NATURE OF AN INITIATE
B. Porter, Ph. D.
August 06, 2004
No doubt, many of you have said on occasions: “I have been initiated into the Rosicrucian Fellowship,” or “I am being prepared to be initiated as a Probationer in the Rosicrucian Fellowship.” In addition, how many of you have not confided to a friend or another Rosicrucian Fellowship member that you believe you are an Initiate because you have received a psychic or cosmic Initiation?
We must admit that this is a very interesting topic. So, let us explore, if only on the surface, the nature of an initiation and/or an Initiate.
As an Esoteric Secretary of the Italian, Portuguese and Spanish Section of the Esoteric Department, I have received letters from many Rosicrucian members asking numerous questions about the real meaning of an Initiate.
reviewing the literature on this subject I found that the English word “Initiation”
is related to the Latin word “initium,” meaning an “entering into” or of
“a beginning”. Initiation
implies the beginning of a new cycle or new phase of growth.
In the ancient Mystery Schools, Initiations were intended to dramatically
reveal an abstruse gnosis or wisdom to the candidate.
On the other hand, my own research tells me that to a Rosicrucian member
an initiation is a “rite,” a “ceremony” or a specific method by which a
candidate is introduced to a particular form or conscious level of knowledge. Therefore,
if we were to take all of these concepts together, we can conclude that
Initiation involves or consists of a ritual designed to assist an individual in
entering upon a new cycle of growth.
Nevertheless, is this all there is to an
Does it mean that as a Rosicrucian
Fellowship member in order to be an Initiate all we need to do is take part in
an initiation ritual?
Does it also mean that because we have
studied a certain number of Rosicrucian Preliminary Philosophy lessons that we
are ready for Initiation?
to the rhythmic operations of all spiritual laws throughout the universe, the
beginning of anything has a starting point and a course of procedure from that
point leading onward to a conclusion. The
progress of that course is always traveling towards a more advanced spiritual
growth. If we were to carefully
observe this spiritual growth, we will find that it is rhythmic and that its
steps or phases are always individualized. In
addition, their divisions into certain definite periods constitute the
periodicity of that event.
During this process there may be many people physically egging us onwards. Perhaps some people are also judging us on these upward climbing spiritual events. However, as in every spiritual pathway, we ourselves, and only ourselves, are our own best judges, for we cannot fool our conscience. If we are incredibly honest with ourselves, we will be able to relate the particulars of an event of this magnitude as well as the detailed reasons for any success or failure related to any spiritual growth.
in the ancient Mystery Schools the candidate for Initiation was required to
submit to certain tests. According
to my research, these tests had little, or nothing, to do with any phenomena of
an entirely exoteric nature. Furthermore,
I did not find that any of these tests had anything to do with illness, social
or domestic upheavals. In these
ancient Mystery Schools, the first thing the candidate had to show was a strong
yet quizzical dissatisfaction with ordinary, everyday life.
By necessity, the candidate had to start upon a quest to bring about a
transition in consciousness, resulting in a deeper understanding of the cosmic
mysteries of our everyday lives.
found that in the ancient Mystery Schools each test was designed to determine if
the candidate was duly prepared and actually ready for Initiation.
Duly prepared indicated that the individual was in good physical health,
had a mental capacity to understand, and possessed a high level of moral purity.
Along the lines of readiness, it was felt that certain virtues such as
fortitude, temperance, judgment and zealousness were to be highly developed.
In other words, to be worthy for Initiation a person had to undergo a
test of character. Furthermore, it
was felt that those with negative characteristics were more likely to abuse the
knowledge revealed to them during the process of initiation.
Incidentally, it was at this stage of the process that many candidates
were weeded out.
she/he was determined to be worthy, the candidate was subjected to an initiation
process. This process consisted of
four distinct, yet overlapping, parts. Each
part was designed to make an impression upon the consciousness of that
the ancient Mystery Schools, a very distinct separation always began the process
of Initiation. This was symbolic of
a separation from the individual’s old way of life.
During this phase of the ritual the candidate was, usually, either
blindfolded or placed in a darkened room. This
was representing the absence of light. While
in this darkness, the candidate was said to be experiencing the “darkness of
ignorance”. It was felt that if
one was to place true love in a continuum the farthest extreme of love was
ignorance. Of course, the closer to
ignorance one was the more one had to work on his character flaws.
Sometimes, various noises were, intentionally, introduced into the room
to represent the chaos of change from one state of mind and manner of living to
second part of the process of Initiation, in the ancient Mystery Schools, was
the admission into a new way of life and hopefully an actual new way of living.
This was symbolic of rebirth. During
this phase, the candidate would come to know that she or he was reborn in
consciousness, and that he or she must leave behind past concepts and erroneous
ways in order to rise to a higher perception and appreciation of his existence.
mystics believed that when a man manifests evil the evil he manifests is not
actually a thing but the absence of a thing.
By this definition, the cosmic law related to our karma is a failure to
do something. In this concept, our
karmic record is not an itemized documentation of evil deeds of bad actions but
our failures to exercise the elements of the actual, positive, good acts in our
existence. As you can see by this
definition, Karma is simply the logical readjustment of conditions voluntarily
assumed or brought upon one’s self, and which have to be corrected in order
that our lives might return to normal or proper conditions once again.
third part of Initiation in the ancient Mystery Schools was exhibition.
This was symbolic of revelation. It
was during this part of the Initiation that certain sacred signs, symbols,
precepts and truths were revealed to the candidate.
As a result, the candidate’s consciousness became illumined, thereby
increasing the depth of his understanding.
It is during this time when the candidate develops his spiritual faculties. A sign is a cipher of a secret code that allows us to receive secret messages. When it is well developed, the cryptograms can give us our own secret language. A sign can manifest through one or more of our spiritual faculties and will become a symbol when we begin to explain it and put it in written form. As the candidate progresses along this path he will receive instruction, rules, guidelines, principles and Teachings of Cosmic law that will become his precepts to the facts, certainties and realities we call Cosmic truths. This part is perhaps the longest because it requires earnest effort on the part of the candidate as well as constant attention to detail.
In the ancient Mystery Schools, the fourth and final part of the initiation process was re-entry. This was symbolic of a return to the outer world in service to humanity. However, even though the results of the experience were to be applied to living in the outer world, the candidates pledged to keep the experience secret. The mystics believed that the particular signs and symbols given to each individual personalize each experience we receive. Thus, keeping it a secret would prevent others from misinterpreting the type of information we have been given. If you were to study this process of Initiation carefully, you will discover that each of the four parts, described above, is incorporated into the process of all Initiations whether ancient or modern.
Can we use the same standards for our
Rosicrucian Fellowship members as the ancient Mystery Schools used for their
candidates for Initiation?
this point, I believe it may be interesting to discover how our members measure
Will our students pass these tests?
As head of the Italian, Portuguese and Spanish Esoteric Sections of the Rosicrucian Fellowship, I feel I am qualified to speak on this subject as it relates to the above-mentioned groups. In this capacity, I am usually the member’s first line of contact. During the time a person is studying the Preliminary Philosophy course they usually maintain contact with us by mail. Once the candidate has completed the first twelve lessons and requests to become a Regular Student, and at least two years later when requesting to become a Probationer, the verbal and/or written contact with the Esoteric Department continues with some regularity. Therefore, I can safely say that at the time the members found the Rosicrucian Fellowship many, if not all, were experiencing a strong yet quizzical dissatisfaction with ordinary, everyday life. Furthermore, it is also safe to say that when the individuals started upon a quest to bring about a transition in consciousness, somehow, they were introduced to the Rosicrucian Teachings.
let us take the four parts of the process of Initiation, mentioned above, and
relate them to the members of The Rosicrucian Fellowship to see if they are duly
prepared and actually ready for Initiation.
In the first part of the initiation process, I have observed that distinct separation in many of our members. In this category, aside from the newcomers, I am including Regular Students as well as Probationers. Usually something happens in their lives that mark their lives forever. At that moment a veil is lifted and the person looks the same but behaves differently. After reading their letters anyone can see and understand, that the particular incident each person cites has made a distinct separation from their old way of life. As I write this lecture, I can safely say that 85% of the members of these Esoteric Sections have completed this phase.
Judging from the letters I have received from our members it is fair to say that, in the second part of the initiation process, living the life is not as easy as it sounds. Many members write us stating that they are conscious of the fact that they have failed to do something but are reluctant to change. They are aware of what is the new life and what they must do to live that life but, at times, when the time calls for action on their part they are very conscious of dragging their feet.
An essential feature of Initiation is the call to change to a new standard of living and being. However, as in all of life’s changes, anything that is, persists in its efforts to remain as it is. This ceaseless effort, to remain as it is, is as much a part of the physical world as it is of the spiritual world. The distinction between what we call “physical” and what we call “spiritual” lies in the limitations imposed by our senses of perception. Therefore, while true initiation signals the beginning of the work, our old habits and attitudes persist in their efforts to be. Judging from the letters I have received, I can safely state that 15 % of the members of these Esoteric Sections are in this phase of the initiation process.
From our member’s letters I can deduce that high percentages are working on the third part of the initiation process. In our Esoteric Sections alone, we have many members who have developed at least their dominant faculty. There are many others standing among the pillars of the temple waiting for more instructions. In this group, I am including Regular Students as well as Probationers. That is one of the reasons why we stress the need for earnestness and sincerity on the part of the student. It is our belief that no one who approaches the mystical path in a flippant and superficial manner can reasonably expect to be the recipient of personal enlightenment and privileged knowledge of the Soul personality within. Therefore, since true Initiation occurs within the consciousness of the individual, if the student’s attitude is not sincere, serious, or earnest, no real initiation will occur. From the members of these Esoteric Sections, I venture to guess that 75% of them are working on, or have completed this phase.
The fourth and final part of the process of Initiation of the ancient Mystery Schools was the symbolic return to the outer world in service to humanity. At this point, it is important to remember that any initiatory experience occurs primarily within the consciousness of the individual. These initiations constitute the passing from one grade, one degree or one level of personal knowledge and understanding to another higher grade, degree or level. The members of the Rosicrucian Fellowship are no exception. Among the Regular Students and Probationers alike, there is a wide variety of grades, degrees and levels. For many of our members service to humanity is very important. Among these members, one can easily see the many levels of spiritual progress. Within the stream of consciousness of each individual is an unknown factor of grades, degrees and levels. In my research, I was unable to find a specific amount; perhaps there are hundreds or more. However, once an individual begins to seriously explore the mystical path, she or he inevitably begins to cross inner thresholds towards the ultimate personal Light. In the fourth and final part of the process of Initiation, I believe, is where we may find 40% of the members of these Esoteric Sections.
to think about is that, perhaps in the scientific terms, Initiates are evolving
from lower to higher forms, in the sense of less complex to more complex, yet at
the same time they are returning to the fundamental truths that are responsible
for the complexity of this universe. We
must also recognize that all of our values of “higher” and “lower” are
guided by our own sense of special ness in the cosmic scheme.
Our values are relative to ourselves as standards of perfection in the
scale of life forms. This may or may
not be a valid standard.
It is also worth mentioning that these inner thresholds are not always ascended during the actual process of viewing or taking part in a ritual of Initiation. They often occur after its actual performance.
While each of these parts of initiation may seem impressive, the candidate is inwardly initiated through external acts that are designed to help induce the proper state of consciousness. Ultimately, however, the candidate must do the initiating because no one can initiate another.
Assuming, that the
candidate has indeed initiated her or his consciousness, what is our expectation
Does the candidate
continue to face the challenges of test and trial?
us explore that.
Several years ago, during a work-related accident, I suffered an injury to my lower vertebral spine. As a result, I was no longer able to work as a College Nursing Instructor, which at the time was my chosen profession. Two years later, after a series of several unsuccessful aggressive therapies, I had to undergo a laminectomy of the lower spine to correct the disabling condition. Although the surgery was successful, I have noticed that since the surgery, from time to time, the condition tends to exacerbate and during those periods, I have problems walking, standing and sitting along with severe and excruciating pain along the affected area.
Last year, during the Summer Schools, I went through a longer than usual crisis that has prevented me from attending temple services ever since. However, the last time I visited the Temple at Mount Ecclesia for devotional service is still quite vivid in my mind. I would like to share this experience with you now because I believe it is appropriate to the topic of this discourse.
day, when I left the office at 7:20 pm to go to the Temple I felt mentally
drained and physically exhausted. I
recall thinking that somewhere in the Philosopher, Aristotle’s writings he had
said that: “What we have to learn we learn by doing.”
On Mount Ecclesia there is a pathway leading to the Temple called “meditation walk”. As I headed toward that pathway, I noticed that my feet were becoming heavy and I was dragging my right leg. Then, while walking along this pathway, I noticed that the trail of meditation walk had become almost unbearable and I had reached my saturation point. It would have been easier and much simpler to turn around, go home and skip the temple service. However, something inside me urged me to continue. As I strode along this pathway, I found myself thanking God for responding to all my uncertainties until I finally entered the Temple.
Once inside, I noticed that on the benches along the right side of the Temple there were six or seven people already sitting. On the benches along the left side, and behind the assigned seat for my astrological sign, there were two other people quietly waiting for the Devotional Service to start. When I sat down, I felt the pressure of the hard wooden bench shooting upwards along my sensitive spine. When the officiating lector began to read the service, I began to feel a sharp, piercing, excruciating pain along my right leg and lower spine. Since I was the only one sitting in that bench, I thought of resting on my back but decided against it upon recalling the following incident.
One day, while performing the duties of a Temple doorkeeper, I asked someone about a certain member that usually came to the temple with her. She told me that the member had fractured her hip and could walk but was still very uncomfortable sitting down. When I suggested lying down during the temple service she told me that it was against the protocols of the temple because people tended to fall asleep easier in the supine position.
During the reading of the devotional service, I could sense a crescendo in the intensity of the pain. So, then, when the reader asked us to meditate on service to the world I gazed at the emblem of the Rosy Cross and gave thanks to God for allowing me to endure the pain throughout the devotional service. At this time, within seconds, I heard the sound of peace and at the same time felt that someone or something was carefully placing my physical body on the temple bench where I had been sitting.
Immediately after, I saw lights bouncing like springs. The lights were bright and each had its own distinct quality. They resembled miniature stars twinkling upon a background of darkness. The lights appeared to be flashing on and off in a well organized rhythmic style. All I could see was the precise rhythm of the lights and the skillful movement of each light. It was almost as if they were each performing a distinct theatrical role for different plays and I was the only spectator. As I observed the lights, they seemed to be oblivious of the way they fit into the larger picture. However, together, they appeared to be a miniature performance of various plays in the same stage.
While I marbled at the beautiful panorama of lights I remembered something Albert Einstein had written in one of his books. In reference to the universal’s forms of matter, the Swiss Physicist wrote the following: “Ether must be assumed to exist everywhere if we wish to explain optical phenomena mechanically. There can be no empty space if light travels only in a medium. … The planets, for example, travel through the ether jelly without encountering any resistance, such as a material medium would offer to their motion. If ether does not disturb matter in its motion, there can be no interaction between particles of ether and particles of matter.”
Then the panorama changed and I saw myself lying flat on my back suspended by an unknown jelly substance. Along the periphery of my physical body I saw three, very luminous, angelic figures. One was standing by my right side; another by my left and the third one was above my head and in front of my face.
At this time, I felt a stream of telepathic thoughts that gently said: “As it is on all planes of existence, the subconscious mind is dual. This duality manifesting in the subconscious mind by its acceptance of suggestion, both from without and from within, is where all Rosicrucian Fellowship Initiations take place. And so it is, that all initiations involve the flow of vibrations between your outer self and your Master within.”
“When, in all humanity and worthiness, you are present in the Temple for an initiation, you bring your subjective awareness into that stream of divine vibrations. This sacred but simplistic act stimulates the flow of energy in all your bodies. Once your bodies are in complete alignment with themselves, you become a receptacle of still greater light and power. Inwardly, this figurative conjunction of the three luminaries of your being causes you to experience a lifting of the veil of darkness and ignorance, and you gain a deeper vision and understanding of life.”
Through symbolic images and speech of telepathic sounds, the three, very luminous, angelic figures related the following information:
“When a person is more or less attuned to the Christ vibrations, not deeply but with mental appreciation of what the Cosmos is, and what its laws are, that INITIATE vibrates and lives harmoniously in cooperation with the Cosmo and those laws. It may even be possible not to have a minute in which to sit down during the day and actually concentrate upon the Cosmo, but throughout the day, he is subtly attuned to the extent that he masters his situations and himself more acceptably. It is to be understood that she or he has no time to dwell upon the sordid or unhappy things of life. A true Initiate will have no time for thoughts of envy, hatred, jealousy, anger or anything of the kind.”
“Each of you, in varying degrees, understands our language of symbolic images. This is so because spiritual discernment and the unfolding of intuitional faculties are manifestations of inner growth. Symbolic images in drama or the arts have long been a vehicle for perpetuating mystical truths. While it is accurate to say that symbolic images in drama are enjoyed almost universally, it is also accurate to say that only the true Initiate understands its interior meaning. Consequently, a true Initiate has a high command of the language of symbolic images. She or he will not misinterpret any piece of data given by these means.”
one at a time and in a well-organized rhythmic style, the three luminous angelic
figures began to blink on and off after which the stream of thoughts continued:
“An Initiate must have Wisdom, Charity, and Truth as his three guides in all his ways. While Charity and Wisdom are on either hand, Truth must always go before him. If someday any of the three were to be absent, the Initiate would walk amiss. An unwise managing of truth or love, an uncharitable truth and a charitable untruth are all to be carefully avoided of him that would go with a right foot in the narrow way towards initiation. A true Initiate will never inflict hurt to anyone or anything by following a truth uncharitably, salve up an error with love while failing in their wisdom, or offend against justice.”
“In some of Max Heindel's works the Rosicrucian Teachings are so familiar as to seem quoted from our present-day beliefs. Although they are almost one hundred years old, the writings contain truths not affected by the evolutionary changes of time and civilization and so intuitive that we can frame them no better than did other Rosicrucian Masters several centuries ago.”
Then my eyes opened as if I had awakened from a dream. I immediately began to explored my surroundings and found myself inside the Healing Temple of Mount Ecclesia, gently resting on my back on the bench where I had originally sat. After I had returned to a sitting position, I saw that everyone else was quiet and the service was in the middle of the meditation period. Then several minutes later, I heard the music of the closing hymn.
When I left the temple, that night, one of the people cautioned me against lying down in the Temple during a devotional service. She said I had fallen asleep and had defeated the purpose for being there, that being to work with the Auxiliary Invisible Helpers to heal the sick. As she spoke I remained quiet and noticed that my pain had tapered-down in intensity and there was a sound of peace around me. I never answered her; instead, I gave thanks to God for all the blessings bestowed upon me that day. Then, I left, walking through “meditation walk”, towards my home in Mount Ecclesia with the confidence that arises from the knowledge of the causes of happenings, and the ends, which they serve.
this experience, after the last summer school was over, like a crossword puzzle
all the pieces fell into their respective place and I became consciously aware
of the true meaning of that experience.
night when I left the office I was feeling, once again, mentally drained and
physically exhausted. In addition, I
felt the sluggishness and bulk of my spinal column as well as the painful
heaviness of my right leg. When I
got home, I took a shower and immediately went to bed.
I sat on my bed, gazed at the emblem of the Rosy Cross and began my
nightly routine prayers. At this
time, within seconds, I heard the sound of peace and “at the same time” saw
and felt the three angelic figures carefully placing my physical body on my bed
in a supine position. Then each one,
as if by rote, took their corresponding place around my physical body.
At this time, I felt a stream of telepathic thoughts that gently said:
“Each of us has one person to help you.
Each of the three persons is working on Wisdom, Charity and Truth.”
The last thing I recall doing that night is thanking God for the
tremendous opportunity to be part of a healing, saying the “Our Father” and
drifting off to sleep.
At two o’clock in the morning, I woke up with excruciating pain and called one of the workers in the Italian, Portuguese and Spanish Section of the Esoteric Department. He literally carried me to the Emergency Department of a nearby hospital and remained there with me until approximately 10:00 AM. He called the office to inform them of our whereabouts and one of the volunteer workers of that Esoteric Section, offered to go to the hospital, stay with me there and drive me home when discharged by the emergency physician. The next day, after I had returned from the hospital, another member of the Esoteric Department came to my home to offer her healing services.
the days that followed this crisis, the pain was so severe; that I remained
prostrated in my bed, unable to sit, stand or walk for almost three months.
However, like clock work each of the three people mentioned above came to
my home daily to care for me.
I learned from this experience is the following:
The last day I
attended temple service at Mount Ecclesia I was destined to receive a spiritual
healing by the three, very luminous, angelic figures.
Recognizing that there is a restriction of time and space to a phenomenal
world, by alleviating the pain in my physical body, the three angelic figures
were able to align all my bodies in order that I could bring my subjective
awareness into their stream of consciousness.
I was able to transcend the limitations of time and space by expanding my
consciousness and attuning with the infinite.
Then, with the veil of “darkness and ignorance” lifted I was able to
receive their Teachings.
In the Temple, at
Mount Ecclesia, I saw what had taken place in the spiritual plane and, sometime
later, I experienced the same event in my home in the physical plane.
Because I felt very independent and self sufficient, by actually
positioning my physical body in the supine position they were conveying the
message that my physical body would be affected and I would need this type of
assistance from others. Some people
may see this as impossible but the three angelic figures wanted to impress upon
me that I was going to receive assistance from the spiritual realm as well as
from the physical realm.
Along these lines,
I learned that all Rosicrucian Fellowship initiations take place in the duality
of our subconscious mind. Throughout
any given day, once initiated the person is subtly attuned to the Christ
vibrations and has no time to dwell upon anger, jealousy, hatred or envy.
It is through
symbolic images that every man, consciously or unconsciously, lives, works and
has his being. An Initiate
understands the deeper meaning of symbolic images.
Furthermore, the Elder Brothers will always make sure an Initiate
understands every part of any given message; so there is no room for
misinterpreting the given Teachings.
There is no doubt
that the thoughtful reading and meditation upon the literary work of Max Heindel
has expanded the consciousness of us all. However,
any person who:
Uses the writings
of Max Heindel as a reason to overlook, justify, excuse or condone essential
points of an issue because the parties involved are members of his family,
friends or himself is not an Initiate.
Uses effort to
force certain conclusions of his own into the minds of one or other persons is
not an initiate.
Forces all issues,
demands his own results, causes and desires results to manifest to save the skin
of others or his own, is not an initiate.
Now, more than ever,
I see Max Heindel’s literary work as a reservoir of facts, a tremendous source
of knowledge. I also realize that no
reservoir, whether it contains liquids, gases, solids or facts, will last
forever. If we were to study its
definition, a reservoir is something that should be held in reserve for an
emergency, in case the usual supply is shut off.
Today the Rosicrucian Fellowship has a tremendous reservoir of knowledge.
I am referring to the studies, researches and the accumulation of post
investigations our members and officers may have conducted.
I feel we have the obligation of adding to the reservoir of Max Heindel
for posterity. I have a suspicious
feeling that we have members qualified in certain professions, such as: the
Sciences, the Arts, Literature, Music, Law and Medicine, as well as certain
areas of expertise like spiritual healing, who may be true initiates and can
share and contribute their findings in their own professional fields with us.
So, what is an
An Initiate is a
person who has reached a point of confidence in his ability to use the knowledge
he has received from an Elder Brother.
Furthermore, he is
able to properly judge, reason, decide and come to a fair and honest conclusion
about issues that relate or involve his family, his friends, members of his
organization and/or himself.
Lastly, I have
learned that the parameter to delineate what and who is an Initiate has three
characteristics. These are Wisdom,
Charity and Truth. These
characteristics rest upon the Initiate’s capacity to understanding the
immutable laws and principles of our Cosmo.
His actions are contained within the framework of law and order.
Perhaps to know this and to act accordingly may be his only freedom.
He will encounter restriction and frustration when he defies Cosmic law
because the laws of the inner man and nature must be observe in order that that
which is free should be able to express itself without being transformed.
In conclusion, someone once said: “You can tell the man who rings true from the man who rings false. Not by his deed alone, but also by his desire body.” If you have doubts as to whether or not you truly are a Rosicrucian Fellowship Initiate, you need only examine your life, your attitude, your sense of self worth along with your desire body to see if, over the years of your affiliation with the Rosicrucian Fellowship, you are closer to your ideal model of perfection.
If your life has changed for the better, then you have initiated your consciousness. To “change for the better” implies that one has traveled from one phase of the process of Initiation to another. Perhaps this might not be easily discernable. What may seem to be a rebuff, to us, may really be recognition of worthiness. As the old man said to Christian Rosenkrutz and his companions: “Man never knowest how well God intendeth him.”
on the other hand, you are not able to discern a change in your life, then you
may wish to return to the beginning and allow your “Inner Master to speak to
your Outer Self”.
you kindly for the interest you have bestowed upon your spiritual inner growth
and may the roses continue to flourish upon your cross.
Living with Christ
Edited by Alexandra Porter
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