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  SPIRIT OF GIVING
(Christmas offering)

YOU say that you want so dearly to touch the hearts of men, to somehow begin to awaken their minds, to stimulate those places so sensitive and so hidden, so untravelled, so unfrequented that their imaginations fire and new life can breathe again, that dignity be so restored, the chalice of charity brimful with hopeful and optimistic outcome. That lives are enriched, that the arts speak from the soul once again, that the many veiled theatre of existence moves on from a too long intermission -

Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all Men! With blessings! And every year turns around, and the souls come in, and the souls depart. Fashions change, vanity presumes, age creeps in, progress is all too slow; with quickened enterprise.

One donkey can carry three men, one farmer can feed many others, one book can service scores of thousands, the prayers of one may sustain - how many? Many, many - for what ripples out from the few, will, in time, lap at the feet of many. The boat builder, the parent, the cloth weaver, accommodate many, other than themselves - and here is the profound effect, that the work of one, the labour spent, which is not for the one, but for more, goes on and this is possible.

Not the extortionist, not the unprovider, not he who is the negotiator, not he who is the slaver. Not the man who takes unto himself, for he who offers nothing, is a veritable Scrooge.

For all that God gives, has within it the power to multiply. Every talent, each limb, each wish, each effort of goodwill, each humble duty performed - through which, we may perceive, such acts of multiplication. Look to the new life spawned within the garden! The replenishment, the propagation; and we too have the mercy of seeing a prosperous act, from that which gives nothing. Here is true satisfaction, the soul-food, that speaks to the seeker, whether of humble origin, or fired intellect, they know that satisfaction.

We may all witness the truly profitable. We may all sense usefulness, and wonder how life itself perpetuates. Rebirth redeems and answers all death; new opportunities, new days, new moments, ever renewal.

Here is the measure for the valued analysis: From my act, will more than I profit? If every man used such weighty consideration, before planning the day's calendar how then would the world progress? It is good economy, it is good sense. Time is measured ever so strangely, for some consider that the time of employment, or the time spent in labour for another, or for the further propagation of some good work. Some consider this time as wasted or lost; when they could have been attending to something else. But if one were to suggest that the time accounted for in after-life is only that time of selfless employment, that that being the fruitful fulfilment of higher being, then should we be surprised?

Many object to occult laws, not because of the uncomfortable uncertainty, but because of an uncomfortable recognition of their correctness. The lesser man within all of us is quick to aggravation; he, as the ass, pulls this way and that, and requires definite direction, coaxing, and determination.

The spirit of giving is of giving and giving. It is this spirit we seek to call, to invoke, to awaken and revivify constantly. The mystery of the fishes and the loaves, was that they were given to many; and just enough - they were not in abundance for a few, and they did not fall short, in number for the needy. And we shall all be provided for, if all men would recognise this. This is the wish at Christmas, this is the opportunity. He who would take unto himself will go without, without the certain knowledge that there is so much more, if he would but share it around.

And such graciousness needs be also for inner charity for those Graces which shower abundantly upon a man, the well that never empties: that of kindness, that of appreciation, that of peacefulness, that of congratulation, of forgiveness, of latitude of understanding, of sharing, of inner love, of sympathy, of higher love, of receiving those Heavenly inspirations and passing them through to another. These too are replenished and fruitful, not just for one, but for many.