Intro-background ~ Letters to the Scattered Brotherhood ~ letter # 77 – pages 174 & 175

by faithgibson on September 7, 2014

My book review of the LSB as published on Amazon

BACKGROUND ~ LSB, British authors & WWII:

The letters in the anthology “Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood” were originally written by Anglican priests and other religious leaders of the Anglican Church in the UK during the 6-year buildup to the WWII, and the 7 years of actual armed combat between the Allied and Axis powers. In Britain, day and night bombings raids on the countryside and larger cities (the “London Blitz”) by the German Luftwaffe were unabated for months on end. With the exception of the neutral countries of Switzerland, Ireland, Sweden and Spain, Britain was the only western European country that had not been invaded and occupied by the Nazis by May 1940.

Each letter published in the LSB was individually written by an author who was personally living through the relentless military aggression of Hitler and the Italian dictator Mussolini. Against this backdrop of war, the advice by these authors about spiritual growth, brotherly love and how to go about finding inner peace is all the more meaningful.

As modern-day Americans, it’s hard to understand just how unrelentingly grim and anxiety-provoking the years between 1936 and the end of the war in 1945 were for the population of Europe. Except for the three neutral countries and non-combatant Spain, which was under the iron grip of a ruthless fascist dictator, every country that now constitutes the modern European Union had either been forcibly ‘annexed’, militarily attacked, and/or invaded and occupied, with its population exploited or exterminated by Nazi or Italian Fascist troops.

Had the US suffered the same kind of military aggression and occupation, our elected democratic government would have been violently overthrown and replaced by the infamously  dictatorship of Hitler.  Americans would have been living (and dying) in huge numbers under the occupation and the ruthless exploitation of Hitler’s storm troopers. Under these dire circumstance, I wonder if I could have maintained my own faith or inspired hope in others.

Fortunately for us, America was safely behind the protective buffer zone of the Atlantic Ocean while most of Europe was experiencing hand-to-hand combat in their streets and townships. As Americans slept safe in our beds, bombs rained down on the countries of the Europe with untold civilian casualties.

As if an all-out war with Europe was not enough murder and mayhem any one person, Hitler ordered the military  to invade the Soviet Union in May of 1914. By December 1941, he also declared war against the Unites States, making this into a truly global conflict worthy of its name — the Second World War.

By war’s end, it’s estimated that Hitler’s military adventures and his systematic policies of population extinction directly resulted in the deaths of over 62 million soldiers and innocent civilians. These countless victims included Hitler’s personal rivals, political dissenters, mentally and physically handicapped children and adults, outspoken religious leaders, uncooperative union organizers, gypsies, gays of both genders, and Jewish citizens from all over Europe


In this context, the Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood were written during a period of unprecedented worldwide savagery. The reality of what that means creates a spiritually powerful context for the comments quoted below, such as the “hurly-burly” of daily living.

I hope anyone reading this will find the same mind-expaning ideas and down-to-earth commonsense advice that i have so much enjoyed.

warmest regards,
faith ^O^


I made a few slight change from the original wording. Usually this related to gender-related pronouns, such as adding ‘or she’ to the single pronoun ‘he’. More rarely, I replaced or added a word to clarify the meaning of a particular idea. When you se the keyboard symbols of ‘<‘ and ‘>’ bracketing a word or phrase, it indicates expanding the gender-specific to be all-inclusive.

I also took the liberty of italicizing a couple of key phrases to bring the reader’s attention to an especially throughout-provoking, or important idea.

Excerpt ~ LSB, pages 174-75

“In every walk of life man places the curious hurly – burly of daily living, which brings with it the wavering faith in the invisible realities – honor, integrity, principle.  <We> often discard them as burdens in what seems to <many of us to be a> meaningless and futile world.

It is the same with nations as it is with individuals, when expediency replaces wisdom and the long-view. In human occasions, one’s ideas for oneself seems very pitiful; it is up and then down again, retrogression, self-betrayal, and then hope and self-discipline, attack, retreat, sloughs <of the despond>, backwaters, opposing tides, giant fears, and cruel realities.

No creative man <or woman> in any endeavor escapes the sense of confusion and striving on the plane of material effort, whether he <or she> is a professional, a businessman or an artist. But when <we> turn inward, and restfully leave all this to the serenity of the <divine> order, <we> find release and that the inner wisdom will rebuild the world out of chaos.

There is no other way to this accomplishment. You can see the working, for it is as delicate as a butterfly’s journey through a hurricane. It will light upon the most unexpected Havens.

It is true that the valley of the shadow is frightening and it is sometimes difficult to find Him Who says: “I am with you, I am thy rod and thy staff”.  But accept no negative whatsoever, particularly in the darkest moment, for you have been told that you are temples of the Holy Spirit which abides in you and never leave you, nor forsake’s you. That trust in the dark brings light, not resignation, which is often a negative, for humans need to believe that “when the enemy comes in like a flood the spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him”. <You have> but to believe it!

In times of anxiety turn like a child to the simple instructions, knowing that “the Father within doth the work”, and you can do nothing but rest in that assurance. Be strong in faith, a spendthrift in love, keep a valiant heart, put on your crown and be a knight indeed!

Love conquers all things.”

pages 174–1 75




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