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The Seven Pillars

"Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars."

--Proverbs 9:1

The Order of St. Lucy is founded on seven pillars.

The Outer Pillars:

1.     Study

2.     Contemplation

3.     Charity

4.     Liturgy

The outer pillars form a square, the foundation of our temple in the objective world, which is based on ordered service through corporate worship and spiritual practices.

The Inner Pillars:

1.     Love of God

2.     Love of Self

3.     Love of Neighbor

The inner pillars represent our own subjective reality and experience, and form a sacred triangle representing the two great commandments of the Christ to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves, which form the essence of righteousness.

Taken together they form the seven lights or candles in Saint Lucy’s evergreen crown.  The seven candles of the crown thus represent the sum of our spiritual aspirations.  Generally, the lights can also be seen to symbolize the seven spirits of God before the throne, the seven churches, the seven archangels, the seven sacraments, the seven rays, the seven planets, the seven alchemical metals, and the seven chakras.

 

A Summation of the Seven Pillars

The Outer Pillars:

Study

The brethren of St. Lucy are not motivated by ego or status.  We live a life of obedience to the Higher Self, and view the intellect as a tool to be used in the service of God.  We view the word “belief” in light of its original meaning of “commitment, trust or engagement” rather than to mean assenting intellectually to a set of propositions.  We are opposed to fundamentalism and literalism in any form, whether it be theist or atheist.  We extend an open hand to anyone who wishes to embark on a path of spiritual unfoldment. We use study, whether personally or as a group, as a tool to further our own understanding of spiritual principles, so that we may, through applying them to our own lives, become ever more aligned with the true will of God.  While we recognize that study is an essential component of spiritual evolution, we also know that true acts of compassion and the utilization and direction of spiritual energies are of far more importance than intellectual pursuits.  We are a group of seekers walking parallel paths, eager to help one another, but ever mindful that personal revelation and the inner Light are of utmost importance to spiritual advancement.

Contemplation

The brethren of St. Lucy engage in daily contemplation and communion with the inner Light through centering prayer.  Knowing that reason does not hold all the answers, we value the insights that can be gained through active silence and attentive listening for the inner voice.  We also recognize that it is only through contemplation of the Christian mysteries and their symbolism that we may hope to gain any true understanding of them.

Charity

St. Lucy said, “the sacrifice that is pleasing to God is to visit the poor and help them in their need.”  The Order of St. Lucy holds that true acts of charity come not from obligation to mankind, but only from the spirit of compassion and love for others.  By blessing others and honoring the Light in them, we bring blessings on ourselves and strengthen our own Light, thus purifying ourselves and building the true spiritual body.  Acts of kindness and charity, whether in our daily lives or in an organized fashion, are an essential component of our ministry.

Liturgy

The Order of St. Lucy is an ecumenical religious order of the Mission Episcopate of St. Lucy, and its membership is open to those who use the Liberal Catholic Rite.  Meaningful and uplifting Liturgy can be useful in uniting people of differing backgrounds and opinions.  The Liturgy is a ministry of the Order and participation is open to non-members.  Open communion is practiced.  While Holy Orders are not required of those who say vows, or of those who may wish to start a chapter, those who are called to pursue Holy Orders may provide the sacraments upon ordination.  The Order of St. Lucy is a religious order with valid Apostolic Succession in the Liberal Catholic Movement.  The Order is focused less on hierarchy and form, and more on spiritual experience. 

The Inner Pillars:

Love of God

Love of Self

Love of Neighbor

A scribe asked Jesus, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus replied, “The first of all the commandments is:  Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment, and the second is like unto it, namely, this:  Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” When the scribe told Jesus that to do this is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices, Jesus said, “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.”

These two commandments, to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves, present a social vision which is fundamental to the Christian life, and a blueprint for actions which will lay the foundation of God’s kingdom on Earth.

To keep these two commandments is to be in right relationship between God and self, and between self and others. When we are not in this right relationship, we fail to see the holiness of life. We cannot experience the kingdom of God if we do not love God, self, and neighbor.  In a human relationship of any kind, we will not succeed if we love ourselves more than others, or others more than ourselves. Likewise, if our love for God is not part of our relationships with others, we will fail.

However lost we may be, when we come back to this right relationship, we succeed in becoming sanctified, and setting ourselves apart as channels of God’s grace. When we are in this proper relationship, our natural inclination is to give thanks to God and to celebrate life. We are then fulfilling our duty and realizing our purpose. As the Liberal Catholic Liturgy says, it is very meet, right and our bounden duty, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto God. It is right for us to thank God, for when we do so we exalt God’s creation, including ourselves, and we learn to express the Light which He has so graciously bestowed upon us.

When we express this Light to others, by setting the example of righteousness and showing forth good will, then we are able to bring into the world the perfect love that God has given to us.

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