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Volume #0: Issue #3
©March, Vernal Equinox 2012
Web Revision: Epiphany - Mar. 20th, 2015

Edited by GHFr. Pneuma Asteros, Order Chief Adept & President.

Mystical Meditations Upon The Collects
(Season of ADVENT)
by Mary Violet Firth (aka. Dion Fortune)

Contents:

THE MYSTICAL MEDITATIONS UPON THE COLLECTS.

So many Christians miss much of the power and majesty of their religious faith by not participating in the symbolic journey of the traditional liturgical year. This is certainly true for most Protestant branches of mainstream Christianity - with the noted exceptions of Christmas, Easter, and possibly Pentecost. All religions and forms of spiritual expression have a traditional calendar of events important to them and this allows them to take notice and focus on specific aspects of their inner spiritual lives by tying in with outer liturgical events of their Lord/Lady, God, Saints, or other concepts. Those of us within the Society of The Astral Star, (The Order of The Star of Bethlehem), make use of the standard Christian Liturgical Year as defined within the Latin (Roman) Rite with acceptance of the Greek (Orthodox) Rite as a valid expression of yearly events. We additionally include the more esoteric aspects of traditional magickal spiritual expressions.

The Society of The Astral Star, and it's members make use of the Book of Common Prayer of the Anglican Church for a listing of the proper collect (prayer) within the Christian Liturgical (Church) year. We further use Dion Fortune's Mystical Meditations on the Collects (ISBN: 0-87728-734-1) as the basis for many of our meditations. We have additions to this work of course, however the primary meditations for reflection are to be found within the pages of that valuable book. Serious students and practitioners within the OAB system will want to purchase both The Book of Common Prayer and Mystical Meditations Upon The Collects by Dion Fortune, (aka Violet Mary Firth).

Advent begins the four Sundays before Christmas Day and goes through Christmas Eve. We often have a magickal midnight mass Christmas Even through Christmas Day - the day we remember the birth of our Lord Jesus as he lay in a manger in Bethlehem. The season proceeds the liturgical season of Epiphany. This section lists the meditations for the collects in the liturgical season that we use for Advent. Enjoy!


ADVENT: (ALTAR CLOTH TO: BLUE)
[1st SUNDAY OF ADVENT - FOUR SUNDAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS DAY]
Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 17-18


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 122 / PM: 80 (or 80:1-7)
A) Even Years: Isa. 2:1-5 / Rom. 13:4-13 / Mat. 24:37-44
B) Odd Years: Isa. 64:1-9a / 1Cor. 1:1-9 / Mrk. 13:(24-32) 33-37

The Collect:

"Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Christ Jesus came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Purification Of Character"

"The first week in Advent has for its keynote the purification of character. 'Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life,' prays the collect."

"Character is the only basis upon which the Temple of mystical consciousness can be built. Let us therefore take for our standard the Divine Life lived in Galilee and cast out from consciousness every thought that is incompatible with that ideal. Supposing we were walking in the company of the Master, would we care to utter such a thought? No. then do not let us think it in our own company."

"We know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man may cometh. The Risen Christ, who is the Master of Mystics, comes to us whenever consciousness is exalted into realization by a wave of emotion. But these waves of emotion are transient. A man who leaps up and grasps a bar above his head must immediately draw himself up onto his support if he is to be safe; he cannot hand by his hands for long. So it is with a wave of religious emotion; it enables us to leap up above our habitual level of life and grasp that which is normally out of our reach; but unless we can draw ourselves up bodily to that level we cannot retain our grasp upon it and will soon drop back again."

"Unless we have purified and disciplined our natures we shall only be able to grasp the hem of the Seamless Robe with our hands when the Lord comes to us in the stillness of the Silence; we may be raised to His feet for a moment by a wave of emotion, but we shall inevitably drop back again unless we can draw your whole nature up to the level of the Christ-consciousness. We must be Christ-like if we are to abide with Christ."


2ND SUNDAY IN ADVENT:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: BLUE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 19-21


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 72 (or 72:1-8) / PM: 85 (or 85:7-13)
A) Even Years: Isa. 11:1-10 / Rom. 15:4-13 / Mat. 3:1-12
B) Odd Years: Isa. 40: 1-11 / 2Pet. 3:8-15a, 18 / Mrk. 1:1-8

The Collect:

"Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of they holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which though hast given us in our Savior Christ Jesus. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "Mystical Consciousness"

"People often think that religion is only for the simple-minded, and that any one whose intellect demands satisfaction will go empty away. This is due to a misunderstanding and confusion in the use of terms, and to the application to spiritual experiences of expressions associated with intellectual processes."

"We must 'in such wise' read the Scriptures that we shall understand them. There is a technique of consciousness to be employed in spiritual realization. We cannot apply to it the same methods that would enable us to solve a philosophical problem. We cannot arrive by reasoning at an understanding of spiritual things. We perceive spiritual things, in the first place, by means of our feelings; these are our sense-organs upon the higher planes. Our emotions react to a spiritual stimulus, and lo, the Lord is with us, for we have perceived Him. Yet all the time we live and move and have our being in a world of spiritual realities just as the blind man moves in a world of light; it is spiritual senses that are lacking to us, not spiritual qualities to the universe."

"It is because we persist in trying to use the faculties of the mind to perceive the things of the Spirit that we are turned empty away. We might as well try to listen to a picture or see a symphony. We are using the wrong sense-organs. They are not designed for the use to which we are trying to put them, hence our failure to see for ourselves what others tell us is there - we cannot find the bread of life for want of which our souls are starving because, metaphorically speaking, we listen for it instead of looking for it."

"The mind is an organ of interpretation, not a sense-organ. It cannot directly apprehend the objective world, of whatever plane, and just as it must be served by sense-organs if it is to perceive the physical world, so it must be served by sense-organs if it is to perceive the spiritual world, and in this case its sense-organs are the spiritual emotions. What we feel concerning spiritual things the mind can interpret, but it cannot concede what we have never felt."

"But how are we to get our first glimpse of these transcendent spiritual realities for which we have no words and of which, having no concept, we cannot compare with things already known, and so arrive as some understanding of their nature?"

"It was the work of Our Lord Christ Jesus to make the Kingdom of Heaven tangible to us so that there should be in human consciousness concepts of spiritual things, and he did it by translating spiritual ideas into physical actions."

"He caused the sick to be healed, the hungry to be fed, the sinful to be pardoned, the sorrowful to be comforted. These things are the fruits of the spirit, and the emotion we feel when we contemplate Our Lord's works is a spiritual emotion. Having felt it, we can begin to think about it, and when we think about it, we shall soon begin to arrive at some understanding of spiritual things."


3RD SUNDAY IN ADVENT:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: BLUE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 22-23


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 146, (or 146:4-9 ) / PM: 126 (or Canticle 3 or 15
A) Even Years: Isa. 35:1-10 , Jam. 5:7-10, Mat. 11:2-11 B) Odd Years: Isa. 65:17-25, 1Th. 5:(12-15), Jhn 1:6-8, 19-28 (or Jhn 3:23-30.
The Collect:

"Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "We Shine With Reflected Light"

"'The realization that 'we have no power of ourselves' is the beginning of omnipotence."

"Many people will no doubt take exception to the statement in this collect that, 'we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves,' but it has a profound significance, and the consequences of a failure to realize this fundamental truth are all about us in the many organizations that seek to give new forms to old truths."

"Unless the Lord keep the house the watchman waketh in vain.' We do not live with our own life, but because there is at the heart of each on of us a Divine Spark form the Central Fire which is God."

"It is by this one Divine Spark that we live; through it, we are part of the God-Life; it is indestructible in its existence and unlimited in the spiritual power that can be drawn through it. Did we but realize its significance we should be as gods in the true sense, for the God-life would be awake within us."

"Those prayers of the Church which stress the helplessness and hopelessness of man in a way derogatory to the pride of human nature are really indicating the path of the innermost shrine of the Temple, and it is not until we have an actual realization of all the practical implication of the statement, 'Your life is hid with Christ in God,' and 'He who will lose his life for my sake shall find it,' that we shall be able to tread that Path."

"In such a realization we do not throw ourselves passively on the hands of a beneficent Providence, but invoke Omnipotence to flow through our consciousness where hitherto self-will and desire have had their channels. In order to achieve this, the lower self, which draws its strength from the instincts, must stand absolutely aside in order that the flow of the current of life may be reversed, for the Divine Life, instead of coming to us by what are popularly called natural means, is to come to us direct."

"Let it not be thought that this is an unnatural process; it is no more unnatural than an eclipse; but it is rare, and but few can achieve it, and even they can only maintain it as long as the higher consciousness is functioning. That is why the saints of the mystic tradition record great tides of power and light and corresponding periods of darkness and aridity, for they, denying themselves the consolations of human life, are left desolate when the channel of the Divine flow is closed by the weaknesses that are ever with us until the final goal be reached."

"It is here that the training in the techniques of the mystical life is of such value, for it enables us to maintain a balance that shall preserve us from the extremes of aridity and ecstasy; teaching us to contact indirectly when we cannot contact directly."


4TH SUNDAY IN LENT:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: BLUE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 24-25


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 24 (or 24:1-7) / PM: 132 (or 132:8-15)
A) Even Years: Isa. 7:10-17 / Rom. 1:1-17 / Mat. 1:18-25
B) Odd Years: 2Sam. 7:4, 8-16 / Rom 16:25-27 / Luk. 1:26-38

The Collect:

"O Lord, raise up (we pray thee) thy power, and come among us, and with great might succor us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the satisfaction of they Son, our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honor and glory, world without end. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "Purification"

"The collect starts with a tremendous invocation. How many are there who would dare to invoke the power of Christ to come among us if we realized what this invocation really meant? Would we be willing for it to search our hearts and try us as gold is tried in the furnace? Nevertheless, if we dare to so offer ourselves as channels for His power, and willingly undergo the purifying process that power will exercise upon us at its first incoming; parting readily with our dross, not seeking to justify ourselves, but rather to learn to see more clearly where our mistakes have been, then that power will most assuredly flow into us in response to the tremendous invocation of the fourth collect of Advent; and from us, when the purificatory process has sufficiently opened the channel, it will flow on for the helping of the world."

"Let us, therefore, in humility and self-sacrifice give ourselves as instruments for His work, and dare to offer the prayer, 'O Lord, raise up Thy power and come among us.'"


CHRISTMAS EVEN:
[DEC. 24th]
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: WHITE)

GHFr. Pneuma, OAB, Additions to Dion Fortune's Mystical Meditations On The Collects,


Administrative Note:

Dion Fortune does not list a meditation for the collect in her book, Mystical Meditations on the Collects (ISBN: 0-87728-734-1), for the Christmas Even, hence this is an OAB addition to that work.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 96 (or 96:1-4, 11-12) / PM: 96 (or 96:1-4, 11-12)
All Years: Isa. 9:2-4, 6-7 / Tit. 2:11-14 / Luk. 2:11-14(15-20)

The Collect:

"O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on Earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven. You make us glad by the yearly festival of the nativity of your Son Yeshua (Jesus - The Christ). Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer to come, that we may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; He who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God in glory now and foreverlasting. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "xxxxxx"

"xxxxxx."

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