Dear Light Group,

To fulfill their missions, great beings typically go through a lot.

The most dramatic example of this may be the crucifixion of Jesus.  But long before that event, Jesus was constantly on the run, moving from one town to the next, staying a step or two ahead of those who wanted to do him harm.  In addition to dealing with these threats, Jesus contended with the fact that his base of disciples had dwindled: he peaked at about eighty, and then the number declined to a dozen.  People didn’t fully understand his message.  They left him.  The priesthood hated him.  Eventually he was murdered.  Those are experiences that would crush the spirit of most people.

Other great beings also encountered difficulties.  Jim’s experiences – excepting the murder – in some ways paralleled Jesus’.  Many people did not understand his message.  Towards the end of his life, the number of people attending his lectures and workshops had started to dwindle.  People who had been with him for years had started to drift off and follow other teachers.  Many of the evangelical and fundamentalist Christian ministers thought he was doing the work of the devil.

Yogananda, the founder of Self-Realization Fellowship and to this day the most prominent of the Hindu gurus who have spent time in America, was betrayed by one of his best friends from childhood.  This was the individual Yogananda had recruited to come from India to help him in America.  That individual eventually split from Self-Realization Fellowship and sued Yogananda.  Americans, too, were hard on Yogananda.  Among other things, he was accused of exerting a dark magic over people, and he was virtually run out of Southern cities for saying that all races were equal.

These stories may help put our own challenges in perspective.  But their primary purpose is to deepen our appreciation for what others have done to bring us the Light, to bring us the Truth, to bring us the Spirit of the Divine.

So the focus of this Saturday’s prayer is to give thanks for all those who have gone before us, all those who have given everything they’ve had to help us understand and to help make this planet a better place.  They don’t necessarily have to have been great spiritual beings.  You might simply want to pick a family member who worked hard to improve the lives of others.

A suggested prayer would be, “Thank you, God, for __________.  Thank you, God, for this being who did so much to make our lives better.  Thank you, God, for this individual having served as such a wonderful example of Thy Goodness.  Thank you, God, for the insights, for the love, for the joy that this person conveyed.  Thank you, God, for this life well lived.”

Use this prayer for as many people as you can think of.  Great beings.  Teachers at school.  Friends at work.  Priests in your church.  Family members.

And then, at the end, give thanks for the life you are living: “Thank you, God, for me.  Thank you, God, for Thee in me.  Thank you, God, for Oneness with Thee.  Amen.”

Love and Light,