The Rosicrucian Fellowship, a Spiritual Center

LETTER NO. 24 - November, 1912

On the 28th of last month it was a year since we broke ground for the first building on Mt Ecclesia. It was a typical California day of glorious sunshine with a cloudless sky whose deep blue vied with the azure of the Pacific Ocean visible for more than a hundred miles from where we stood on the Headquarters grounds. We were a little flock of nine, mostly visiting members. As we looked over the lovely green San Luis Rey valley towards the great snowclad mountains in the east and behold the white walls, the red tiled roof, and the gilded dome of the San Luis Rey Catholic Mission, where the Franciscan Fathers wrought and taught for centuries among Mexicans and Indians, it seemed to us an augur.

Here we were, a few enthusiasts, upon a bare piece of land, where we aimed to establish a Spiritual Center. Those ancient Fathers had stood in a similar position, better in some respects and worse in others. Modern methods and transportation facilities enable us to reach the whole world today, while their field was limited to their immediate vicinity. They were obliged to till the soil of the field as well as the soul of their flock to obtain a livelihood. They called upon their charges to perform the physical labor while they planned, and by their joint efforts a temple was erected where all might worship. In that respect they were much better off then we; their full membership was present at the seat of operations and ready to give physical help in the upbuilding of the Mission which was to them what our Headquarters are to the Rosicrucian Fellowship. But we have no wards; we claim no authority, and repudiate interference with individual freedom as much interference is diametrically opposed to the Rosicrucian teachings, which are the highest in the world. "If thou art Christ, help thyself," is flung at the candidate undergoing Initiation when he groans under the trial. No one who is a "leaner" can at the same time be a helper; each must learn to stand alone.

Our associate membership is four times as large as a year ago, and of course the work is vastly heavier--though system and machinery enable three of us who work in the office to do the work of a large staff, and paid help does the housework and gardening. But the routine work of preparing lessons and letters for the various classes, correcting examination papers, the sending each month of about 1500 individual letters to aid our students in difficulties, in addition to class letters, sometimes just swamps us. It seems as if we could not entertain another application for want of help to do the mechanical part of the work. But, miraculously, it seems, the sky suddenly clears, we invent a new method of accomplishing a certain part of the work with greater speed or less labor; and are ready for another increase; as said, we do four times more work than a year ago, with less help and less labor.

But while the Fellowship at large is thus cared for, Headquarters itself has suffered neglect. The proposed School of Healing, the Sanitarium, and, most important of all, the Ecclesia--where the Panacea is to be prepared and powerful healing services are to spread moral and physical health all over the world--all these are but germinal ideas as yet. As the cry of suffering humanity reaches us through many thousands of letters, our longing for the realization of the Brother's plans becomes more intense, so keen in fact that it seems to embody the concentrated yearning of all who have appealed to us in sorrow and suffering.

Our membership is scattered all over the world. We cannot follow the example of the Spanish padres and ask our students to make physical brick and lay it, brick upon brick, as a labor of love. I have never asked any one for a cent--the Rosicrucian Fellowship's work has been supported entirely by free-will offerings and the modest revenue accruing from the sale of my books--nor can I now make an appeal for a building fund; that must come from the hearts of friends, if at all; but feeling as we do here at Headquarters, the intense throb of pain in the world impels me to cast about for means of realizing the pain TO MAKE THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP HEADQUARTERS A MOST EFFICIENT SPIRITUAL CENTER.

A year ago I wrote the students stating the exact moment when we would break ground on Mt. Ecclesia and asked each to enter his closet and be with us in prayer if he could not be with us in person. It is wonderful what an uplift we felt from that united spiritual effort; the initial impulse has furthered the work to an inestimable degree during the past year, and I again feel impelled to invoke your help along similar lines.

The Christian Scientist "demonstrates" when he wishes to build edifices, and money pours into his coffers; the New Thoughter sends out a "demand"; and Christians of all denominations "pray" for funds. They all use one fundamental method, but employ different names. All wish magnificent piles of stone and glass, and they get them. I know that a place and building commensurate with the dignity of our work are necessary, but much as we need them, I cannot pray for sticks and stones nor can I ask you to do so; but I can, will, and do ask you to join me in the prayer THAT THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP HEADQUARTERS MAY BECOME A MOST EFFICIENT AND POWERFUL SPIRITUAL CENTER. Pray with your whole soul that the workers at Headquarters be given grace to push the work; make them a focus for your loving thoughts so we may radiate that grace back on a world hungry for just such love. In ourselves we are frail, but through your prayers and God's grace we shall be a mighty force in the world; and if we SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, such trifles as building necessary for the work will follow as a matter of course without degrading prayer by making it a means of acquiring physical possessions.