Friendship as an Ideal

LETTER NO. 1 - Christmas, 1910

In a religious movement it is customary to address one another as "sister" and "brother," in recognition of the fact that we are all children of God, who is our common Father. Brothers and sisters are not harmonious at all times, however. Sometimes they are even misguided enough to hate one another, but between friends there can be no feeling but love.

It was a recognition of this fact which prompted the Christ, our great and glorious Ideal, to say to His disciples: "Henceforth I call you not servants. . . .but friends." (John 15:15) We cannot do better than follow our great Leader in this as in all other things. Let us, therefore, not merely be content with the fraternal relationship, but let us endeavor to be friends in the very holiest and most intimate sense of the word.

The Elder Brothers, whose beautiful teachings have brought us together upon the Way of Attainment, honor their disciples in the same way that Christ honored His apostles, namely, by giving them the name of "friend." If you persist in the way upon which you have started, you will sometime stand in their presence and hear that name utters in a voice so soft, so kind, and so gentle that it beggars description or even imagination. From that time there will be no task you would not perform to deserve that friendship. It will be your one wish, your one aspiration, to serve them, and no earthly distinction will appear worthy of comparison with that friendship.

Upon my unworthy shoulders has fallen the great privilege of transmitting the teachings of the Elder Brothers to the public in general and to the students, probationers, and disciples of the Rosicrucian Fellowship in particular. You have requested that your name be placed on my correspondence list, and I gladly extend to you the right hand of fellowship, greeting you by the name of FRIEND. I appreciate the trust you repose in me, and I assure you that I shall endeavor to aid you in every way within my power to deserve your trust. I hope that you will also aid me in my work for yourself and others by a charitable judgment of any shortcomings you may discover in me or in my writings. None need the prayers of others so much as one who must be a leader.

Please remember me in your devotions, and be assured that you shall have a place in mine.

I enclose the first lesson in the hope that the foregoing may establish our relations upon a footing of sincere friendship.