Spiritual Stock-Taking during the Holy Season

LETTER NO. 73 - December, 1916

Christ likened the aspiring souls of His time to stewards who had received a certain number of talents from their lord and were supposed to go into trade with them that they might increase the capital entrusted to their care. We understand from this parable that all who aspire to serve Him are required likewise to use their God-given talents in such a manner that they show a gain in soul growth when in due season they are called upon to give an account of their stewardship.

This accounting, so far as the majority of mankind is concerned, is put off till the Reaper has closed the ledger of life and they find themselves in Purgatory to receive the result of the things done in the body, whether they be good or ill.

But what would we think of a business man who pursued such a reckless method of conducting his affairs? Would we not feel that he was steering straight for the rock of bankruptcy if he did not balance accounts and take stock of his assets and liabilities every year? Surely we would feel that he deserved to fail because of his neglect to follow ordinary business methods.

If we realize the value of system and the benefit of constantly knowing clearly how we stand with respect to our material affairs, we ought also to pursue the same safe methods regarding our spiritual affairs. Nay, we should be much more circumspect in the conduct of the heavenly matters than in worldly matters, for our material prosperity is but a watch in the night compared to the eternal welfare of the spirit.

We are nearing the winter solstice, which is the beginning of a new year from the spiritual point of view, and we are looking forward to the new outpouring of love from our Father in Heaven through the Christ Child. This, therefore, is a good time to take stock and ask ourselves how we have spent the love offerings of last year, how we have exerted ourselves to gather treasure in heaven. And we shall experience great profit if we approach this stock-taking in the proper spirit and at the most auspicious time, for there is a time to sow and a time to reap, and for everything under the sun there is a time when it may be done with greater chance of success than at any other season.

The stars are the heavenly time markers. From them come the forces which influence us through life. On Holy Night, between the 24th and 25th of December, at midnight, in the place where you live, you will find that retrospection and the resolutions engendered by it for the new year will be most effective.

At Mt. Ecclesia and the various Study Centers a Midnight Service is held on Holy Night, and students attending such services are thereby debarred from the midnight self-communion. Others may be unable to hold it at that time for other reasons. For these any of the late evening or early morning hours will serve nearly as well. But let us all unite on that night in a concerted spiritual effort of aspiration; and let each student not only pray for his individual soul growth in the coming year, but let all unite in a prayer for the collective growth of our movement. The workers at Headquarters also request your helpful thoughts.

If we all put our shoulders to the wheel at this time, we may be sure of an unusually individual and collective blessing and a spiritually prosperous year.