The Charitist Voice

                     “For the sake of the Kingdom”


                                                                                           July, 2003


(Editor’s mea culpa: I find this new endeavor exciting, but have not a clue what I’m doing. Please be patient with my efforts, as I learn along the way.)





                                 ~News from all over~



WELCOME to our new postulant, Dauriel Delray! Come share the Journey with us, and serve that of God in everyone along the way.


Birthday blessings to Sister Seal, who was born On July 27th, and the year is none of our business...haha! Sister asks your prayers on her behalf as she explores employment at Valley Options in Phoenix; she is also beginning the incardination process with the Church of Antioch.


Sister Pat is settling into her new home located on one acre in the country. It comes with a small barn that will be the chapel of Our Lady, Queen of Hearts. Wonderful! Her new phone number is 928.537.3920. She will have a PO Box soon. Please update your directories accordingly. She will have the Minutes from General Assembly out as soon as she’s settled in.

                                     -1-

Brother Arnie continues investigating new housing, medical assistance and employment. There have been some promising events, and he thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers. Please don’t stop!



Bro Lou Anthony asks that the following address be used for him:

                                  St. Alexis House

                                  PMB 324

                                  145 Plaza Drive, Suite 207

                                  Vallejo, CA 94591-3706

                                  Home: 707.554.2803

                                  Cell: 925.286.8078

                                  BroLouOC@aol.com

Please update your Community directories accordingly!


Bro Henri and his wife, Kathy, had the opportunity to enjoy an Alaskan cruise by way of Seattle and Vancouver recently. It promised to be a great time to relax and refresh. Brother is a part of the Sunshine Cathedral’s Prison Ministry team that cares for the Conte Correctional facility in Pompano Beach, FL. Services there on Monday evening often have 7 to 12 inmates attending. These men are encouraged to say “yes!” to the indwelling Spirit of Christ, every moment, every day. They are also taught that “Prayer changes people, and people change things.”


                                     -2-

Brother Henri is also active with the Sunshine Cathedral’s Associates in Ministry program-ordained persons who attend the Cathedral but are not MCC Clergy.


Brother told me he is rereading Ernest Holmes’ book, The Science of Mind, this summer. It is a powerful book that speaks to his spirit about the goodness of the Creator and the Universe, and the power of prayer.


Bro Guadalupe asks your prayers for his employment, as he was laid off from his full time position as CT Scan Technologist on July 7th. Oddly enough, he is not panicking, and feels very confident that the All-Holy has things under control, and Brother simply has to shut up and follow

where the Spirit leads.

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An attractive young woman went out with friends for cocktails one Friday, after a particularly rough week. As she sat there laughing and relaxing with her coworkers, an incredibly built, handsome young man walked into the bar. Their eyes met and immediately there was an attraction between them. She kept looking at him throughout the conversation with her friends, and he would always catch her stares, smiling at her in the most suggestive way. Finally, he stepped over and whispered lustfully in her ear, “I’ll do ANYTHING you want me to do for only $20.....but you must tell me in only 3 words........” Recovering from her shock and apparent good luck, she pulled

out a crisp $20 dollar bill,

                                     -3-

and slowly pressed it into his upturned hand. With a warm and breathy voice she moaned into his ear, “Clean.....my......house.”

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                                     Did you know?


Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated. (Hmmm.....what about latex?)


An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain. (Wow, I’ve seen people at the buffet table who must have some ostrich in them.)


A dime has 118 ridges around the edge. (Who’s life is so dull that they have time to count the ridges?)


The average person falls asleep in seven minutes. (Well, there you are—I’m just not average!)


There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball. ( These must have been counted by the same bored person who counted the ridges on the dime.)


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            Friends for the Journey...........Holy Souls whose lives bear testimony to the Charitist Spirit and Principles.


                                            

                                                             Lanza del Vasto

                                                                 1901-1981


Born into a noble Italian family in 1901, Lanza studied philosophy, hoping to find the meaning of Life. But by 1936, he still felt unanswered and dissatisfied. So he traveled to India, hoping to find a Wisdom in that ancient place that the West had lost.


He prayed and fasted with Hindu holy men, traveled the River Ganges, visited many Hindu monasteries. But it was his encounter with Ghandi that changed the direction of his life. Lanza lived in Ghandi’s ashram, absorbing his lifestyle and worldview, and then returned to Europe to spread what he had learned in the West.

                                                              -4-

Ghandi even gave Lanza a new name: Shantidas, “Servant of Peace.” For the next 40 years Lanza lived up to his new name, working for reconciliation among religions and resisting violence in all its forms. In 1948, Shantidas and his wife Chanterelle, founded the Community of the Ark, a group of families united by a Rule, vows, and prayer in common, aiming to apply Nonviolence to every aspect of Life. Nonviolence was for them a way of acting that derived from a way of being; it meant not exploiting others and not being exploited themselves.


He and his companions led campaigns in defense of peace, human suffering and the rights of Conscience, being arrested many times. Though his community was ecumenical, and even interfaith, Shantidas always remained firmly rooted in his Catholic faith. He strove to call the Church to action against the arms race, nuclear weapons and the sufferings of Humanity worldwide. He was even honored by Rome for his efforts.


With all his work, Shantidas was not a gloomy prophet of doom and fear, but lived the motto of his community: “Peace, Strength and Joy!” Again and again, until his death in 1981, he asserted the positive aspects of nonviolence, inviting others to help build a future of hope and peace.




                                                                                           -Excerpted from All Saints,

                                                                                             By Robert Ellsberg

                                                                                                       

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“Power can be used for any purpose, but Nonviolence, or the power of justice, can serve only Justice........the future must be a future of nonviolence, or else..............there will be no future.”


                                                                                                -Shantidas/Lanza del Vasto

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                           Brother Lupe’s musings



In my packet of application, Bro Henri’s letter provided some EOC history: that we were descended from Bishop Hereford’s community in England over 100 years ago; and more recently from the Community of the Love of Christ.

                                           -5-


With all my studying, I think I have discovered an even more ancient community we can rightfully claim as forebears in this Charitist way of life: the Beguines and Beghards of the 12th-13th centuries.


The Begiunes were women who lived alone or in groups, following a semi-monastic life without Vows, devoting themselves to prayer and good works. In the Roman Catholic view these women could hardly be called nuns; they had no mother house, no common rule, no common general. They could leave when they wanted, marry if they chose, and did not forsake private property. Each House could order its own living, but all were united by serving the Works of Charity, kindred pursuits and a commonality of Worship. (Does any of this sound vaguely familiar?) They adapted to the spiritual and social needs of the age, and their Houses became centers of Charity and mysticism.


This lifestyle resonated with the populace, and their numbers soared into the thousands. Research has shown that, though they did not take

“public vows” (which would then place them directly into the political machinations of the monarchical Church of the age) they did take private vows, directly made to God. They saw firsthand how the institutional Church was ignoring the Gospel message of Peace and Charity. They opted to serve God, and steer clear of any clerical connections. (Does ANY of this sound familiar?)


The Beghards were the male side of this movement, though more austere than their female counterparts. The Beguines supported themselves by their own labor; the Beghards preferred to beg and live off the land, caring for the sick poor and the rejected. Both groups received members from all walks of life, and together worked to live the Gospel and perform charitable works.


                                           -6-


 Many of these Religious were deeply spiritual and have left written works that scholars still ponder today. Seeing life from the eyes of one who lived with the poor and common, their perceptions of the Faith and their devotions were more passionate and positive than many clergy of the time felt comfortable with.


Because their life was free of any direct institutional church control, the movement was condemned in the 1500's as heretical and virtually all their houses were suppressed. The houses that did survive those dark times had to reinterpret themselves, with Beguines adopting the Third Order Franciscan Rule, and the Beghards adopting the Augustinian Rule and slowly evolving into the Alexian Brothers.


Their testimony to this way of life has not been lost, and I believe that the composer(s) of the Founding Document unknowingly included the Beguine/Beghard witness with the other streams of religious tradition that helped to shape the Founding Document. We are therefore nothing new, but heirs to a beautiful way of religious life that is needed as much now as then.


My beloved Charitist Companions, look back on our ancestors with pride, and pray that we leave as faithful a testimony for those who will follow us, as those who came before us.









 

                                           -7-

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                  .....a word, from the WORD.....


“Celebrate God all day, every day, I mean: REVEL in Him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet, that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them to see that the Master is about to arrive–He could show up at any minute! Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, PRAY. Let Petitions and Praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s Wholeness, everything coming together for the Good, will come and settle over you. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces the worry at the center of your life............Do that, and God, Who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.”

–Philippians 4:4-7,9 The Message New Testament







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A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was rushing down the street as fast as she could, trying not to be late for church. As she ran she prayed, “Dear Lord, please-don’t-let-me-be-late-don’t-let-me-be-late, please Lord, don’t-let-me-be-late-don’t-let-me-be-late.” In her haste she tripped on the curb and fell, tearing her dress and getting dirty.

She got up, and brushed herself off as she continued to run and pray,

“Dear Lord, please-don’t let-me-be-late-and-don’t-shove-me-either, okay?”


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                                             -8-

                     Lifting up one another in Prayer............




For Dauriel, who begins the Journey with us as a Postulant, that she may always hear and follow the still small Voice.....


For Sr. Pat, that the relocation to her new home be a delight, and everything find its proper place easily.....


For Brother Arnie, and the leads he has on new housing, employment, and medical assistance, that he experience palpably the prayers and concern of his fellow Charitists, and rest securely in the Hand of God.....


For Sister Seal, and her job search and incardination process into the Church of Antioch............that all go well and smoothly. And for Birthday Blessings on her life.....


For Bro. Guadalupe, as he investigates options concerning new full time employment.....



For all our dear ones near and far,

for the sick and those with any need,

for this weary war torn world,

for our departed Charitist Companions

and all the Departed,

for our various ministries, and for each other,



We lift all these concerns into the Light, and thank you God

for all your blessings on us.....

 




Lord have mercy.............Christ have mercy.

 

 


                                                            -9-


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 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our darkness, that frightens us.


We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and FABULOUS?’

Actually, who are you NOT to be? YOU are a CHILD of GOD.


Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking, so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the Glory of God which is WITHIN us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in EVERYONE.


And as we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission TO DO THE SAME. As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates those around us.”


-from the writings of Marianne Williamson, modern mystic and spiritual writer


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                                         An Act of Repentance


Oh my God, with all my heart am I sorry, and humbly repent of all those things contrary to Your holy will, which I have done or left undone. For I know they offend You, my God and my All, Who loves me so much and desires for me every good thing. My sins are great, but Your mercy is greater; my will is weak, but Your compassion is as vast as the starry skies. I therefore bless You and thank You for Your gifts of Pardon and Renewal, You Who are the Source of all Light, Love, Hope, Health, Mercy, Wisdom and Peace. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Holy Spirit and Her grace, to amend my life to Your will and pleasure.


Amen.


                                        -----composed by Bro .M. Guadalupe.




                                           -10-