The Charitist Voice
“For the sake of the Kingdom”January, 2005
~~~A Charitist Forum~~~
With the advent of Arnie’s Call, the former section News from all over became rather obsolete. So.....I’ve created a new section, that I hope will help in preparing for constructive discussions/Community decisions at our annual gatherings as an Order.
A Charitist Forum is where we may anonymously share concerns/suggestions
concerning the Community as a whole, in its function, practice and operation.
Things like this could be shared in Arnie’s Call, but A.’s C. was intended to be more of a weekly family connection with one another. And I think there is sometimes more freedom in expressing one’s ideas without revealing one’s identity; discussions can be more focused and free because of it.
By presenting these things now, we are all allowed ample time for reflection and response, before official decisions are made at General Assembly or even Days of Renewal. Our times together as a Community are so brief, and personally, I’ve discovered upon returning home that there were things I should have shared or brought up in our chapters. (Oops! I think my franciscanism is showing....) Our times together are so precious.....the more prepared and informed we can be, the more seamless and satisfying those times can be, not just for business, but sharing times as well.
With all that said, I get to be the first to present some suggestions. And you have the advantage of knowing what’s been banging around in my head. (Yippee!)
1. The Founding Document calls us to daily prayer. Could it be revised to say we are called specifically to prayer at least two times a day? Humanity has calculated time from two specific poles: sunrise and sunset. Without prayer, (official prayer) we simply become spiritual social workers. Would it be reasonable then to ask each Companion to take time in the morning and evening at least, to turn toward the Divine? These two times can be as the Companion’s time, conscience and tradition dictate: using a prayer book, breviary, prayer beads, meditation, or simply mindful walking, mindful driving, mindful reading, etc. We would thus be challenged to at least two times a day where we turn as Religious, to our Source for light and refreshment.
I see devout Jews who turn toward the All-Holy at different times of the day; devout Muslims as well. We come from a rich tradition where our spiritual forebears gathered in Choir to pray the Divine Office seven times a day. I see little old ladies everywhere rattling the gates of Heaven with their constant prayers. Any comments?
2. Since the Community Support Contribution is a sign of our serious commitment to the Ecumenical Order of Charity, should it not be mentioned as such in the Founding Document ? Many folks peruse our website and are not aware of this part of our obligation up front. Any comments?
3. I would recommend that the section in the Founding Document regarding the Foundation Program, preceptors, etc. be moved from its present location in Chapter VI: The Vows, and given its own chapter.
The Foundation Program is our life blood and it deserves its own proper place in the Founding Document. With its own chapter, it could be expanded and fine tuned. For example, preceptors could give a report every three months to the Formation Team regarding the progress or lack thereof of any Companions in foundation. This would provide a connection for any advice, concerns, or simply motivation for all involved. Any comments?
4. Would it be practical to organize ourselves into informal regions for nothing more than the possibility of gathering together outside of General Assembly or Days of Renewal, and perhaps keeping track of Companions who don’t always have access to a computer ? Many Companions have expressed to me at various times that they miss the contact of Community. Any comments?
Enough from me. LOL! Any comments or responses to the items I’ve presented can be emailed to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be anonymously submitted in the next Charitist Voice. Let me know if you think this forum is even worth pursuing. Thanks!
“The secret to staying young is: live honestly, eat slowly, and LIE ABOUT YOUR AGE.” –Lucille Ball
If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
If you can smile when things go wrong, it means you already have somebody in mind to blame.
The REAL art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but to leave unsaid
the wrong thing at the most tempting moment.
Depression is merely anger.........without enthusiasm.
DON’T FORGET!!! Annual reports from all professed Companions and those in foundation are required to be sent to the Director General by the end of January. They should include a summary of the person’s life in Religion, status of ministry, and a projection for the coming year. Remember that this is a confidential communication between the Companion and the Director General.
Don’t Forget.....Don’t Forget.....Don’t Forget!
Friends for the Journey...........Holy Souls whose lives bear testimony to the Charitist Spirit and Principles.
St. Basil, called the Great
Born approximately 330 C.E., Basil came from holy stock; the majority of his immediate family would later be canonized by the early Church. But his religious vocation was not guaranteed by this, for though pious, his family was also quite wealthy. Basil admits in later writings that his life was given over to vanity. He received a classical education at learning centers in Constantinople and Athens.
He was almost 30 years old before he had a holy encounter that opened his eyes to the Divine; he described this experience as “waking from a profound sleep.”
He began a tour of monastic communities in Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia and the Holy Land itself. He finally settled into a community near his hometown of Caesarea, where he stayed for five years. In his time there he produced a radical Rule that would influence the understanding and direction of monasticism.
The spirituality of early monks and nuns focused on removing oneself from the world, and practicing individual feats of amazing asceticism. But Basil preached the importance of community. The monastery, he taught, should be more like an ideal society, a place where the love of God and Neighbor could be cultivated in tandem, like a stadium where athletes are exercised.
He believed that at the same time the monastery should be a viable part of Church and Society. Rather than pursuing holiness in isolation, the monastery should be a welcoming place for guests, a home to orphanages and schools; a center of service for the works of mercy/charity. Such a place should not, could not, exist for the sanctification of its members alone, but for everyone around.
Giving in to pressure, Basil agreed to be ordained priest. He divided his life between the monastery and his priestly duties. In 370 C.E. he was elected bishop of his hometown, Cesarea. He proved to be both a champion of theological orthodoxy and the practical application of the Gospel. He was a brilliant preacher and helped countered the Arian heresy. But he was also a faithful witness to Charity, organizing soup kitchens during times of famine–personally donning an apron to wait on the hungry. He established a hospital for the sick poor that was described as one of the wonders of the world.
Basil went bravely beyond others’ comfort zones, calling for a redistribution of wealth as a demand of justice. He taught that the needs of the poor held a social mortgage on the holdings of the rich.
Like a candle that burns brightly to give light and clarity, he was used up by his labors and own austerities, dying on 1st January 279 C.E. at the age of 49. He was quickly acclaimed saint, and his festival day in the Roman rite is on 2nd January.
“ Are you a robber , that you consider your own that which has been given you solely to distribute to others? The bread that you have set aside, is the bread of the hungry. The garment you have locked away is clothing for the naked. Those shoes which you let rot, are the shoes of the one who is barefoot. Those
riches you have hoarded are the riches of the poor!”
~St. Basil the Great
-Drawn and adapted from All Saints, by Robert Ellsberg ..................................................................................................................................
Is your Charitist medallion getting a bit tarnished? Here’s a little secret:
take a small dab of your toothpaste, and with a splash of water, gently rub it all over the face and back of the medallion. Rinse it in warm water while continuing to gently rub off the toothpaste. Then put your sunglasses on, because it will sparkle like new! (This tip can be used on virtually any type of jewelry. Be careful with rings that have prongs for jewels; the toothpaste must be thoroughly rinsed from the ring, and caution exercised when rubbing the setting itself.)
Brother Lupe’s musings
Ah, the beginning of a new year.......enriched by the fact that I am traveling the Journey with a family that is spread literally from coast to coast. The ties that connect us are precious: our Vows, the Founding Document,
our various ministries, and last but NOT least, our very own Arnie’s Call.
I know of no other community that has something as simple yet vital, as part of its monastic fabric. Though distance and life’s demands separate us from one another, our simple A.C. keeps us all current with one another’s life, like talking over the fence or meeting at Mom’s house.
Arnie’s Call compels me to a deeper understanding of a saying that many new religious groups tout as exclusively their own: “ a community without walls.” Their emphasis is, obviously, on the second part of the saying– “without walls.” As if that was the important part of the saying. Its not. Arnie’s Call clearly shows me the important part is COMMUNITY.
We are called by the Divine to create and nourish a special kind of vowed religious life, by being in the world to hold up our light against the darkness, and to be a Companion to any who need one. We do not have the comfort and escape of a monastery on the hill or in the woods to flee to when we feel conquered and alone. Sometimes I wish we did. But that isn’t what the Divine has planned for us right now. But at our last gathering, the Spirit drew near and took us under Her wings, and planted the idea of Arnie’s Call in our heads, as a means to keep us close to one another.....to keep us in COMMUNITY.
This connection is named for our own unassuming little Companion, Bro Arnie.
He had many crosses to bear, and was not with us long. Yet he amazed me by his giving and caring nature for the sick poor. He sought to be a strength and shepherd for them, yet was truly one of them. I miss him, even though I had only brief contact with him. He was a good and gentle soul, and his un-noticed passing still bothers me. Because of this, the A.C. was instituted, so that no other Companion should slip away and not be held in the arms of Community as they passed into the Light.
The A.C. was begun with our last gathering, but already there are some who do not keep contact with the Order at large through emails. I’ve not heard a PEEP from anyone in Foundation. I can appreciate how life can distract, interfere or even prevent one from making a regular communication. But we must stay connected! We as a Community must be creative and come up with a way to keep everyone in the loop, be it a phone call to another Companion who will pass on the A.C. or a letter to someone......something. Its not just a good idea, or a comfy goal......its what makes us a FAMILY. We simply cannot lose another Companion to lack of connection. Because.....well.....because we ARE family, and FAMILY doesn’t turn their back or simply forget one of its own.
If you haven’t been current with your Arnie’s Call. PLEASE-----> make one today! If you have a means of contacting someone we’ve not heard from in awhile, contact them and let us know how they are! Perhaps they no longer wish to journey with us, and that’s fine. But enquiring minds want to know!!
Please, keep in contact.....you’re loved and needed. Though it might not be apparent to you, The All-Holy has led you to us because your contribution to the EOC (and to each of us individually) is PRICELESS. Make your Arnie’s Call this week and every week!
Blessings on all of us, and through EACH of us!
-Bro Guadalupe Mary, oc ----
“We experience a Special Calling, not away from the World, but rather, into an interior world, all the while remaining connected with Society by our work, ministry, social activities and families. As we draw back into ourselves, in order to grow and to bind ourselves back to God in prayer, we find that we are also drawn outward to others as creative, loving and supportive persons. As vowed Religious, we respond to an inner call which demands that we evaluate our lives, and model them according to our values and beliefs. We must then implement our Vision in our daily lives. We pledge our personal and collective lives as channels of the transforming Reality of God’s Presence in all Creation.”
-The Founding Document,
Chapter 3: Mission; Paragraph 4
.....a word, from the WORD.....
The Lord Jesus said in His native Aramaic:
Happy and aligned with the One are those who find their home in the Breath;
to them belong the inner Kingdom and Queendom of Heaven.
Blessed are those who are refined in Breath;
they shall find their ruling principles and ideals guided by God’s Light.
Tuned to the Source are those who live by breathing Unity;
their “I can!” is included in God’s.
Healthy are those who devotedly hold fast to the Spirit of Life;
holding them is the Cosmic Ruler of all that shines and rises.
Resisting corruption, possessing integrity are those whose breath forms a
they hear the universal Word and feel the Earth’s power to accomplish it
through their own hands.
Healed are those who devote themselves to the link of Spirit;
the design of the Universe is rendered through their form.
The Traditional rendering of the above Beatitude is:
“Blessed are the Poor in Spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Taken from Prayers of the Cosmos,
By Neil Douglas-Klotz
Something to think about...
A girl was visiting her blonde friend, who had just acquired two
swift yet sturdy dogs. The girl asked what their names were.
“His name is Rolex and the other one is named Timex,”
answered the blonde friend, pointing at the dogs.
“Whoever heard of someone naming their dogs like that?”
“Helloooooo,” answered the blonde friend, “They’re WATCH dogs!”
Lifting up one another in Prayer............
For Sr Pat and her return to vibrant health,
For Sr Kathy and her new employment,
For Sister Seal, and her restoration to a happy and healthy life,
For Bro Lou Anthony and continued safety in his job and ministries,
For those who have returned and left again,
For all those Companions in Foundation,
For new and solid vocations to the Ecumenical Order of Charity,
For all our dear ones near and far,
For those in need of Healing in whatever capacity,
For this weary war torn world,
For those who die in service to their country and their cause,
For those left behind by Death, or destruction of home,
For the forgotten, the displaced, the abused, the struggling,
For Peace and Hope,
For Reconciliation of Peoples, Churches and attitudes,
For Acceptance of those “not like us,”
For our departed Charitist Companions, and all the Departed,
For the Community, Companions and Associates of the Order of Charity,
For our various ministries and all our private petitions,
For all our praises and thanksgivings,
We lift up all these concerns into the Light, and thank you oh God,
for all Your blessings on us.....
For all You are and all You do:
Oh God-Creator, Redeemer and Renewer of all things,
accept our deepest praise, worship and thanksgiving.
“Make the most of your time every day of your life. We usually let time get away from us. We miss the possibilities of the Present by continuously thinking ahead to the next activity, planning for the next day, the weekend, the future. Our conscious lives are on continuous fast -forward. Others of us seek to escape current problems or dissatisfaction or boredom by constantly looking back to events that took place in the past. Take advantage of today—for your own sake
and the sake of your family, your Community, and all of Humanity. Know that”way will open” ( a Quaker term that means Grace will provide an opportunity) no matter how difficult the Present may appear. The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead wrote, “The present contains all that there is. It is Holy Ground.” Our greatest satisfactions and our glory come from doing our best to make the most of each precious moment of this Holy Ground. As living human beings we are impermanent, but we are surely not insignificant. Everything we do matters.”
Excepted from A Quaker Book of Wisdom,
By Robert Lawrence Smith
Prayers to ponder
Even though my day be laden,
and my task dreary,
and my strength so small.....
a Song keeps singing in my heart.
For I know that I am Yours,
I am part of You,
You are kin to me;
and all my times are in Your hand.
Oh Breath of Life.....
as the rain hides the stars,
as the autumn mist hides the hills,
and the snows hide the path.....
the happenings of my lot
hide the shining of Your Face from me.
Yet, if I but hold Your Hand
in the darkness of my days and nights,
it is enough;
since I know that,
though I may stumble and fall in my goings,
You hold me tightly
and You never fall.
Amen and amen.
Adapted by bgm/oc from two prayers by Alistair MacLean; taken from
Celtic Daily Prayer, by the Northumbria Community