In spare moments this week, I have been re-reading Herman Spruit’s The Sacramentarion – part of my ongong quest to recover useful bits and pieces from our indie ancestors. If you have never read The Sacramentarion (first printed in 1978, and probably still available from The Church of Antioch), it is an uneven and quirky collection of essays. Some parts of it, such as his discussion of “Jesus the Millionaire,” are (ahem) hard slogging. But there are some inspiring and thought-provoking sections, as well. Here’s a snip from the chapter on apostolic succession:
He has given us the secret of the true succession. In the principle of our Being we are HIS. In the fashion of our Being we are like Him. In the attributes of our Being we have the potencies by means of which we are able to express HIM. To do this the central Mystery of our Being must be in motion. Our fashion must take on HIS glory through that motion. The power must flow magnetically through all our fashion and all our attributes. Thus being enriched from inner potencies through His motion within us, we become apostolic. It is Divine in its giving. Love is apostolic in its mission. It is ambassadorial in its activity and in its motion. Love is plenipotentiary. It has the power of mediation, even unto healing.
I will show you how you may come into the direct line of a true, fully relevant, and genuine line of “apostolic succession.” This line does not rest on false or spurious claims. It rests secure in the integrity of eternity. This succession is not a way without a priesthood. It is the priesthood of the eternal Being, in whom all share, in which we live and move. It is not a line without a high priesthood. It is the Archpriest and Supreme Pontiff of all Being who communicates the power. He calls you. He leads you upward. He endows you. He sends you forth as His apostles and ambassadors.
The realities of God are of the Soul. To know how HE does bless, the Soul must enter into His Sanctuary, where alone it can behold HIM unto realization and know the real meaning of His glorious Cross in wondrous fashion; that Cross, the imprint of which is upon every child of the Father-Mother. It is inlaid on the altar of our heart and woven into the fabric of our Being. (pp.238-239)
As we are headed into Holy Week, here is a comment on sacrifice. I don’t know if I agree with Spruit, but, IMHO, this is worth pondering:
…the opposing currents or motions of life can be healed only through sacrifice. But those motions or currents are not caused by any change of attitude in the Divine, but through conditions. And these conditions often can be changed only by sacrifice. (p.249)