introduction to the english edition
CHRISTIAN AGENDA Dictated by the spirit André Luiz to Fransisco Cândido Xavier Published by: ALLAN KARDEC PUBLISHING LTD 71 The Grove, Ealing Broadway LONDON – W51 5 LL – Great Britain Original Portuguese Copyright held by the: FEDERAÇÃO ESPÍRITA BRASILEIRA Rio de Janeiro, Brasil 1at Publication 1948 English translation copyrights held by: 1st Edition - ©Copyright 1970, by Christian Spirit Center, USA. 2nd Edition (Revised) - ©Copyright 1988, by Christian Spirit Center, USA. 3rd Edition (Complete Revision) - ©Copyright 1998, by ALLAN KARDEC PUBLISHING LTD, UK CHRISTIAN AGENDA A classic of Spiritist Literature (presently in its 33rd Portuguese edition) received by Fransisco Candido Xavier dictated by the spirit André Luiz translated by George C. Hart and Evelyn R. Morales ISBN 1 898675 01 5 All rights reserved Printed by: Clifford Frost Limited Lyon Road, Windsor Avenue, Wimbledon, London – SW19 2 SE, Great Britain The Editorial Rights for this 3rd Edition have been kindly conceded to the ALLAN KARDEC PUBLISHING LTD by: The Brazilian Spiritist Federation and The Christian Spirit Center, Elon College, USA. APPRECIATIONS (As stated in the first English edition) 3rd Revision and Editing by: Janet Duncan Cover Design: Irene H. Malvezi All profits received from this publication will be employed bye the Allan Kardec Publishing Ltd. In the publication of further Spiritist books in English. The translators of this book wish to express their deepest appreciation to Mdms. Margarida Fernandes Horbylon And Irene Pinto de Souza Fleury for their inspiration and guidance, and to Mr. S. J. Haddad who so lovingly aided in the corrections and preparations of the manuscript. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The English language edition of Christian Agenda has had a rather interesting history. It came into existence because of two young American Peace Corps volunteers, Evelyn R. Morales and George C. Hart, who while working in western Brazil were impressed by the Spiritist Movement there. They admired its lofty principles and the adherents’ exemplary way of life which motivated them to translate this book. We, of the Christian Spirit Center, therefore, must acknowledge first our indebtedness to them. Secondly, our thanks are directed to Lauren S. Luczynsky and Edwina A. Haddad for their patient revision work of this second edition, and to the FEDERAÇÃO ESPÍRITA BRASILEIRA for the permission granted us to reprint this valuable book. Christian Spirit Center Elon College, USA - 1970 PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION. The Allan Kardec Publishing company are indebted to Mrs. Phyllis Haddad of the Christian Spirit Center, Elon College, USA and the Brazilian Spiritist Federation very kind permission in allowing us to revise and republish this valuable book. It is to be much regretted that till today there are only a few Spiritist books that have been translated into the English language. Therefore, the Allan Kardec Publishing Ltd, being an integrated department of the Allan Kardec Study Group, Centre for Spiritist Teachings, have pledged themselves to continuing the work of translating into English and the publication of the principle works of the Spiritist Doctrine. Any and all profits gathered from the sale of books is plied back into the company to help further publications. All the workers within this publishing company are members of the Spiritist Centre, and lovingly give their time free of charge so that this work may continue to go forward. From time to time donations are received, which also make a great difference to the number of books we are able to publish. Periodic Fund-raising is also carried out. This pledge may take a lifetime or more, and certainly will not come to full fruition during the lifetime of the present Director, but she feels that the Good Spirits will see to it that there will be those to come after her who will be able to complete this wonderful task, which is a great joy and privilege. We would like to pay tribute to Rudy Bernaskoni, without whose generous donation this book would not now be published. God bless Rudy in your spiritual home! The Editor, London, February 1998. CONTENTS Introduction to the English Edition A Note to the Reader 1. Christian Imperatives 2. Redeeming Principles 3. Some Christian Privileges 4. In Your Own Favour 5. Evangelical Remedies 6. In Your Benefit 7. A Fraternal Solicitation 8. Brothers and Sisters in Dangers 9. In Conversation 10. In Grave Moments 11. Preventive Medicine 12. Always Help 13. In Reality 14. While 15. In Doing So You Will Profit 16. Some Definitions 17. In Truth 18. Useful Reminders 19. A Matter of Choice 20. Natural Conclusion 21. Sowing 22. Even Further 23. Realities 24. Appearances 25. Ascend Higher 26. If you so Desire 27. Difficult Experiences 28. Effectively 29. It is Reasonable to Think on This 30. Replies to Those in Haste 31. Reveal Yourself 32. Signs 33. Without These Resources 34. Be Prepared 15 19 21 22 24 25 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 35. Learn With Nature 36. Logically 37. Liberate Your Soul 38. Do Not Ruin Your Day 39. With Jesus 40. You Can Be Sure 41. Defend Yourself 42. You, Yourself 43. Personal Problems 44. Rise Above 45. Always Called 46. Seize the Opportunity 47. Entreaties 48. Consulting Goodness 49. Help Yourself 50. Conclusion 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 INTRODUCTION TO THE ENGLISH EDITION One of the most outstanding achievements in the latter part of the past century was the scientific contact with the Spirit World, pioneered by distinguished men and women in several countries especially Europe and the United States. Today, after several decades of direct communication with that world, a vast body of knowledge has been compiled in abundant literature and textbooks expounding the precise laws which govern the invisible plane and the phenomena of spirit manifestation on Earth. The Spirit Doctrine also known as the Third Revelation1, with its three aspects of science, philosophy, and religion, has appeared in this age in order to revise conceptions, remove doubts, and impart more reason and logic to religious faith. For the first time in recorded history, Man has been led to approach religion not only with deep reverence, but with an intelligent investigation of its claims and marvels as well. The faculty of mediumship with its various manifestations, has been the dominant factor in proving the reality of the afterlife and the transcendental nature of our universe. Through this faculty a multitude of phenomena has been witnessed, demonstrating to the astonishment of many that intelligence is not merely a product of brain cells. As a result of an interview with Sir Oliver Lodge2 in the early 1930’s, a British magazine published an article (of which only the highlights are recalled) having this unusual title: “The Eye does not See, the Ear does not Hear”. Sir Oliver said that the body is an instrument used by the Spirit in much the same way that a piano and violin are used by the musician. The eye, he added, is only a living replica of a photographic camera which transmits, through the optic nerve, light sensations to the brain, where the image is captured by the indwelling spirit. In addition to Sir Oliver Lodge, other eminent scientists who studied spirit phenomena also concluded that the human body, being one of the great wonders of creation, is but a clothing of the Spirit used on the physical plane of existence in order that it may fulfill certain tasks, gain experience, and advance in intelligence and virtue. Another interesting discovery of psychic research, emphasised in the writings of Allan Kardec3, was the existence of an intermediary , an ethereal body, semi-material in nature that acts as a link between the Spirit and the physical body; he named the “perispirit”. Kardec pointed out that the knowledge of this element furnishes us with the key to a better understanding of supernormal manifestations, and that it is by means of this intermediary body that the Spirit will reach and act upon grosser matter. The etheric body or perispirit, survives physical death and in the hereafter continues to serve as a vehicle for the intelligent entity or Spirit. Greatly resembling the physical body in appearance, and often seen through clairvoyance, its existence is by no means an abstract one. It can, in some instances, become visible and occasionally tangible, having been photographed and even weighed. Another important attribute of the perispirit is its function as the storehouse of memory, resembling, in the words of Gabriel Delanne,4 “a natural phonograph ever recording sensations to be played back later on.” The perispirit, therefore, is the agent which acts between the Spirit and physical matter and carries out, in the sensory world, the orders emanating from the intelligent principle. This explains, to a great extent, the mechanics of communication whether it be related to the beyond or to the phenomena commonly known as telepathy. In this light, a “prophet” or medium is one whose etheric body make up, including all physiological qualities, are such as to permit a closer attunement with the invisible planes of life. By the universal Law of attraction, it naturally follows that a medium must always “be watchful and pray” as well as lead a virtuous life in order to receive the assistance of the more advanced spiritual Beings, and thus safely perform all tasks. 3 According to Allan Kardec, coordinator of the Spirit Doctrine in France, the first revelation came through Moses, the second through Christ, and the third through the Spiritual Messengers. In England, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle referred to it as the “New Revelation.” Allan Kardec is a pseudonym of Hyppolyte Leon Denizard Rivail, a distinguished French educator, disciple of Pestalozzi and editor of La Revue Spirite, investigated survival and compiled the most widely read text books on the subject today. His main works are: The Spirits’ Book; The Medium’s ‘Book; The Gospel According to Spiritism; Genesis; Heaven and Hell. 2 4 1 Sir Oliver Lodge, F.R.S., D.Sc., LL.D., M.A., is a famous physicist and one of the first great thinkers to investigate survival by scientific methods and reasoning. Several works on the subject include: Survival of Man; Reason and Belief; Life and Matter; Science and Religion; Raymond or Life and Death; Ether and Reality; Why I believe in Personal Immortality; The Reality of a Spiritual World. A famous French writer on the subject of life and the hereafter. An engineer by profession, he was scientifically minded and participated in many important psychic investigations. He is the author of several important books such as: Le Phenomene Spirite; Le Spiritisme Devant la Science; Recherches sur la Mediumnité; l’Âme est Imortelle; l’Evolution Animique; Les Apparitions Materialisees des Vivants e des Morts. Among the several phases of mediumship known today, automatic writing is the most often used in Spiritism, especially for the writings of books and messages, and for the receiving of medical prescriptions.5 Two of the characteristics of automatic writing are a fast movement of the hand, which is under the control of an invisible intelligence, and a continuous flow of material regardless of the complexity of the subject. The words are at times larger in size than those of ordinary writing, and often linked together by an elongated line. Christian Agenda was received through automatic writing by the Brazilian medium Francisco Cândido Xavier. In order to more fully appreciate the contents of this book, a few words should be said about this remarkable, but humble man. Though his education did not go beyond the rural elementary school of his country, he has, nevertheless, written over four hundred books dictated by evolved spirit messengers. All through his sixty years of voluntary service he has helped thousands of people and given many thousands off medical prescriptions through automaticwriting. For this intensive work and the patient ear he lends to people’s problems, he does not receive any payment whatsoever.6 All the copyrights of his books have been donated to help the poor, and the Spiritist Movement in general, on the grounds that been mediumistically written they do not belong to him. Assisted by highly evolved spiritual Guides, “Chico” Xavier as everybody calls him, constantly seeks to regulate his life to be in accordance with their lofty standards. To those who know him, it is at times difficult to determine which is the more excellent, the moral teachings he receives or the power of his own examples. His attitude towards mediumship and service may be summed up as faithfully reflecting the injunction of Jesus, made to His disciples to freely give what they have freely received. Andre Luiz, the spiritual author of this book, is a pseudonym of a renowned doctor who lived in Rio de Janeiro in the early part of this century. He has written, mainly through Xavier and later also through the medium Dr. Waldo Viera, several other books, among which is the wellknown series beginning with Nosso Lar.7 In this book, Andre Luiz describes his first experiences in the Spirit World where he arrived completely unprepared for the new state of existence; he also describes his suffering in the lower regions and subsequent rescue, and gradual adaptation to a life more real and more intense than the one on Earth. He tells about “The Astral City” itself, which is the name of a spiritual colony in the vicinity of the Earth’s sphere, where he was transported for treatment and instruction. All of André Luiz’s other works continue to be highly instructive, dealing with a great variety of subjects, all dictated for the sole purpose of helping terrestrial Man to understand the many problems affecting this and the next life, and showing the best path to be followed. André Luiz, however, is only one of the many spirit communicators working today through Xavier, each of them using their particular literary style. Among these messengers are at least one hundred poets whose verses, now proclaiming the spiritual message, often exceed in beauty and wisdom the ones they wrote while still on Earth. Of the books received by Francisco Cândido Xavier alone, the number of copies printed has reached several millions, and Christian Agenda is now in its twenty-first edition in the original Portuguese8. Most of Chico’s work has been published by the Brazilian Spiritist Federation, which for nearly a century, has guided the movement in that country wisely steering it along the path of Christian charity, offering gratuitous service, and brotherly love. S. J. HADDAD 5 At each of his sittings Francisco Cândido Xavier is known to receive a stack of prescriptions three or four inches high. The medium José Arigó, known as “The Surgeon of the Rusty Knife,” wrote numerous and unusually long prescriptions on the average of one per minute. 6 Non-professional mediumship is stressed by the Allan Kardec school, which is generally followed in Latin America. Through spirit messages, Kardec was instructed about this matter, and became convinced that the Spirit Doctrine should have no clergy and its services be entirely free of any charges or donation. Consequently, mediums and other Spiritist workers in Brazil usually have regular occupations as sources of income. Spiritual work is performed only in their leisure hours. 7 Literally “Our Home.” Currently in its 47th Portuguese edition, with over 1,250,000 copies sold, it was the first book Xavier received from the spirit André Luiz., This book was followed by several others among which the translated titles are: In the Greater World; Labourers of Eternal Life; The Messengers; Missionaries of Light; Liberation; In the Domains of Mediumship; Action and Reaction; Between Earth and Heaven “Nosso Lar” is the only book available in English, published by the Allan Kardec Publishing Ltd, under the title “The Astral City.” 8 By 1997 this book has reached its 33rd edition in Portuguese, totaling 450,000 copies in all. A NOTE TO THE READER Legions of companions are seeking guidelines worried about finding the best way to live their lives… They would like to receive direct suggestions from the Spirit World that would elevate them to the height of an easy victory. They would like to readjust everything that concerns their business, to all of a sudden modify the mental attitudes of their loved ones, and penetrate the secrets of improvised circumstances involving the free will of others, taking advantage of the opinions of their brothers and sisters who are discarnate, inhabitants of other spheres of life. However, no one can evade the lessons of experience with their function of always instructing and perfecting. In view of this reality, any orientation that is not based on the person’s inner harmony will be nothing more than a play upon words, often laudable and beneficial, at the service of accommodation. When transformed to goodness Man represents the fundamental guarantee of human happiness. That is why it is imperative, before all else, to realise the greatness of being in relation to life and the Universe, which are always touched by the Divine Wonders in their smallest details. How can events be guided, measures adopt, manifestations controlled or brought into harmony for specific ends, situations and occurrences which lie within ourselves? If an aborigine were to be transported into a palace of modern culture he could not possibly demand that civilisation retrogress to the state of primitive huts in order to satisfy his deficiency of understanding. On the contrary, his duty would be to educate himself in order to comprehend the progress of the world. The astronomer whose feet are firmly planted on the ground, would not ask the stars to leave the courses set for them in infinite space by Cosmic Laws. It is his obligation to perfect optical instruments so as to be able to reach his objectives when facing the celestial greatness. It would be childish to keep driving away insects which swarm on an infected centre under the pretext of healing it. Logic dictates that the wound be treated and the infection removed. Mankind, having Heaven as its inheritance, will always reflect upon the Divine Paternity in accordance to the level wherein he finds himself. Let us, therefore, flee from the age old intentions of gaining easy access to cheap benefits. We cannot deny the imperative need to collaborate in the journey towards evolution. In all departments of the Universe we will find benefactors and those who receive benefits. For the hierarchy itself to function properly it must be founded upon the principles of solidarity. Nevertheless, it would not be licit to despise favours, neither should we accustomed ourselves to protection. Systematic protection is comprehensible for the tender young plant, just as it is natural to support the beneficial vegetable which is heavily laden with fruit. But for ourselves who are affected by the revelation of immortality, we are the owners of only the most rudimentary knowledge and are far from a super production in the area of goodness. We are human Spirits at some distance from our original inexperience, but still lacking in virtues. We are justifiably needing to illuminate our consciences, perfect our sentiments and individual qualities, so that we do not receive God’s blessings in vain. This little course in spirituality which André Luiz is offering is not a presumptuous collection of rigorous recommendations. It is a friendly message to those who ask for instructions from the spiritual entities, as if the true work of salvation were resident outside of themselves. This book presents a few words from our sphere of struggle where we learn that the miracle of perfection is the result of effort, knowledge, discipline, elevation, service, and perfectioning within the temple of our “Spirit.” Therefore, we are not dealing with a pretentious manual. Here, dear reader, you will observe only the recollection of the ancient teachings of the Master in a new setting of words being presented for us to remember, together with Him that the Divine Kingdom (the edification of God within Man) will. in truth, never come to the world through outward appearances. EMMANUEL9 9 Spirit guide to Francisco Cândido Xavier 1 2 CHRISTIAN IMPERATIVES REDEEMING PRINCIPLES Learn – humbly. Teach – practising. Administer – by educating. Obey – willingly. Love – edifyingly. Fear – yourself. Suffer – benefitingyourself. Speak – constructively. Hear – without malice. Help – by elevating others. Assist –uplifting others Pass by – serving. Pray – serenely. Ask – with discernment. Wait – working. Believe – actively. Trust – watchfully. Receive – and distribute. Attend – graciously. Cooperate – with detachment. Offer urgent assistance – through improvement. Examine circumstances – with criterion. Clarify – respectfully. Sow – without anxiety. Study – while perfecting. Walk – with everyone. Advance – offering help. Act – for the general good. Correct – with kindness. Forgive – continuously. Do not forget that God is the central theme of our destinies. Desire the well being of others as much as you desire it for yourself. Come to terms quickly with your adversaries. Respect your neighbours’ opinion. Avoid disagreeable disputes. Lending without expecting restitution. Give your assistance in good works happily. Do not worry about slanderers. Thank your enemy for the value he ascribes to you. Help children. Do not abandon the old and the sick. Where benefits are concerned, think of yourself last. Apologise sincerely. Criticise no one. Straighten out your own defects before correcting those of others. Use faith and good judgment. Learn to sow, that you may reap a good harvest. Do not expect grapes from the thornbush. Free yourself from the weight of excessive conventionalism. Cultivate simplicity. Talk as little as possible about yourself and your problems. Stimulate the noble qualities of your companions. Work for the good of all. Value time. 3 Organise your work knowing that each day has its obligations. Do not be anxious. Serve everyone with detachment. Be happy, just and grateful. Never impose your point of view. Remember that the world was not made only for you. * Social sciences of today present these principles as being new. However, they are ancient, having come to Earth with Christ almost twenty centuries ago. But we, who are slow to comprehend, are even slower in applying them. SOME CHRISTIAN PRIVILEGES Maintaining supreme faithfulness to God. Forgetting personal desires while attending to Superior Designs. Humbling oneself so the hand of the Lord may be exalted. Overcoming oneself. Renouncing joyfully for the benefit of others. Reaping eternal profit from temporary losses. Working to build the Divine Kingdom. Maintaining hope, while others despair. Entering into the temple of silence in the midst of commotion. Maintaining one’s faith above the torment of doubts. Silencing oneself in time to avoid hurting others. Speaking constructively. Listening to the Divine Friend when in solitude. Serving without compensation. Enduring one’s own cross with valour. Learning and profiting from one’s suffering. Loving, without demanding. Helping in secret. Sowing with Christ, detached from the results. Finding brothers and sisters in all places. Cultivating the pleasure of being useful. Discerning the just worth of causes and of things. Purifying evil. Assisting those who err with sincerity. Forgiving as many times as necessary. Overcoming obstacles. Preserving joyfulness and sweetness. Maintaining cheerfulness. Detaching oneself from the deceits of the world before the world deceives us. Persevering on the side of goodness to the end. 4 IN YOUR OWN FAVOR Learn to yield in the favour of many, so that some will intercede on your behalf in disagreeable situations. * Help without demanding, so that others may help you without complaining. * Do not imprison those about you to your way of thinking; give your companion the opportunity to interpret life as freely as you do. * Be careful of the way you express yourself; gestures often speak louder than words. * Refer to yourself as little as possible; cooperate fraternally in the joys of your fellow beings. * Avoid overwhelming verbosity; he who talks without pause tires the listener. * Leave the authorship of good ideas to others and do not worry if you are forgotten. Be convinced that any noble initiative does not really belong to you, since everything good proceeds originally from God. * Think of your adversary as a bearer of equilibrium; if we have need of friends to stimulate us, we equally need someone to show us our errors. * Be calm when arguing; your opponent’s rights are the same as yours. * If you pay too much attention to the criticism of the one who is inferior, then you must endure the constraints of the plane to which you have descended without feeling hurt. * Be useful everywhere, but do not attempt to please everyone; do not undertake that which even Christ has still not attained. * When faced with error, correct it first in yourself, and then in others, without violence and without hate. * If treachery crosses your path, deny it the honour of indignation; examine it with a silent smile, study the process calmly and shortly afterwards, transform it into material worthy of life. * Help the envious in a fraternal manner; spite is an undisguised homage to merit, and in paying this tribute, the common man torments himself and suffers. 5 6 EVANGELICAL TREATMENTS IN YOUR BENEFIT Always help. Do not fear. Never despair. Learn incessantly. Think profoundly. Meditate more. Speak little. Correct lovingly. Work happily. Direct sensibly. Obey contentedly. Do no complain. Go forward. Observe what is beyond. Look well ahead. Discuss serenely. Shed light. Sow peace. Spread blessings. Struggle and elevate. Be joyful. Live fearlessly. Demonstrate courage. Reveal calmness. Respect everything. Pray confidently. Be watchful with benevolence. Go forth, progressing. Serve today. Await tomorrow. Habituate yourself to serenity and strength in the circles of human struggle. Without these conquests it will be difficult for you to free yourself from the succession of inferior reincarnations. Do not fret over the ignorant person; surely they have not had the opportunities which illuminated your path. * Avoid trouble with those who are fanatics; they remain imprisoned in exclusivism and deserve compassion just as any other prisoner. * Do not be perturbed with by an ill-bred person; in most cases the one who is unsociable has a liver complaint and bad nerves. * Help the companion who is insecure; perhaps they do not have enough to supply their needs, while you retain an excess. * Do not be angry with an ungrateful person; probably they are confused or inexperienced. * Help those who make mistakes; your feet walk on the same ground, and even if you possess the possibility to correct them, you have no right to censure them. * Pardon the deserter; he is weak and will return to the lesson later on. * Aid the sick; thank the Divine Power for the state of equilibrium you are able to conserve. * Forget your accuser; he does not know your case from itsbeginning. * Forgive the transgressor; life will take care of him. 7 8 A FRATERNAL SOLICITATION BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN DANGER Help, with your prayers, all those brothers and sisters… Are those who wish to transform others, from one day to the next, by the force of mere words. who never find the time or resources to be useful to anyone; who declare themselves affronted by ingratitude on all sides; whose eyes are cloaked in darkness and so see evil in all situations; who dream of a thousand castles in the clouds, but do not light one candle on the ground; who will only cooperate in the ivory tower of personal interest, unwilling to descend so as to collaborate with others; who believe themselves to have special missions and thus entitled to exceptional benefits; who use up precious time talking exclusively about themselves; who give up the process of learning from the human struggle; who never cease to find excuses for all their faults; who want to live like orchids in the living room of the world; who judge themselves to be the obligatory centres of general attention; who make a fetish of illness and obstacles. These are very sick people in need of Silent Help. * Are those who give intelligent opinions and good advice to everybody, while being heedless of their own problems. * Are those who place their minds completely in another world without attending to the duties of the world in which they live. * Are those who are constantly concerned about defending themselves. * Are those who plan ten marvelous projects each day without materialising even one of them in ten years. * Are those who recognize the grandeur of the Divine Truths, but never find time to cultivate them in favor of their own illumination. * Are those who continually postpone till tomorrow the task of understanding and loving others. * Are those who regard themselves exclusive proprietors of all the work within the field of charity without distributing opportunities of service to others. * Are those who declare forgiveness of the offense, but are never able to forget the injury. * Are those who find occasion to become weary of life. 9 10 IN CONVERSATION IN GRAVE MOMENTS Do not become irritated with the person to whom you are talking if he does not meet your expectations. Perhaps you were not sufficiently clear in expressing yourself. * When addressing someone and you do not receive a prompt answer don’t complain. He is probably a stutterer; if he is not, discourtesy is a sadness in itself. * When someone does not give you the solicited information as quickly as you would like, do not become irritated. Remember that deafness can happen to anyone. * Avoid matters which are disturbing to the listener. We all have painful periods in our destiny about which we must be silent. * Refrain from asking thoughtless questions. The person who interrogates too much often offends greatly. * Cultivate courteousness with the workers of any institutions or establishment you may happen to temporarily visit. Almost always your mind is usually unconcerned in such places and ignore the problems of those serving you. * Be sincere, but avoid uncharitable frankness. On the pretext of being realistic do not try to be more honest than God, from whose Loving Authority only we receive the revelations and work of each day. * If someone hurts you with an unkind answer, be calm and wait. Maybe they have already politely answered others ninety-nine times, or perhaps they have just suffered some important loss. * Be helpful in your conversations. A good word always uplifts. * Remember that evil is never worth commenting upon. Be calm. Life, as a state of struggle, can be good; but the state of war is never a good life. * Do not deliberate hurriedly. Circumstances, being the offspring of Superior Designs, modify our experiences minute by minute. * Avoid inopportune tears. They can complicate enigmas instead of solving them. * If you have erred disastrously, do not sink into despair. Standing up again is the best measure for one who falls. * Be patient. If you cannot dominate yourself, then it is useless for you to seek understanding from someone who does not as yet comprehend you. * If the question is excessively complex, wait one more day or one more week in order to resolve it. Time does not pass in vain. * On the pretext of defending someone, do not enter into a noisy circle. There are those who make a great deal of noise as a matter of preference. * Be moderate in your resolutions and attitudes. In moments of gravity your spiritual realities become more visible. * Be moderate in your resolutions and attitudes. Our spiritual reality is more visible in grave moments. * Take care in any kind of evaluation alluding to second or third persons. On similar occasions, others will be called upon to evaluate you. * Never proclaim your individual merits since any excellent quality is very problematical within the frame of our spiritual acquisitions. Remind yourself that virtue is not a voice that speaks, but rather a power that radiates. 11 12 PREVENTIVE MEDICINE ALWAYS HELP Think well before entering into argument. At times the debater is no more than a hot-head. * Use courage sensibly. On many occasions the courageous person is simply imprudent. * Observe your methods of cultivating the truth. Many people who presume themselves truthful are actually channels of disturbance and discouragement. * Proceed with intelligence in all situations. Do not forget, however, that many intelligent men are mere scoundrels. * Be strong in daily the struggles. Nevertheless, do not forget that many whom you think to be brave are unconsciously committing suicide. * Esteem efficiency. But do not adopt rashness on the pretext of speed. * Do not confront dangers without the resources to annul them. What we set apart as bravery is often madness. * Always show valour in your attitudes. Remember, however, that valour does not consist in winning at any price, but in conquering your adversary by peaceful means. * Have courage, but be moderate in your undertakings. The distance from audacity to crime is but a few steps. * Cultivate affability and sweetness along your path. Nevertheless, do not waste your time in useless conversation. When faced by the night, do not reproach its darkness. Learn to disperse it with light. * To condemn the swamp is useless. Help it to become purified. * Along a stony road, do not throw rocks at others. Employ the stones in useful works. * Do not condemn the clamour of others. Teach them a profitable lesson by your silence. * When faced by difficult situations, do not be swayed by uncertainty. Confront them with a clear conscience. * It is useless to blame the thorn bush. Remove it with kindness. * Do not criticise the barren ground. Fertilize it instead. * Do not reproach the desert. Help to dig a well under the burning sand. * There is no advantage in disapproving when everyone else disapproves. Instead uphold your brother or sister with a kind word. * It is always easy to observe and identify evil. However, what Christ expects from us is the discovery and cultivation of goodness so that Divine Love may be glorified. 13 14 IN REALITY WHILE… A tempest frightens. However, it will strengthen our ability to endure if we know how to receive it. Seek the opportunities of good deeds while you still have time. It is dangerous to keep a head full of dreams with unoccupied hands. Pain lacerates. But it will perfect our hearts, if we seek to profit from its passage. Kindle your lamp while there is light about your steps. No traveler can avoid the surprises of night fall. Misunderstanding hurts. Nevertheless, it offers us an excellent opportunity to cultivate serenity. Help those about you while you have the opportunity of doing so, because the moment will come when you will not be able to carry on without help from others. * * * Struggle disturbs. However, it will be the bearer of invaluable benefits if we accept its contribution. * Desperation destroys. In the face of it, however, we find the opportunity to cultivate serenity. * Hate obscures. Still, it can unveil a blessed horizon for the revelation of love. * Misfortune overwhelms. Yet, it prepares us to better console others. * Shock terrifies. However, within it we can find the blessings of renewal. * Trials torment us. Nevertheless, without them, learning becomes impossible. * An obstacle displeases. But it is the true producer of elevation and capability. * * * Use your physical body to gather blessings from the Higher Life while it still works together harmoniously. The vase that held sublime essences will continue to perfume the air after being abandoned. * Give your lessons wisely in the school of life while the book of trials still rests in your hands. Learning is a blessing, and there are thousands of brothers and sisters nearby awaiting a scholarship in reincarnation. * Settle your accounts with your neighbour while the time is favourable. Tomorrow the entire scene could be changed. * No one should be a prophet of death, not try to imitate the ill-omened owl. Yet while you await the opportunity to store up higher spiritual values, continue to increase your own worth and develop treasures for your soul, in the certainty that your journey to another type of existence is inevitable. 15 16 IN DOING SO YOU WILL PROFIT SOME DEFINITIONS Comfort the despairing. You yourself will not escape the temptations of discouragement within the circles of struggle. A benefactor is one who helps and goes on his way. * Lift the fallen. You do not know where your own feet will stumble. A friend is one who aids in silence. * A companion is one who cooperates without making us feel uneasy. Extend your hand to those who in need of support. Your day for receiving cooperation will arrive. A reformer is one who restores himself to the ways of goodness. Help the sick. Your own soul is not using an invulnerable body. A strong person is one who knows how to wait within the task of peaceful work. * * Make an effort to understand the less enlightened companion. Know that you do not always have the necessary means for understanding as could be desired. * Be sympathetic towards the unfortunate. The sky will not always be sunny for you. An enlightened person is one who knows himself. Brave person is —one who fears nothing in himself. A defender is one who cooperates without causing confusion. * An efficient person is one who acts for the benefit of all. Be tolerant and patiently help the ignorant. Remember that there are Sublime Spirits that tolerate us and help us with heroic kindness. A winner is one who conquers himself. * Console the downhearted. You cannot foresee the surprises of your own destiny. * Help the offender with your good thoughts. He teaches us how hostile and disagreeable we are when we hurt someone else. * Be kind to those dependent upon you. Do not forget that Christ himself was compelled to obey. 17 18 IN TRUTH USEFUL REMINDERS The saint does not condemn the sinner. He helps him without being presumptuous. Do not continually ask for spiritual guidance. If you already have tuppence worth of Christian concepts, then you understand enough to know what to do. * The wise person does not ridicule one who is ignorant. He instructs him in a brotherly manner. * The enlightened person does not insult those walking in darkness. He illuminates their path. * The instructor does not blame the stumbling apprentice. It is the insecure sheep which most needs the shepherd. * The good person does not persecute the one who is bad. They assist them to better themselves. * The strong person does not malign the weak. They help them to raise themselves up. * The humble person does not avoid one who is proud. They cooperate silently in their favour. * The sincere person does not disturb others. They bring harmony to all. * The unpretentious do not criticise the vain. Whenever necessary they help without ostentation,. * The Christian does not hate or hurt. He follows Christ, serving the world. * Otherwise, titles of virtues would only be external coverings which time would destroy. * Do not waste your energy trying to straighten out others by imposition. When we straighten ourselves out we realise that the world is administered by Divine Wisdom and that the obligation to cooperate continuously toward goodness is our fundamental duty. * Do not blame the discarnate spirits for your failures in life’s struggles. Note the rhythm of your own life, examine your income and expenditures, your actions and reactions, your manners and attitudes, your obligations and decisions, and you will recognise that you have the situation you sought and that you reap exactly what you sown. * Do not appeal systematically to your spiritual friends with regard to petty everyday tasks. They are equally busy and confront problems greater than yours and their responsibilities are more grave and immediate. Within the common struggles on Earth, you would not have the courage to ask a generous and kind professor to perform the functions of a baby sitter. * Do not wait for death to solve the problems of life, nor claim sickness or old age as an excuse to stop learning, because we are still very far from Heaven. The grave does not bring a miraculous transformation, but opens a wider door to our own conscience. 19 20 A MATTER OF CHOICE NATURAL CONCLUSIONS Look for a delinquent and you will find many offenders. It is necessary, then, for you to possess an immense reserve of love in order to reform them without becoming criminal yourself. The patient person never despairs. The anxious sooner or later complain * * Seek to identify a fault and you will find innumerable ones. Faced with that situation, it is essential that you be sufficiently enlightened so as not add your error to the errors of others. The brave endures difficulties, overcoming them. The reckless confront dangers without ponderation. * * Try to locate one thorn and you will encounter various thorn bushes. In such case, it is necessary that you remain very well balanced in order not to hurt yourself. The enlightened person stands out. The theorist talks excessively. * Place too much attention upon a stone in the road and, shortly, the ground will become very stony to your eyes. After that, you will need a great deal of resistance not to succumb to the roughness of the journey. * Approach goodness, look for it with determination, and kindness will illuminate your path. Only then will you be perfectly equipped to win the war against evil. * The friend studies ways to help. The adversary watches for means to hurt. * The common man helps according to his inclinations. The Christian always help. 21 22 SOWING EVEN FURTHER Your generosity will call the goodness of others to your aid. To have a mouth that is perfumed is not enough. It is imperative that it be incapable of hurting others. * Your simplicity will solve problems for many people. * Your complexity will give rise much insincerity in others. * Your indifference will produce visible coldness in others. * Your sincere desire for peace will guarantee tranquillity along your path. * Your belligerency will bring forth fruits of anxiety. * Your blunt frankness will provoke rude responses. * Your refinement will inspire correct manners in those who follow you. * Your superior spirituality will motivate sublime spiritual achievements. * We sow and we reap daily. Life is also a soil which receives and produces eternally. * The cleanliness of your hands is important. However, it is essential to verify what they do. * Good ears are certainly a treasure. However, Divine Justice, will want to know what you are listening to. * Excellent vision is a laudable quality. Nevertheless, it is of interest to note how you look at life. * To have physical health is to possess a valuable gift. But it is necessary to consider what you do with your healthy body. * Clear reasoning is a virtue. Still, it is essential to observe in what mental zone you are reasoning. * A beautiful imagination is like a marvellous castle. It is well to note with what images you furnish your inner palace. * Strong emotions characterise of internal richness. Nevertheless, it is necessary to verify how you spend your emotions. * The ability to be intensely productive is a precious resource. But it is essential that you know the substance of that which you produce. * The capacity to proceed joyfully through life is a blessing. Nevertheless, remember to watch the direction that your feet are taking along the way. 23 24 REALITIES APPEARANCES The clown that you mock is frequently a brave soldier of good cheer. * The extremely adorned woman of whom you usually disapprove, in many occasions dressing like that in order to help a great number of working hands. * Do not incriminate the brother who appears to be wealthier. Perhaps they are merely a slave to obligations. * Do not condemn the companion who was raised to a position of authority. He is probably a mere debtor to the multitude. * Do not envy the one who administers while you obey. Frequently they are suffering a painful process. * The singer who performs smilingly from whom you often turn away in boredom, in the belief that you are preserving your own virtue, is usually trying to earn bread for many needy relatives, and thus deserves consideration and respect. Do not disdain the colleague who is conducted to greater prominence. The responsibility that weighs on his shoulders can be an incessant torment. * Do not censure the woman who dresses luxuriously. For her, luxury is probably a bitter trial. The well-to-do person who appears to be lazy and unproductive is, perhaps involved in projects that you would never find the animation to tackle. * Do not judge others by their appearance. The truth, like the Kingdom of God, is never displayed in outward appearances. * * Do not criticise the polite in manner who seem insincere at first sight. Possibly they are avoiding serious crimes or great discouragements. * Do not fret over the ill-humored friend. You do not know all of his inner difficulties. * Do not become displeased with the person whose conversation is futile. You were also like that when you lacked experience. * Do not mutter against the inconsiderate young. Help them whenever you can, remembering that you were once considered to be irresponsible by many people. * Do not be intolerant in any situation. The clock ticks incessantly, and you will likewise face numerous difficult problems along your own path as well as on the paths of those you love. 25 26 ASCEND HIGHER IF YOU SO DESIRE Do not be hurt by slander. Live in such a way that no one will believe the slanderer. * Do not be set back by perturbations. Follow your path attending to the superior purposes of life, because the makers of confusion will be many. * Do not be concerned with unwarranted accusations. You can realize many valuable plans to counteract the unjust accusers. * Do not be troubled by untoward mistrust. You can employ your clear conscience in honest service anywhere. * Do not become discouraged by criticism. Censure is something within everyone’s reach, but elevated achievements are the work of only a few. * Do not become disheartened by unfavourable opinions. If you remain devoted to goodness, the approval of your own conscience will prevail over any other opinion, no matter how respectable. If you desire to become in effect a Christian, then: by losing, you will win in the human battle; by yielding, you will obtain the resources you need; by working, you will attain your own happiness; by forgiving, you will edify those around you; by liberating, you will conquest others; by enduring, you will withstand the storm; by renouncing, you will gain immortal treasures; by blessing, you will save many; by suffering, you will receive more light; by sacrificing yourself, you will find peace; by hard work, you will purify yourself; by loving, you will always illuminate. 27 28 DIFFICULT EXPERIENCES EFFECTIVELY Physical beauty can bring about unforeseeable tragedies for the soul that lacks discernment. To be vigilant does not mean distrust. It means enlighten yourself by means of helping those who find themselves in the shadows. * * Excessive money is a door to pauperism, if the one who possess it cannot maintain his own balance. To defend is not a matter of shouting. It is to render more intense service to causes and to people. * * Too much comfort is a disadvantage, if one does not learn the art of detaching oneself from it. To help is not to impose. It is to give substantial support, without craving for personal recognition, so that the beneficiary may grow, become enlightened and find happiness of his own accord. * Prominence can be the introduction to a spectacular fall, if one does not mature ones reasoning. * Too great an authority spoils the joy of living, if the mind does not cultivate a sense of proportion. * Too heavy a responsibility can exterminate the existence of one who has, as yet, not risen above ordinary understanding. * An enormous amount of knowledge in the midst of many ignorant, vulgar, or foolish people is a poisonous and bitter fruit, if the spirit still has not become resigned to solitude. * To teach is not to hurt others. It is to lovingly guide them towards the kingdom of understanding and peace. * To renovate is not to destroy. It is to respect the foundations, and so restore works for the general good. * To enlighten is not to argue. It is to assist through the spirit of service and good-will the understanding of those who lack knowledge. * To love is not to desire. It is to always be understanding, give of one’s self, renounce one’s whims, and to sacrifice ourselves so that the Divine Light of true love may shine forth. 9 30 IT IS REASONABLE TO THINK ON THIS REPLIES TO THOSE IN HASTE Patience is not a colorful stained glass window for you to enjoy in leisure hours. It is added help when facing obstacles. Avoid impatience. You have already lived countless centuries and are now standing before endless millenniums. Serenity is not a garden to be cultivated only for your cheerful days. It is a provision of peace for the deception along your pathway. Keep calm. But flee from idleness as one who recognises the decisive value of each minute. Calmness is not merely harmonious violin to accompany your pleasant conversations. It is a substantial asset against misunderstandings. Sow love. Think of the devotion of the One Who has loved us from the beginning. * * * * * * Tolerance is not a delicious wine to be enjoyed in your moments of fellowship. It is a valuable door through which you may demonstrate good-will toward less advanced companions. Keep your balance. Unbridled passions and desires are forces of destruction within the Divine Creation. * Cultivate confidence. Tomorrow the sun will reappear on the horizon, and the landscape will be different. Real co-operation is not just the easy process of receiving assistance from others. It is a means of helping a friend in need. * Confidence is not a nectar to sweeten your moonlit nights. It is a secure refuge for the tempestuous hours. * Optimism does not constitute ease for your twilight hours. It is a source of power for difficult days. * Fortitude is not a rhetorical ornament. It is a reinforcement to faith. * Hope is not the act of kneeling for simple contemplation. It is energy for the lofty realisations that belong to your Spirit. * Virtue is not a decorative flower. It is the blessed fruit of your own effort which you should use and glorify at the appropriate moment. * * Intensify your own efforts. Your life will be what you make of it. * Cherish solidarity. You would not be able to live without others, although, in the majority of cases others can live without you. * Experience solitude, from time to time. Jesus was alone in the crucial moments of his passage on the Earth. * Give constructive action to your hours. However, do not convert your existence into a tower of Babel. * Render your faithful devotion to peace. But remember that you will never experience tranquillity without first giving peace to those who cross your path. 31 32 REVEAL YOURSELF SIGNS In your daily struggles, do not demand politeness from your companion. Demonstrate yours. Your conversation indicates the directions you have chosen in life. Referring to good deeds, do not await for collaboration. Before all else, be the first to collaborate. Your decisions, taken in grave moments, identify the true position of your Spirit. * * * * In trivial tasks, do not demand the effort of others. Show your own good-will. Your attitudes, within the daily struggles, speak of your inner climate. * * In jobs that require understanding, do not ask your neighbour to rise to your level. Learn to descend to his and help him. * When performing Christian duties, do not wait for outside resources to fulfill them. The best thing that you can give to good works is your own heart. * In the ordinary dealings of life, do not wait for your others to reveal their excellent qualities. Express the elevated gifts that you already possess. * In every earthly creature there exists light and shadow. Allow your nobility to become conspicuous in order that the nobility of others may come to your encounter. Your impulses define the mental zone in which you prefer to operate. * Your thoughts reveal the kind of spiritual companion you keep. * Your reading habits define your sentiments. * Your personal treatment of others demonstrates the point to which you have progressed. * Your requests shed light upon your objectives. * Your opinions reveal the true place which you occupy in the world. * Your days are marks along the pathway of evolution. Do not forget that great assemblies of companions, both incarnate and discarnate, know your personality and follow you along your pathway by the signs you leave behind. 33 34 WITHOUT THESE RESOURCES BE PREPARED Without good manners you will be deprived of the confidence of others. Balance your sense of justice, subtracting from it any inclination towards vengeance. * Without fortitude, you will succumb to the first obstacles on your path. * Without positive faith, you will wander aimlessly. * Without devoting yourself to goodness, you will experience a terrible inner hardening. * Without giving noble examples, you will pass uselessly through the world. * Without dignified work, tedium will corrode your energies. * Without personal effort, you will never reach the doors to Higher Planes. * Without hope, your earthly nights will be even darker. * Without comprehension, your journey through the shadows will be painful. * Without a spirit of renunciation, you will not be able to educate anyone. * Be on guard against your fearlessness, lest it become an act of recklessness. * Analyse your firmness, so that it will not be transformed into petrification. * Illumine your directives, so they will not be converted into tyranny. * Examine your cleverness, so avoiding your internment within villainy. * Take care that suffering does not become revolt. * Control your resentments, to avoid installing them in the sinister house of hatred. * Keep watch over your frankness, so that your words will not distil poison * Watch over your enthusiasm, so that it will not constitute thoughtlessness. * Cultivate your noble zeal, but do not turn it into a dark primer of violence. 35 36 LEARN WITH NATURE LOGICALLY The sun shines from on high, in order to help everyone. The person who feeds hatred pours fire into their own heart. The stars group themselves in order. The person who upholds vice becomes its prisoner. The sky has its timetable for hours of light and of darkness. * The person who cultivates idleness surrounds himself with a wall of ice. Although it continues to be linked to the soil, the vegetable abandons the dark hole in search of light so that it may produce. The person who becomes angry is the inquisitor of his own soul. * * * * * * * The bough that survived the storm yielded to its passage, nevertheless it continues to maintain its appropriate place. The person who delights in criticism casts stones upon himself. * The person who provokes difficult situations increases the number of obstacles they face. The rock guarantees the life of the valley, by resigning itself to solitude. * The river reaches its objectives because it has learned to flow around obstacles. * * The person judges hastily is always analysed with haste. * * The person who specialises in identifying evil will find it difficult to see goodness. The bridge serves the public without making exceptions, by asserting itself against extremism. * * The vase is useful to the potter, after enduring the heat of the kiln. * The gem shines, after submitting to the files of the stonecutter. * The canal is able to fulfil its finalities, because it does not lose access to the reservoir. * The harvest always yields in accordance with the purposes of the sower. The person who does not desire to endure is incapable of serving. * The person who lives collecting lamentations will walk under a shower of tears. 37 38 LIBERATE YOUR SOUL DO NOT RUIN YOUR DAY Do not become attached to the beauty of ephemeral forms. The flower lasts but briefly. Your irritation will not solve any problems. * Do not heap up precious things that weigh in the scale of the world. Golden chains can bind as much as bronze handcuffs. * Do not become a slave to opinions of the frivolous or ignorant. Incitatus, Caligula’s horse, ate from a bucket adorned with pearls, still it did not stop him from being a horse. * Do not nourish the greed for possessions. The coin collector’s house is full of coins which served millions, but whose owners have disappeared. * Do not give up your constructive freedom because of human opinions. The trap that punishes the ferocious animal is the same that surprises the negligent canary. * Do not believe in the flattery which lends you imaginary qualities. Cruel wasps frequently hide themselves in the calyx of the lily. * Do not worry afflicted over acquiring immediate benefits during the Earth experience. Museums crammed full of the cloaks of kings and of other “cadavers of dead advantages.” * Your contrarieties will not alter the nature of things. * Your disappointments will not do the work that only time will achieve. * Your bad humor will not modify life. * Your pain will not stop the sun from shining tomorrow over the good and the bad. * Your sadness will not illuminate pathways. * Your discouragement will not edify anyone. * Your tears will not replace the sweat which you ought to employ for the benefit of your own happiness. * Your complaints, even if affectionate construed, will never increase other’s sympathy for you by one ounce. * Do not ruin your day. Learn, from Divine Wisdom to forgive endlessly, so constructing and reconstructing for the Infinite Good. 39 40 WITH JESUS YOU CAN BE SURE Renunciation will be a privilege for you. You can talk about kindness at every moment, but if you are not kind, it will be useless for your own happiness. * Suffering will glorify your life. * Tests will expand your powers. * Work will be as a mark of confidence along your pathway. * Sacrifice will sublimate your impulses. * Bodily illness will be a beneficial remedy for your soul. * Slander will honour your task. * Persecution will be a motive for you to bless many. * Anguish will purify your hopes. * Evil will summon your spirit to the practice of goodness. * Hate will challenge your heart to manifestations of love. * The Earth, with all its contrasts and unceasing renewals represents a blessed school of individual perfection in whose purifying lessons you will leave selfishness crushed forever. * Your hand can write beautiful pages under spiritual inspirations; however, if you do not stamp the beauty of those pages onto your spirit, you will not be more than a courier without intelligence. * You can read marvelous books, with emotions and tears; still, if you do not apply what you have read, you will only be a bad recorder. * You can cultivate sincere convictions in matters of faith; nevertheless, if these convictions do not serve to renew you for the good, your mind will be reduced to a mere hook whereon to hang religious maxims. * Your capacity to offer guidance can discipline many people, so improving their personalities. Still, if you do not discipline yourself, the Law will face you with the same severity with which it is utilised you so as to perfect others. * You may know the lessons of the pathway perfectly and may, in the mortal eyes, pass to the gallery of heroes and saints; but if you do not practise the good teachings you know, the Divine Laws will determine that you always have to begin your work over again, each time with greater difficulty. * You may call Jesus: “Master” and “Lord”…; however, if you do not want to learn to serve with Him, your words will sound hollow, without any meaning. 41 42 DEFEND YOURSELF YOU, YOURSELF Remind yourself that you are: Do not turn your ears into a storehouse of rumours. Intrigue is a viper that will lodge in your soul. * Do not transform your eyes into lenses of vivification. The images that you corrupt will remain corrupted on the screen of your mind. * Do not turn your hand into spears in order to fight without profit. Use them in the field of goodness. * Do not underrate your creative faculties, by focusing them on easy pleasures. You will answer for what you did with them. * Do not condemn your imagination to permanent excitation. Your inferior creations will torment your inner world. * Do not lead your feelings towards a lust for suffering. Teach them to delight in the enjoyment of service. * Do not search for the pathway to paradise while directing others towards the road to hell. The way to heaven will be built inside yourself. the best secretary for your tasks, the most efficient publicity agent for your ideas, the clearest demonstrator of your principles, the highest standard of the lofty teaching your Spirit embraces, and the living message of the noble ideas that you transmit to others. Equally, do not forget that: the greatest enemy of your most noble realisations, the complete or incomplete negation of the sublime idealism that you proclaim, the discordant note of the symphony of goodness that you intend to execute, the architect of your afflictions, and the destroyer of your opportunities for elevation—is you, yourself. 43 44 PERSONAL PROBLEMS RISE ABOVE Living faith is not transferable property. It is a personal conquest. * Legitimate happiness is not merchandise that can be borrowed. It is an inner realisation. When looking at a block of crude stone, do not dwell on its possible weight. Remember the perfect statue that will emerge from it. * Grace does not descend from heaven at random. It has to be earned. When contemplating the difficulties of sowing, do not let the fears of torrential storm or blight detain you. Think of the grain that will overflow in the granary. The best charity is not that which is done by substitutes. We must perform it ourselves. When facing a storm, do not lose yourself in lamentations. Meditate upon the benefits that its passage will bring. Moral strength is not the result of others pleading for us. It comes from our own effort to take stand on the side of goodness. When faced with hard work, do not be afraid of the copious sweat it will produce. Centralise your expectations on the good that will results from it. * * * * Steadfast hope does not dwell firmly in our hearts by mere contagion. It is the offspring of higher understanding. * Real love is not born from the shadows of desire. It is a crystalline and inexhaustible fountain of the eternal spirit. * True knowledge is not the achievement of but a few days. It is the work of time. * Paradise will never be acquired by astute bargaining. It is attainable through our good will in avoiding the purgatory or hell of our own conscience. * The protection of the Higher Planes is an unquestionable fact for all of us who still move within the shadows. Woe to us, however, if we do not seek the blessings of enlightenment! * * * Do not be preoccupied with the heat of the forge. Look towards the useful articles with which it will furnish your life. * Do not only picture only the dangers of illness. Reflect upon the joy and possibility of being able to cure. * If you are governed effectively by the higher ideal, forget the friend who deserted, the wife who fled, the ungrateful companion or the difficult relative. All of them are learning and passing by, just as you are…What matters is the intensification of light, the progress of truth, and the victory of goodness. 45 46 ALWAYS CALLED SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY Christians are called to serve everywhere. It is not the docile companion who most needs your immediate fraternal understanding. But the one who still struggles to subdue the ferocity of wrath which lies deep inside. * In a house of suffering, they administer consolation. * In a den of ignorance, they will offer enlightenment. * In a castle of pleasure, they will teach moderation. * On the brink of criminality, they will impede the falls. * In a charabanc of generic abuse, they will exemplify sobriety. * In dark hideaways, they will kindle the light. * In the fog of despondency, they will open the doors of encouragement. * In the inferno of hatred, they will multiply the blessings of love. * In the market-place of malice, they will distribute goodness. * In the courts of justice, they will put themselves in the place of the accused, so that he may examine the errors of others. * At every turn of the path we encounter suggestions from the Lord, challenging us to serve. * It is not the person who is full of evangelical understanding that requires your most urgent attention. But the one who still has not succeeded in eliminating the viper of malice from within their heart. * It is not the friend marching peacefully along the path of goodness who will insistently solicit your care. But the one who loses himself in the thicket of discord and misunderstanding, who is without strength to return to the right path. * It is not the person who goes about his normal work that requires urgent help. But the one who did not have sufficient resources to conquer the constraining circumstances of human experience, and so fell into the dark zones of derangement. * It is very probable that, for the time being, your co-operation in paradise s completely dispensable. However, the unquestionable reality for the moment is that your place of service, learning, helping and loving is right here on Earth. 47 48 ENTREATIES CONSULTING GOODNESS In prayer you ask for a ray of Light, but almost always you forget that you have at your disposal the solar focus point to help you to fulfil the Sublime Objectives. The slanderer wants you to see the same ugliness he sees in the lives of others. * Your Spirit supplicates a glimmer of love, while all around you Humanity awaits the manifestation of your capacity to love. * You beg for the concession of favours that enable you to collaborate with Divine Wisdom, forgetting that millions of beings are waiting for your willingness to serve, in the name of the Heavenly Father. * Your heart demands heavenly signs, and, while in the Wisest of the Wise colours the flowers and the horizons for your eyes to see, you search for vain diversions and notice nothing. * You demand justice for your personal affairs and daily complicate situations and problems, without ever noticing that Supreme Harmony always rectifies everything around you, through the intermediary of pain and death. * You desire opportunities for growth and ascension to higher spirituality, but frequently run away from the various degrees of laborious and humble work offered to you daily, conceded by the One who is Infinitely Good, in the name of mercy. * If you are always entreating eternal happiness, yet refusing the resources enabling you to acquire it, what more can you expect? * The weak and hesitant person expects your strength to be brittle. * The contentious person will await your presence to take part in disputes against everybody and everything. * The ungrateful person will not feel happy at seeing you being grateful towards others. * The egotistical person will not rejoice at seeing your respect for their adversaries. * The revolt person will attempt to fix a mask of rebellion to your face. * The confused person will try to plunge your mind into the depths of turmoil. * The neurasthenic will ask you not to smile. * The foolish will demand your adherence to madness. * The person who is as yet imperfectly spiritualized, always seeks to liken his fellow creatures to himself. Nevertheless, remember, however, that you are yourself, with an original task and different responsibilities, and if you aim at real happiness, you should never forget to consult the patterns for goodness, together with Christ, at every hour of your life. 49 HELP YOUR SELF Covet nothing belonging your neighbour unless it be the excellent qualities that adorn his spirit. * Do not let annoyances govern the helm of your destiny. * Do not deliver the temple of your memory to bad impressions. * Do not detract the spiritual aspects from your experiences. * Do not forget that the higher ideal, which is the object of your admiration, should become manifest on your pathway. * Do not be enslaved by evil; meanwhile, do not shun the obligations of brotherhood towards those who have been attacked by evil. * Do not put out the torch of faith during days of brightness, so as not to be deprived of light during the dark ones. * Do not run away from the lessons to be learnt along your evolutionary path, however difficult or painful they may be, so that later on life may open up the sanctuary of wisdom to you. 50 CONCLUSIONS That physical life is a blessed school, is unmistakable. But, if you do not take advantage so as to sufficiently learn the lessons intended for your spiritual growth, then your entrance in the human apprenticeship will be worth nothing. * That the path of good is laborious and difficult is undeniable. However, if you are not disposed to follow it, then no one will free you from the dangerous influence of evil. * That eternal happiness is a supreme achievement, way beyond the transient state in the flesh is indisputable. Nevertheless, if you desire to continue in the field of easy and inferior pleasures of the lowest levels, then you will wander in them indefinitely. * * Do not neglect to find the time to cultivate what is beautiful, eternal and good. That God is with us in all circumstances is an unquestionable truth. Still, if you are not with God, no one can foresee to what depths your Spirit will descend in the domains of intranquillity and darkness. * Do not forget that justice establishes universal order, but that it is only love which expands the work of God.