God Becomes Perceptible in the Sacraments

The sacraments are liturgical acts performed by the community, in which the working of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy, Healing Spirit can become visible and audible.

In the Baptism, substances of water, salt and ash are re-united with their original power. They are brought into relationship with the qualities of the Father’s substance, the Son’s renewal, and the Spirit’s light. These regenerated substances are then inscribed on the head and breast of the child, that heaven and earth may come together in a fruitful way in his or her life.

In the Confirmation, we see and hear Christ’s intimate companionship on the young person’s individual path of life; He brings light, power, guidance and comfort.

In the Sacrament of Consultation, the renewed confession, we can hear the words of Christ, in Whose heart the red threads of all human destinies are joined. He encourages us to learn to offer and to receive.

In the Act of Consecration of Man, the communion service, Christ becomes visible in the elevation of bread and wine, transformed into His Body and His Blood, vessels of His Life. He becomes audible in His prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, and in His promise of peace.

In Marriage, the couple’s decision to join two lives together is strengthened in a way that creates the space for a third entity. This space is a place where Christ can appear, as His loving power of sacrifice.

In the Sacraments around death—a Sacrament of Consultation, a Communion and an Anointing— Christ accompanies our crossing of the threshold between earthly life, and the life after earthly life. We hear the words He speaks to His Father the night before He dies, His prayer for us. He opens the eye of the soul to life after life.

In the Ordination of Priests, embedded in the Act of Consecration of Man, the power to celebrate all the sacraments is conferred as a gift from the divine world. The candidate’s soul forces of thinking, feeling and willing are linked to the Trinity, so that the words and actions of the Trinity, and Christ especially, can be conveyed to the congregation in the sacraments.

Finding One’s True Self at the Altar

Spiritual seekers of all traditions and times strive to access a realm, which lies beyond our everyday reality. Often the entry into this realm is connected with an altered or extended experience of the self. A transformed self-consciousness goes hand in hand with an understanding of the spiritual world. Accordingly living with the Act of Consecration of Man and the other sacraments of the Christian Community very often gently changes over time the relationship to the world and to our selves. Our understanding of the spiritual is deepened. What is happening at the altar and in our communities that allows this to take place?
Before we can answer this question it might be helpful to look at other traditions and their way to change the experience of the self. Following old teachings the Zen master Guishan Lingyu asked his pupils to contemplate a riddle:

“Tell me in one word what your original being was before your parents gave you birth and prior to your capacity to discriminate things.”

In their effort to answer, the students will be led back in time to the origins of their existence. Questions like this might come up: Where were we before we started thinking? Where were we before we received a physical body? Did your experience of the self exist before you were born?

Going back to the origins in the described way can bring us to a point where we might feel that our individual every day thinking does not lead us anywhere but into nothingness. We might conclude that going back in time we did not exist at all as an individual self; or that we were an unidentifiable integral part of a “great cosmic consciousness” before we were born. As a result the experience of our self may be perceived as a transient illusion, which will not lead us to higher knowledge.

Another way to gain a new relationship to our selves is, not by going back to our origins like the Buddhist teacher suggests, but by being aware of our selves in the present moment. The contemporary spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle describes this as a life changing personal experience:

“For years my life alternated between depression and acute anxiety. One night I woke up in a state of dread and intense fear, more intense than I had ever experienced before. Life seemed meaningless, barren, hostile. It became so unbearable that suddenly the thought came into my mind, “I cannot live with myself any longer.” The thought kept repeating itself several times. Suddenly, I stepped back from the thought and looked at it, as it were, and I became aware of the strangeness of that thought: “If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me – the I and the self that I cannot live with.” And the question arose, “Who is the ‘I’ and who is the self I cannot live with?”

Tolle describes how with this experience of an “observing uninflected self “ his “unhappy everyday self” collapsed and stopped to play the major role in his life. He calls the newly found liberating entity in himself the “I AM”.

In this spiritual experience the suffering “everyday-self” becomes a stepladder to a new awareness of a second self, which is always there. It was just not perceived before. The “lower self” starts to acknowledge the “higher self” as a living reality and authority.

Initially in a very similar way the Sacraments can promote a transforming experience. Central is here the celebration of the Act of Consecration of Man. This is a collaborative happening, in which everybody present is equally invited to engage in the process by being fully there, with all senses, awake in the present moment. The foundation of the Act of Consecration is a sensual experience, honoring the presence of our so-called “lower self”. But when the first words are spoken another layer is added to our participation: “Let us worthily fulfill the Act of Consecration of Man…” The participant will soon realize that this is a challenge. Distracting thoughts come and go; the feeling of tiredness can be overwhelming. But if the will and interest is there to contribute to the service actively than sooner or later a living awareness of the self will develop which is comparable to the experience of Eckhart Tolle. One can realize that there are “two of me” – “the self which distracts itself” and “the self, which can tune in, which feels perfectly at one with what is said.” This realization might be accompanied with the feeling that through attending the Act of Consecration inner turbulences are calmed down and a growing sense for one’s owns life direction is developed. This is because- like Tolle – we consciously or unconsciously also start to live more intensely with the question: “Who is the I? The true self? And the Act of Consecration of Man starts to offer answers. The perception of our lower self, our higher self and the being of Christ start to merge in our experience. That can be very inspiring because it gives us ideas about our future as humanity and individuals. Where are we going? What am I called to do? So instead of leading us solely to the origins of our existence all sacraments invite us to see the future aspects of human evolution as well. We engage in a process in which we are allowing our every day consciousness to have a conversation with the eternal in us.As observers of this conversation we learn to embrace and to nourish in us the Christ consciousness, which lives in the renewed sacraments.

This inner conversation can be further deepened in the Sacrament of Consultation.

Lindy Lee, Sources of the Self, 2006
mailto:oxley9@rslynoxley9.com.au, oxley9@rslynoxley9.com.au

See Original Teachings of Ch’an Buddhism [trans. Chang Chung-Yuan] Pantheon Books, New York 1969, p. 219.

Source online: The Present Moment and the End of Suffering with Eckhart Tolle

Responsibility in Redemption

It is an ancient debate: how much responsibility does a human being have for his or her own redemption? For redeeming others? For redeeming the earth? One picture is to see ourselves as overshadowed by an all-powerful God who is “running the show” and “calling the shots”. Over time, human beings let things get into such a mess that God had to send His Son to straighten everything out for us. One simply needs to recognize that this is so, even on an individual scale, and to align oneself somehow with divine intention.Not a bad start.

And one could also take the view that this picture of God as parent (after all, we call Him our Father), is a relationship that changes over time, just like its earthly counterpart does. The younger the child, the more the parent needs to structure its life so that the child gets what it needs in order to grow into an independent, responsible adult. Gradually, as the child matures, the parent can entrust ever greater responsibility to it for the running of its own life. Mistakes are great learning opportunities.

But once the child has grown into an adult, it would be disrespectful, or even insulting, to treat the adult as a child. It would even show the parent’s own lack of faith in its own parenting.

One could think of humankind as a whole as having reached its young adult phase. At this point, the Father has withdrawn from exercising His parental prerogatives with us because that would be disrespectful with his grown children. The choice for deciding to join in the work of redemption in this time period has been given over into ever-maturing human hands. Mistakes are great learning opportunities.

Yet God has not turned his back on us in this: God has given us a peer, an older brother, who is willing to walk with us, if we will have Him. This brother can give us guidance and help us along the redemptive path, since He knows the Father’s heart, the Father’s intentions for the world.

He, Christ, God’s Son, is our brother. He can teach us how best to exercise the responsibilities we have for helping to redeem ourselves, to redeem others, to redeem the earth.

We contribute to our own redemption by increasing our self-awareness. We contribute to redemption with an objective awareness of both our maturing strengths and our weaknesses. Working with those strengths and weaknesses in ourselves, with Christ’s help, will aid us in our maturing. Examining, for example, that in certain situations I end up angry, or sad, or behaving badly, and finding ways to overcome that, is my part in the work of my redemption. Christ will add His strength to our efforts. Deciding to find ways to increase my strengths, especially in service of others will be supported by Christ. I learn to work responsibly with and on myself.

It is such inner work that will then rightly allow us find ways to help redeem others. The work in twelve step programs is an example of such redemptive working with others. And such strengthening of self-awareness will also ultimately lead us to find ways of redeeming the fallen nature of all the kingdoms of the earth.

For as Paul, an individual who worked closely with our Brother, says, “All around us creation waits with great longing that the sons of God shall begin to shine forth in mankind….For the breath of freedom will also waft through the kingdoms of creation; the tyranny of transitory existence will cease. When the sphere of the Spirit grows bright, unfreedom will be replaced by the freedom which is intended for all God’s offspring.” Romans 8:19,21, The New Testament, a rendering, by Jon Madsen.

Renewing Christian Community

The Creed of The Christian Community contains the line: Communities, whose members feel the Christ within themselves, may feel united in a church to which all belong who are aware of health-bringing power of the Christ.

This thought starts with the fact of individuals who are aware of Christ’s healing power working within themselves. What this might mean may be slightly different for any given person.

For the one, it may be the awareness that ever and again, he or she rises out of fatigue or illness to renewed strength and health. He becomes aware that the name for this resurrecting, healing force at work within is Christ.

For another it may mean an awareness that, despite considerable failings and shortcomings, she knows that she is loved and somehow carried. And she knows and recognizes that the name for this force of surrounding love is Christ.

For another it may mean looking back over one’s life so far, and recognizing in it a coherence, a meaningful pattern. In this coherent pattern, one might see that even, the valleys became places of change, and of transformation. And one sees that these transformations, these resurrections into something new, is the Christ’s will working to heal our lives.

Out of this kind of awareness, individuals can feel themselves united in a community with others who also are aware of His healing power. Such communities and their members can together be a part of a larger, an invisible church beyond churches. This invisible supra-church is not a church founded on belief; nor is it a church based on dogma or teachings; it is a church grounded in awareness, based on experience.

It is this experience, this awareness of Christ’s healing power in one’s own life, and in the lives of others, that is the true basis of Christian community. Despite our possible differences in belief, in temperament, in thinking, we are united in our experience of Christ as a healing force in our lives. We can recognize Him at work in others. This is the real basis for Christian community. And through such Christian communities, we can possibly become conduits for His healing power in all the various communities to which we belong.

Becoming Truly Human

We often use the term ‘only human’ to convey our weaknesses and our failings. But there is a further dimension to our being human. It is a dimension connected with the future, and with developing and expanding our specifically human potential.

We all have a physical, material form. In this, we are like the rest of the mineral world. This physical form, our body, is moreover alive; it breathes, it reproduces, it metabolizes. In these living functions, we have capacities that we share with the plants. We also have feelings and emotions; we act and react; we perceive and cognize. In this we are akin to the animals.

What is left? Where are we uniquely human?

One of the places in which we are uniquely human is in our self-awareness. We are aware of ourselves, as a self, as a unique and more or less discrete entity. We have a memory of that self that goes back to early childhood. Furthermore, this self-aware self is capable of learning to do what it cannot yet, to be what it is not yet. This capacity is far greater than what can be trained in an animal.

This self is also capable of shame (self-judgment), and is capable of conscience, of knowing what kinds of decisions I can or ought to make in the future. Animals act and react by instinct (so do we, sometimes, out of our animal nature). But human beings can act as a sole result of their thinking. And thinking is a basis for creativity.

This is because human beings can make decisions. They can decide to over-ride their natural instinct for self-preservation. They can decide to overcome the instinct for preservation of the species if necessary. Human beings can set goals and figure out the steps to realize those goals. They can create works of art. They can try to consciously serve what is good, what is true, what is beautiful.

Human beings can also decide to put someone else first. In other words, human beings can decide to over-ride their plant and animal natures and can consciously participate in their own further evolution.

So, becoming truly human is not merely to rue our failings and weaknesses. Rather, becoming truly human involves building the strength of our self-awareness and the power to carry through on our decisions in creative ways.

At the same time, becoming truly human involves developing the capacity, paradoxically, to override our own naked self-interest, and to learn to sacrifice, to make an offering for the benefit of others.

In the Sunday Service for the Children, we hear that human life becomes desolate and empty without love. We also hear that Christ is the Teacher of Love. To become truly human is to become a student on the Christ path. On this path we are learning how to love, creatively. We set ourselves upon this path when we decide to carry out our intention to evolve ourselves along a trajectory of love.

Where are we uniquely human? In those moments when our creative self shines forth selflessly.

Teaching/Learning Receiving the Message
Offering/Giving Offertory
Changing/Transforming Transubstantiation
Uniting Communion

The “Cosmic Our Father” and the Lord’s Prayer

On September 20, 1913, on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone for the first Goetheanum, Rudolf Steiner spoke of a fifth gospel, and gave “as a first revelation of the fifth gospel . . . the primeval macrocosmic world-prayer which is connected with the Moon and Jupiter, even as the four gospels are connected with the Earth.” The prayer sounds thus:

AUM, amen!
The evils prevail,
Witness of unleashing of egohood,
Incurred through others, selfhood-guilt,
Experience it in daily bread
In which heaven’s will does not prevail
Since man departed from your kingdom
And forgot your names, You fathers in the heavens.

In lectures later that year Rudolf Steiner spoke further about this prayer. On October 5 and 6 in Oslo he told how these words were experienced by Jesus of Nazareth in an event some years before the baptism, spoken by a voice out of the spiritual world. Steiner told further how then later the Christ Jesus transformed these words into what we know as the Lord’s Prayer.

In what way can we imagine the words of this “macrocosmic Our Father” as a prayer? By far the greatest number of prayers to be found in the Bible are in the psalms of David. There are prayers of supplication, prayers of thanks, and also prayers of praise. Something of each of these is contained in the Cosmic Our Father, but in mirror form. The words do imply a supplication that is not fully expressed. Rather than thanks, we can hear the statement of a condition where all hope is lost. And praise is replaced by a sense of loss.

Whose voice can we imagine speaking the words? The situation that called them forth was described by Rudolf Steiner as arising from Jesus’s experience of compassion for the God-forsaken people in the neighborhood of Judea. He characterized the voice as “the transformed voice of the Bath-Kol”, that voice which was the last remnant of what had been the spiritual inspiration of the Hebrew prophets. But what we can understand further of the nature of the voice derives from the words themselves.

The Lord’s Prayer and the Human Form

In his lectures on the structure of the Lord’s Prayer Rudolf Steiner spoke above all about the nature of petitional prayers, and pointed out that the archetypal prayer consist of Christ’s words “not my will but thy will be done.” As these were introductory lectures, he recapitulated the description of the human being from the point of view of Anthroposophy: the physical body, the etheric or life body, the astral or soul body, and the ego; and the higher aspects of the human being which result from his work on the lower members: the spirit-self as transformed astral body, the life-spirit as transformed etheric body, and the spirit-man as transformed physical body. He then showed how the sentences of the Lord’s Prayer each express the needs of one member of the human being:

  • “Give us this day our daily bread” addresses the needs of the physical body;
  • “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” addresses the needs of the etheric body;
  • “Lead us not into temptation” addresses the needs of the astral body;
  • “Deliver us from the evil” addresses the needs of the ego;
  • The earlier three sentences “Hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; the will be done” address the needs of those parts of the human being which will come to full expression in the future, and which Rudolf Steiner called the spirit-self, the life spirit, and the spirit-man.

We may also find insight into another aspect of the human being through the Lord’s Prayer, and this is the mystery of the human form. Let us observe how the archetype of the human form comes to expression through the Lord’s Prayer.

We begin with the words “Our father, who art in the heavens”, and consider what form arises from these words. If we focus on that our father is in the heavens, we can imagine to begin with the sky arching over us. To this picture we can then add the sun by day, or imagine the stars shining at night. The overall shape is that of a dome filled with light. And this is an image which corresponds to the shape of the human head, which is also a dome. Rudolf Steiner has again and again pointed out how the head is formed as an image of the heavens. And we begin our embryological development as a sphere—we are “all head”; we are a copy of the universe. In this way we can see the human form begin to arise when we contemplate the opening of the Lord’s Prayer.

Now we continue with the words, “hallowed be thy name.” What, as Shakespeare asked, is in a name? I know that for me the first image that arises when I hear the name of a friend is the friend’s face. I do not think of the friend’s head—that is part of the friend’s universal humanity. Through the form of the face I recognize my friend as an individual, as unlike any other. With the words “hallowed be thy name” we contemplate the countenance of the universal, archetypal human being, whose image we carry in ourselves. To look upon this image has not always been possible. When Moses asked to look on God’s countenance, he was told, “No man can look upon my countenance and live.” We can see this aspect of our father represented in the sun, which will make us blind if we look at it too long.

With the words, “Thy kingdom come”, we approach the realm of the human rhythmic system, and to some extent, the metabolic system. Here is a kingdom with its provinces and its governing laws. The laws are ones that we fortunately do not have to administer consciously; when our consciousness does reach into this kingdom, it is usually because something is not quite right in it. Let us imagine how the harmony of our Father’s kingdom is reflected in the orderly rhythmic movements of the planets. In a similar way our body’s organs work in a harmonious relationship with each other, which can largely be expressed through laws of rhythm. As long as we live according to harmonious rhythms of day, week, month, and year, we can expect to live in good health. Illness is often the result of living “out of rhythm.”

Working With the Angels

Address given at Delegates Conference*
Chicago, Nov. 4, 2005

There are three characteristics of angels that are frequently pictured in artistic renderings. The first characteristic is that angels have wings. We think of the earthly creatures that have wings, the birds: they inhabit a sphere above the earth, the air regions. They live in a world of light and uplift, not limited by earthly gravity.

Picturing angels as having wings is an artistic way of saying that angels too are not bound to the earthly. They are limitless; they live in expanses. They live with the world of eternity at their backs.

In Ezekiel 10:12 there is a mighty description of great angelic beings covered in eyes. Therefore angels’ wings are pictured as having eyes on them. Eyes convey consciousness. They take things in, into a consciousness that is broader, brighter, clearer, purer, and more transparent than human consciousness. Eyes also shine forth; the gaze of an angel radiates love and recognition.

A third artistic motif used in picturing angels is as a musician. A good piece of music opens up heaven for us. In music, spiritual creative forces permeate space, harmonizing souls, ensouling and spiritualizing community; tuning souls to one another.

These three motifs, wings, eyes and musician, can help us understand the relationship between the human and the angelic realms.

There are nine ranks, or choirs of angel above the human realm. The third group of three, the angels, the archangels and the Primal Powers or Archai, are the three choirs we want to look at today.

Angels

The lowest of these choirs, the angels, are the ones closest to the human realm. Angels are intimately connected with individual human beings. We each have an angel assigned to us, a guardian angel, who accompanies us along our paths through lifetimes. Their ‘wings’ give them the overview that it is not possible for us to have. The angel’s ‘eyes’, angelic consciousness, sees, takes in, and remembers everything for us. The angel can remember what we have been and who we want to be. Angelic consciousness is, like that of a chess player, able to anticipate the results of our moves. Our angel is the carrier of our higher self. Angels listen to our thoughts. To become aware of one’s angel is to feel oneself to be watched, seen and recognized. Our angel’s eyes radiate love, recognition.

The Angel in You
Rose Auslander

The angel in you
Rejoices over
Your light
Weeps over your darkness

Out of his wings whisper
Words of love
Poems, tender affection.
He watches over
Your path

Direct your step
Angelwards.

Apocalypse 1: The Writer1

The Revelation to John, the last book of the New Testament, belongs to those four centuries around the birth of Christ, two before and two after, which many people experienced “an open door” in heaven. It’s the time that apocalypse, revelation was rife, that many “apocalypses” have been written. Most of them could remind us of our own dreams – pictures following each other, often without a “logical” sequence, without beginning or end. One of them stands out: this book which made it into the Bible, even when quite some people didn’t like it at all and wondered why it had been taken into the canon of the Bible. Luther, the German reformer, must have said that his spirit could not find itself at ease in it.

Introduction

In the first three verses, John states that God gave this revelation to Jesus Christ, to show his servants what must soon take place. In order to give this revelation, he sent his angel to his servant John, that he would witness to the contents: to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, “even to all that he saw”. Then John adds a blessing, the first of seven “beatitudes” found in the Revelation, blessing those who read aloud, who hear and who keep what is written in this book, “for the time is near”.

As we see in the Gospel of John, the “witness” comes forward with his testimony as John the Baptist did (see for instance 1:6-8 and 10:41-42), as well as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (see from chapter 11 and after 12:17: 19:35 and 21:20-24). That Gospel also knows well the importance of “keeping” the words of Christ (8:51, 14:15 and 15:10).

After having, as it were, legitimized himself as to the source and the revelation he is to be shown, in 1:4-8 John addresses his audience, the “seven churches in Asia”, in the area colonized by the Greeks where he had lived and worked for so long, giving them blessings from the One we would call God the Father (“who is and who was and who is to come”) and from the spirits before his throne, as well as from Jesus Christ in three manifestations: as faithful witness (of the Father), as first-born of the dead (himself, as the Son), ruler of kings on earth (in whom the Spirit has come into its own).

Then out of the revelation he has experienced, John breaks out in a glorification of him whom we know in three ways: the One who loves us, who has freed us by his blood from our sins, who will make us into self-reliant priests to his God and Father. And speaks of His Coming, with the clouds, so that every eye will see him, “every one who pierced him”; directly introducing the pictures of Cross and Lamb. As a kind of affirmation to what John has written, the voice of the Lord God comes through, of Him “who is and who was and who is to come”, Alpha and Omega, the Almighty.

Now John begins to speak for and out of himself (“I, John”), evoking shared martyrdom over years of “patient endurance” because of “the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (as he had already written). Having spent years of being exiled on the island of Patmos, lying before this part of the coast of Asia Minor, he exactly pinpoints the beginning of his revelation: the Lord’s Day – the day of divine service, when he “was in Spirit”, and received his task: to write what he sees in a book and send it to the seven churches in the seven cities named.

Thoughts, September 16th 2001

In the autumn fruit trees stand ripe for harvest. The tree offers, sacrifices its own living substance to the earth in its fruit. It makes this sacrifice so that new life, new trees, more fruit can grow and develop. When cared for by humans, the fruit is harvested so that the tree’s abundant life can feed others.

This week we watched in horror as malignant forces harvested human lives. We struggle to make sense of such madness, for we know that human lives are not fruit for the taking.

In our proper horror, it is easy to overlook an important more hidden aspect: that, contrary to appearances from this side of the threshold, human life does not end in death.

Over and against the negative images we have seen, can be set another, more important image:

As bodies fall to earth, grand and gentle beings of light receive and carry the further life of every one of those souls. They are presented to Christ. He gathers them up and takes them home.

Now they are beginning to awaken to the real reasons why their lives on earth were harvested, how the event of their death fits into the pattern of their past and present life, how it fits into our lives, and how it will fit into the future life of the earth.

No one’s real life has been lost. The kernel, the seed, the best of each of those individuals has been gathered up by the good beings in the universe. This best will be sown again, will grow and blossom and nourish.

Their lives were sacrificed, offered; some unconsciously, others, like the rescue workers, with more conscious intent. But their offer only moves toward meaninglessness if we refuse to eat of the fruit they are holding out to us: that human life is actually unceasing; that death has another side-it is a birth into another realm. Death is illuminated by Christ. Death is mad to serve the formation of new life, the sprouting of new trees from the fruit of the old.

In the coming days and months, those us us here on earth can watch and care for that new life. The children who will be born in the near future will have experienced what lives in the souls now released by these events. As approaching souls and newly released souls mingle near the earth, those yet to be born will be inspired to take up the threads, the ideals, the guiding impulses of those whose lives were offered. These approaching souls, as well as those who have just crossed, will be filled with a drive toward true peace, true love, and true human freedom. Even now, we ourselves can feel the inspiring forces of those released.

Today, September 16, 79 years ago, the first Act of Consecration of Man was born. It crossed the threshold into the world of earth. It is a ritual which hallows death. It is a re-enactment of Christ’s sacrificing of himself. And it is the place where we are encouraged to practice dying by consciously offering the best fruits of our souls, here and now, from this side of the threshold. We practice giving back to God and his angels our best thoughts, our hearts’ love, our warmest devotion. We offer these gifts of ourselves so that they can cross the threshold into Christ’s arms, so that he can gather them up and transform them into the nourishment for the angels. With this nourishment the angels can in turn strengthen all of us human beings, on both sides of the threshold, for the times to come.

The message from the world of the angels is always, first and foremost: Do not be afraid. Have no fear.

We may pray:

O Christ, you know
The souls and spirits
Whose deeds have woven
This country’s destiny.

May we who today
Are bearers of this destiny
Find the strength and the light
Of your servant Michael.

And our hearts be warmed
By your blessing, O Christ,
That our deeds may serve
Your work of world healing.

Christ answers: I am with you all days…