyed to Bethlehem to be counted. Many of our dear brothers and sisters are journeying to lands unknown at this time to escape famine and persecution.
With that said, I wish to relate a story to you. When I was living in Georgia in a small community just outside of Atlanta, Joseph Handman was living with me for a time. On a Monday as we were in the living room, we both heard the crying of a little child coming from the house across the way. There was a Muslim day care center located there and this little girl who was dressed in full Muslim attire had been dropped off by her mother, not knowing that the day care center was closed that day. Joseph and I approached the girl and asked her name; she spoke little English and of course was very fearful. We checked the house and no one was there. We then walked her over to our house and asked her to sit in a chair we provided on the front sidewalk to our house. We checked her backpack and discovered she had no ID. As time passed we attended to her; we saw that she had some lunch in her back pack which she ate.
She became more comfortable with us as time passed, but we became concerned that her Mother had not returned–so we called the sheriff and a wonderful female police officer arrived and took charge of the girl. She was taken away to a safe place and we waited for the mom to show up which she did some hours later. She was frantic as you can imagine, and we informed her where they had taken her daughter and she left.
About a week later, again Joseph and I were sitting in the living room when I looked out the window and saw a large group of women and children dressed in full Muslim attire approaching our house. They arrived with plates of sweet bread and drawings from the other children, and a card from the mother with a check for $100 in it. Also there was the little girl who was beaming with light, happy to see us both again. The grand-mother, mother, sisters and brothers were all there to thank us for helping their little girl.
With our world in so much turmoil now I am mindful of our Master’s Words: “As you do unto one of my little ones you do unto me.”
Merry Christmas my brothers and sisters everywhere, and may we open our hearts to those in need.
From Father Paul: Sermon:
To a Brother in the Service of God, Rev._____of the University of Loyola in New Orleans…
He wrote me concerning their new movement, and what they call the charismatic or Pentecostal approach of the Roman Catholic Church. And I want to say to you, dear brother____that this dedication is a message to you from our Lord Jesus, as given unto me in my study. It is not challenging the Roman Church, the Protestant Church, or any other church. For this Order is not interested in a church, but the truth as it is and has been always.
And so it is, I take my text this morning as the composite text of the whole of the New Testament. For in this is the Word and the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This Order is dedicated and has received our Lord as Master of its Order, and has accepted that there is but one way, and that is the way of the New Testament and our Master’s word. There may be many schools of a different nature, but basically, they are all fundamentally at the very foundation, teaching the same few basic, principled truths, which the Father in heaven created this solar system handed down unto us. And in the finality, we only seek to bring the truth which has been the worship of the Christ, the First-born Son of the Father, unto this world. that it may be truly added by all of us here, and by all of us in this world, into the doctrine and the teachings of all churches. And that the truth and the law and the mysteries may be revealed and may be taught to all men. We have no ambition to build churches. We have no ambition to destroy churches or teachings. Our only ambition, our only striving is to teach those whom are teaching that they may fully give unto the youth of the world and anyone else who is seeking the teachings of this New Testament, and the teachings which have gone before it that support it, the true worship of the Christos and the Father in heaven through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For somehow or other, man, through these hundreds of years since our Lord was here as the great Messiah…Now lord of this earth, and so close that his very breath is our breath, his very life is our life…somehow man has always sought to have his way, either in the material world or in the spiritual world in one way or another. And somehow, as in the ancient Hebrew rituals of the sacrificing of the fatted calf, man has not understood. For it is not until we are able as a body of dedicated brothers and priests, able to make that same sacrifice that was in the Jewish temple, the fatted calf—the over-filled mind. Until we have put our mind upon the altar, until we have laid down our whole being, can we listen to the voice of the Almighty God, and our Lord Jesus Christ from within our holy temples which have been prepared for him.
I am not a professional theologianb, so to speak. And I claim no degrees in that particular aspect of theology. I am a doctor of divinity, rightfully earned. But I know and I have been shown one particular thing. And it is supported by our Lord Jesus and His words. And I have often thought of it as I have read the lengthy works supporting some particular little passage or phrase of our Lord’s teaching. I have understood their writings. I am very appreciative of the great number of hours and the great effort that they have made in order to get to the point where they could read and understand the many languages, and the hours of dedication in giving these interpretations. I do not belittle them, nor do I belittle any man who acclaims or does assume the robe or the way of the ministry in any form or any church.
But as I read their works and listen to their discourses, I am so convinced that the Master Jesus Christ, our Lord of this earth, was so right when he said, “Unless ye be as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” For unto this work, it cannot be of yourself. And ye can only be of our Lord. There are many things in this day that are attracting the young people in their search for good, to satisfy that appetite that comes from within. And it can only be supplied through the true and the truths of our Lord Jesus. Not something interpreted, but the reality.
And you know, it is an interesting thing. When we study back through the annals of history, that we find that Christians existed long before our Lord and Master came here. But he sure had a big job to straighten things out in the formal church and dogmatic teaching. For Christ was worshipped thousands of years before our Lord came. And He’ll be worshipped thousands of years before. Why cannot we use, why cannot we appreciate as Christians, the very word which we annex and take as the title of our sect…catholic, not Roman, not Russian, not Parisian, but just catholic. Catholic in the way of the universal teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. Is not this sufficient, with all of the realities which back it up? With the practices of thousands of years prior to his coming, in the ancient wisdom teachings which explained the mysteries? And did he not tell us that in those days…in these days which we are now going through, that the mysteries would be revealed?
…I see you searching, and I see every brother of the Order of Jesus, searching for the great truth. But it is not in Pentecostal or speaking of tongues. It is not in the analysis of the truth. It is not in one part of the Word of God. It is in the whole word brought both in all its beauty and reality. And I say to those whom are seeking to bring the Spirit into its reality…into manifestation, as the old Pentecostal and the old free Methodist used to do…and I know these and understand these religions because I was brought up in a free Methodist home, and I have been taught by some of your theologians as a Roman Catholic; and I have worshipped at the Temple of Giza; and I have walked the water and the fire, and I know from which I speak, and I speak the word of our Lord Jesus. Come back to the teachings of the Testament as they are, and seek to know and to acquire the Light. And look within thyself and accept and find thine own being. And when thy mind is still…and thy mind has been placed upon the altar of God Almighty,…through our Lord Jesus Christ, then will you hear his true voice, then will you hear the true Word, and then the Spirit will motivate the realities of creation unto you, and there will be no mysteries.
For there is a pitfall in the Pentecostal approach; when the ego goes on its demonstration. “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven within you, and all of these things shall be added unto you.”
Come, Brothers, let us follow the teachings which you have declared as your motto of that order, the Society of Jesus. Let him speak through you. And may God bless you throughout the world. AMEN
“Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter.
Who would think that those branches would turn green again
But we hope it, we know it.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
More precisely, winter solstice will take place at 12:47 pm EST (1747 GMT) on Dec. 21. It is a date that will also mark the shortest day and longest night. Daylight will only be around 9 hours.
Yet, the good news is that starting Tuesday, the days will start getting longer.
Throughout history, solstices have been accompanied with countless cultural and religious traditions. Our ancestors lived in a world where everyone believed in mystery and magic. Every year, they gathered together to celebrate the seemingly miraculous return of the light after the longest night of the year; in this celebration of the triumph of the Light winter Solstice festivals were born. To this day, people all over the world celebrate Winter Solstice as a time of rebirth, a new beginning and a chance to marvel at the power of transition from darkness into light.
The world seems small to those dwelling in the darkness, restricted by the limitations of their own consciousness, able to see only a little way into the surrounding gloom. Go not into the darkness of night without the Light of your Self, for the pit is deep and wide.
The dark days of trial are those where each is driven to his inmost center alone, there to reassemble himself in what is good; there to step clear of the old garments worn before, and to leave them behind. When one gets to the depths, where “hard pan” is struck in digging a well, only then, at rock-bottom, with all the soil shoveled out and walled away, can the pure fresh water flow in.
Some of the difficult and shattering experiences in one’s personal life may be part of a clearing out process, necessary before something better could have room to grow.
Terrible as some things may seem, they usually force one into taking needed steps for betterment. The darker and deeper the depths, the higher and brighter the mountain.
Christ is the star of promise and hope which comes only at the nadir of experience. As Christ was born at the darkest season of the year, at midnight when days were shortest and nights most long, at the bleak time when winter begins and vegetation sleeps — so also do the finest experiences of the human soul come to one at the bottom of the dark well of despair.
It is only too often through soul-rending experiences that our outer shell of self-sufficient busyness is softened enough to enable us to open up to Him.
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
His purpose is not to slay me. He is the eternal Will-to- Good. He merely wants me to realize something, that I may be freed from one more chain. He is giving me every opportunity to see Himself in this — beyond the outer frightening semblance.
I was too cumbered about to come willingly, so He had to force me through love and consideration for my eternal, not just momentary, good. Then here in the depths, stripped of all other possibilities of comfort, I come fully to Thee, to return myself to the Creator who has cared enough to call me here. -Rev. Mother Ruth Blighton
It is said there is one Way but many paths that lead thereto, and we have seen different routes that souls have traveled to find spiritual illumination, each according to the nature or need of the individual.
Looking at the lovely and literal story of Jesus’ birth, one may glimpse a symbolical pattern suggesting different paths whereby the seeker might come to the newborn Light of spiritual illumination.
Those of the inn, which is overly filled with material concerns, have no room to spare and pass up the opportunity.
The shepherds, in their quiet simplicity, are receptive to angelic vision and trustfully obey instructions to find the Light.
Those more learned or highly-placed, through occult wisdom and study of the universe, travel a longer and more arduous route to the Light, but give freely of their goods.
Mary and Joseph have been previously initiated and are already there, as chosen channels to bring the blessed Light to humanity.
-Rev. Mother Ruth
Big things seldom come along. One should know the small as well as the big. We may all yearn to make lasting achievements and to be heroes, but life seldom affords us the opportunities to do so. Most of our days consist of small things — the uneventful meditations, the ordinary cooking of meals, the banal trips to work, the quiet scratching in the garden — and it is from these small things that the larger events of life are composed.
We rarely have the occasion to make grand gestures. The champion gymnast’s greatest moment is but an hour out of an entire lifetime. The works of great artists are viewed for very short times. The master musician’s best composition is but one work in a sea of musical tones.
If we want to be successful, it is the small things that we should pay attention to.
We must not fall into the trap of waiting so long for the big things that we let numerous small chances slip right by us. People who do this are always waiting for life to be perfect. They complain that fate is against them, that the world does not recognize their greatness.
If they would lower their sights, they would see all the beautiful opportunities swirling at their feet. If they would humble themselves enough to bend down, they could scoop untold treasures up into their hands. from _365 Tao: Daily Meditations_ by Deng Ming-Dao
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.