Live in One World
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December 20, 1970 (tape 208-B, CD 26)
Good morning. This morning I’m going to read the text and I’m not going to __?__ the sermon. I want to give you this morning one little quotation out of the Testament in the 11th chapter of Acts. This may settle a lot of the controversy about the Teachers of the Order. For there is much that is said. It will also, incidentally, show how that another church whom recognized Peter can have a reason for recognizing him. Regardless of whether they are of the same profession or not.
“Now the Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2) So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, 3) Saying, Why did you go unto the uncircumcised men and eat with them? 4) But Peter began and explained it to them in order: 5) I was in the city of Joppa praying and in a trance and I saw a vision, something descended, like a great sheet, let down from heaven by the four corners; and it came down to me: 6) Looking at it closely I observed the animals, the beasts of prey, and the reptiles and the birds of the air. 7) And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; kill and eat. 8) But I said, No, Lord: for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth. 9) But the voice answered a second time from heaven, What God hath cleansed, you must not call common.” ….and then it goes on in the 10th verse to say that this happened three times and all was drawn up again.
This is a story, a happening, a vision and it is almost in duplicate of what I see whenever a Teacher is granted or the right of teachers of the Order to teach. Because the square sheet descends sometimes during a period of work in the altar in a series of concentration, meditation and prayer for the week or two beforehand. There is, as it is given in the 1st chapter of Genesis, dominion over all the beasts and living things and the square sheet of course represents even the four elements of the Earth which we are given command of. Now there is a strange sort of thing; not strange, no, here; they recognized in one of the churches Peter as being the authentic one or start, of the teacher. And this was giving us that they don’t __?__ or the Master, but they recognize him, they have every right to recognize him and someplace along the line, but this has nothing to do with succession whatsoever.
But this came to me this morning as I was working on a text, or should I say I was open for a text and this came and shown me and I thought this would be a very good thing to pass along to you folks who so often have questions of this sort asked of you. Here is the authenticity of the fact that a Teacher, a Master Teacher does not have just an ordination. It has nothing to do with the school. It is taken and demonstrated from on high. The same as the calling of a priest and this is specifically so.
This morning, though, my sermon to you is a little different. It has something that has to do with what we are going to do later on after the Mass. It has to do with those whom are taking their life vows. Somehow or other young folks take on things which are very beautiful, very right, and very good. But somehow we miss, and even sometimes the priests miss this, we miss the reality that we do not just function here in a visual way but there is another side to our nature which also has a life. And if we keep this separated from the life in the material world then we open the door to a great deal of problems, of trouble, of misunderstanding.
But when we unite the spirit with, and when we listen, and this is man’s great fault — he does not listen — he cannot keep his mouth shut long enough to listen to the voice of the Spirit because if he did he would make few mistakes. In reading this, oft-times, those who have taken the second vows or have taken them, just because you are a brother or a sister in the Order and you’re not a healer or a spiritual physician or a priest doesn’t mean you do not have an office to fulfill; you certainly do.
Because when you become a brother in this Order and give your life and your service and your word of obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ, through the Order, you are taking on an office. For the office of holy orders, the sacrament of holy orders is, very distinctly, an office. And so I am going to take it, as I have been told this morning, before the Council that each one of these whom take on this office shall have a definite designation that they will take with them. And that’s the sign of the Order that they will wear. Because it is not a thing to take lightly. We are taking on the service of God and our Lord the same as those who take on the service of the priesthood. With the exception that one is an eternal vow and the other is not. But that becomes a long service to live with if we are not truly dedicated. If we do not truly allow our spiritual life to flow into the material life and visible actions of the world around us.
And we hear so often from students, and people outside too, ‘Well, I don’t know. Somehow or other I pray and I pray and I pray but I can’t seem to feel God. I can’t seem to feel the prayer.’ No, of course you can’t because you started in the wrong end of the horn. You can pray and pray and pray but if you’ve got your physical life and actions separated from your spiritual life and actions you’re not going to feel it.
And until you take that spiritual life into your physical one you’re not going to see or hear the manifestation of the Spirit. You’re not going to feel the presence of our Lord here. Because you have distinctly separated and said, ‘Well, I live one life here, I live a spiritual life and I live a physical life’. Well as long as you live two lives you’re going to live two lives and there isn’t any part of one that is going to be in the other.
And I was talking the other day with a young priest, not in our Order but in another one. And I said to him, ‘Remember this, if you are not in earnest in taking on the whole truth and if you’re trying to put a criteria to this in any way and you want to do it this a way because of certain teachings of another church,’ I said, ‘Son, forget it, because don’t put yourself in that position. Because when you take on the ways of God and our Lord Jesus you can’t take it on the way you want to. You just plain, ordinarily, take it on. And you don’t just take it on in your spiritual life. You take it on in your physical action in life or you don’t take it on at all.’
And all the baptisms and all of the sacraments on earth, with any priest, and I said, ‘any priest’, I’m not just talking about my own because there is only one priesthood, can’t perform, cannot bring to you the peace of Jesus Christ nor the salvation if you live two lives. You can’t do it because it won’t happen because you’ve got yourself separated from the very source of God and the Spirit.
And I don’t care how long you live, or how long you go to church or how many times a week or how many hours you spend at the altar. As long as you keep your spiritual life and your physical life and actions separated as two different things you are looking out of the window outside. But you will never have Him next to you. Because you have said, ‘Jesus that’s your place over there, now I’m going to stay here’, and that doesn’t make good neighbors. Not at all. Not at all. And we’ve experienced a lot of these things in this world already. You ignore anybody when they are around — Go and try to keep your neighbor on his side of the fence and keep him there and not even have a cup of tea with him or a little glass of beer on a hot summer day, and see how long he’s going to be your neighbor in a real friendly way.
No, it’s the same old story – you can’t be on both sides of the fence at the same time. And that’s what we have to learn, the brothers and the sisters have to learn in the Order. They can’t be living a separate life in the world and another life in the Spirit, believe me. You can live in the world and not be of it; that’s different things. Because here you are accepting everything as one but you’re in it, operative, in doing your job and this will work. In fact this is a very good way of doing things because you find after awhile there isn’t very much out there that you really are seeking. You can enjoy it. You can have all of the enjoyment and enjoy all the beauties of the world but you’re still not a part of it. And that’s why this very same thing happens when people truly, the brothers and sisters, truly give up and live in one world – really open up their life, to God and to our Lord Jesus. Then they realize that they have something different between them and that world out there. And then they can go to the movies, and then they can go to a dance and enjoy themselves and everything in it; but that isn’t part of them in the same pattern.
So let us hereafter, when we take on these vows, let us know and realize that we are taking on an office of the Order just as important, just as needed as it is to ordain a priest. Because you know, if you have all chiefs and no indians you never get a job done. So let us not forget that there are a lot of people, young people, old people, who are not called to the priesthood anymore than there are a lot of Teachers called to teach. And we must correct this view because I have picked it up several times. And a good brother and a good sister can go through and gain his degrees in the seminary as well as anyone else and is just as important as an ordained priest. And let us not forget that Because there has to be all different stations in life; all different stations in this Order. And you’re serving Jesus and our Creator, the same as all others.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, so let it be.