Allan Kardec

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The gift of healing. - Paid prayers. - The moneychangers expelled from the Temple. - Gratuitous mediumship.


1. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils,' freely ye have received, freely give (Matthew, 10: 8).

2. "Give for free what has been received gratuitously," is what Jesus told His disciples. With this recommendation it is prescribed that no one be charged for something for which nothing has been paid. Now what they had received gratuitously was the faculty of healing those who were sick, and that of expelling devils, that is to say bad spirits. God gave them this faculty gratis for the alleviation of those who suffer and as a means of propagating faith. Jesus, then, recommended that they did not turn this into an object of commercialization, neither speculation, nor a means of livelihood.


3. Then in the audience of all the people He said unto His disciples, Beware of the Scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation (Luke, 20: 45-47; also Mark, 12: 38-40 and Matthew, 23: 14).

4. Jesus also said: Do not make charges for your prayers; do not do as the Scribes who 'on pretext of long prayers, devoured the homes of widows,' that is to say, they took possession of their fortunes. Prayer is an act of charity, an ecstasy of the heart. To charge someone for the prayers we direct to God in their name, is to transform oneself into a paid intermediary. Then prayer becomes a mere formula whose length is in proportion to the amount it cost. Moreover only one of the following can be true: either God measures or does not measure His blessings by the number of words used in a prayer. If these were necessary in large numbers, why then are so few said, or even none, for those who cannot pay? This is a lack of charity. If one word is sufficient then an excess of words is useless. How then can we charge for these prayers? This would be a corrupt practice.

God does not sell His benefits; He conceeds them. How then can one who is not an agent and cannot guarantee results, charge for a petition which may produce no results? It is not possible that God makes an act of clemency, kindness and justice, asked for because of His infinite mercy, subject to the payment of a sum of money and that if the sum were not paid, or was insufficient, then the justice, kindness and clemency would be suspended. Reason, good sense and logic tell us it is impossible that God, Who is absolute perfection, could delegate to imperfect beings the right to establish a price for His justice, which is like the Sun: it exists for all, rich and poor alike. As it is considered immoral to trade in the favours of any earthly sovereign, could it then be licit to commercialize those of the Sovereign of the Universe?

Yet another drawback is presented by paid prayers which is that the one who buys them judges themself, in most cases, to be relieved from the need to pray. They consider themselves exonerated, since they gave their money. We know that Spirits are touched by the fervour of the thoughts of those who are interested in them, but what fervour can be felt by one who arranges a third party to pray for them on payment of money? What kind of fervour has this third party when he delegates his task to another, and that one yet another and so on? Does this not reduce the efficiency of prayer to the value of currency?


5. And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And He taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the House of Prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves. And the Scribes and chief Priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy Him: for they feared Him, because all the people was astonished at His doctrine (Mark, 11: 15-18; and Matthew, 21:12 & 13).

6. Jesus expelled the merchants from the temple. With this act He condemned the trading of sacred things in any form whatsoever, God does not sell His blessings, neither His pardon, nor the right of entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore Man has no right to stipulate a price for such things.


7. Mediums today (since the Apostles also possessed mediumship) have equally received a faculty gratis from God. This is of being interpreters of the Spirits for the instruction of mankind, to show them the pathway of goodness, conducting them along by means of faith. Not to sell words which do not belong to the mediums, seeing that they are not fruits of their conception, nor of their research, nor of their personal work. God wants the light to reach everyone. He does not want the poorest to be deprived of it so they can say they have no faith because they could not pay for it, nor that they did not have the consolation of receiving encouragement and testimony of affection from those they weep for, because they were too poor. This is why mediumship is not a privilege, and is to be found in all places. To make someone pay for it is to turn it away from its providential objective.

8. Those who understand the conditions in which good Spirits communicate, the feeling of repugnance they have towards everything which shows selfish interest, and know how little it takes to drive them away, could never accept that Superior Spirits are at the disposal of the first who comes along and evokes them, at so much per session. Simple good sense rejects such an idea. Would it not also be profanity to evoke for money those we respect or those who are dear to us? Beyond doubt communications can be obtained in this manner. But who can guarantee their sincerity? Spirits of a frivolous, deceitful, mocking nature, and all the bank of inferior Spirits who are not at all scrupulous, always come running ready to reply to whatever is asked with no regard for the truth. Those then who desire serious communications should before all else ask with seriousness, and following this, should inform themselves of the nature of the sympathies the medium may have with the beings from the Spirit world. Therefore the first conditions necessary to attract the benevolence of the good Spirits are humility, devotion, abnegation, and total disinterest, both moral and material.

9. Besides the moral question an effective consideration also presents itself which is no less important. This refers to the actual nature of the faculty itself. Serious mediumship cannot be, and never ever will be a profession; not just because it would be morally discredited and rapidly become mere fortunetelling; but because there is a material obstacle in opposition. Mediumship is a faculty which is essentially unstable, elusive, and variable, whose permanency no one can count upon. It is a very uncertain source for anyone wishing to exploit it, and can fail at the moment it is most needed. A talent acquired by study and work is another matter, and is for this very reason a skill which can be legitimately used to advantage. But mediumship is neither an art nor a skill; therefore it cannot become a profession. It only exists through the cooperation of the Spirits. If they are absent there is no mediumship. The aptitude can exist, but the exercise of it would be annulled. Also there is not a single medium in the world who can guarantee the obtaining of a spiritual phenomenon at any given moment. So then to exploit mediumship is to make use of something which does not really belong to that person. To state the contrary is to deceive the person being charged. What is more, it is not they themself whom the exploiter commands, but rather the concourse of Spirits, the souls of the dead, whose cooperation they put a price on. This idea causes instinctive repugnance. It was the trafficking, the exploitation by charlatans that degenerated into abuse, the ignorance, the incredulity and the superstition which motivated its prohibition by Moses. Modern Spiritism, understanding the serious nature of this question, has completely discredited this exploitation, so elevating mediumship to the category of a mission. (See THE MEDIUMS' BOOK, 2nd part, chapter 28 and also HEAVEN AND HELL, 1st part, chapter 11).

10. Mediumship is something sacred which should be practised in a saintly and religious manner, and if there is one type of mediumship which requires this condition even more absolutely than the others, it is that of healing. A doctor gives the fruits of his study, which were often gained at the cost of painful sacrifices. A magnetizer gives his own fluids, sometimes even his health. A price can be put upon these. A curing medium however, retransmits healing fluids from the good Spirits, and consequently has no right to sell them. Jesus and His Apostles, although poor, did not charge for the cures they obtained.

So then, those who lack the necessary means of financial support can seek their funds wherever they like, except within mediumship, and if necessary only dedicate their spare time to this work after material needs have been satisfied. The Spirits will take into consideration the devotion and sacrifices, whereas they will turn away from those who expect to turn them into a ladder for material ascension.

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