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Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men

The words of Divine Promise, "Peace on Earth," appeal strongly to us at all times, but at this season of the year, with the near approach of Christmastide, they seem to come home to us with greater force, and to have even a deeper significance than at other times. The very feeling involved in the words "Peace to all," would seem to underlie those joyous thoughts with which the advent of Yuletide is greeted. The associations and traditions of Christmas are all vested in a trend of thought in which the tendency is one of happy re-union and charitable actions: effort exerted to convey gladness and happiness in directions where they are needed: and endeavor to bring joy and comfort in some degree to those whose lives are passed in an environment more or less lacking these qualities. In this is evident the great underlying thought of Universal Brotherhood, and the fact of its being prompted or stimulated at this season of the year, goes also to point out in what that Brotherhood consists, revealing, as it does, our common love of Christ, whose coming, hundreds of years ago, was heralded by the glad proclamation of "Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men."

With this idea of Brotherhood in view, our best efforts should be continually expended in that direction, bearing in mind that, not only is effort towards the betterment of a community a tendency to raise to some extent the moral and spiritual level of that community, but also the consequent advance in Spirituality of the endeavorer is, to a degree, a unit of advancement which adds to the sum total of the spiritual progress in the community.

We should therefore take this line of action, more especially at this time of the year, and throwing out effort in every direction, strive to make felt the desire for acknowledgment of Brotherhood, so that, this feeling becoming more general, the indwelling spirit of Union in Mankind becomes stronger and more evident, and there evolves, in the fullness of time, from this infusion of brotherly thought, an eventual realization of the universal thread upon which our manifold individualities are strung.

The realization of "Peace on Earth" therefore, necessarily depends upon individual effort in the direction which tends most to propagate feelings of Brotherhood, and, seeing that Happiness has Unity for its basis, and that all philosophy even tends to the eradication of inharmonious conditions, it follows that right thought, with the corresponding right action, must point towards the state of things where the intention and consequent bearing of men, one to the other, is in exact parallel to and harmony with the working of Divine Love, which is the Law.

Now it may be advanced that, even presupposing a disposition towards altruistic effort, the avenues along which it may be beneficially directed are few, and in many cases not evident; this, on consideration, however, is not found to be the case, for, given the Ideation of Goodness in activity in thought, a desire, sincere and selfless, to put forth effort towards the betterment of conditions existing in others, that Ideation, being an aspect of the Absolute, must find innumerable outlets in order that it may encompass its inherent creative affinities. Thus, a resolve to do good, without regard to repayment, opens out avenues of endeavor, increasing proportionately in number with its own strength, and the consequent growth of Spirituality in us, though not sought for the satisfaction of the outer self but rather for the eternal betterment of the True Self, is speedy and sure in direct ratio to the amount of effort put forth.

Let us, then, with the Brotherhood of Mankind in view, look inward to the Indwelling Spirit, underlying our natures, and uniting us in one common bond of Union, our Union in the one Source, our Father. Let us have regard to its gentle, hopeful Light, ever shining steadily out through the turbulent strife of our earthly passions, and as, by selfless acts, we pierce veil after veil of earthly desire and self-gratification, we will approach nearer and nearer the Heart of Being, wherein is Peace and Joy forever.

The realization of the Universal Brotherhood of Mankind, in the light of a oneness in Spiritual essence and purpose, carries with it another great blessing besides that of "Peace on Earth "; consequent upon this understanding of the inner Spiritual Union there evolves a feeling of "Good Will to All." This would seem to be a ray from the great Universal Love, illuminating our being, and as we grow in Spirituality, this Love becomes more and more engrafted in our nature, showering its beneficent Light in and about us. It is this influence that we feel when in the presence of one whose life is spent in true Spiritual endeavor, and it was this power which drew the countless multitudes to the feet of Christ to listen with rapt attention to the beauteous words of Love which flowed from Him in His teachings.

Let us, then, this Christmastide, clothe our actions in the shining vestments of Charity, striving, wherever possible, to bring "Glad tidings of great Joy" to whomsoever labor in Spiritual necessity. Let us turn our thoughts inwards to the essence of Unity, whose loving whispers give us promise of the unalloyed Bliss of Divine Peace; Let us reflect upon others, to some extent, the gladness within us, that, through the grey dawn of their inner self may ring the glad angelic voices of old, proclaiming the birth of the Savior within.

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Edward H. Woof

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