A Brief History and Sketch of the Madonna Ministry
by Bishop Charles Sommer, Former President

Arnold Michael, D.D., L.H.D., the founder of the Madonna Ministry writes: “During 1947, under very unusual circumstances I was undeniably impelled to go into seclusion and write a book that would record the birth, life, ministry, assumption and coronation of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The book was first published in 1948. It is entitled, Blessed Among Women.

The writing of this beautiful book transformed Arnold Michael from a restaurant manager to a Religious Science Minister for the next thirty-years. He retired from that activity and was consecrated as a bishop in the Church of Antioch at the Madonna Shrine in his home at Ojai, California where he started the Madonna Ministry. In 1980, during the Christmas season, his refined attunement with the Divine Mother prompted him to begin writing again. This time, he served as an instrument to show us the details of how the Immaculate Mother works as The Comforter. Arnold felt that we all hunger for the comfort of a conscious identification with unconditional, all-understanding and all-pervasive love, guidance, protection and motivation of the feminine-mothering aspect of God in addition to the Law and Will influence of the masculine-Father aspect.

The Most Reverend Arnold Michael, in obedience to inspiration, went on to publish 25 newsletters called Madonna Ministry. The twenty-five letters are step-by-step progressions of the way to your mastery of the Magnificat Principle. The Magnificat is where Mary, soon to be the mother of Jesus, had the realization, My soul does magnify the Lord and my spirit rejoices. This principle is a key to doing Spirit’ s work and is fundamental to we who minister.

Soon after Bishop Michael completed his mission here he made his transitions on the feast of the Lady of Guadalupe, Dec 12, 1987 (the patron saint of Mexico who used her influence to put an end to human sacrifice). The Lady of Guadalupe some would say is the Divine Mother, the Comforter. Anyone who understands the Law knows nothing happens by accident, Arnold was certainly guided by Spirit expressing as the Divine Mama.

Jesus the Christ told Anne Catherine Emmerich, who lived two centuries ago in Germany, that her gift of seeing (mystical visions) was greater than that possessed by anyone else in history. Her visions are well documented. Ann Catherine Emmerich in one of her inspired visions saw,”a long line of royal females extending from the Mother of God, virgins with crowns and scepters, though not earthly, queens, souls who had preceded or followed Mary in the order of time. They seemed to serve her as the twenty-four ancients serve the Most Holy Trinity. ” John in the Book of Revelation (4:4-5) talks about 24 elders sitting around the throne of God where he observed the seven Spirits of God. The saints and sages of all ages have reported these dynamics in one form or another. Their mystical visions (insights) and intuitive knowing (feeling nature) expanded their reasoning skills.

It was my intuitive feeling, which ignited when I read Blessed Among Women. This caused me to seek out the author. I wanted to meet this sage whose writings aligned with my inner knowing about the holy family. Little did I know that I would follow a similar path and be blessed with the leadership of the Madonna Ministry.

The Madonna Ministry ministers know we are guided by a hierarchy of beings. We look within for Divine inspiration and understand there is only one Life, one Mind and one Spirit. How can there be seven Spirits of God as mentioned in the book of Revelation?

The obvious answers is: God is every where present and differentiated Itself in form. The seven main energy centers within the human form are the seven Spirits of God denoted by St. John. The human body is the Temple of God. We understand that wherever we pray is the house of God. Our church is within. Whenever we give our attention to Divine Love, the Christ is Present in our awareness.

Perhaps the distinctive insignia of Madonna Ministry’ s ministers is our obedience to inspiration. We understand God as Law and as Love. The Law is one of karma, cause and effect. Love is beyond description and accounts for the Holy Comforter, guidance, compassion, and innate wisdom we call intelligence. Love – Law – Intelligence are inseparable qualities of God. God as Spirit is the Christ, the awakened One. The Holy Madonna nurtures the Christ child into what Spirit intends for It.

Being a priest in the order of Melchezadec and a disciple of Jesus the Christ, I feel aligned with the seven sacred sacrament (spirits of God) and particularly with Holy Communion. Its meaning, Its intention, Its presence is Unity, not uniformity. So we are fundamentally, a Christian mystical order that is at ease in any Church, Temple, home or business the teaches and practices unconditional love. The Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Compassionate heart of the Buddha is the Holy Union with the Indefinable One in all of us. Brahman, Vishnu, Shiva resemble the Holy Trinity in our sacred tradition. The way of the Tao is not unlike the way of Moses, Muhammad, Buddha, Jesus, Mary, Zoroaster, Joseph Smith, Baha’u’llah and others who are leading the way in spiritual evolution, from ritual sacrifice to Mystical Union.

This is the ultimate meaning of Yoga, the Upanishad, the Tree of Life, union with the Christ, and Enlightenment other inspired writings. Divine Love can not be contained, yet within It is Divine Wisdom that can be understood by all.

It is the application of intuitive wisdom that marshals all the creativity of our God-like-self. It is in the application of our creativity that we are fulfilling our purpose. To the extent that we do this, we have come to know, love and serve God. In this way we are ministering what God wants to happen through us. You might say we are a light unto the world. Sometimes the light is brighter than others. We are perfectly imperfect. We have a free choice as to where we place our attention. It is our accumulation of attentions or interest that has brought us to where we are in consciousness.

Since we come into this life with a predisposition toward various modes of expression, we tend to seek out people of like minds. Our elder brothers and sisters in spirit, along with our guides, do support our highest and best creative intention. Since Life is never ending, in all probability, we have been together before consciously. Life in the spiritual sense cannot be separated from Itself. Spirit is One in Its multiplicity of forms. Jesus the Christ knows Himself to be One in God. Can we be any less?

We in the Madonna Ministry have been drawn together because we are all interested in healing that which seems to separate us from God. We may have different names for God but we all know that it is Divine Love which dissipates all sense of separation. As we express Love, we are the healing, the healer and the healee. The Unity School of Christianity paraphrased some Beatitudes that fit the intentionality of we in the Madonna Ministry.”I am merciful. I am kind and compassionate in thought and attitude. I neither judge nor condemn any person, any country, or set of beliefs or customs that are different from my own. I treat all people as members of my spiritual family, for they are. I keep my heart stayed on God. I hold to the high ideals of Truth and Love, knowing that God is at work in all people and situations. I work with God to establish His kingdom on earth. I am a peacemaker by choice. ” In other words, we minister the fruit of the Kingdom. By turning towards the light we give our one pointed attention to unadulterated Love. We know this is the Intelligent thing to do. Mother Mary demonstrated the Immaculate Conception, the virgin concept in which is born Emmanuel, meaning”God-in-man-as-man “, the resemblance of Christ in humanity.

Bishop Michael writes:”Mary’ s thoughts and feeling were consciously and constantly concentrated upon holding the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION for Jesus… In this way she helped him magnify the image of the Father-God which He came to earth to out-picture as an example for us. Both Jesus and Mary illustrate and prove for us the power and purpose of the Magnificat Principle.”

In the twenty-fourth and final letter that Arnold Michael left with us is titled The Magnificat Principle. The opening statement and message from the Blessed Mother is:

“God individualized His nature as humanity in order to govern, direct, regulate, manifest and fulfill His activities through self-conscious beings.

“In order for humanity to become a co-creator with God, the Creative Process had to be included in its nature. This one and only Creative Process had to be included in Its nature. This one and only Creative Process is the automatic activity of the Holy Trinity. This automatic activity cannot fulfil itself without the special contribution of the Feminine, Mothering aspect of Deity.”

I like to look at the end of a book, in this case the end of a series of letters, to see where the author is going. The Magnificat Principle is the insignia of the Madonna Ministry and we who embrace the Magnificat Principle. Let us move forward in the new Millennium knowing we to be the Blessor, the Blessed, and the Blessing and let our soul magnify the Lord and our spirit rejoice in Thee.