An Address by Rev Mario Schoenmaker
at the Ordination to the Priesthood
of Dc Robert John (Gravestock)
All Saints’ Day, 1st November, 1981
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was.
So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee”; as he says also in another place, “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.”
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
About this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
MANY PEOPLE have asked what the Order of Melchizedek actually is. But it is a very hard question, and even harder to answer for there is no rational reply to a question which is utterly spiritual. The Catholics can point back to St Peter. Anglican and other Catholic churches do this and quote back to the apostolic succession. We in our church have no such thing. We have no apostolic succession, or any succession for that matter. We have only that which belongs to a spiritual world.
And if you had taken notice of the reading of Holy Scripture then you would have heard that the priest of the Order of Melchizedek in the spiritual sense has no beginning nor end, no father or mother. And this is, if you don’t mind me saying it, very irrational. But I will try to say in a few words what is nearly impossible to explain.
The man or the woman, for we have women priests as well, must have a vision of the Christ implanted within them. Such a soul entering into this earth can never be disconnected from the Christ, no matter what. To him or her, the Christ is everything. And the Christ impulse works within the soul. Now this doesn’t mean that he is a better or a holier person. But it does mean that he is conscious of the Christ, he is conscious of the living presence of the Christ within him.
He would have made a choice at one stage in his life − and Robert did that − in spite of the wishes and the wants one may have for his own life. One has to walk the road set before you. One says, “I follow Christ” − and then you cannot put your own wills into it. One then has to follow where Christ leads, no matter what. There is no divorce possible with the Christ.
The priest of the Melchizedek Order was first revealed in the Bible when Melchizedek met Abraham on the road. Later on we learn in the same Holy Scriptures that there is a Brotherhood often in literature referred to as the Great White Brotherhood, which is in fact the Brotherhood of Melchizedek. This Brotherhood consists men and women who are inwardly different than the rest of the race of man. And they work together with the holy ones who have their dwelling place in the astral levels. And together they assist and help humanity and the Christ in its evolutionary progress. They do this through spiritual and peaceful means. And these people can only be described as inwardly priestly, mystical and deeply occult.
The soul who belongs to this priesthood or brotherhood will always be found wherever they are in the world, no matter what circumstance they may be labouring under. They may be scientists, artists, intellectuals, simple, uneducated, clever, philosophical, religious … or none of these at all.
They are souls of old. They have been here before to do a similar job and who now, because of the preciousness and the urgency of the time, have to bring as many souls as possible within the consciousness of the Christ. They were the souls who once served in the temples of Atlantis and taight the ancient wisdom to the people through means of their own intuitive faculties. They were the channels of the higher beings and forces and through them the world, even today, are benefitting of an inner nous and a knowledge which cannot be put into words, but which can only be experiences within the chambers of one’s soul.
One cannot choose to belong to such an Order. One is called and prepared through many lifetimes, through much testing and heard work. For character and determination, love for truth and love for God, his kingdom and humanity are the factors by which one is judged worthy of the office of priest of the Mechizedek Order.
What I am trying to say is that the Melchizedek Order and the Great White Brotherhood are in fact one and the same.
The execution of the powers bestowed makes one a priest forever. And this perhaps I would like to stress more than anything else: to be associated and absorbed into the spiritual hierarchy is not a temporary thing. It is eternal and forever. Therefore the vows made in this service, the actions performed, are forever and ever. Robert, from this moment, onwards, will be a priest forever wherever he will be found in eternity, and as such will always be a channel of the most high. Through him will flow − first slowly, but eventually in full abundance − the graces and the powers, the wisdom and the love that are the characteristics of the Melchizedek priest.
Robert has been with us for many, many years … too long for me even to remember. His father and mother, and grandmother, are here to witness this wonderful occasion. They can be justifiably proud of what is happening today. All of his relations in Albany, Western Australia, have been and are to some extent associated with The Centre. And we can today point to the Rev Elise Jenkins as the instigator who, as a real priest, awakened slowly and with wisdom the channels within Robert.
He will be our youngest priest. Yet perhaps he has served The Centre, apart from Colin and Elsie, longer than anyone else.
And if I may for a moment be the mouthpiece of the higher powers and of Christ, I would like to say on their behalf, Robert, that you are very much beloved and much longed for.
Your training is not finished and never shall be, just as mine is not finished yet. But you will become the available channel of their power and combine this with your own powers of intellect, your own freedom, your own love and your own initiative. There is no doubt in my mind that you will faithfully perform the duties of a priest – not only in a spiritual fashion, but also in the government and the duties that belong to an earthly organization such as we are here.
Remember, Robert − and all of us − that we are the channels, and the better the channel, the better the grace and the power that flows through us.
To you Robert – my beloved pupil over so many years, a friend and co-worker, and very soon in a few moments my colleague − the following lines of an old poem once given to me when I was ordained I would like to pass on to you as a commission which you receive from my hands as a priest that which you must do:
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring ones, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.
Though they are slighting him, still he is waiting,
Waiting the penitent child to receive;
Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
He will forgive if they only believe.
Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving hand, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.
Rescue the perishing − duty demands it;
Strength for thy labour the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
Tell the whole world a saviour has died.