Obedience through Love of Jesus: Charity
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Lecture by Father Paul Blighton
Tape 805, 1972
(Sound quality of tape is poor and some words not decipherable)
This is a lecture on charity. This is Father Blighton speaking in San Francisco, after the priest conference. One of the things that has come to me this morning, or has been with me, is probably one of the most important things. While we use the objective of what we’ve been talking about, of heaven and hell, as it carries on and over into the other world, we don’t want to get locked up in philosophy to the point that we forget the reality that we have to deal with here. And that reality is what Paul spoke about when he talked about charity.
Charity is something which most people totally pass over as being a sort of nice word, but not meaning too much to us in this world at the present time. And one of the reasons for this is a very pronounced example of it, and the thought that an individual or a priest fails to recognize this particular quality of being one of the prerequisites of the priesthood. The reality of your service to God and man is most important, but how you do that or perform that service decides whether it is really a service or whether it isn’t. And I’m sure you have seen people who have gone through a lot of motions and have worked, sincerely worked, they have worked their fingers to the bone, as the old saying is, and have actually accomplished very little, while somebody else very relaxedly sits back and — sort of, you might say, sits back — and does a few things here and there; but each time they do it, say it, and move, it counts for something.
This is the case with the priest class also, for you can go through a lot of motions and you can do a lot of work and have it mean very little, to find the people whom you are supervising are … and this is what I want you to learn, and I know that you have seen in places, in doctors’ offices and various other places, see people who apparently do very little but accomplish a whole lot. And they set us down in the middle of a whole group of people, you might say, and just stand there and nod, and say, yes, no, and they’ll do this, and then … this afternoon, and do this and do that, and that’s the way they live. They breathe easy, they live easy, and they get their work done, and all the people under them are pretty much satisfied, as a rule.
Of course this, in the first place, is a matter of the problems of their life, and they themselves are totally relaxed because of one thing. Whatever their profession may be, they are with it and they are living the pattern of their job. They are not trying to do the work that the mail clerk is supposed to do. They’re not trying to sweep the floors, and they’re not trying to do the work that the … does in the controller’s office. They are just trying to do their job, but they do it very precisely and very well. And the teachers are totally confident of the power of the decisions of management in putting them there. Now they may be the absolute egotist, they may be absolutely atheist, but they have total confidence in themselves and in the decision of management to put them in that job, and they know they can do that job.
And when a man functions on this basis he is functioning with divine Law, whether he’s right or whether he’s wrong. He is still functioning with divine Law. And when he does this the people under him will be very satisfied, as a rule, very satisfied; because there is nothing that makes a man more nervous, discouraged and rattled than to try to serve someone who doesn’t know whether he’s right or not. This he cannot do, and do his job properly.
Now you, as priests if you make it across that border line, and the Master said you would so I’m not going to argue about it, because I have confidence in him. It’s ridiculous in my mind that some of you should be made priests, but I’m not going to argue about it. That’s his, that’s his lookout, that’s his bailiwick. I’m not going to get into it. There are some people here, and I speak about this honestly, that I would turn down if it were from a material standpoint, as supervisional cognizance … I’d turn them down, and I’ll be honest with you. I love you all but from that standpoint I would turn you down. But I will not turn you down, because the Boss said, “do it”. And I’m going to do it, and then it’s up to him, because I’ve carried out my mission, I’ve carried out his word and his command, and it will be done. I don’t know what he’s going to do in the future. I get the word from him and I carry it out. Likewise you have been given the word when you are ordained, and the authority, and it’s up to you to carry it out, and carry it out with that full confidence that the man, if he runs the plant or the factory, or the office. .
Now, you must get to realize this, that if you have any problems, … there are people around you and those that are going to be under you — and there are going to be people under you — for the sake of their souls and their salvation, get rid of your problems now, because it isn’t fair to them.
Now we have listened to this word and we know very little about it; but charity is not a matter of giving a dollar. But you can give a dollar privately and with it can be an act of true charity. It is not helping a man with a meal, but it can be. Because giving out your charity there is a facet of spiritual and mental cognizance of why you are doing it, and the way you do it. Now the dollar, I grant you, is a dollar, no matter who has it, but the way in which you give it, your mental attitude and your spiritual cognizance is going to determine whether it’s charity or not, on your part, real charity.
It is the lack of charity on the part of a priest, or a realized person or a teacher — and they (can’t) say that they’re perfect either — they attain to be, I really believe, but you see some of them are blocked up, but only because of only one thing. And I’ve never seen anything go wrong with a teacher yet in my whole career but just one thing, and that is when they all of a sudden are saddled with responsibility, and they have, you might say their ego becomes inflated; but in reality it isn’t. In reality it is not the ego getting inflated to that extent, but it is the lack of charity. Now we hear a lot of talk, not only here but in many, many books, spiritual books, books about psychology, books on humanism or sociology, about selflessness, selfless giving and all that sort of thing. Now I know there is such a thing, that’s for sure, but I also know one thing, that a great many people that are talking about selflessness are about as far away from being selfless as anybody could be because they never forgot themselves.
It’s like last night when I had the teachers’ meeting, or prospective teachers’ meeting, or something, or — don’t try to get me to name it because I don’t know what it is myself, so how can I call it? But after two hours of wandering through many phases of things, we came back to the same place, and I could have said the whole thing in one statement. But I couldn’t do it, because if I had of, they wouldn’t have got it.
And it’s the same thing with this. We have tried many times principal issues of things in trying to spell out our feelings over, because if there’s anything that will get through anybody’s inner consciousness in feeling is to tell him he’s not charitable. Especially a minister or priest, that really gets to them. But you know, it’s one of the greatest, it’s one of the qualities which is most lacked of all of them in this ministry, and in the priesthood.
There are many who try to assume charity, but the trouble is they do not know that this is something you cannot assume. This is a value in your personality, that is built by your personality. It is the sum total of your personality in reality, and it has to be there or it isn’t there, one or the other. There’s only one way I know that you get it — well, there are two ways; one way I don’t like and the other way I approve of. One is your very definite soul-searching mission before the cross, before our Master; and the other is through long-suffering. I’m not very much of a person for long-suffering, because I have too darn much to do. So it is my personal recommendation that anybody that does this job of soul-searching and finds a lack of this charity, that that’s what they get busy with and get it over with. Because if you will start, and we are going to, by the way, start to study the life of the Master, you’re going to find pretty soon that you’re going to start balancing up the factors of the Master’s life with that you find within yourself, and you’ll find out whether you are charitable or whether you aren’t.
Now charity is an exact sort of thing, especially in the priest’s life, where Johnny comes to him and gives to him a problem, or thinks he does at least, and he tells him about this, and the priest looks at him and if he is truly working with the Self he will know what the problem is and know about working it out. Now, there is nothing on earth or in heaven, either one, that can … you and make you a better servant than through charity, because you must understand men, and women. You must love them. And this, of course, is the very kernel of charity to begin with. Just because you thought you were going to work through, and how you’re going to do it.
Now some of the priests we have out in the fields, and I try to work with them, of course, they say, “Well, I’m here to do the job and I want to do the job,” and they mean it, “and I’m tolerant.” No, tolerance isn’t enough. When you tolerate a thing you tolerate it. You don’t help it, you don’t gain it, you don’t try to destroy it, but you let it set because you don’t like it. But tolerance is not enough. Tolerance is not enough to bring that other person close enough to you to work with them in their spiritual problems. It’s true no one has a problem really, I’ll grant you this, not really. But I do know there’s only one way to work with them, and that’s when you work with them because you love those people, with all of their faults, with all of their inhibitions, and all the other things that they could pile up that you can think of. You can still see what wonderful nice people they are.
And once in a great while, I’ll grant you, there is a person who strikes you as a walking dead man. And here is the place where charity exists but I do not waste my talents, because the walking dead you can do nothing for, when they really are that way. You can be nice to them. You can give them all the opportunities possible, and if a miracle can happen, and does happen, fine, wonderful! But you don’t place all your time in trying to bring a man through who is already dead. That’s (his life).
Now, as long as you keep the door open, so long as you don’t say it’s impossible, but you say, “Well, I just haven’t got time.” I’ve got three others here that are really alive and are really coming up, and I’m going to spend my time with them because they can do more for the mass than this one can. It sounds fairly cold, but that’s how it is. Now I know that you will go far to find that one, as Jesus said, and bring them back to the flock, … the ninety nine. That’s fine, and you do that because you leave the door open to do it. But at the basis of all of this is your attitude, your feelings, the way you give to that person that which he needs. Here is the facet of charity.
You’ve got to give it with an attitude that you are not stepping down to that individual. You are not looking down on them and saying, “You dirty sinner. Here I am a priest and you come to me with this filthy mess?” You’ve got to give it to them the same as you would give your own blood-born son or daughter some oatmeal in the morning for breakfast because they need it and because they are part of your flesh and bone. This is charity. You’re doing it because they need it and because you enjoy the privilege of serving them. You get them clothes, you do these other things for them, not because it is a duty but because you love Jesus that died on the cross for their sins, and to bring this earth back to a place where they could gain their experience. This is charity.
Now I know you all suffer, with the exceptions of things that you see, that as you do them you always get something back. You all suffer. Well, let’s not be like that. There isn’t one man that ever lived or breathed that didn’t see an advantage in doing something. Let’s get right down there to bedrock and look at it, be honest about it and know it, because that’s the only way you’ll reach the state where you can really manifest real charity. Because as long as you follow this up and say, “Well, I’m doing what the Master tells me.” Right; very fine, very wonderful. That’s what you should do. “I’m doing what the priest tells me, or Father tells me,” yes sir, you sure are. You are … very fine. Just accept this one attribute. But I wonder if you’d rather do that than have a cup of coffee with your boy friend down at the corner cafeteria; ask yourself that. Or your girl friend; ask yourself that. Ask yourself if you would rather do that than sit by some sick bed and help somebody … the sick. There is the place you will find out just how serious you are. There is where you will find out how charitable you are. Because you know this person is going to pass on and all you can give to this individual is your presence. You aren’t going to make a good Holy Order of Mans minister or priest out of him, or a good Brother. And he isn’t going to give anything to the cause, as far as you’re concerned, but you are happy to sit there and relieve just a little of the human suffering of this individual who is going — is passing over, that they can feel and take this with them and make it that easier to … And you’re doing this without any thoughts of … You’re doing it because Jesus would have done it.
This is charity, this is right where it is. this is down to the bare bones of life. This is down where it is, where you look at that body and it is nothing but a lump of decaying flesh. Now we know it’s a divine and eternal Self, because that’s what you’re working for, the preservation and the maintenance of the divine work, believe me, and the pattern of life. This is where charity exists. Oh, it’s easy enough to see a beautiful little baby and be kind to it, and a nice young lady that comes alone that’s got problems, and talk to her. Or a nice young man that comes along who’s got some problems, at least he thinks, and be nice to them. But when you get down to the cold, hard facts of life, where it’s down there where there’s no further down to it, then we find out what our charity is, then we find out how much we are willing to give of ourselves, how much we are willing to put on the table top and the altar … And of course as Paul says, that love is the basis of all this because it is through this that charity exists.
Life is one of the factors of light, life and love of the Christ, the Christos. Charity is one of those factors of the life; it’s one of the attributes of it. And it is most important because it is part of an end result of your lives in the past and your present charity as a result of your own activity, your own being; and this is where it gets to be a reality. Your being. Any questions?
This is important because of one thing. If you follow this, if you try for it, you’ll never have any students that go wrong, unless it’s their will to go wrong, because you will reach that and you will succeed, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, and bring about the changes and the necessities of change and addition, and so forth, in their life. And you will not have any students where there are troubles either, after you’ve gotten them over the hump and over the troubles that they’ve had, because those changes will take place in the way they should. There’ll be no physical repercussions or anything of the sort from them. And actually it’s the only way you can approach this … so vital in the priesthood, and it’s a subject that … even amongst the theologians. I can’t quite understand that but the religious writers never discuss this particular factor of a man’s life, because I’ve looked through books about this and I haven’t found it, period.
It is something like the Master said when he was on the cross. He was going through this great initiation, with man, and he looked around him and he said in … words… “It has been accomplished”. He also said about that time, I’ve forgotten whether it was before or after — he said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” This is one of the greatest manifestations of charity, because all of the apostles had taken to the high timber. And here was just his mother, I think James was there, but he had no feeling about this. He not only understood and was tolerant, but he wanted to make sure that the Father’s … regardless of what he was going to do. He understood. And after, it was not misunderstanding but the composite of his acts together which brought about the reactivating and the showing of his charity toward man, and especially toward his own …
Even after his resurrection, at the tomb when they saw him, his first thought was of their welfare. He said, “Touch me not, for I have not …” This was his thought, their welfare. Sure, he would have liked to feel the vibration of those where were glad and happy to have his return, but his first consideration was of them. This is the same all the way down through, and this old … the Master taught of: Our prayers are our acts, and this makes it possible for it to manifest and to actually use the attributes of charity, because it’s a coalition process, in the entirety of your life. It’s not just an inspiration and you get a little revelation and you rise to the seventh heaven or something like that, and you do a very valid deed, you see?
There are a lot of times that some of the worst of the sinners get these inspirations and come out with something very noble. Now that isn’t charity. Charity is only born through living, through acting, through doing, through actually having the purification of the person themselves where their personality is functioning on that basis, and then you see it brings all these things together. It takes the one thing, love, for it to motivate. Discussion now, we’ll talk about this. Yes?
Yes, this is done according to the guiding of the Brothers. … confidence and … if you come to the direction of the Master, there is no fear that exists, no fear that exists. But when you obey and follow, when you are obedient to the Master because you are afraid of him, then you … because any act that you perform that’s under his directions with fear, trying not to, it would not be an act of charity because the attribute wouldn’t be there.
That’s right. And that means just because, if really we evaluate it. That is the evaluator; just because. Just because of what? Yes?
Besides from even that and even beyond that, because we are a living part of the great cosmic power. … This is something which you may not have thought of, but there are many people who go into the priesthood and into missionary work, and truly, right down deep — and they may be very fine people. Now, I’m not saying they’re bad. Understand? I’m not saying they’re bad, I’m not saying they’re doing something wrong. I’m not saying they’re being really difficult or saucy, but there are many people who do these very beautiful things, and they do help humanity, and their deeds certainly carry the stamp of noble individuals. But they are not willing to be. They are not, rather, maybe not willing — it isn’t because they are not willing, because they never reached that, the point where they live and do because of the cosmic reality that exists. And they don’t reach that higher level of inspiration.
Many writers, many great people have said that this was the path and the life of faith. Well, I don’t know what it is, I never (said) that, that I know of. I don’t know why they thought that about St. Paul, because he — I fail to see it, but all right. They had to do something for, I suppose, about their sins in that time, so maybe that’s the way (he) tried to get back into the good graces of the Host. But this is not it, really. You know St. Paul was not too charitable at times, that’s for sure. He had great zeal, yes. He was a zealot, yes, and he served the Master meticulously, but sometimes he didn’t always think about the other person either. Now you can read the letters all the way through very carefully, and you’ll see places where he didn’t always care just exactly the way a person with real charity would have cared, because he wasn’t always considerate of the other individual, you see. (And that was one of the facets) of this reality.
We claim that we sort of, in our own little way, are going to bed and getting up and eating, and going to school and going to mass in the morning and going to prayers at night. We get into a pattern of living, and the pattern is beautiful. It certainly is acceptable and has been accepted by our Lord. But do we do it because we want to do it, or do we do it because we think we should? Do we do it because when we’re there we really feel His Presence, and we just want to do it, period, or do we do it because we know it is expected, and the fruits of it, and that’s the thing to do?
I’ve always felt it, and it’s not wholly true but it expresses it; it is the mass mind of the order, you see. Now really, if you were to <[>cast loose], of course, the novitiates and Brothers and said, “Well now, you can come to church if you want to in the morning and you can come to prayers at night if you want to.” I grant you they wouldn’t get very far with that. Now it’s true that being required by obedience to do this, they get to know the Master and they get to understand him better and eventually the spark does come, where we enjoy this.
At first when you are a priest, you will get a tremendous lift out of going in the sanctuary. And then as you practice and you’re in there each day, in the majority of times at least, and at night — sure, it’s a great help, you get a great lift out of it, but then you reach a point, and I know this is so, you reach a point where it becomes like the carpenter’s workshop. He likes to do carpentry, he’s a good cabinet maker and he loves to work with his tools, but he would like a change once in awhile. It’s because of the human flesh that it has been saturated, and it knows, because there is intelligence in the body, believe me, there is. And some of the intelligence that we have instilled into it hasn’t been too good. And this is why we say when you have reached the illumination, initiation, then go on until you have reached a greater fullness of it which will remove this from you. And then these other things, what we call in the mass mind will take on an entirely new connotation and we will do things because we like to do it. The same as a youngster likes to eat his cake and reaches for it. It is the sweetmeat that we would love to accept and love to have, and this has been spoken of by some who have reached that point and understand that.
One particular person that I know, he said it was the goodies of the sanctuary. He was very serious, expresses it very beautifully, very beautifully. And when we are able to accept these goodies, really, with a taste for them, a yen for them, the same as a child has a yen for a piece of candy, because a youngster <[>when you watch him] — oh, you can learn so much from them. He bites into the cake with a vigor. He wants it, there’s no question in his mind. Then he takes the rest of it and he chews away with all his might. He’s really enjoying it. At that moment that he’s eating that piece of candy, there isn’t anything else going on in the world. That’s his enjoyment, his pleasure; his whole body is enjoying it because he has reached something he wants. This is where the real secret is. I know, this is strong language but this is what it takes, you see, why it takes charity.
And you can see it, when you go out on the street and meet the stumblebum and the others, you’ve got to have it or you’ll lose the other, because there is no conscious relationship between these two things except through charity. Because if you don’t have it, you’ll say, “Well, why in the world did that ever happen? That, why, that miserable piece of humanity, look at what it looks like. It’s dirty, it’s filthy, all insides are decaying. What should I think of this? Why should I bother with it, even?” There’s your charity … Yes?
You’re very right in that, because the proof of this is that once you have reached the state of initiation and God-realization, and experienced it, and you have actually started to work with the Self because you want to work with the Self — and here’s the key to those things that come into that same category. You have reached the key to the reality that you want to be and function as a God-being, so you work with the Self and work with it until you get acquainted with it, until it really functions for you, and when you have reached that state where your consciousness is amalgamated — that is, your outer consciousness and that, is amalgamated with the Self, and you no longer think about it, but you just work through it all the time. You are the Self and that’s all there is to it … Yes?
Yes, because you can feel this, you can feel this the same as you can feel … yourself in another place. Here’s where a great many people have made great mistakes in healing, especially (in these things). And this is very pronounced with the new ones that come into teaching, and they see the mantle (and that); they begin to feel the love of other people.
And I had, in the past, I had one particular person come to me and say, “Father, now,” and he started to stumble and mumble around about it, and I said, “Oh, … All right, let’s come out with it now. You’re not in a category of …
“Well, I just didn’t know how you’d feel about it, but I feel I am in love with so-and-so.” And I just looked at him, and I said, “Is that right?”
And he said, “Yes.” He said, “Every time I’m near this person, boy, what a rapport there is, and I’ve never felt anything like it in my life.”
I said, “Is that right?” And he said, “Yes, (that’s exactly it). I have tried several times and I have experience, and I have set myself on this to see if I was just imagining things, because after all she’s a neat person.”
And I said, “That’s fine.” I said, “Well, you’re getting to be a teacher, I guess.”
And he looked at me, you know: “What do you mean?”
“Well,” I said, “You’re beginning to now be able to feel other people and in the, in that way.” which is a … really, there’s some fear about it, and they weren’t — it was a person that had never expected anything like this. In fact, since they’ve been in the order, why, they never really went out of their way for company, or anything of that sort, or association.
And I said, “Well now, you just start and observe from here on. We won’t say anything about this particular case (just as a test).”
And he started observing other people. He came back in, oh, maybe three or four months: “And you know a funny thing, I found this same love in about three or four other people.”
And I said, “Yeah, I think sol” You see, people who really had love for other people, they felt it, and they misunderstood it as being a — had a thing between them and somebody else, being a mate for them. It wasn’t at all, and everything turned out all right but this is something that they experienced, and a lot of people experience it here. … this consciousness is coming to them because they haven’t experienced this before. And because there is a showing slowly of charity between the people you have reached a point of …, <[>you may think so], but love? You can’t find it there, that’s all. It’s like taking two pieces of … and putting them someplace near each other, there’s going to be a flow between them as long as they’re at (? Or not?) the same level there, and that exists. And so you have to have, you have to get to know these inner feelings of people, you have to have charity to do. They’ll open up and they’ll reveal many things to you without even looking at the Self.