The Spiritual Festival of Michaelmas
In our evolutionary journey, and in our day-to-day living, we encounter the working of forces opposed to our growth and development. We all experience the impact of the regressive, disruptive opposition forces within the contours of our being, as well as playing out in the circumstances of our lives. And increasingly, we are learning to recognise them. We also experience the powerful presence and working of Christ in our being and living, and more and more we are becoming conscious of this. Because of the interplay of the progressive and oppositional forces, the human soul is faced with the work of making choices and exerting its will.
Archangel Michael, whose festival we celebrate at each Michaelmas (29 September), is a guardian and warrior angel. He is the leader and helper of all those engaged in spiritual warfare against the forces of evil. His name means the face of Christ, so he is a revealer, a spiritual power who assists us to see through the veneer of our physical existence to perceive the spirit at work. Michael will open our consciousness to the workings of the Christ.
Michael’s gift to us of thinking is concerned with discerning the truth; his gift of will is concerned with deeds, encountering evil and doing the good.
One image of Michael is of him holding the sword in one hand and the weighing scales in the other (like ‘Justice’ in the tarot cards). Michael gives us the ability (will, the sword) to challenge the oppositional forces within and around us, and he works to maintain balance in this world (scales) by preventing it becoming too dominated by the forces of opposition and regression. In a more personal sense, these scales are used to weigh our souls. Have we, through the gifts and assistance of Michael, added to the substance and strength of our souls through engaging in spiritual thinking and having the courage, will and desire to encounter evil and transform it into good?
If you place everything in the centre of your being, aware of the positive and negative aspects and thereby creating a bridge between Ahriman and Lucifer, you will experience the Christ. It is the expression of Christ in our midst, in our hearts, that is more important than all the words in the world. This is the first expression of the Michael consciousness.
Rev Mario Schoenmaker, ‘The Ultimate Vision’
This is the focus of this present time, of which Michael is the ruler, and by which he works to assist the Christ forces in redeeming humanity.
Cultivating True Humility
The Spiritual Focus for 2015
Have this mind among you, which is yours in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5).
The quality of humility that we see in Christ Jesus should be our guiding light this year. The humility of the creator becoming part of his own creation and subjecting himself to its laws is beyond our capacity to fully grasp, yet still we must follow where he has led.
Humility has been defined over the years in our Centre with great consistency. It is not at all what is commonly thought of as humility. For us, humility is the recognition of your own value, of what you are and the full acceptance and full expression of what you are and can do.
Humbleness is not, as many people
think, the negating of what you are. Humility means that you know exactly what
you can do, how far you can go and what your limits are. It is the state of
knowing one’s worth and living it to the fullest. It is the accurate assessment
Rev Mario Schoenmaker once described humility in this way: The humble are those who are searching for truth, those who are open to guidance, those who really want the touch of the Christ. True humility springs from knowing our divine origin and accepting the truth of Christ within us. This is a glory to be revealed, to shine out, not apologised for! And the more we do this, give what we have to give, the more the Christ content within our being is enlarged and strengthened.
Humility involves the ability to listen, to see, to be open and responsive. It involves a respect for self and a respect for others. It takes humility to work as a team and perceive the unique gifts and functions of each person. When each person is active, fully playing their role, there will come effectiveness, fruitfulness, power.
Humility is a recognition of our greatness and our smallness. The word itself means to become level, balanced – not too big, not too small, not too high, nor too low. Humility makes a way for the glory of the Lord to be revealed.
Humility involves maintaining a bigger vision and doing the work, sometimes very humble repetitive work, to fulfil purpose, and in the process overcoming the obstacles of conceit and selfishness. Humility is to use your gifts, and to let them flow in service, even when, at times, such service feels like a burden.
In such a way the Christ being is exalted within our hearts, and we ourselves have a greater sense of our self worth, we express a greater self respect and above all display a spiritual appreciation of our own individuality.
Humility opens us to become greater. There is a knowingness that all things are working for good with those who love Christ.
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