How should Ordained Ministers & Clergy help after a tragedy

Last week we were discussing questions our many ordained ministers were asking about how to offer spiritual counsel to the thousands afraid of Mayan Doomsday. (Can’t believe it’s only hours away, by the way…I remember studying it 25 years ago and observing Harmonic Convergence in the 1980’s. But I digress).  But this week questions of a much much more serious and grave nature have been coming in. Such as why do the innocent have to die. What is going on with this rash of shootings. So very tragic. One of our ministers even lives in the next town and her daughter’s bestfriend’s brother is one of the deceased. What are we to think in the face of such Evil, how are we to respond as clergy, as human beings?
Here is some wisdom on the matter from not only an ordained minister and Rosicrucian, but famed esotericist.
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Esotericist Mark Stavish writes:
Dear Friends,
 
Below are two posts I recently made to Facebook, and am sharing here, regarding recent events.  Please take the time to read them, and to pass them on to others who may benefit from their message.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mark Stavish
 
Sandy Hook, and What You Can Do….Last night my wife mentioned that there was discussion among her and several co-workers (all teachers) about the recent slaughter of the innocents in Newtown, Conn., about two and a half hours north of here. After much discussion it was mentioned that when discussing these events with their students, or even children, they would consider suggesting that each person do 28 acts of kindness in memory of the dead, and the suffering that not only brought about the events, but the suffering it has caused.

I like this idea, and in fact, find it to be the only real ‘solution’ to the problem of violence, as love and hate are ultimately about human relations and how we treat one another. Yes, there are many issues that can be dredged up, but there is no “policy” that can be set in place to “stop” violence – we already have secular and religious laws that make murder illegal, but they are ignored daily – even hourly.

I like this idea because it requires individual effort. It requires conscious decision making, and the formulation of a new habit, a new perspective on one’s self and others. Encouraging individuals to act as individuals, especially when those involved are children, and to consciously develop a compassionate attitude towards others as a living memorial to help lessen suffering in the world, those are seeds that can bear real fruit in the Tree of Life.

Please do more than Like this post, Share it, and pass it on.

The Way of Action, The Way of NegationThank you to everyone who Shared yesterday’s post on positive action we can individually take in light of the recent mass killing of adults and children in Newtown, Conn. Today I am going to make a suggestion that is my own, not borrowed from my wife as yesterday’s was, and it falls under the realm of The Way of Negation.

The Way of Negation is of things to avoid, wherein the Way of Positive (Action) are things to do.

For this Holiday Season, the Season of Light, I am encouraging you to think about the meaning of the season, and not give war toys as gifts. Now, to be very clear, I am not talking about strategy games such as Risk, Stratego, or Axis and Allies, or even some of the simple video games such as Star Wars Lego (yes, even thought it is Lego, it is still about guns and swords, even if they are lasers), or buckets of green plastic army men.

No, what I am referring to are toys that have no moral or ethical redeeming value, whose sole purpose is to make war (and the business of war is killing) into a child’s game, and appear natural and even fun. These would be toys easily found at the big box stores, and include .50 caliber machine guns, M60 machine guns, bazookas, hand grenades, and even toy survival knives and body armor. These are not the toy guns we played with a children, nor are they meant to be.

Along with this, and I am emphatic about this, are first person shooter video games, particularly Call of Duty, Halo, and all video games that glorify and entrain the mind towards war and murder. These games have no other purpose and are the greatest form of mind control yet created.

I am not against historical or even practical items. A real rifle or even BB gun with care and instruction is a tool not a toy, and it would be far better if we encouraged respect for the tools of violence rather than be fearful on one hand, and flippant on the other.

What I am talking about is the pure psychological indoctrination of the individual and collective mind in regards to violence, in a social environment that is increasingly ‘value free’ therefore, there are few solid moral and ethical standards by which to assist youth in understanding the world and their place in it. As I have quoted often, “If you want to know the future, look at the games your children play.”

While it sounds simplistic, it is time, with this the Initiation of the Nadir as some call it, to return Christ to Christmas and remember what the Season of Peace is all about.

Spiritual Counseling needed for the End of the World

Mayan Doomsday has thousands spooked! I used to be one of them, but now I am thinking it’s gonna be okay. Hopefully my calm is not self-delusion. Look at how these poor souls are affected:

“An ancient Mayan prophecy suggests that December 21, 2012, is “doomsday.” The mainstream media fuels fears in the gullible, leading survivalists to hoard candles, bottled water and canned food as the date of the “apocalypse” approaches.

Children sob. Teenagers contemplate suicide. Cultists travel to a flat mountaintop in France, hoping that when the world collapses, alien spaceships from another galaxy will miraculously arrive at the rendezvous point. The French government sends in the military.”

Several of our ordained ministers who run their own churches or have healing practices have written in asking how to provide spiritual counseling to people like the ones described in the article quoted above, With mere days to ‘doomsday,’ scientists call for calm

Others want to become ordained today on the numerology balanced 12-12-12 because it is the last triad date we will have this century (no such thing as 13-13-2013.) Weren’t 3-3-3 and 7-7-7 cool triad dates? Look how they released an anti-christ movie back on triad date 6-6-6. Probably ticked off the Almighty and triggered the apocalypse…

A few new minister candidates have requested ordination on the actual date of Mayan Doomsday, aka the Winter Solstice, 12-21-12.  We ordain people every year on the equinoxes and solstices it seems — holidays with their release of spiritual energy are good days for ordination, also. But this Doomsday Solstice is a strange one…  Today also is a unique day on the calendar, actually. Some are saying the two dates form two cosmic “alignments” here at the end of the world(!) and a great Shift is about to take place in humanity’s consciousness.

Dunno, dunno. Just hoping TEOTWAWKI doesn’t happen and this 3 mile wide asteroid NASA says is buzzing earth right this minute doesn’t get any closer.

+Katia

 

How to Make (and use) Holy Water

Holy Water and aspergillum (sprinkler) for the minister or priest to sprinkle the holy water
Holy Water font with aspergillum to sprinkle it

“HOW DO WE MAKE HOLY WATER? WE BOIL THE HELL OUT OF IT!”  —  non-denominational church sign

The many alternative clergy in our network — ordained ministers, priests, rabbis, chaplains of all callings  — are increasingly employing holy water in their work. There has been an upsurge in requests for house-blessings and apartment blessings when someone first moves in, and for blessing of pets with holy water — and even cars! But recently there has been an upsurge in requests for  exorcisms! Holy water is good for all of the above, not to mention baptisms, blessing a newly married couple after performing a wedding, baby blessing, etc.

So the question brought up in our alumni forum recently was how do you “make” holy water. Making it is technically not the term clergy use but rather “blessing” holy water.

 

Here are some methods our ministers submitted to the discussion.

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Technically speaking you you are opening a channel to Divine Source, bringing
creative energy down to the material plane and infusing water with it.
Practically, there many ways to do it.
Anyway, following rites without inner understanding is empty theatre.  — Ordained in Poland

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I am ordained Interfaith Spiritual Minister.
Water is a necessary ingredient for Life.
To me water is inherently sacred.
Blessing it, infusing it with healing energy sets it aside as “Holy Water”.
I was ordained [live and in person] by our beautiful blessed sister Rev. Katia.
I do not belong to any specific tradition or path other than where I feel led by the spark of divinity within…my own part of the I AM presence as a daughter of the Most High.
My background is Jewish and Eastern Paths.  — Ordained in Pennsylvania

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Water is inherently sacred. God or the Divine leads us in the way that is part of our ministry.  We all serve presence of the most high by the way that he or she is revealed to us.  Our ministries are all unique.  That is why we were all called and happy to be ordained by the Interfaith ministries. I support your wonderful ministry and the way that you have responded to the Divine Calling.  — Ordained in Australia

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Put water – distilled is good – into a glass container, covered.   Then set this outside during the full moon (about a day and a half).   This will bless it and create holy water for you to use. Intention is so important, remember – blessings and love.   — Ordained in New York City

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I thought I had to add salt, but that must be for another recipe (exorcism?…not that I’m planning on doing any). I am new at this and it isn’t listed in the Interfaith Minister’s Manual. I am completely aware of the need for prayers and blessings…  — Ordained in Ohio

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Hello all, Nice seeing the wide-spread interest in Holy Water! 🙂

Seems to me there are a few major patterns being painted. One point turns on the
question of Intent/Apprehension. Some faiths state the properly observing the
ritual is all that is required. Other faiths state the Intention of the person
performing the ritual in intrinsic to the outcome. Personally, I am undecided on
this point, although in most cases I tend toward considering Intent as very
important, and even intrinsic to a properly observed ritual.

However, beyond my doubt is that the Holy Spirit (or whatever one prefers to
name the Divine Spirit) will do what It will. We may or may not be attentive or
appreciative or even aware. This aspect of the Divine Will is -I think- by
definition totally Its own power. So there is that.

But I also think the best situation is where one *is* concerned with one’s
Intention. Where this may be combined with a preferred ritual of one’s order, so
much the better. And if one is of a specific order, then I would suppose it is
incumbent upon one to observe the rules of that order.

For me this is an interesting question. On one hand I tend to prefer the dynamic
flow of sensing what I believe to be the Divine Spirit, and just going with that
on a gut level. Yet on the other hand, I must admit to myself there may be
something “extra” when following a long tradition. (Which, as observed above,
the Holy Spirit may always trump!)

But ultimately, when alone, I take living in the moment by preference. However,
when performing a ritual for others, I think there is more to be considered.
There is a “body of faith” we are also working with in such cases, and in order
to provide the maximum affect upon the person(s) whom we are serving, we should
abide as best we can by the expectations of that person(s).

Putting on the Scientific Hat, I’d say this also bumps up against the placebo
effect. Our minds are powerful! When we act so as to encourage this response in
those we are serving, I think we serve them best.

And for me, serving the needs of others is one of the most important
considerations as we consider rituals and other sacred observances. When we are
standing at our altar and offering our personal oblations, that is a different
matter.

One path I see as private and the other public. Both are important, yet there
may at times be differences between them.

Thanks for the interesting topic! 🙂   —Ordained in Missouri

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[In the Independent Sacramental Catholic Church] Holy Water is blessed by a Priest with Holy Orders, generally while wearing a purple stole.  A Sacramental Priest holds Apostolic Succession and prior to ordination will be thoroughly experienced in Rites and Blessings.

There are three basic steps involved with the blessing of Holy Water.

First, the Priest performs an exorcism and blessing of salt, followed by a prayer.

Second, the Priest performs an exorcism and blessing of water (distilled water is often used), followed by a prayer.

Third, the Priest “casts the salt thrice into the water crosswise, as he or she says” a blessing followed by a prayer.

The Liturgy I use most often is The Liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church, 3d Ed. 2002.  The blessing of Holy Water is at pp. 387-89 in that text.  Bishop Wynn Wagner has published a similar liturgy which is available in paperback. The Interfaith Minister’s Manual also has good materials on the blessing of Holy Water.

Some blessings can be found on internet sites. These are two examples: http://www.daytonlatinmass.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/blessing-of-water.pdf  and http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Holy-Water

Bishop James  – Ordained & Consecrated in South Carolina

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> This is an interesting site by a group of Catholic Churches in Western
> Washington.  http://www.awakentoprayer.org/index.html
>
> The article on vestments is an excellent introduction to the topic:
>
> The Church ordinarily permits the use of [four] colors in the sacred vestments
> — white, red, green, [and] violet… Gold may be used as a substitute for
> white, red or green.
> Each of these colors has its own meaning. The Sacrifice of the Mass is offered
> for many purposes and in honor of many classes of saints; and these various
> purposes are all designated and symbolized by the color of the vestments which
> the Church prescribes for each Mass.
> When are these colors used? When the Church wishes to denote purity, innocence
> or glory, she uses white; that is, on the feasts of our Lord and of the Blessed
> Virgin, on the festivals of angels and of all saints who were not martyrs. Red
> is the color of fire and of blood; it is used in Masses of the Holy Ghost, such
> as on Pentecost, to remind us of the tongues of fire — and on the feasts of all
> saints who shed their blood for their faith. The purple or violet is expressive
> of penance; it is used during Lent and Advent (except on saints’ days), and also
> on the sorrowful festival of the Holy Innocents. [White] is the color of [the
> resurrection and so is used in masses] for the dead. Red is used on Good Friday
> and Palm Sunday. Green is the color which denotes the growth and increase of our
> holy Church, and is also symbolic of hope; it is used at various times of the
> year, on days that are not saints’ days.

> The article on Holy Water was informative:

> The use of holy water in Catholic Churches goes back possibly to Apostolic
> times. There is a tradition that St. Matthew recommended it in order thereby to
> attract converts from Judaism by using a rite with which they were familiar in
> their former faith. However, we have no certainty that he introduced it, but we
> know that it can be traced back nearly to the beginning of our religion. It is
> mentioned in a letter ascribed by some to Pope Alexander I, and supposed to have
> been written in the year 117; but the genuineness of this letter is very
> doubtful. We find a detailed account of its use, however, in the “Pontifical of
> Serapion,” in the fourth century, and the formula of blessing mentioned therein
> has considerable resemblance to that used at the present day.

> The Asperges.
> The blessing of water [at] Mass on Sunday and the sprinkling of the congregation
> with it, which ceremony is called the “Asperges,” goes back to the time of Pope
> Leo IV, in the ninth century, and possibly even further. The word Asperges is
> the opening word of a verse of Psalm 50, which is recited … as follows: “Thou
> shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, O Lord, and I shall be cleansed; Thou shalt wash
> me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.” [See Ps. 50:9 in the Douay Rheims
> version, or Ps 51 in the NAB or other modern versions, and footnote 3 in the
> NAB.]
> The custom of placing holy water at the door of the church for the use of the
> faithful is still more ancient. Among the Jews a ceremony of purification was
> required before entering the Temple to assist at the sacrifices, and this
> undoubtedly suggested the Catholic practice of using holy water at the church
> door. It is said to have been in vogue in the second century, and we know that
> it is at least of very ancient date.

> In the Middle Ages it was customary to use holy water when entering the church,
> but not when leaving it — the idea being that purification was necessary before
> entering the house of God, but that after assisting at the Holy Sacrifice it was
> no longer needed. However, the general practice now is to take it both on
> entering and departing…

> Why does the Church use salt in holy water? Because it was a Jewish custom, and
> because of the symbolical meaning of salt. Just as water is used for cleansing
> and for quenching fire, so salt is used to preserve from decay. Therefore the
> Church combines them in this sacramental, to express the various reasons why it
> is used — to help to wash away the stains of sin, to quench the fire of our
> passions, to preserve us from relapses into sin. Moreover, salt is regarded as a
> symbol of wisdom. Our Lord called His Apostles “the salt of the earth,” because
> by them the knowledge of the Gospel was to be spread over the world.
> And, there are pictures of volcanoes near the parish:
>
> +James