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Order of Malta

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          The mission of the Order and its auxiliary organizations is to alleviate the suffering of the poor and sick, without judgment, distinction of religion, race or political persuasion.

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          The mission of the Order and its auxiliary organizations is to alleviate the suffering of the poor and sick, without judgment, distinction of religion, race or political persuasion.

“The Daily Prayer of the Order of Malta”

Lord Jesus, Thou has seen fit to enlist me

for Thy service amongst the Knights and Dames of St John of Jerusalem.

I humbly entreat Thee through the intercession of the most holy Virgin of Philerme, of St John the Baptist,

Blessed Gerard and all the Saints, to keep me

faithful to the traditions of our Order.

 

Be it mine to practise and defend the Catholic, the Apostolic,

the Roman faith against the enemies of religion;

be it mine to practice charity towards my neighbours,

especially the poor and sick.

 

Give me the strength I need to carry out this my resolve,

forgetful of myself, learning ever from Thy holy Gospel

a spirit of deep and generous Christian devotion,

striving ever to promote God’s glory, the world’s peace,

and all that may benefit the Order of St John of Jerusalem.

Amen

A Member’s Reflection

Our Lord has blessed us with the grace to join the Order.

It is a vocation – one that follows the charisms started by Fra’ Gerard and under the patronage of Our Lady of Philerme and St John the Baptist. We cannot have two better people praying for us than Our Lady and St John.

A member of the Order says “YES” to our Lord’s call to serve along with 13,500 others who have responded similarly.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for this grace; and for the strength I need to manifest this vocation in my life.

In my intent to be faithful to the Order’s traditions, there is much to ponder on:

Practising the Roman Catholic faith

 

  • Do I pray daily with the community of the Order?
  • Do I attend the Eucharist and Reconciliation regularly?
  • How active am I in my local parish?

 

Defending our Creed and the Body of Christ against hostility in today’s world

 

  • Do educate myself about issues that are active concerns for members of the Church?
  • Do I contactpeople of influence about moral issues in our society?
  • Do I speak up hen friends and associates attack our Church?

 

Loving my neighbour, particularly the poor and the sick

  • Who are the poor and the sick in my world, especially the ones who are hidden?
  • Do I dare to be changed by stepping into their world?
  • How do I serve the poor and the sick?

 

Forgetting my self

 

  • Have I decreased my ego, my self-importance as St John did when he yielded to Jesus?
  • Do I listen attentively to what is in the hearts of others?
  • Do I seek to understand than to be understood?

 

Going to the Gospels, letting the Holy Spirit flow into me, to stay deep within guiding me in everything I do

 

  • Do I promote God’s glory, loving all others as He does?
  • Do I unite more than divide those in my family? workplace? parish? our Australian Association?
  • What more can I do for the Order and for Christ?

The Eight Pointed Cross

The eight-pointed Cross which symbolises the Order represents the eight Beatitudes and is thus a visual memento of its spirituality. The brothers of the hospital in Jerusalem wore the cross on their church robes and mantles to honour God and the Holy Cross.

The four arms of the cross symbolise the four cardinal virtues.

Prudence – Good Judgement

Justice – Fairness

Temperance – Moderation in all things

Fortitude – Courage to stand up for what is right

The eight points of the cross symbolise the Beatitudes, the Christian principles blessed by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-10).

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for what is right, for they shall be satisfied.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
  • Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you, falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven.

In the 13th century the mantle with the white cross was given to the new Knights with the following words: “This cross was given white to us as a sign of purity, which you must carry in your heart as you wear it externally, without spot or blemish.

The eight points that you see in this are a sign of the eight beatitudes that you must always have in you, and they are: 1) to have spiritual contentment, 2) to live without malice, 3) to weep over your sins, 4) to humble yourself at insults, 5) to love justice, 6) to be merciful, 7) to be sincere and openhearted, 8) to suffer persecution.

All these virtues you must engrave on your heart, for the consolation and preservation of your soul. And for that reason, I command you to wear it openly sewn on your clothing, on the left hand side of the heart and never to abandon it.”

Being Swallowed By Our Culture

 A Reflection On The Need For Prayer

Unless you somehow have a foot outside of your culture, the culture will swallow you whole. The late Jesuit Daniel Berrigan wrote that and it’s true too in this sense: Unless you can drink in strength from a source outside yourself, your natural proclivities for rigid egotism, bitterness, and hatred will invariably swallow you whole.

The disciples in Luke’s Gospel understood this. They approached Jesus and asked him to teach them how to pray because they saw him doing things that they did not see anyone else doing. He was able to meet hatred with love, to genuinely forgive others, to endure misunderstanding and opposition without giving in to self-pity and bitterness, and to retain within himself a center of peace and non-violence.  This, they knew, was as extraordinary as walking on water, and they sensed that he was drawing the strength to do this from a source outside him, through prayer.

But even for him it is not always easy. Jesus, himself had to struggle mightily at times to ground himself in God, as we see in his agony in Gethsemane. In the garden the gospel tells us, his young friends ‘fell asleep’. Prayer is meant to keep us awake – connected to a source outside of our natural instincts. Prayer can keep us grounded in love, forgiveness, non-retaliation and non-violence. Keeping a foot outside the overwhelming power of our culture, can help one from being swallowed whole.

There are many traditional methods of prayer – coming together for Mass; personal meditation; reflective reading of the readings of Sunday Mass; sacred song; the rhythm of the Rosary; the Psalms; the prayer of the Order.

All effective ways of ‘keeping awake’. Find your own entry point to the mystery of prayer. But find it.

Monsignor Tony Doherty, Magistral Chaplain

(developing ideas of Father Ronald Rolheiser OMI)

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.