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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 EASTER)
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).

Easter is a time of joy and acknowledgment of divine salvation and acknowledgment of the risen Lord Jesus as the Christ. Easter begins Easter Sunday and goes through Whit Sunday - the beginning of Pentecost. This section lists the meditations for the collects in the liturgical season that we use for Easter. Enjoy!


EASTER SUNDAY:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: WHITE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 84-85


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 114, 118:14-29 (or 118:14-17, 22-24)
Psalms: PM: 114, (or 136) (or 18:14-17, 22-24)
All Years: Rom. 6:3-11 / Mat. 28:1-10
A) Even Years: Exo. 14:10-14, 21-25 (15:20-21) / Col. 3:1-4 / Jhn. 20:1-10 (11-18) (or Act. 5:29a-10-32)
B) Odd Years: Isa. 51:9-11 (or Dan. 12:1-3) / Act. 10:34-43 (or 1Cor. 5:6b-8) / Luk. 24:1-10 (13-34) (or Mat. 28:1-10)

The Collect:

"Almighty God, who through thine (only-) begotten Son Jesus Christ has overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; we humbly beseech thee, that, as by they special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds god desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same good effect through Jesus Christ our Lord who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Resurrection"

"It was always claimed for the Greek Mysteries that their greatest gift to their initiates was freedom from the fear of death. In this collect we have the clearest possible expression of the same idea. 'Almighty God, who through thine (only) begotten Son Jesus Christ has overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life--' are the opening words of the collect. Can it indeed be said that the Master Jesus enables us to overcome death? The Christian mystic knows this statement to be literally true. Christ's teaching it is which enables us to make our manhood up into Godhead through the spiritualisation of the personality by that discipline which enables human consciousness to realize Divinity. 'In my flesh shall I see God' if my daily life be consecrated by the ideal of the Christ-life. The little seed of good desires, the first faint stirrings of spiritual impulses will never be brought to good effect if they be buried under the unconsecrated earth of daily life. Unless the earth of everyday be made holy ground the seeds of divine impulses will not grown in it. We can only hope to overcome death if we have overcome life."

"The break which death makes in the continuity of consciousness will only be overcome when consciousness can be lifted beyond the planes upon which death operates; beyond the senses, beyond the desires, beyond even the intellect, into a realization of spiritual existence. When we have that, then 'our life is hid with Christ in God,' and the second death, the death of consciousness, has no power over us."

"Our Lord gives us dominion over the power of death by enabling us through His discipline so to raise consciousness that we have the realization of eternal life here and now. 'Upon such the second death has no power.'"


1ST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: WHITE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 86-87


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 111 (118:19-24) / PM: 111 (118:19-24)
A) Even Years: Gen. 8:6-16 (9:8-16) / Act. 4:13-21 (or 1Pet. 1:3-9) / Jhn. 20:19-31
B) Odd Years: Job. 42:1-6 / Act. 5:12a, 17-22, 25-29 (or Rev. 1:(1-8)9-19 / Jhn. 21:1-14

The Collect:

"Almighty Father, who hast given thine (only) Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification grant us so to put away the leaven if malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "Purity"

"The great sacrifice of the Crucifixion is over and the work of the Risen Christ has begun. The living Christ is with us always, Œeven unto the end of the world,¹ an demands of us Christian lives. We must begin our work with Him by putting away all malice and wickedness so that we may serve Him in pureness and in truth."

"These two qualities, when meditated upon, yield profound truths to thought. Dirt has been defined as misplaced matter. Evil may be defined as misplaced force, and that particular aspect of evil which we call impurity is the intrusion of a primitive type of force on to a plane where it has no right to be. The instinct which we share with the animals are noble and pure upon their own plane; it is only when they swamp the affections that they are impure. Purity of life does not mean the emasculation of the instinctive impulses, but their right use. The stress laid by the Roman Church upon celibacy has warped our concept of purity into sexlessness, but the dedication of the life-forces can be effected upon all planes. Purity does not consist in abstention from the use of our God-given instincts, but in keeping of them clean by never using them for any base purposes."

"This collect also teaches us that we must serve God in truth. This is a big demand. The former requirement -that we should serve God in pureness of living- deals with our own inner lives, but the latter demand deals with our relations with the world and our fellows. If we serve God in truth we can never consent to share in the acting of a lie, or any departure from eternal verities. This will speedily bring us into collision with the world, and we shall be looked upon as fools, lacking in discretion and stirs up of strife. But it is only by means of those souls who dare to live in truth that the law of God can be made apparent unto men. This is one of the sacrifices we are called upon to make; this is our scourging at the hands of Pilate - that we shall live in truth before God and take the consequences at the hands of men. Not otherwise can the Kingdom be brought to earth."


2ND SUNDAY AFTER EASTER:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: WHITE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 88-89


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 116 (or 116:10-17) / PM: 33 (or 33:1-11)
A) Even Years: Isa. 43:1-12 / Act. 2:14a, 36-47 (1Pet. 1:17-23) / Jhn. 20:19-31
B) Odd Years: Jer. 32:36-41 / Acts 9:1-19a (or Rev. 5:6-14) / Jhn. 21:1-14
The Collect:

"Almighty God, who hast given thin (only) Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life; give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavor ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "Give Us Thy Grace"

"'What do we mean when we pray for grace? Has the word any meaning for us? Grace is that energizing of the spiritual nature which comes from Communion with God, from the lifting up of consciousness to listen in the Silence while the power of God pours down like invisible light till our whole nature is aglow. When we pray for strength, we receive strength; and when we pray for comfort, we receive comfort; but when we pray for grace, the whole spiritual life is quickened."

"If we prayed for grace instead of specific benefits, we should not find that our prayers so often had no apparent answer."

"Especially is it needful to pray for God's grace when we are in temptation. When we pray to be delivered for the temptation, we are, in the very act of prayer fixing our minds upon it. The more we think about temptation, the worse it becomes. Our surest way to resistance is to say, 'Get thee behind me, Satan,' and putting our problems out of mind, pray to God for His grace and dwell upon its ways in our lives. This will give us beauty for ashes. Our minds are turned away from our obsessing temptations and are rested. Against the lure of the lower self we oppose the lure of the higher self which calls us to the beauty and light and joys of the Kingdom. As we think on these things, the calls of our lower nature lose their power; the fear which is paralyzing us is forgotten, and our thoughts are turned into new channels. God's grace has done its work."

"It is the living Presence of the Christ Within which marks the difference between 'Christianity' and Christianity; it is this which effects the transubstantiation of the elements of our nature until they cease to belong to the animal kingdom and awake to the Kingdom of God. It is this which is the Great Work of the Christ Within, the bringing up of the manhood into Godhead. It is for the sake of this achievement that the soul passes through its Gethsemane and Calvary and rises on the third day, in a body (or faculty) of spiritual realization."


3RD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: WHITE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 90-92


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 23 / PM: 100
A) Even Years: Neh. 9:6-15 / Act. 6:1-9, 7:2a, 51-60 (1Pet. 2:19-25) / Jhn. 10:1-10
B) Odd Years: Num. 27:12-23 / Act. 13:15-16, 26-33 (34-39) (Rev. 7:9-17) / Jhn. 10:22-30

The Collect:

"Almighty God, who showest to them that be in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; grant unto all them that are admitted into the fellowship of Christ's Religion, that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "The Enlightened Understanding"

"This collect emphasizes a very vital point in the life of the Path - the power to know right from wrong. Many people think that this is a simple enough matter, but those who have touched the deeper things of life know that this is not the case. The threads of right and wrong cannot see how they can be disentangled without rending the fabric of life itself. Conventional maxims are a guide to expediency rather than spiritual righteousness; the soul that is really facing life's issues has not so simple a task as the shallow generalizations of popular morality would have us believe."

"Right and wrong are not always clear-cut issues. Especially is it difficult in the long-drawn-out contest of daily life to know if we are maintaining the attitude of the Mind of Christ, for it is so easy to be mislead by our own feelings and to let self-justification blind us."

"Modern thinkers often tell us that it is ridiculously servile to say that without God's help we cannot hop to please God; but, knowing what we do of human nature, is it not only too true? How easily do we lower our ideals and blind our eyes to our failure? We must return again and yet again to our silent communion with the Spirit of God if we are to maintain our clarity of vision. We must go apart into the Silence in order to get our bearings, otherwise we shall wander by the way."

"Unless the inspiration of this silent inner contact with the Mind of God be ever with us, we shall not be able to work to the pattern shown us in the Mount. It is the Holy Spirit, directing and ruling the heart, which is our surest guide, not our reason. If God's Holy Spirit does not rule our hearts, then our instincts will rule them. We must open our hearts to the inflowing of this Divine Influence in order that our eyes may be enlightened and we may see our way clearly, otherwise we shall see nothing but the shadow thrown by our own personality."

"Our greatest safeguard in these matters is humility; a clear-sighted recognition that even our loftiest endeavors may be misplaced, our highest ideals mistaken. In facing this realization we do not dishonor God, nor are we faithless to our ideals, rather do we honor Him be realizing the His nature and plans may transcend our grasp, and that we may have imperfectly apprehended them. If we have the open mind that is willing to learn, but will send to us another Comforter, to abide with us always, even the Spirit of Truth."

"The Spirit of Truth can only come to those who are humble and willing to reconsider each and every position in the light of clearer understanding in so far as that shall be vouchsafed to them. To such the light grows clearer and clearer, even unto the perfect understanding of God's plan and comprehension of His nature."

"For this week let us set ourselves the task of sacrificing upon the altar of Truth our self-esteem, our prestige in the eyes of men, our consistency, in order that we may invoke the Spirit of Truth to come and make His dwelling with us and enlighten our darkness. 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.'"


4TH SUNDAY IN EASTER:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: WHITE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 93-94


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 66:1-11 (or 66:1-8)/ PM: 145 (or 145:1-9)
A) Even Years: Deu. 6:20-25 / Act. 17:1-15 (1Pet. 2:1-10) Jhn. 14:1-14
B) Odd Years: Lev. 19:19:1-2, 9-18 / Act. 13:44-52 (Rev. 19:1,4-9) / Jhn. 13:31-35

The Collect:

"O Almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "The Joy Of The Spirit"

"There is a deep psychology contained in this collect, for its writer realizes that the compulsion of the will over ruling the desires does not give a true spiritual state, but rather produces a house divided against itself, which cannot long stand securely. Very wisely we are taught to pray that we may love the things which God commands and desire that which He promises, because this love and desire rightly fixed, will bring us to the state where true joys are to be found. The tenor of this collect emphasizes the fact that true spirituality, although it comes to birth through travail and the pangs of the soul, is fundamentally joyous and spontaneous when it has reached its full stature. The saints are those who have overcome. Saintship is not repression of evil desires or a denial of the appetites of the lower self, but a spiritualisation of the entire nature till the whole man is fit to meet God face to face. This should be our aim, to bring the Godhead down into manhood, and thereby take the manhood up into Godhead, not to divide spirit and soul asunder."

"Let us accept the inevitability of God's will and the absolute rightness of His law, for, as Saint Thomas Aquinas so truly said, 'A thing is not just because God wills it, but God wills it because it is just.' Not otherwise can we find peace and harmony, for our harmony is entirely dependent upon our adjustment to the laws of the Cosmos. Let us accept and adjust, and then we shall be at peace. Let us meditate upon the unity of all manifested existence and our own relation to it, then we shall desire to be in harmony with that of which we are an integral part, and this desire, steadily followed, will bring us to the state where true joys are to be found."


5TH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: WHITE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 74-75


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 148 (or 148:7-14) / PM: 67
A) Even Years: Isa. 41:17-20 / Act. 17:1-15 ( 1Pet. 3:8-18) / Jhn. 15:1-8
B) Odd Years: Joe. 2:21-27 / Act. 14:8-18 (Rev. 21:22-22:5) /Jhn. 14:23-29

The Collect:

"O Lord, from whom all good things do come; grant to us thy humble servants, that by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be good, and by thy merciful guiding may perform the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "God's Guidance"

"This is a prayer of exquisite simplicity which all who seek enlightenment through the intellect and who are strong in their own strength would do well to make their own. We are all too apt, when things are going well with us, to think that the circle of our vision circumscribes the universe, that beyond the horizon there are no forces at work which may overrates our plans; but the Fathers of the Church, men wise in human nature as well as in spiritual doctrine, knew otherwise, and so we get this exquisite gem of the child-heart, this little prayer for help and guidance to do simple things rightly, the things that look so easy and obvious, and yet which are the acid-tests of the attitude of the soul. If our natural attitude of mind were truly expressed by this prayer, how many errors it would save us from, how much suffering it would guard us from! This should be the daily prayer of the intellectual and strong-willed, for its sweet sanity and deep wisdom are what we need to preserve our souls from contamination from within, where is to be found the most subtle source of spiritual poison."

"This week, therefore, let us not only pray this little prayer, but pray that we may pray it aright, that its significance may sink into our souls and guard them from spiritual darkness and the falls that come therefrom, and that its profound teaching may penetrate the limitations of our intellect and enlighten us with the wisdom of the spirit which transcends knowledge and enlightens the judgment that is according to reason."


ASCENSION OF JESUS THE CHRIST:
THURSDAY
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: WHITE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 97-98


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 47 (or 110:1-5) / PM: 47 (or 110:1-5)
A) Even Years: Dan. 7:9-14 / Acts. 1:1-11 (Eph. 1:15-23) / Mrk. 16:9-15, 19-20
B) Odd Years: 2Kng. 2:1-25 / Act. 1:1-11 (Eph. 1:15-23) / Luk. 24:49-53

The Collect:

"Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy (only-) begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell, who liveth and reigneth with the and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "The Vision Beautiful"

"This collect contains a profound doctrine concerning the nature of the enlightenment which comes to souls in search of spiritual illumination. Our Lord no longer walks and talks with us as He did with the people of His day in Galilee; He has ascended to the right hand of God, there functions as a great force in the cosmic polity. If we think we are directly taught of Him as a child of its tutor, we err in our vanity. It may well be possible for the greatest of human souls, in supreme moments, to so rise up and contact Him; but those of us aspirants after the Way of the Cross, to whom is vouchsafed the wonderful vision of Our Lord, are not meeting Him face to face, but are in reality, contacting His force and translating it through the imagination as a meeting with His personality."

"Let us not flatter ourselves with vanities. The things of God are greater than psychic phenomena, and this collect gives us a truer interpretation of our experiences. It is the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth that abides with us and never leaves us comfortless, and that at last brings us to the state of consciousness where we can meet the Master face to face, that is to say, where we can comprehend Him, and know even as we are known.'"

"Let us take for our discipline this week the task of rising above the concepts that help the young soul to lay hold on the things of the Kingdom, and foregoing the milk of the word which is for babes, try to assimilate those spiritual verities which, through a hard doctrine are strong meat on which souls which have reached their (manhood) adulthood in the spiritual life are enabled to run the race that is set before them. The still small voice of realization, brought through to consciousness by discipline, purification, and sacrifice, can teach us more of the innermost nature of things than any spectacular psychic experience. Let us never forget that the big things are simple and natural, and be content with wholesome spiritual food rather than seek in exotic cults and abnormal manifestations the satisfaction of a depraved spiritual appetite, which seeks after marvels and sees not the Master sitting quietly at the well-head of Truth whence the village women have always drawn their water."


6TH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER:
[SUNDAY AFTER THE ASCENSION]:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: WHITE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 99-100


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: 47 (or 68:1-20) / PM: 47 (or 68:1-20)
A) Even Years: Eze. 39:21-29 / Act. 1:(1-7)8-14 (1Pet. 4:12-19) / Jhn. 17:1-11
B) Odd Years: 1Sam. 12:19-24 / Act. 16:16-34 *Rev. 22:12-14, 16-17, 20 / Jhn. 17:20-26

The Collect:

"O God the King of Glory, who hast exalted thine (only) son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven; we beseech thee, leave us not comfortless but send to us thine Holy (Ghost) Spirit to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "Invocation Of The Holy Spirit"

"This collect is an invocation of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) Whose coming shall raise us to Christ-consciousness. What then is it that we invoke thus. and what shall Christ-consciousness be when we have attained it?"

"The Holy Ghost (Spirit) is that aspect of the Godhead Whose functioning relates to the things of the mind. God the Father is the Creator and Sustainer of all that is; God the Son is the Redeemer, the Teacher of the Heart, the Lord of Love and Compassion; but God the Holy Ghost (Spirit) is the Illuminator of the Mind, Who shall bring all things to our remembrance and give us understanding of the deep things, yes, even of the hidden things of God."

"We know little in modern Christianity concerning the nature and office of the Holy Ghost (Spirit), yet herein lie the deeper aspect of our faith. It is the Holy Ghost (Spirit) Who is the Initiator of the Christian into the Mysteries of Jesus --- that deeper understanding of the divine doctrine which was given to the disciples when Our Lord took them apart and taught them in the upper chamber (room) and which gave them powers that enabled them to say to their Master, 'Even the devils are subject unto us through Thy Name.'"

"Just as through the work of the Son we find healing for sin and sorrow, so through the work of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) we find understanding and illumination. We should not be content, therefore, only to call upon Our Lord to seek and save that which is lost, but we should also pray for God¹s Holy Spirit to come upon us and open our eyes to the vision of the Kingdom and our understanding to the deep things of the Spirit."

"Then shall we be exalted into the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone, for we shall have that mind in us which was also in Christ Jesus, and shall know even as we are known."

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