December 30-31 – Cancer
The serpent on the sword pommel: wisdom. We should busy ourselves with uplifting readings. It is the night of the great command.
The mystery of activity: who exercises command over our soul? Who is the master of our soul, the doer of our deeds? We have the freedom to strengthen the goodwill in ourselves.
Rudolf Steiner’s indications for the Holy Nights given to Herbert Hahn
Translation from German by Laura Zanutto 2015 adjusted by Mark Willan 2016
- Heilige Nacht
30./31. – Krebs
Die Schlange am Schwertknauf: Weisheit. Man soll sich mit erhebender Lektüre beschäftigen. Es ist die Nacht des großen Befehles.
Das Mysterium der Tätigkeit: Wer befiehlt über unsere Seele? Wer ist der Herr unserer Seele, der Täter unserer Taten? Wir haben die Freiheit, den guten Willen in uns zu stärken.
Seventh Contemplation: by Kristina Kaine
The greatest achievement we can have while living on this earth is to experience and express love. “It is the night of the great command.” The great command is to love.
St John recorded the words of Jesus in this way: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34
The word commandment in the Greek is entole, which means to command, to order. Jesus is ordering people to love one another – and not just any love. The Greek word used is agapao, the highest love, beyond eros – physical love; philia – brotherly or sisterly love; storge – love for family, tribe and nation. Agapao is divine love completely free of any self-interest. If we are very honest with ourselves, most of the love we feel for others has some degree of self-interest. This is ok because we are only now learning how to experience and express this agapao love.
This love is born out of wisdom and wisdom is held in our Universe by the mighty spiritual being Sophia. Sergei Prokofieff’s book, “The Heavenly Sophia and the Being of Anthroposophy” reveals much about this being. He explains that Sophia guards the Mystery of Golgotha as an Imagination until human beings can understand it. If we think of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as an aspect of Sophia, this can make a lot of sense.
As we exercise command over our soul, that is, become conscious of the activity of our soul as it feels, thinks and wills, we align ourselves with Sophia. Rudolf Steiner speaks about this very clearly in this lecture.
“This cleansed, purified astral body, which bears within it at the moment of illumination none of the impure impressions of the physical world, but only the organs of perception of the spiritual world is called in esoteric Christianity the ‘pure, chaste, wise Virgin Sophia.’” Rudolf Steiner, The Gospel of St John, May 31, 1908
Love brings us to the kind of purity of soul that we need to meet Christ who now resides within us.
Coronation of the Virgin by Fra Angelico, Tempera on wood, 1435