In All Things, Charity
The major world event going on right now (a war in Ukraine from a Russian invasion) might not sound like a topical post for something like the Daily Devotional among Esoteric Catholics...but here we are.
I haven't posted the last several days because there's been too much going on. Too much happening. And instead of beating myself up, instead of aw-pshawing the matter, I'm looking at it from the perspective that I'm in good company.
What comes to mind is that in any war, the people who most suffer are, as Jesus says, "the least of these." The commoners, the everyday people who are simply trying to live out their lives the best way they know how.
So let us have charity. Let us pray for the common people who want no part in this, who want peace, who want to live their own lives without harming others and without being harmed.
May God guide us. May the Queen of Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary move all to peace in their hearts.
A Prayer for Peace
Lord, we pray for the power to be gentle;
the strength to be forgiving;
the patience to be understanding;
and the endurance to accept the consequences
of holding to what we believe to be right.
May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil
and the power of love to overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see
and the faith to believe in a world emancipated from violence,
a new world where fear shall no longer lead men to commit injustice,
nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.
Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy to the task of making peace,
praying always for the inspiration
and the power to fulfill the destiny for which we and all men were created.
A Prayer for Peace
God, who is more than we can ever comprehend,
help us to seek you,
and you alone.
Help us to stand before all that we could do
and seek what you would do,
and do that.
Lift from us our need to achieve all that we can be
surrender to what you can be in us.
Give us ways to refrain from the busyness
that will put us on edge and off center,
give us today your peace.
-from Xavier University, author unknown
At the Eucharist, offer the eucharistic prayer in this way.
Begin with the chalice:
"We give thanks to thee,
our Father, for the holy Vine of thy servant David,
which thou hast made known to us through thy servant Jesus.
"Glory be to thee, world without end ."
Then over the broken bread:
"We give thanks to thee,
our Father, for the life and knowledge
thou hast made known to us through thy servant Jesus."
"Glory be to thee, world without end ."
"As this broken bread, once dispersed over the hills,
was brought together and became one loaf,
so may thy Church be brought together from the ends of the earth into thy kingdom."
"Thine is the glory and the power, through Jesus Christ, for ever and ever."
From yesterday's post, we see a quote from the Gospel of Philip that refers to "mysteries." The mysteries in question are what we often term "sacraments" today, and it's a list containing of some of the more recognizable ones, namely Baptism, Chrism (Chrismation, or what Western Christians tend to refer to more commonly as Confirmation), and the Eucharist. (Commentary on Redemption and the Bridal Chamber can be saved for a different post).
I think the important thing here is the explicit mentioning of the Eucharist and Chrism as being part of the sacramental system. At least for some Christian groups, these were obviously established as part of what the tradition was about.
Sometimes readings of the canonical Scriptures can really show a lack of emphasis on Eucharistic celebrations; it's easy to prooftext perspectives regarding the Eucharist by pointing to a lack of mentioning it consistently.
Yet the celebration obviously existed among other groups, and rightly so.
More commentary to come later.
A Quote from the Gospel of Philip
"The Lord did everything in a mystery,
and a chrism
and a eucharist
and a redemption
and a bridal chamber."
Riding the Waves
I haven't posted for a few days for a variety of reasons (a lot of things going on), and today's been a rollercoaster of sorts.
It's very bizarre for a day to start out great and then descend into chaos, but it's wonderful when a day starts out more chaotic and collapses into something peaceful and full of wonder.
So, I implore you to ride the waves as they come along. I ask you to keep the faith that things will settle down, that you will be able to handle that which comes along.
Things change. Reality is dynamic. Our faith (and our knowing!) is what we most hold to.
That for Which We are Grateful
What are the things for which you're grateful at the moment? This is always an important question to ask as there are so many things we have to be grateful for that we constantly overlook.
I have a new deck of Tarot cards that I've been working with lately. This is a joy, to go down the mystical road to Christ with the cards and their ancient history.
Recently, I've also shifted into a more "creative" phase (I get short bursts of these from time to time) and am enjoying that as well.
And our technology...where would we be without it? Some might argue that world would be a better place, but there's so much good that comes through communication.
May Christ continue to bless us.
This is why Jesus appeared: he opened the Book of Gnosis.
He was nailed to a tree,
he fastened the testamentary disposition
from the Father to the Cross.
O such magnanimity,
such that he draws himself downward to death
while eternal life encloses him.
Having divested himself of these perishable rags
he clothed himself with the imperishability
which none has the power to take from him.
Happy Valentine's Day!
From the Aquarian Catholic Spiritual Community to you, may the pure love of the Divine shine down on you this and forevermore.
May the love of Christ blaze within our hearts.
May God guide us to the deep, true, and abiding theosis.
"Septuagesima (/ˌsɛptjuəˈdʒɛsɪmə/; in full, Septuagesima Sunday) is the name for the ninth Sunday before Easter, the third before Ash Wednesday. The term is sometimes applied to the seventy days starting on Septuagesima Sunday and ending on the Saturday after Easter. Alternatively, the term is sometimes applied also to the period commonly called Shrovetide or Gesimatide (the Pre-Lenten Season) that begins on this day and ends on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins.
The other two Sundays in this period of the liturgical year are called Sexagesima and Quinquagesima, the latter sometimes also called Shrove Sunday. The earliest date on which Septuagesima Sunday can occur is January 18 (Easter falling on March 22 in a non-leap year) and the latest is February 22 (Easter falling on April 25 in a leap year)."
A Quote from the Book of Wisdom
Wisdom is radiant and unfading,
and she is easily discerned by those who love her,
and is found by those who seek her.
She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.
One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty,
for she will be found sitting at the gate.
To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding,
and one who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care,
because she goes about seeking those worthy of her,
and she graciously appears to them in their paths,
and meets them in every thought.
-The Wisdom of Solomon, Chapter 6, Verses 12-16
Simultaneously, I've been reading through the book of Genesis as well in the Jewish Study Bible. One thing is clear: the "genesis" is essentially a reference to all the known world's people in addition to the world itself.
One of the interesting things to see was the lineage of Cain and the lineage of Seth having extremely similar names, both ending with someone named "Lamech." The difference is that in Seth's lineage, Lamech is the father of Noah.
There are several possibilities of why the names are similar, and my own perspective is that Cain was probably originally seen as the ancestor of Noah with Seth being a later invention OR a different variation on the story of Adam and Eve's children altogether that was edited into the overall narrative.
Cain being Noah's ancestor then means humanity is descended from the first murderer as opposed to a neutral, seemingly righteous person.
On the other hand, since Noah's supposed to be the "new Adam" and the reboot of humanity as a whole, I'm not sure why the difference in lineage would be absolutely essential.
Things to ponder on!
Gospel of Luke Commentary
Yesterday, I finished reading the Gospel of Luke. The main aspect of Luke that stands out is the Nativity Story, which is not found with the same detail elsewhere.
Overall, I'm not sure what I felt about Luke. Decidedly, much off what was written was perplexing or even downright uninspiring; after finishing the Gospel, I was walking my dog, trying to figure out where I stood on various issues and relative to the Gospel.
Without the Gospel situated in a proper context of Tradition and Mysticism, it's almost uninspiring. I thought to myself, "Why in the world would anyone hear this and be so moved by it?" In and of itself, there's something obviously missing.
The first missing aspect is this: we just don't hear much of what Jesus is teaching. So, this indicates that things Jesus passed on to the Apostles and the other disciples aren't entirely written down, and it would be safe to say those things were not even mostly written down.
So what is the purpose of the Gospel? It's a justification, an argument, a system of rhetoric to support certain teachings attributed to Jesus. It's a way of saying, "These things happened; this is why the teachings we pass on are important."
Another purpose of the Gospel is to show us what it's like to be connected to the Higher Self and the Divine, to walk against cultural currents and to try to explain things to people when you're operating on a different level than they are.
It is an absolutely grave mistake to try to understand the Gospel outside of a tradition of interpretation. Everything falls apart quickly. Without the mystical context, everything becomes a story of history that doesn't make that much sense.
More to come.
Our prayer should involve at least some sort of visualization.
A common and perhaps effective means by which to do this is to visualize the Soul Star above one's head and direct the prayers to this Soul Star. This will naturally connect with and contact the Divine.
Prayer shouldn't merely be the recitation of words but also the lifting of the mind to God. This is almost more important than the particular words we use, though the words can carry power in and of themselves.
Let us pray more deeply.
A Candlemas Prayer
Though we're a bit past Candlemas, I thought this prayer was quite beautiful. - Steve
Lord Jesus Christ,
You are the true Light
enlightening every soul born into this world.
Today we celebrate the feast of Candlemas.
Before Holy Mass,
the priest blesses the candles,
whose wax is the humming summer's work of countless bees.
The flames of these candles
will shed their light upon the altar at the Holy Sacrifice.
Help us to realize,
this day and every day,
that our own humdrum daily work,
if it is done for love of You,
and in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,
will be a supernatural work,
and will shine brightly before You for all eternity.
Help us realize, too,
each time we see the blessed candles at Holy Mass,
or at the bedside of the sick,
that they are a symbol of Yourself,
the Light shining in the darkness of this world.
Help us to live in that Light,
to make it our own,
and to kindle it in the souls of others,
increasing the area Of light
and lessening the darkness in the World This,
dear Lord, help us do,
through the merits of Your own dear mother, Mary,
who did everything for love of
You, from the moment she brought You into this world
till the day she joined You in the realms of light at her death.
Then we, too, working for You,
shall be light-bearers who will help to spread Your kingdom on earth,
and increase the number of those who dwell in heaven,
the city of eternal light.
Thanks to Father Sergio drawing my attention to the existence of the Raccolta, I acquired a copy after many months of deliberation.
The Raccolta contains an incredible number of prayers for the Christian devotee, but perhaps most charmingly, many of the prayers are written both in English and in Latin. I've shared some on here recently and will continue to do so.
Why pray in another language? There's something beautiful about praying in Latin (or Hebrew and Greek and so on). Many Evangelicals appreciate the language of the King James Version of the Bible because the words have a regal, authoritative sound.
Latin and Greek do something similar for me, though I would associate Greek with being somewhat more mystically inclined.
Nonetheless, I do suggest to people to at least learn basic pronunciation for something like Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, especially if they're coming from the Christian tradition. There's a power in the language, and part of the Latin bypasses our ordinary linguistic processes and connects with us on a deeper level.
from the Raccolta
from the Raccolta
The Prayer of Melchizedek
And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine;
he was priest of God Most High.
He blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
maker of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him one-tenth of everything.
-The Book of Genesis, Chapter 14, verses 18-20, New Revised Standard Version
This brief set of verses takes place at an interesting point: most of Genesis 14 centers around a war narrative of various kings and armies going to battle, of Abram going to battle and regaining the people stolen from him and such. King Melchizedek, a priest-king, appears just before another figure, the King of Sodom, and interrupts the narrative.
The name "Melchizedek" sounds like "King of Righteousness" in Hebrew.
Salem here probably refers to Jerusalem, and it's possible this story is meant to mark an ancient precedent for Jerusalem being the holy city God.
"God Most High" is "El Elyon" in Hebrew. "Elyon" is often added to the names of deities in this era, and it's probably a way of denoting majesty.
Interesting from the Christian perspective is that the ordination rites in the Apostolic Succession feature a phrase along the lines of, "Thou art forever a priest after the order of Melchizedek."
Also interesting is that Melchizedek brings forth bread and wine, possibly a precedent to later rituals involving bread and wine, including the Shabbat and the Holy Eucharist.
Abraham giving a tenth of what he owned seems to lay a precedent for tithing.
"O Hidden Life, vibrant in every atom;
O Hidden Light, shining in every creature;
O Hidden Love, embracing all in Oneness;
May all who feel themselves as one with Thee,
Know they are therefore one with every other."
-by Annie Besant
Happy Lunar New Year!
From the Aquarian Catholic Spiritual Community to all of you,
brightest blessings in the Lunar New Year!