Sister Rose Gertrude (Amy C. Fowler) To Die For The Lepers

For those absolutely devoid of scruples, charity fraud is the field par excellance, in which you can simultaneously harvest kudos for your humanitarianism and make off with vast bundles of untaxed cash. Convictions for charity fraud are so rare as to be nonexistent, so any criminals operating in other fields of endeavor are incurring unnecessary risks.

Re: Sister Rose Gertrude (Amy C. Fowler) To Die For The Lepe

Postby admin » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:28 am

The Last Song of the Swan
by Helena P. Blavatsky
from The Esoteric Papers of Madame Blavatsky [EXCERPT]
by H. P. Blavatsky

Another fatal accident, arising from the system of overhead electric lighting wires, is reported today from Newburgh, New York State. It appears that a horse while being driven along touched an iron awning-post with his nose, and fell down as if dead. A man, who rushed to assist in raising the animal, touched the horse's head-stall and immediately dropped dead, and another man who attempted to lift the first, received a terrible shock. The cause of the accident seems to have been that an electric wire had become slack and was lying upon an iron rod extending from the awning-post to a building, and that the full force of the current was passing down the post into the ground. The insulating material of the wire had become thoroughly saturated with rain. (Morning Post, Jan. 21.)

This is a cheerful prospect, and looks indeed as if it were one of the "last songs of the Swan" of practical civilization. But, there is balm in Gilead--even at this eleventh hour of our jaw-breaking and truth-kicking century. Fearless clergymen summon up courage and dare to express publicly their actual feelings, with thorough contempt for "the utter humbug of the cheap 'religious talk' which obtains in the present day."[2] They are daily mustering new forces; and hitherto rapidly conservative daily papers fear not to allow their correspondents, when occasion requires, to fly into the venerable faces of Cant, and Mrs. Grundy. It is true that the subject which brought out the wholesome though unwelcome truth, in the Morning Post, was worthy of such an exception. A correspondent, Mr. W. M. Hardinge, speaking of Sister Rose Gertrude, who has just sailed for the Leper Island of Molokai suggests that--"a portrait of this young lady should somehow be added to one of our national galleries" and adds:

Mr. Edward Clifford would surely be the fitting artist. I, for one, would willingly contribute to the permanent recording, by some adequate painter, of whatever manner of face it may be that shrines so saintly a soul. Such a subject--too rare, alas, in England--should be more fruitful than precept. [3]

Amen. Of precepts and tall talk in fashionable churches people have more than they bargain for; but of really practical Christ-like work in daily life--except when it leads to the laudation and mention of names of the would-be philanthropists in public papers--we see nil. Moreover, such a subject as the voluntary Calvary chosen by Sister Rose Gertrude is "too rare" indeed, anywhere, without speaking of England. The young heroine, like her noble predecessor, Father Damien,4 is a true Theosophist in daily life and practice--the latter the greatest ideal of every genuine follower of the Wisdom-religion. Before such work, of practical Theosophy, religion and dogma, theological and scholastic differences, nay even esoteric knowledge itself are but secondary accessories, accidental details. All these must give precedence to and disappear before Altruism (real Buddha- and Christ-like altruism, of course, not the theoretical twaddle of Positivists) as the flickering tongues of gas light in street lamps pale and vanish before the rising sun. Sister Rose Gertrude is not only a great and saintly heroine, but also a spiritual mystery, an EGO not to be fathomed on merely intellectual or even psychic lines. Very true, we hear of whole nunneries having volunteered for the same work at Molokai, and we readily believe it, though this statement is made more for the glorification of Rome than for Christ and His work. But, even if true, the offer is no parallel. We have known nuns who were ready to walk across a prairie on fire to escape convent life. One of them confessed in an agony of despair that death was sweet and even the prospect of physical tortures in hell was preferable to life in a convent and its moral tortures. To such, the prospect of buying a few years of freedom and fresh air at the price of dying from leprosy is hardly a sacrifice but a choice of the lesser of two evils. But the case of Sister Rose Gertrude is quite different. She gave up a life of personal freedom, a quiet home and loving family, all that is dear and near to a young girl, to perform unostentatiously a work of the greatest heroism, a most ungrateful task, by which she cannot even save from death and suffering her fellow men, but only soothe and alleviate their moral and physical tortures. She sought no notoriety and shrank from the admiration or even the help of the public. She simply did the bidding of her MASTER--to the very letter. She prepared to go unknown and unrewarded in this life to an almost certain death, preceded by years of incessant physical torture from the most loathsome of all diseases. And she did it, not as the Scribes and Pharisees who perform their prescribed duties in the open streets and public Synagogues, but verily as the Master had commanded: alone, in the secluded closet of her inner life and face to face only with "her Father in secret," trying to conceal the grandest and noblest of all human acts, as another tries to hide a crime.

They used to go out riding and driving together, also taking long excursions into the surrounding country with a photographic camera, and, on their return, going into the "dark room" together to develop the negatives. These facts became very obvious not only to the inmates of the hospital, but to the whole community. Early in the unpleasantness the priests in the Roman Catholic Mission, in answer to inquiries, declined to acknowledge Sister Rose as a genuine member of any known Sisterhood, saying at the same time that conduct like hers would not be tolerated in any Catholic country in the world.

-- Sister Rose Gertrude Seeks Solace for her Sorrows in Matrimony, by Otago Daily Times


Therefore, we are right in saying that--in this our century at all events--Sister Rose Gertrude is, as was Father Damien before her--a spiritual mystery. She is the rare manifestation of a "Higher Ego," free from the trammels of all the elements of its Lower one; influenced by these elements only so far as the errors of her terrestrial sense-perceptions--with regard to religious form--seem to bear a true witness to that which is still human in her Personality--namely, her reasoning powers. Thence the ceaseless and untiring self-sacrifice of such natures to what appears religious duty, but which in sober truth is the very essence and esse of the dormant Individuality--"divine compassion," which is "no attribute" but verily "the law of laws, eternal Harmony, Alaya's SELF." [5] It is this compassion, crystallized in our very being, that whispers night and day to such as Father Damien and Sister Rose Gertrude -- "Can there be bliss when there are men who suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the others cry?" Yet, "Personality" -- having been blinded by training and religious education to the real presence and nature of the HIGHER SELF -- recognizes not its voice, but confusing it in its helpless ignorance with the external and extraneous Form, which it was taught to regard as a divine Reality -- it sends heavenward and outside instead of addressing them inwardly, thoughts and prayers, the realization of which is in its SELF.
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