Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

Sin is supposedly, “THE” biggie of issues within Christendom, and other religions that use a myriad of words to express it. Missing the Mark, Falling Short, “The Fall” and/or eternal separation from God without blood debt paid. The idea of blood sacrifice to pay debt, to bring you back into God’s love.

It is a very modern understanding, and ignores millennia of indigenous wisdom on the Creator, and the interconnectedness of everything. Think about it though, we have created the Holy in our modernistic image, the spiritual journey is individualized, much like the capitalist industrial complex wants us to believe and has caused a host of social justice ills from inequality to high unemployment, to lack of health care, elder care, care of persons who are differently abled, rising addictions, rising abuse, and homeless shelter use rates not to mention mental health and neurological increases…but I digress or do I?

With this exercise the journeyer is going to discover through the allegory of the rainbow:

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

Genesis 9:12-16 (New International Version)

We look on this as a promise for the earth not to be destroyed by floods again, yet we miss the point. A rainbow is not simply one colour, it reflects/refracts the beauty of a truly unified creation to remind each and every piece of the creation that they exist within the Holy Mystery, and the Holy Mystery exists within them…the source— L-O-V-E- resonates within all, through all and begins with I but needs We to truly be expressed.

Welcome to the colour journey of Jesus’ trip in India, we will not be relying on words, but Crayola Prayer/Meditation.  You will need pieces of blank paper and some form of colour tool (Crayons, markers or pencil crayons) or for the braver perhaps sidewalk chalk and empty sidewalk to play with to shine through to your community (?).

Prepare your colouring area before you so that when you come out of the meditation you are prepared to move the colours over your page. Do not overthink which colours as you come out of each contemplation, just grab the colours and move them on the page and see what emerges:

Centre yourself in your breath, open your eyes and slowly read aloud the following chapter.

Chapter 23

Jesus and Lamaas among the sudras and visyas. In Benares. Jesus becomes a pupil of Udraka. The lessons of Udraka. Continue reading here.

At the conclusion of reading, take a moment to re-centre yourself in your breath and begin to colour non-stop not lifting the colours from the page until 5 minutes are done.

After five minutes see what your colours speak to you in regards to the truth of unity, the falsity (sin) of disunity—or the truth of interdependence and the falsity of individuality.

Renew your colouring area. Centre yourself in your breath once more and re-enter the story, hear about the Sudras or more appropriately ego and what truth shines through for you:

Chapter 24

The Brahmic doctrine of castes. Jesus repudiates it and teaches human equality. The priests are offended and drive him from the temple. He abides with the sudras and teaches them.
Continue reading here.

At the conclusion of reading, take a moment to re-centre yourself in your breath and begin to colour non-stop not lifting the colours from the page until 5 minutes are done.

After five minutes see what your colours speak to you in regards to the truth of unity, the falsity (sin) of disunity—or the truth of interdependence and the falsity of individuality.

Renew your colouring area.

The last step is the next chapter, which will enter into a Lectio Divina before colouring, it is a parable.

Centre yourself in your breath, feel the reality of where you are slip away. Enter into the untouchable-lower caste zone, the smells and dust, the crowds pushing against you as you strain to get close above the din and loudness to hear Brother Jesus speak to you words that resonate true on equality and justice.

In this first reading, what teaching resonates the loudest with you, take time and sit with it, after a few moments of contemplation, colour out what emerges in your soul around it.

Reading One: Chapter 25

Renew your colouring space, through your breath re-enter the reality of the crowded teaching. With this second reading what cause of today comes through that is close to your heart…after a few moments of sitting with this call of yours, colour it out.

Reading Two: Chapter 25

Renew your colouring space, through your breath re-enter the reality of the crowded teaching. With this third and final, reading know that you are the false outcast that is brought into true unity. How does it feel to be fully home in the source of Love? Sit with this feeling, colour it out.

Through these practices you have entered a spiritual journey following the Rainbow to the core of yourself where you actualized the unity that truly exists with the Holy Mystery.

Take a moment to look at your journey.

Remember the transformation that has happened.

Create a new reflective statement of what is the truth that has been found.

Then gather up the journey, burn it, and let the ashes go to the winds for the falseness is no more.

Welcome into the Rainbow.

Jesus 1890’s Style

Posted: November 16, 2012 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pan...

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pantocrator; Istanbul, Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Over 2000 years ago a peasant labourer was literally born in a barn to a family of simple means. This unknown baby would become a transformer of world history. His teachings used to shape non-violent change, be used as a thrust for missions, medical care, prayer, healings, social safety nets, human rights, and many other blessings within his name. This young babe’s name would also be used to perpetrate atrocities the likes of never seen in human history from the inquisition, residential schools, holocausts, wars, famines, and many more.

An important yet divisive figure for many, seen by some as the Son of God, by others as a holy teacher, and others simply as a revolutionary yet at the core is a simple man named Yeshua Bar Josephson, or Latinized, Jesus son of Joseph, better known to the world as Jesus Christ. The Messiah that emerged for a remnant out of Judaism, challenged the religious and imperial authorities of his time, and lost his life for it, buried in a mass grave… or so one take on the story goes, another speaks of a man who escaped death and lived out his life married and raising children, and yet another speaks of God become flesh to die and rise to reconcile the world to God. A Cosmic meta-narrative that takes use from creation, to birth, to life—teachings, miracles–, death, burial, resurrection and ascension to sit at the right hand of God. For as many people in the world there at times can appear to be as many theories about this labourer-rabbi.

In 1890 Frederick Farrar attempted to tell the story in The Life of Christ where he attempts to place Jesus theologically within the belief system of the church, and historically within the cultural context of early 1st century Israel.


Farrar opens his work taking the reader through a history of the church upon the spot of the nativity story. Placing the birth of Jesus physically and theologically for the reader and from that entering into the biblical text showing that the Nativity is a piece of the infancy narratives that include:

(Farrar, p.4).


Farrar holds close to the Luke and Matthew gospel versions disparaging the Pseudopigraphal writings of Jesus early life as tasteless (p.15). It is after the infancy narratives that Farrar lays out why Jesus had to be born into a labouring class family, and not say the Herod clan, for this is where a Protestant of the 19th century comes alive in pointing out that Jesus was showing labour as a noble and pure thing even if society tries to label it inferior work (Farrar, p.18). Even if the extra-biblical writings do not hold water with Farrar, he does allude that the death of innocents that caused the flight into Egypt by the Holy Family may not have been just a Herod thing, but rather an Empire wide cleansing (Farrar p.21).

Jesus role of elder son, soon became head of household, with Joseph’s passing when Jesus was just 19 (Farrar p.21) which left Mary (mother), and siblings: (a) James; (b) Joses; (c) Judas; (d) Simon; and (e) unnamed sisters within his care. This shaping of understanding living through stigma leads into Jesus’ life of ministry approximately around age 30.

After his baptism, he is taken into the wilderness to be tempted. Farrar does not waste space debating literal/allegorical interpretation of the text, rather he allows each believer to come to the text as God wills them to (p.26). The point of the text is the powerful experience when one is tempted to separate from God (Farrar, p. 26).

Farrar breathes life into the cleansing of the Temple, by placing it within the historical context of the practice. Aside from what is in the bible, what was attached to the court yard practices was the fact that they had begun to mirror similar practices within the Temple of Venus (Farrar, p. 40). While many exegetes would spend time debating the Evangelists timelines of the gospels, Farrar points out accurately it is the articulation of the truth to the audience that matters, and not the timeline (p.49). Whether it was the cleansing of the Temple (once or twice?) or the Sermon on the Mount or Plain? What needs to be remembered is the audience presented for, the context of the writer and the hearer and how best the truth of the living Christ would be communicated.

This truth ideal is continued by Farrar as he points to the fact that Christ’s Sermon on the Mount is the completion of the Torah (p.55) and that the miracles of Jesus where the confirmation needed for the authority he taught with (p.57). It is through this authority that Jesus is able to cut through to the true spirit of the Law—Mercy (Farrar, p. 58).

Farrar’s strength lies in his ability to tie the biblical predecessors to one another, and the future saints to come. Whether it is alluding to Herod and Xerxes (p.83), or the apostles to the Saints afterwards it allows for the reader to find modern and ancient contexts of understanding.


The interpretation of a work is the time when one is to spend time arguing/debating points as presented. The challenge with Farrar’s work even though it is from 122 years in the past, is that it could easily be seen as a work of an “emergent” theologian today. However, even though he may fall within the more conservative emergent camp like the McLaren’s and Pagett’s, he still falls short of truly post-Christendom writers of Spong and Fox.

Farrar falls short not because of not being broad based enough in building his tent for the church. As was seen when he points out that it is not about arguing for one interpretation over another of the temptation story (p.26), but coming to what is truly needed to be known from the experience, which is that it was powerful and important. A story that will illustrate what Christ overcame, but also as a believer we can expect to be able to relate our own life experiences to these challenges. Time when we see how easy things will be by cutting corners, choosing the easy fix, the unethical, using our gifts to glorify and uplift ourselves and NOT doing life to glorify our loving creator.

What can be missed by Farrar however is his setting aside of the reach mythology found within the Pseudopigrapha (extra-biblical texts). As was the tradition in the ancient world, to fill in the missing pieces of Christ’s life, pre-birth (Infancy Gospel of James that shows the immaculate conception of Mary); to the Gospel of Thomas which is a collection of sayings of Jesus; or child stories of Jesus that may or may not be within Christ’s character.

The challenge is that one needs the full historical context on why these texts were kept out of the canon of the Bible. That is a challenge because there is a history within the church. One that is littered with types of Christianity that failed to make the cut. The rise of the Apostolic church had many varieties labelled as heresy (making a definitive choice), there texts destroyed, and in some cases especially after the religion became acceptable within the Roman Empire, their lives if they would not accept what was told to be the orthodox faith.

So does this mean that all the extra-biblical texts are un-Christian? No. It means that they need to be viewed within the biblical hermeneutic to see if they fit what we know of God, and of the character of Jesus of Nazareth. The character of a Son of God, that is not only fully divine, but fully human. Farrar argues that because the stories show Jesus as a rather snot, and in some cases after being bullied, a killer and then a resurrection, that this cannot possibly God’s son and as such, these texts are tasteless.

But are they? Or is it simply the writings of a group of people in time trying to truly understand what it must have been like for this child to grow up.  Are these texts really any different from the multiple writers today of allegory, or of historical biblical fiction? One truly has to go no further for fill in the gap narratives that Anne Rice’s two novel upon the boy Christ to realize that within a discipling faith, these stories although fiction can aid in drawing closer to a truly Living Christ.

Just as historical church tradition from the early learned fathers shaped orthodoxy and understanding ala Joseph dying when Jesus was 19 years of age so too do the extra-biblical stories shape some stories, that then as like with the temptation story can be left to each believer to discern how they wish to view them. Once that discernment in the spirit has happened then each believer can choose whether or not their faith will be informed by these extra-stories or not.

The slight exploration of an alternative view point on the slaughter of innocents was intriguing for the reader, as it removes the anti-Semitic sting of the Herod narrative within the Gospel of Matthew. As the Gospel narrative alludes it was Herod’s paranoia at the birth of a king to rival him that led to the order of the killing of all the male children under 2 years of age. However could this have actually been an empire wide decimation of children? And if so, what would be the underlying reason for this supposition? Is it broadening the scope of the Jesus story from a labourer to somebody whose birth shook an Emperor, but knowing the layout of the Roman Empire and the constant cut throat ways to get ahead if there was an Empire wide genocide of male children it was more likely used as a fear tactic to keep enemies of a whole in check, much like Stalin’s purges in Soviet Russia.

As noted earlier, Farrar is a wordsmith that illuminates the life of Jesus in an accessible way for the new and seasoned believer alike. It lends itself to the understanding of allegory, but also historicity, cultural context and a reading of the literature in time and space. There is a minor divergent viewpoint in some areas for this writer, but not any that would keep one away from reading it. Although what may keep a modern reader away is simply the age of the text as 120 years from date of publication to date of reading can seem a long time.

The timelessness of Farrar’s writing allows for the reader to traverse this gap in time, and to be able to enter into the timeless Gospel world of Christ Jesus. This ability is one that many modern writers could learn from as they seek to open up the life and world of Jesus to the modern believer within a post-Christian Canadian context.


Holy human, holy divine is one of the hardest truths within the Christian faith to understand. But this doctrine was not crafted in a vacuum it came out of a devout understanding the core Gospel stories, tradition, coupled with experience and reason (the four legged stool of faith) for the early Church.

The challenge for the believer today is to learn the life of Jesus, this is the true cosmic story become local. From birth, to childhood, to ministry where his teachings with authority were proved by his miracles, to his execution, burial, resurrection and ascension to show the love for humanity that God has since before creation.

This love became flesh, in Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader at the least, at most the Saviour of Creation. Divisive where His name has been used to commit some of the greatest atrocities in human history, but on the flip side of the same coin his name has been used to inspire the greatest miracles in human history as well.

In 1890 Frederick Farrar attempted to tell the story in The Life of Christ where he attempts to place Jesus theologically within the belief system of the church, and historically within the cultural context of early 1st century Israel. Farrar not only accomplished this feat, but managed to connect the Life of Christ through the history of the communion of Saints from Christ’s ascension to his own writing in 1890.















Farrar, F. (1890) The Life of Christ retrieved from on 4 November 2012.













Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

It is unique, as I have written before we Franciscans get a short shift as not being academic enough…why? Francis was more concerned with ensuring those that lived out his rule to live the Gospel Life of Jesus Christ were more pragmatic.   But it wasn’t an anti-intellect drive, rather it is an internalization of the gospel teaching and shaping one’s life and learnings around a deeper understanding of this teaching.

This has been my life, attempting to fully internalize one Gospel Teaching of Jesus:

Matthew 22:36-40

New King James Version (NKJV)

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

This is the passage that brought me back into the institutional church, and it is the passage that has me continually wrestling with the institutional church.  How is it that we are to love like this in community, as community, yet we do such harm to one another.
This is the lesson that my life has centered on.
So how far have I come? That is always a good question, but I think I am closer the further I move from the institutional church setting, as Francis did.


What are all these links about? A simple recent case study in what is/is not spiritual abuse, and quite simply how do we know?? Yes this is a hard quagmire to unearth.

The church that does not change and grow is one that stagnants and dies.  Sadly one, that after a monumental, Gospel lived change like the ELCIC just experienced, continues to focus on a minority voice within the church and project these emotions onto all others is one that is using language to set up a death.  What of those that are overjoyed that themselves, loved ones, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, can now fully be realized as the blessed beloved creation of God and there is no longer any barriers to answering the call God has set on their lives?

My challenge to the ELCIC in the days ahead, is to speak the story, fine, but as a body of Christ you have made a choice to embrace the new love, so live into it…and yes, like with any healthy change in a body, some of the bad cholesterol, and flab has to go away.

The actual text of the e-letter for your reflection follows.

Friends –

The November E-Message is found in the attachment below and is pasted into the body of this e-mail as well.  As always, make use of this as you see fit.  Blessings!  +RBM


Bishop’s E-Message for November 2011

No one knows better than the Synod staff and I that individuals and congregations in our Synod are wrestling mightily with the ELCIC National Convention decisions of this past July. I have said – and I believe it is no exaggeration – that our Church changed forever in July. Folks in our Synod are dealing with various levels of uncertainty and anxiety as they seek to determine what the Convention decisions mean, and how they will be lived out, in the local context of their congregations.  As I said in my September E-Message, this is necessarily each congregation’s work to do, as difficult as some may find that. In all of this, though, we must not let ourselves be sucked under in a whirlpool of despair.  The world of faith does not revolve around the ELCIC’s decisions, nor does our own faith.

The late Henri Nouwen once said that we cannot confess our belief in God the Father Almighty, Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord,  and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life without at one and the same time confessing our belief in the one, holy catholic, and apostolic church.  This is something for us each and all to pause and ponder. When all is said and done, Jesus Christ is Lord of the church.  Whether the visible church is faithful or unfaithful, Jesus Christ is never anything but faithful to his body.

So while I am dealing on a daily basis with the plight and pain being experienced across our Synod, I am also reminding myself of Paul’s call to us to think higher, better thoughts: “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil. 4:8) I love this ELCIC that adopted me when my family and I chose it. I love the goodly fellowship I have experienced in community with all of you.  I may not be the happiest camper in the ELCIC tent right now, but I have enough wisdom and experience to know that this is the family of God into which I have been reborn and to which I will belong to my last breath. Not because it is perfect, and not because it always gets it right, but simply because I meet Jesus here in company with all of you.

Our colleague, Pr. James Hendricksen (St. Paul’s – Ellerslie) launched a website ( in October called “A Thousand Reasons”… a thousand reasons to give thanks for the ELCIC. I have a thousand reasons all on my own, and they have names and faces: yours.  So, my friends, we work with what is currently on our plate, but (I pray) not forgetting for a single second that “The Church’s One Foundation IS Jesus Christ Her Lord.”  Grace and peace, faith and hope, be with you all!

+Ronald B. Mayan, Bishop
Synod of Alberta and the Territories,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

+Ronald B. Mayan, Bishop
Synod of Alberta and the Territories
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
10014 – 81 Avenue
Edmonton, AB.  T6E 1W8
Synod Website:


If you are Anglican and feeling the call to social justice got to for a faith family of like hearted spiritualists.

The Principles of the Third Order

The basis of The Principles which follow is the Rule of Christa Seva Sangha at Poona. Its successor, the Christa Prema Seva Sangha, had as its English branch the Brotherhood of Love of Christ, St. Ives, Huntingdonshire; and the latter, when it joined the Brotherhood of Saint Francis of Assisi, and so formed the Society of Saint Francis, transmitted the original Rule. This version was revised in August 2005. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version.

Day One – The Object

Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.” (John 12:24-26)

Day Two – The Object, cont’d

In the example of his own sacrifice, Jesus reveals the secret of bearing fruit. In surrendering himself to death, he becomes the source of new life. Lifted from the earth on the cross, he draws all people to himself. Clinging to life causes life to decay; the life that is freely given is eternal.

Day Three – The Object, cont’d

Jesus calls those who would serve him to follow his example and choose for themselves the same path of renunciation and sacrifice. To those who hear and obey he promises union with God. The object of the Society of Saint Francis is to build a community of those who accept Christ as their Lord and Master and are dedicated to him in body and spirit. They surrender their lives to him and to the service of his people. The Third Order of the Society consists of those who, while following the ordinary professions of life, feel called to dedicate their lives under a definite discipline and vows. They may be female or male, married or single, ordained or lay.

Day Four – The Object, cont’d

When Saint Francis encouraged the formation of the Third Order he recognized that many are called to serve God in the spirit of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience in everyday life (rather than in a literal acceptance of these principles as in the vows of the Brothers and Sisters of the First and Second Orders). The Rule of the Third Order is intended to enable the duties and conditions of daily living to be carried out in this spirit.

Day Five – The First Aim of the Order

To make our Lord known and loved everywhere.

The Order is founded on the conviction that Jesus Christ is the perfect revelation of God; that true life has been made available to us through his Incarnation and Ministry, by his Cross and Resurrection, and by the sending of his Holy Spirit. The Order believes that it is the commission of the church to make the gospel known to all, and therefore accepts the duty of bringing others to know Christ, and of praying and working for the coming of the Kingdom of God.

Day Six – The First Aim, cont’d

The primary aim for us as tertiaries is therefore to make Christ known. This shapes our lives and attitudes to reflect the obedience of those whom our Lord chose to be with him and sent out as his witnesses. Like them, by word and example, we bear witness to Christ in our own immediate environment and pray and work for the fulfillment of his command to make disciples of all nations.

Day Seven – The Second Aim

To spread the spirit of love and harmony

The Order sets out, in the name of Christ, to break down barriers between people and to seek equality for all. We accept as our second aim the spreading of a spirit of love and harmony among all people. We are pledged to fight against the ignorance, pride, and prejudice that breed injustice or partiality of any kind.

Day Eight – The Second Aim, cont’d

Members of the Third Order fight against all such injustice in the name of Christ, in whom there can be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female; for in him all are one. Our chief object is to reflect that openness to all which was characteristic of Jesus. This can only be achieved in a spirit of chastity, which sees others as belonging to God and not as a means of self-fulfillment.

Day Nine – The Second Aim, cont’d

As Tertiaries, we are prepared not only to speak out for social justice and international peace, but to put these principles into practice in our own lives, cheerfully facing any scorn or persecution to which this may lead.

Day Ten – The Third Aim

To live simply

The first Christians surrendered completely to our Lord and recklessly gave all that they had, offering the world a new vision of a society in which a fresh attitude was taken towards material possessions. This vision was renewed by Saint Francis when he chose Lady Poverty as his bride, desiring that all barriers set up by privilege based on wealth should be overcome by love. This is the inspiration for the third aim of the Society, to live simply.

Day Eleven – The Third Aim, cont’d

Although we possess property and earn money to support ourselves and our families, we show ourselves to be true followers of Christ and of Saint Francis by our readiness to live simply and to share with others. We recognize that some of our members may be called to a literal following of Saint Francis in a life of extreme simplicity. All of us, however, accept that we avoid luxury and waste, and regard our possessions as being held in trust for God.

Day Twelve – The Third Aim, cont’d

Personal spending is limited to what is necessary for our health and well-being and that of our dependents. We aim to stay free from all attachment to wealth, keeping ourselves constantly aware of the poverty in the world and its claim on us. We are concerned more for the generosity that gives all, rather than the value of poverty in itself. In this way we reflect in spirit the acceptance of Jesus’ challenge to sell all, give to the poor, and follow him.

Day Thirteen – The Three Ways of Service

Tertiaries desire to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, whom we serve in the three ways of Prayer, Study, and Work. In the life of the Order as a whole these three ways must each find full and balanced expression, but it is not to be expected that all members devote themselves equally to each of them. Each individual’s service varies according to his/her abilities and circumstances, yet the member’s personal rule of life includes each of the three ways.

Day Fourteen – The First Way of Service –


Tertiaries seek to live in an atmosphere of praise and prayer. We aim to be constantly aware of God’s presence, so that we may indeed pray without ceasing. Our ever deepening devotion to the indwelling Christ is a source of strength and joy. It is Christ’s love that inspires us to service, and strengthens us for sacrifice.

Day Fifteen – The First Way of Service, cont’d

The heart of our prayer is the Eucharist, in which we share with other Christians the renewal of our union with our Lord and Savior in his sacrifice, remembering his death and receiving his spiritual food.

Day Sixteen – The First Way of Service, cont’d

Tertiaries recognize the power of intercessory prayer for furthering the purposes of God’s kingdom, and therefore seek a deepening communion with God in personal devotion, and constantly intercede for the needs of his church and his world. Those of us who have much time at their disposal give prayer a large part in their daily lives. Those of us with less time must not fail to see the importance of prayer and to guard the time we have allotted to it from interruption. Lastly, we are encouraged to avail themselves of the sacrament of Reconciliation, through which the burden of past sin and failure is lifted and peace and hope restored.

Day Seventeen – The Second Way of Service – Study

“And this is eternal life: that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) True knowledge is knowledge of God. Tertiaries therefore give priority to devotional study of scripture as one of the chief means of attaining that knowledge of God which leads to eternal life.

Day Eighteen – The Second Way of Service, cont’d

As well as the devotional study of Scripture, we all recognize our Christian responsibility to pursue other branches of study, both sacred and secular. In particular, some of us accept the duty of contributing, through research and writing, to a better understanding of the church’s mission in the world: the application of Christian principles to the use and distribution of wealth; questions concerning justice and peace; and of all other questions concerning the life of faith.

Day Nineteen – The Third Way of Service – Work

Jesus took on himself the form of a servant. He came not to be served, but to serve. He went about doing good: healing the sick, preaching good news to the poor, and binding up the broken hearted.

Day Twenty – The Third Way of Service, cont’d

Tertiaries endeavor to serve others in active work. We try to find expression for each of the three aims of the Order in our lives, and whenever possible actively help others who are engaged in similar work. The chief form of service which we have to offer is to reflect the love of Christ, who, in his beauty and power, is the inspiration and joy of our lives.

Day Twenty One – The Three Notes of the Order

Humility, love, and joy are the three notes which mark the lives of Tertiaries. When these characteristics are evident throughout the Order, its work will be fruitful. Without them, all that it attempts will be in vain.

Day Twenty Two – The First Note –


We always keep before us the example of Christ, who emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, and who, on the last night of his life, humbly washed his disciples’ feet. We likewise seek to serve one another with humility.

Day Twenty Three – The First Note, cont’d

Humility confesses that we have nothing that we have not received and admits the fact of our insufficiency and our dependence upon God. It is the basis of all Christian virtues. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux said, “No spiritual house can stand for a moment except on the foundation of humility.” It is the first condition of a joyful life within any community.

Day Twenty Four – The First Note, cont’d

The faults that we see in others are the subject of prayer rather than of criticism. We take care to cast out the beam from our own eye before offering to remove the speck from another’s. We are ready to accept the lowest place when asked, and to volunteer to take it. Nevertheless, when asked to undertake work of which we feel unworthy or incapable, we do not shrink from it on the grounds of humility, but confidently attempt it through the power that is made perfect in weakness.

Day Twenty Five – The Second Note –


Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) Love is the distinguishing feature of all true disciples of Christ who wish to dedicate themselves to him as his servants.

Day Twenty Six – The Second Note, cont’d

Therefore, we seek to love all those to whom we are bound by ties of family or friendship. Our love for them increases as their love for Christ grows deeper. We have a special love and affection for members of the Third Order, praying for each other individually and seeking to grow in that love. We are on our guard against anything which might injure this love, and we seek reconciliation with those from whom we are estranged. We seek the same love for those with whom we have little natural affinity, for this kind of love is not a welling up of emotion, but is a bond founded in our common union with Christ.

Day Twenty Seven – The Second Note, cont’d

The Third Order is Christian community whose members, although varied in race, education, and character, are bound into a living whole through the love we share in Christ. This unity of all who believe in him will become, as our Lord intended, a witness to the world of his divine mission. In our relationship with those outside the Order, we show the same Christ-like love, and gladly give of ouselves, remembering that love is measured by sacrifice.

Day Twenty Eight – The Third Note –


Tertiaries, rejoicing in the Lord always, show in our lives the grace and beauty of divine joy. We remember that they follow the Son of Man, who came eating and drinking, who loved the birds and the flowers, who blessed little children, who was a friend of tax collectors and sinners, and who sat at the tables of both the rich and the poor. We delight in fun and laughter, rejoicing in God’s world, its beauty and its living creatures, calling nothing common or unclean. We mix freely with all people, ready to bind up the broken-hearted and to bring joy into the lives of others. We carry within them an inner peace and happiness which others may perceive, even if they do not know its source.

Day Twenty Nine – The Third Note, cont’d

This joy is a divine gift, coming from union with God in Christ. It is still there even in times of darkness and difficulty, giving cheerful courage in the face of disappointment, and an inward serenity and confidence through sickness and suffering. Those who possess it can rejoice in weakness, insults, hardship, and persecutions for Christ’s sake; for when we are weak, then we are strong.

Day Thirty – The Three Notes

The humility, love and joy which mark the lives of Tertiaries are all God given graces. They can never be obtained by human effort. They are gifts of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of Christ is to work miracles through people who are willing to be emptied of self and to surrender to him. We then become channels of grace through whom his mighty work is done.