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

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

Mystical Meditations Upon The Collects (Feasts and Saints)
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).

This section lists the meditations for the collects for Liturgical Feasts and for Feasts of Saints. Enjoy!



CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST:
JAN. 01 [NEW YEAR'S DAY]:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: WHITE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 38-39.


The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM: 8
All Years: Exo. 34:1-8 / Rom. 1:1-7 (or Phi. 2:9-13) / Luk. 2:15-21

The Collect:

"Almighty God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man; grand us the true circumcision of the Spirit; that our hearts and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Fulfilling the Duties of Life"

"On the First day of the New Year the Church commemorates the Circumcision. This practice, so essential to the Jewish faith, was fulfilled by Our Lord, and yet Paul says, 'In Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision.' Out of this seeming contradiction comes a very important practical lesson for us. The Master Jesus was not limited by any race prejudices, and yet He was always most careful to fulfill all the ritual requirements for Jews and to 'render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.' The Apostle Paul, on the other hand. 'very Jew of very Jew,' became the Apostle to the Gentiles and broke through the limitations of Jewish Orthodoxy."

"If however, we look upon the Master as a reactionary and the Apostle as an anarchist, we should be far beside the mark, for each qualified his attitude. The Master said, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,' and healed thereon in defiance of the prohibitions of the Law; and Saint Paul, after the words we have quoted from Galatians v.6, goes on to say that the thing which really avails is 'faith which worketh by love.'"

"Our Master taught His disciples that they had to be good Jews before they could be good Christians, and we have to be good men and women before we can hope to attain to a state of super-humanity."

"Let us, therefore, take for our meditation this week the fulfilling of the duties of daily life. Just as the Church uses symbols to express spiritual things on the physical plane, so let us ever bear in mind that our earth-life is a symbol of the Spiritual Man, who is our real self. Every act we do in our daily routine can be sacramental for us if we make it so, and our daily toil become an exercise for the soul's growth. Let us, therefore, fulfill the Law in our homes, in our businesses, in our town, county, (state), and country. Let the mystic be a good citizen, and so follow the example of his Master, Who was circumcised Jew before He was Light of the World."

Administrative Note:

The proper collect and title have changed in the present day Book of Common Prayer for the Anglican Faith from what Ms. Dion Fortune used in her original MMotC's to be as follows:

HOLY NAME (ALTERNATE COLLECT):
JAN. 01 [NEW YEAR'S DAY]:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: WHITE)

Book of Common Prayer, Pg. 162.


The Alternative Collect:

"Eternal Father, who didst give to thine incarnate Son the Holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we beseech Thee, the love of Him who is the Savior of the world, even our Lord Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, on God, in glory everlasting. Amen."

THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL:
JAN. 25:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: RED).

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 160-162.


Calendar Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: PM:
Epistle: Act. 9:1
Gospel: Mat. 19:27

The Collect:

"O God, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world; grant, we beseech thee, that we, having this wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "The Reality Of Spiritual Things"

"The conversion of Saint Paul is one of those things which arrest the attention of even the most indifferent. It was too well-attested, it was too generally accepted by his contemporaries, for the facts to be in dispute. The only matter for debate is the interpretation to be placed on these facts."

"And what are the actual facts? Briefly, Saul of Tarsus, while traveling to Damascus in order to take drastic action against certain heretics, had a seizure which left him blind for several days. Then his sight returned as suddenly as it had gone, and from being a strictly orthodox Jew and persecutor of the Christians, he became one of their most ardent supporters."

"In what does this sudden illness of the Jewish traveler differ from an ordinary attack of epilepsy, to which, at first sight, it bears a close resemblance? It differs in this, that the result was a complete change of life, of character, and of consciousness. It is obvious that the real focus of the event was in the mind and not in the body, and that what happened to the physical form of the Jew upon that Syrian road was but the repercussion of what took place in his consciousness. The power that descended upon him spent its force on his soul, and his body only got the aftermath. That is obvious to anyone who looks candidly upon the facts, and does not seek to explain them away by a hypothesis that shall reconcile them with preconceived ideas."

"There are many things in the spiritual life which cannot be explained in this fashion. We have no terms derived from sensory experience in which to express them; they can only be described in terms of spiritual experience, and those who have not had any opening of the higher consciousness will make nothing of such explanations. Those, however, who have had even the first foreshadowing of a mystical experience will understand, because they know that a whole new world of experience is opened up the development of the higher consciousness and the plane of things it contacts."

"Such happenings as the conversion of Saint Paul force upon us the realization that the horizon of our senses does not mark the circle of eternity. There are things of which we are unaware because normally we have no senses to perceive them; nevertheless, they are among the most vital potencies of the universe."

"It is these things that the mystics touch with their extended consciousness. It is here that the validities of religion are found. It is out of such experiences as these that men have built up religion; and if we were able to share in them, we should be aware of the reality behind religion, and know that it is not a concerted fraud that pious men have forced on humanity for generations."

"It is this reality behind religion that we need to seek, not resting content with the formal performance of religious duties, but rather, with eager expectation striving for the illumination that dawns upon the soul, that has found God and causes its whole life to light up and shine forth as a beacon to other wanderers in the darkness of sense-limitation."


PRESENTATION OF CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE:
FEB. 02:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: GREEN).

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 163-164.


Calendar Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM: PM:
Epistle: Mal. 3:1
Gospel: Luk. 2:22

The Collect:

"Almighty and everliving God, we humbly beseech thy Majesty, that, as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in substance of our flesh, so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts, but the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Perception of Spiritual Truth"

"The attitude of the priests of the great temple at Jerusalem towards Our Lord is a thing which must give us food for thought, especially if we are of those who might be numbered among the doctors of Israel."

"It was not the high priest of Israel who announced that the Dayspring from on high had come, but an obscure man and an aged woman of the people who recognized the Child-Christ in His infancy, and declared that the Sun of Righteousness was above the horizon of human consciousness."

"We all need constantly to review our attitude towards Truth. We can never hope to know it in its entirety, and for this very reason we should always keep open the door of the mind. By how many parables and teachings did our Master emphasize the fact that Truth comes when it is least expected and from places where we should never look for it. It is only by keeping our souls sensitive to its influence that we can hope to recognize it when it thus suddenly comes upon us in some humble guise."

"Humility is the key of that door in the soul that opens to the Christ. The priest, proud in his established position, took the unknown Child in his arms and pleased Him perfunctorily. The influence radiating from the Divine Child did not cause his heart to burn within him. How often may we, who believe that we have some degree of knowledge and experience, pass by the Christ-teaching unnoticed?"

"Unless we are constantly on the alert to all that is noble and beautiful and sincere and pure, we are in danger of overlooking the Christ. We must get away from the spiritual snobbery that cannot see profundity in any teaching unless it has the hall-mark of authority. The wind of the Spirit bloweth where it listeth; the light of the Spirit shines out form those whose hearts are near God. In whatever form the Christ comes o us, whether it be as a little Child in poor swaddling clothes, or as the King of Glory, let us open to Him the door."


ST. MATTHIAS - APOSTLE:
FEB. 24:
Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 155-156.


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM:
All Years: Acts. 1:15 / Mat. 11:25

The Collect:

"O Almighty God, who into the place of the traitor Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the twelve Apostles; grant that thy Church, being always preserved from false Apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Spiritual Functioning"

"Saint Matthias was elected by his brethren to fill the vacancy created by the suicide of Judas Iscariot. What lesson can this fact teach us? What guidance can it offer us in the pursuit of the spiritual life?"

"We see that Judas was not able to retain his position as one of the Twelve after his spiritual consciousness was darkened, for he held his place, not by any legal right, but by function."

"This is the great lesson which the election of Saint Matthias has for the Church. She can only hope to be the Church of Christ for just as long as she manifests the power of the Christ. When that departs, the glory is departed. Ichabod will be written on her walls, and the power will reappear whenever the illuminated spiritual consciousness shall open a channel."

"No man can command the Spirit of God. It bloweth where it listeth. It is no respecter of persons, but manifests where it can find a channel."

"Organizations are convenient, but they are not essential. Nothing is essential to the spiritual life save the spirit of God. When that breath passes form the body corporate of the Church, She will die. As long as it remains, no human hand can deal Her a death-blow."

"Whatever organization opens a channel for God's power will be filled with that power, even as water seeks its own level. The Church holds her pre-eminence by being the broadest and deepest channel, the most universal expression of manıs spiritual aspirations, that at the moment we possess."

"But should that channel become choked, should a deeper and straighter channel be opened, the power will flow therein, and none can stay it."

"And why should we seek to stay it? What does it matter who feeds the sheep so long as they are fed? What does it matter who does God's work so long as His work gets done? Well for us if our hands be found worthy; but the main thing is that the work should be done, not that our prestige should be maintained."

"A church is a church and a priest is a priest when spirtual function is present. When it is absent, no laying on of hands, no claims to Apostolic Succession, even if confirmed by Act of Parliament, are going to maintain the dead in life."

"Function is all the Church needs to maintain her rights. Let her function, and none can gainsay her."


THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY:
MAR. 25:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: BLUE)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 167-168.


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM:
All Years: Isa. 7:10 / Luk. 1:26

The Collect:

"We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that as we have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel, so by his cross and passion we may be brought unto the glory of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Self-Preparation"

"Can we not picture the bewilderment of Mary of the hill-town of Nazareth when the angel of the Lord announced unto her her destiny?"

"How many of us, were we called to do a great work for God, could rise to the occasion? And what would be our regrets, after angelic Messenger had turned away sorrowful, that we were not found ready, with our loins girt and our lamps burning."

"The spiritual life is a great adventure. We never know what may come to us out of the Unseen. What tests, what triumphs. Let us therefore always have our lamps trimmed and our staffs ready to hand, lest the greaty opportunity come and we miss it."

"We should aim each day so to live, so to keep our higher consciousness open, that should the call come to us to rise up and serve God, we shall not be found wanting. We should take all human steps towards that end; we should learn courage, selflessness, purity, singleness of purpose, fidelity - from experiences of our daily life; if we cannot learn them thus, there is no other school open to us."

"Let us think of Our Lady, living quietly in her fatherıs house in Nazareth, fulfilling all the daily tasks of her home, to whom the Angel came so suddenly, unheralded. If that day there had been confusion and dispute, ill-will or complaining, would she have been in any frame of mind to receive her angelic visitant?"

"How many times may the Messenger of God have turned away from our door without knocking because he heard the sound of angry voices within?"

"From this day onwards, let us always be mindful, when we raise our voices, of Who may be standing on the threshold, about to knock."


ST. MARK - EVANGELIST:
APR. 25:

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 169-170.


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM:
All Years: Eph. 4:7 / Jhn. 15:1

The Collect:

"O Almighty God, who hast instructed thy holy Church with the heavenly doctrine of thy Evangelist Saint Mark; give us grace, that; being not like children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established in the truth of thy holy Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Discernment Of The Truth"

"In spiritual matters it is very easy to be deceived, for they are inner experiences, they are matters of feeling and states of consciousness, and it is not possible to subject them to the tests which we can apply to material happenings."

"It is, therefore, essential to us that we should have some standard to which they correspond by which to judge them. How and where are we to find such an external standard in these matters of inner experience, which we can in no way externalise save by the expression of them in a language which is not designed for such uses?"

"If, day by day, we return constantly to the record of Our Lordıs earthly life, so that the atmosphere of His influence ever pervades our consciousness, we shall intuitively react to all that comes our way, and we shall know by our reaction whether it be of God or no."

"Just as the ear of the musician can be trained to a subtle discrimination of tones, so can the soul of the lover of God be trained to a subtle discrimination of truth. If we be imbued with the Christ-spirit, whatever is inimical to that spirit will strike a false note in our ears, and we shall hear with the ears of the spirit."

"The musician does not need to argue from the theory of harmony to prove that a note is false; he hears its discordant vibrations, and that is enough for him. But he cannot discriminate between the false and the true unless he has the true ever ringing in his ears. And so he always carries a tuning-fork or pitch-pipe with him, and when in doubt he stirkes a note of absolutely pure tone, and instantly his ear tells him whether the instrument he hears is in tune or not."

"For us, the Gospels are our pitch-pipe. Let us always have them with us, and if we are in doubt concerning any spiritual matter, let us read in them, and then, having thus tuned our minds, reconsider the problem, and we shall hear at once if it strikes an un-Christlike note."


ST. PHILIP AND SAINT JAMES - APOSTLES:
MAY 03:

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 171-172.


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM:
All Years: Jam. 1:1 / Jhn. 14:1

The Collect:

"O Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life; grant us perfectly to know thy Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life; that, following the steps of thy holy Apostles, Saint Phillip and Saint James, we may stedfastly walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Knowlege Of The Way"

"'Whither I go, ye know, and the way ye know.' said Our Lord. In His Personality He showed us the Father by manifesting the Divine qualities; in His life He showed us the Way by treading it Himself. Not otherwise could man ever have learned anything concerning the nature of God, for the things of the Kingdom transcend human apprehension, not being of this world, and we can only perceive them when they are translated into terms of human life."

"The Divine Life is expressed in the divine qualities of the human spirit. Those characteristics which we recognize as Christlike 'show us the Father.' To preach Christ Crucified is useless unless we ourselves know what it means to bear one another's burdens. We have to show people to the Father, not tell them about him. The surest way to win souls for God is to try to lead the Christ-life ourselves and let its beauty attract them."

"All that we can ever know of God on this earth is that beam of His radieance which is able to shine through the lens of human living. The Kingdom of Heaven on earth is made with hands. It is not enough to pray, 'Thy kingdom come.' We must go and fetch it."


ST. BARNABAS - APOSTLE:
JUN. 11:

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pg. 173.


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM:
All Years: Acts. 11:22 / Jhn. 15:12

The Collect:

"O Lord God Almighty, who didst endue thy holy Apostle Barnabas with singular gifts of the Holy Ghost; leave us not, we beseech thee, destitute of thy manifold gifts, nor yet to grace to use them always to thy honor and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Goodness"

"There is no gift we can bring to the altar of dedication that is more acceptable unto God than simple goodness of life. There is no other basis on which Christ's Church can be built, for it is the one thing that stands firm amid shifting sands of time and fate."

"Intellectual gifts, whether of profundity or brilliancy, will prove destructive to their posesser unless there be that underlying goodness."

"Mystical vision, unless it be securely bedded in goodness of life, will end in illusion. Even the dedicated life of self-denial and adoration will not prove acceptable unto God unless simple human goodness be its basis."

"This is the rock on which all things are built, for it is the only source of security, and without security the loftiest attainments are worthless. The higher we climb, the greater our fall."

"Out of an abiding sense of fairness, of duty, of truth, and of kindliness the kingdom of heave is wrought upon earth."


ST. JOHN - THE BAPTIST:
JUN. 24:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: RED)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 174-176.


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM:
All Years: Isa. 40:1 / Luk. 1:57

The Collect:

"Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John The Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Savior, by preaching of repentance; make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constanly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently sufer for the truthıs sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Straightness"

"Before Israel saw her Savior she heard the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Repent, for the kindgom of heaven is at hand. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.'"

"When we seek to find Our Lord, praying for His grace to come to us, for His peace to be upon us, for the illumination of His presence to be all about us, do we always remember the the coming of John the Baptist preceded the Coming of our Blessed Lord?"

"We must perform the human part of the task before we can ask Our Lord to perform the divine part. We must be honest and true and doing our best before we ask for Godıs grace to help us to do better."

"The Power of the Lord will surely come upon us in response to our supplication, but we must make straight its paths throuhg our soul. There must be no toruousness in our nature if the great spiritual forces are to work through us."

"The noble quality of 'straightness' is essential to the Christian character. It was those who lacked 'straightness' whom our Lord called 'whited sepulchres.'"

"There is nothing that more surely brings Our Lordıs name into contempt among men and estranges them from Him than the spectacle of one who follows in His footsteps and yet lacks the fundamental quality of Straightness. There is nothing, no gift of tongues, no liberality of charity, no selflessness or sacrifice which will offset the lack of this fundamental quality."

"It is lack of courage which is responsible fo rthis failure. Men go by devious ways because they fear the consequences of going straight. If we realised, however, that all is governed by the absolute law of God, which swerves not a hair's breath, we should fear much more to go crooked than to go straight, knowing the inevitableness of the day of reckoning. We should resolutely cut our losses until we found our feet on firm ground."

"It was the moral courage of John the Baptist which was his greatest characteristic; and it was shown not only in his rebuke of Herod, but also in his acknowledgement of Jesus. What must it have meant to a man already famous and with a large following, to say, 'There is one that comes after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unlossen. He must grow greater, and I must grow less,' and to ask for a blessing from the unknown Stranger who came to him demanding baptism!"

"It was this moral courage of John the Baptist's which enabled him to discern the Christ. It was the time-serving of the priests which prevented them from recognising Him."

"One who has given all to God has nothing to gear because he has nothing to lose. All is Christ's and He can take care of His own."


ST. PETER - APOSTLE:
JUN. 29:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: RED)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 177-178.


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM:
All Years: Act. 12:1 / Mat. 16:13

The Collect:

"O Almighty God, who by thy Son Jesus christ didst gie to thy Apostle Saint Peter many excellent gifts, and commandest him earnestly to feed thy flock; make, we beseech thee, all Bishops and Pastors diligenly to preach thy holy Word, and the people obediently to follow the same, that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory; through Jesu Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Moral Courage"

"Saint Peter was characterised by two things - the heights to which he could rise, and the depths to which he could fall. It was he who discerned that Jesus was the Son of God, and it was he also who denied Him. But through all, he maintained an absolute sincerity, an absolute spiritual honesty. After he had denied his Lord he went out and wept bitterly, but he ceased not from following Him. After such a failure it must have required great moral courage to take up his cross once more and follow the Christ. It must have required equally great courage to face the other disciples again, admitting his failure. Yet Saint Peter did it."

"Herein is a great lesson for us. Howwever often we may deny Our Lord, He never denies us. The way is always open for us to turn again and 'make good' even as the great apostle did, provided that like him we do not try to justify our weakness."

"Paradoxiacal as it may seem in one who denied his Master, it is moral courage that is the keynote of Saint Peter's life. He it is who, being the corner-stone of the Chruch, is the especial patron of all priests and bishops and servants of God wherever they are found. They, more than all others, are in need of his cardinal quality, for it is no easy thing to stand up in the Name of God in the full light of publicity where ever human failing is revealed."

"No one is immune from failings, but the great thing is to serve god in spite of them. This is Saint Peter's lesson to us, that we should stand up in that highest courage, that truest humility, which is not afraid of its own past but goes on in spite of it, enduring the scorn of men and leaving the issue in God's hands; which bows it head to the storm and trudges steadily onwards in the footsteps of the Master."


ST. JAMES - APOSTLE:
JUL. 25:
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: RED)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 179-180.


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM:
All Years: Acts. 11:27 Pt. Ch. 12 / Mat. 20:20

The Collect:

"Grant, O merciful God, that as thine holy Apostle Saint James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay was obedient unto the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him; so we, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy commandments; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Renunciation"

"It was Saint James who, immediately Our Lord called, left all and followed Him, and who declared himself ready to drink of the Cup Our Lord drank of, and he baptised with the baptisim He was baptised with, and who fulfilled his word, dying by the sword in Jerusalem for the foundation of the Christian Church."

"His lesson for us lies in the fact that immediately the call came he took up his Cross and followed his Lord. Once he had realised the nature of the Christ, there was no mor questinioning; he left all and followed Him. The Gospel record makes it clear that this was no blind and impulsive following without count the cost. He was prepared to share in Our Lord's Cup, he followed His footsteps through Galilee till the end, and then died for the faith."

"Of those who complain of the barrenness of the spiritual life, how many are there who would have done what Saint James did? Or, standing by their nets, did they watch the figure of Our Lord fading away in the distance? It is not possible to drink the wine fo the spirit save out of the Cup of Our Lord."

"These are the things we forget when we become fireside followers of His footsteps. The Way of the Cross is a great adventure. The pears of the inner life only come to those who sell all that they have. Not everyone is ready for the path to the heights, but we should not complain of the lack of spiritual vitality in religion under such circumstances. Unless we do what the saints have done, we must not expect to know God as they knew Him."

"The life in religion is our own life, poured out in sacrifice."


ST. BARTHOLOMEW - APOSTLE:
AUG 24:

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 181-182.


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM:
All Years: Acts. 5:12 / Luk. 22:24

The Collect:

"O Almighty and everlasting God, who didst give to thine Apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach thy Word; grant, we beseech thee, unto thy Church, to love that Word which he believed, and both to preach and receive the same; through Jesus Christ. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Fidelity"

"Saint Bartholomew was never one of the outstanding figures among the disciples. The Bible tells us nothing about him save his name, yet he is alays mentionas as being among those who were with Our Lord in all His temptations and he was one of those who were present in the upper chamber when the power of the Holy Spirit came upon the apostle."

"Saint Bartholomew teaches us that those who serve faithfully in humble tasks shall in no wise lack their reward. It is not the magnitude of the thing done by which Our Lord judges us. Some may do great things because great opportunities come to them, or because great resources are at their disposal. These have the applause of the world, and they deserve it. But God also reads hearts, and know that just the same qualities are needed for the faithful performance of humble are needed for the faithful performance of humble tasks which never show when they are faithfully done, but would soon be missed if they were left undone."

"God rewards us, not according to the thing done, but according to the qualities of the spirit that went to the doing of it. Saint Bartholomew, though not one of his sayings and doings were reckoned worthy to be in the upper chamber when the Holy Spirit came down in tounges of fire."


ST. MATTHEW - APOSTLE & EVANGELIST:
SEP. 21:

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 183-184.


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for a Sunday takes precedence over a Saint Feast Day. As necessary, the observance of a particular Saint may be postponed by one day. The "traditional" Feast Day is noted.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM:
All Years: 2Cor. 4:1 / Mat. 9:9

The Collect:

"O Almighty God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist; grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires, and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the name they Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reiggneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen."

The Meditation:

Keynote: "Regeneration"

"When Our Lord called Saint Matthew, he was sitting at the receipt of custom, that is to say, he was a tax-gatherer, collecting the dues of Ceasar, the overlord of Israel; and as such, representing the oppressor, he was espeecially an object of hatred and contempt to his fellow Jews, for he was one who had sold his birthright for a mess of pottage."

"Nevertheless, Our Lord discerning the spiritual quality in the soul of Matthew the publican, saw that he had the capacity to respond to the call of the higher life when it came to him."

"Jesus never cared what people had been, nor even what they were when He met them; He only cared for their spiritual possibilities, and addressed His words to the higher self hidden from human eyes but visible through His sympathy and insight. It was his higher self that answered His call in the Magdalen and the tax-gatherer. Let this be a lesson to us never to confuse the personality of a man with his real self. If we see only the lower selves of men, which alone are visible to outward view, we shall not judge truly of their natures; but if, as did Our Lord, we see also the divine spark of pure spirit at the heart of each living soul, if we remember that by its very nature that spark must fly upwards, then, if we have wisdom and faith, we may be able to call that soul to Christ."

"But if we see only the sinner in his wickedness, we shall bind about his neck burdens grievous to be borne; we shall reinforce the weight of sin already pressing upon him by the weight of our condemnation. Gesture and tone will betray our though, and the riper that the soul is for healing, the more will it shrink from us. Only the hardened sinner can stand up to condemnation; the repentant sinner is the sensitive sinner. Let us always take sides with a man's higher self in its struggle with his lower self, and never, even in thought, identify him with his sin."


FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN (DEACON & MARYTR):
[DEC. 26: *Sunday After Christmas Has Precedence]
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: RED)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 28-30


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for the Sunday after Christmas takes precedence over the three Holy Feast Days which follow Christmas Day. As necessary, the observance of one, two, or all three of them is (are) postponed by one day. Traditionally, these feasts and days are listed as follows:

Dec. 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec. 27: St. John The Evangelist's Day
Dec. 28: The Feast of The Holy Innocent's Day.

These notes are for clarification, as Dion Fortune is not entirely clear on this point in her book, Mystical Meditations Upon the Collects. The clarification is found in The Book of Common Prayer itself directly on page 161.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM: 31 (or 31:1-5)
All Years: Jer. 26:1-9, 12-5 / Act. 6:8-7:2a, 51c-60 / Mat. 23:34-39
The Collect:

"Grant, O Lord, that in all our sufferings here upon earth for the testimony of thy truth, we may steadfastly look up to heaven, and by faith behold the glory that shall be revealed; and, being filled with the Holy Ghost, may learn to love and bless our persecutors by the example of they first Martyr Saint Stephen, who prayed for his murderers to thee, O blessed Jesus, who standest at the right hand of God to succor all those that suffer for thee, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen"

The Meditation:
Keynote: "Fidelity To Our Ideals"

"'The first martyr in the Christian story is Saint Stephen, who was stoned to death because the ideal he upheld was felt as a rebuke by men who reckoned themselves righteous."

"When we have to make the choice between spiritual principles and expediency, we must be prepared to make sacrifices. Men have always stoned those who have held up before their eyes a standard higher than they are prepared to accept. Adherence to spiritual principles is never going to give us the flesh-pots of Egypt. We must make up our minds to that before we set out on the journey to the Promised Land. If we are not prepared to live upon manna and depend upon the Living Rock for water, we had better remain in bondage, for we shall die in the wilderness before the Promised Land is reached."

"Like Saint Stephen, the first martyr, we must look steadfastly up into heaven if we are going to tread the Path, for it is there our treasure is. We must not expect to receive material rewards for spiritual work. When we love our enemies, we do not hope to win popularity thereby; when we give all for Christ we do not expect to receive the best places in the synagogue. Our reward is to have been able, in some small measure, to lift the world's burden of sorrow and suffering inasmuch as we have transmuted hate into compassion and strife into gentleness."

"When, with the stones falling all about us we hold steadfastly to the highest, then do we see the Heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Then there dawns upon us the power of mystical consciousness for which we toiled so long without visible result. Patiently, day by day, in prayer and service, we have sown the things of the spirit, and we have received the gifts of the spirit in Joy, peace, and a sense of God's blessing. But the great experiences of the mystical life do not come until we have known crisis. The prayer for Divine Union is made in the shelter of the inner chamber behind the closed door, but it is answered when the winds of heaven blow in storm about the soul."

"In that dark and stormy hour, let us try to rise into the higher consciousness; serenely placing our life in God's hands; compassionately and uncomplainingly meeting our adversaries; with no feelings of bitterness towards those who have offered themselves as the channels of the suffering that falls to our portion. This indeed is the highest achievement of the Christian soul in its distress - that it does not pray to be saved, but asks that its persecutors may be pardoned and that it may draw nearer to the Master."


FEAST OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST (MARTYR):
[DEC. 27: *Sunday After Christmas Has Precedence]
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: RED)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 31-33


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for the Sunday after Christmas takes precedence over the three Holy Feast Days which follow Christmas Day. As necessary, the observance of one, two, or all three of them is (are) postponed by one day. Traditionally, these feasts and days are listed as follows:

Dec. 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec. 27: St. John The Evangelist's Day
Dec. 28: The Feast of The Holy Innocent's Day.

These notes are for clarification, as Dion Fortune is not entirely clear on this point in her book, Mystical Meditations Upon the Collects. The clarification is found in The Book of Common Prayer itself directly on page 161.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM: 92 (or 92:1-4 & 11-14)
All Years: Exo. 33:18-23 / 1Jhn. 1:-9 / Jhn. 21:19b-24
The Collect:

"Merciful Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon the Church, that it being enlightened by the doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John may so walk in the light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

The Meditation:
Keynote: "Deeper Understanding"

"'The smile of light, and all the words that derive therefrom, have ever been used when men seek to describe the change that takes place in human consciousness when spiritual forces begin to work upon it. The Mystic seeks Illumination, and his way is enlightened by the Inner Light."

"There has always been this Inner Light for those who sought it - the understanding that transcends the intellect - the mode of meditation that transcends the reason. The fruits of the this higher consciousness were gathered up into the Gnosis, and into the doctrine of the Illuminati - those intellectual mystics who have been most truly of the Company of Christ though seldom within the fold of the Church."

"The writings attributed to Saint John bear the clear marks of a familiarity with the Greek Mystery schools and the mystical Qabbalism of Israel. The disciple whom Jesus loved was undoubtedly aware of the existence of a Secret Doctrine within the exoteric systems of the day. It was concerning him that Our Lord said, while not denying that he should die even as other men, that nevertheless he should tarry till He came. Saint John it is who has more to tell us concerning the Holy Ghost than any of the other Evangelists."

"It is this Inner Light of mystical consciousness which must illumine the Church if it is to lead us from darkness to light, from death to life. There is a deeper significance in Christianity than is contained in the rationalizations of theology or that realization of spiritual truth which meets the needs of the wayfaring man. Saint John, coming to Christianity from the illuminism of Greece and Israel, knew that there must always be a presentation of the teachings which should be available for simple souls, taught only by their hearts; but there are abundant signs throughout the writings attributed to him which indicated his realization of a potent spiritual power behind the simple revelation which was given to simple souls."

"It is this deeper revelation which we need today if Christianity is to recover its lost influence over thinking men and women. It is there, awaiting development. Christianity is very far from being a burnt-out cinder."

"Christianity must have a Gnosis as well as a creed. The mystic who rises into the higher consciousness on the wings of love alone has had much to give to the spiritual life of men, but we must also find a place for the mystic who rises to the higher consciousness on the wings of those rarer powers of the mind that have been known in the Mysteries from time immemorial. We need our Christian Mysteries - the deeper teaching that can not be given save after dedication and purification."

"We need not only to know God as our Heavenly Father but to understand Him as the creative Logos. Unless this aspect be rediscovered and reintroduced into Christianity, it will continue to be the faith of peasants and women, and the finest minds of our race will receive from it a stone when they ask for bread."


FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS (MARTYRED BETHELEHM CHILDREN):
[DEC. 28: *Sunday After Christmas Has Precedence]
(ALTAR CLOTH TO: RED)

Dion Fortune, Mystical Meditations On The Collects, Pgs. 34-35


Administrative Note:

The Proper Collect for the Sunday after Christmas takes precedence over the three Holy Feast Days which follow Christmas Day. As necessary, the observance of one, two, or all three of them is (are) postponed by one day. Traditionally, these feasts and days are listed as follows:

Dec. 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec. 27: St. John The Evangelist's Day
Dec. 28: The Feast of The Holy Innocent's Day.

These notes are for clarification, as Dion Fortune is not entirely clear on this point in her book, Mystical Meditations Upon the Collects. The clarification is found in The Book of Common Prayer itself directly on page 161.

The Scriptures / Lessons:

Psalms: AM & PM: 124
All Years: Jer. 31:15-17/ Rev. 21:1-7 / Mat. 2:13-18
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: "Except Ye Become As Little Children"

"'God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty.' It has never been those with the most powerful intellects who went furthest in the spiritual life, but those who had the clearest understanding of our Lordıs nature, who had the firmest grasp of spiritual principles, and who were prepared to act upon them at whatever cost. These have always been the 'salt of the earth' even in the eyes of the worldly, and they have always been the ones whom time is justified."

"A child, before its outlook becomes sophisticated, has a clear understanding of real values. In the character of a child of beautiful nature we see the nearest approximation to the Christian ideal. When we set out on the quest of spiritual reality we should bear this in mind, and remember that it is not with the powers of the mind that we shall perceive spiritual things, but rather with the powers of the heart."

"We start our earthly journey as little children, and after passing by the flowery path of youth and the thorny path of maturity, we end it as little children. It is this child-spirit which catches glimpses of the Kingdom as we journey, and unless we can keep in our hearts the spirit of the child with which we set out, which came 'trailing clouds of glory from heaven which is his home,' we shall miss the biggest things in life, the profoundest truths of knowledge, the most beautiful things of art."

"Let us strive to keep the spontaneity and simplicity of childhood throughout life's journey, for it is very near to the Kingdom. it is only the humble who can be helped. Those who are wise in their own conceit must go in their own strength."


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