In celebration of Christmas, the following is an excerpt from Lanello’s 1975 Christmas Eve address, The Flame of the Christ Mass published in the 1976 Pearls of Wisdom Vol. 19 No. 50.
Can you imagine yourself a shepherd this night on the hillsides of Judea nearing Bethlehem? And all that you possess in this world—your staff, your robe, your mantle, a blanket for warmth—all that is really your own is that flame. And God has sent you forth to light a world with that single flame. Imagine yourself dependent totally upon the flame—not a building, not a pulpit, not an organization, without finances or advertising or backing. But you are given the greatest gift of all: the gift of the flame of life. And within your soul is placed the formula for the increase of the flame. And you are born to know that by that flame a world can come into its own or a world can recede into the vortex of fire and be consumed.
I would like you to imagine yourself among the sheep who represent the wakeful—watching, waiting, coming to the center of the AUM, following the Good Shepherd, totally dependent upon the voice that comes from the flame, the voice that comes from the heart. The sheep know that voice and they come.1 They come to the place where the fire is burning to bask in the warmth of love. It is a cold winter night, and so the flame of Christ descends.
Imagine yourself among the shepherds who welcomed the star of his appearing. Shepherds who came, whose fiery destiny it was to be near the one who bore the flame for the redemption of all mankind, who would show mankind how to light the heart, to be a fire—an all-consuming fire consuming all lesser desire and being just simply a flame. He came, then, in surroundings that were humble to accentuate this fire against a backdrop not of grandeur of palaces, not the majesty of Rome or even of Greece. He came simply to be a fire.
I would then recall to you that in that holy night there were not even books nor teachings, but only a flame to follow. They knew it as a vibration even as you know your God by vibration. The wise men followed the frequencies of light to the place where he lay. I would that all mankind would come to you following the star of the I AM Presence, following the light from your heart—not my heart, not the hearts of the ascended masters, but God incarnate as the Word, as the fire, as the flame within you.
This is the great mystery of learning to make the bricks without straw,2 of going forth without purse or scrip.3 For you must exercise the flame. And the flame will increase; it will envelop you. It will be your supply, your garment, your daily joy, the poetry of the mind, the flow of the essence from God, until you are centered in the bliss of the Buddha and the Christ. And there centered with the flame raised on high, you will draw the multitudes and they will come to be nourished of the sacred fire.
Let us then feel the freedom to abandon all of the accouterments of civilizations that rise and fall; for there is nothing permanent but the star of the I AM Presence that foretold his birth and your own and my own, now anchored in your heart. Be grateful that God made you, for not all who walk this earth can make that statement! Be grateful that God placed the flame within you!