Allan Kardec

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12. With the words: Blessed are the afflicted for they shall be consoled, Jesus indicates the compensation which awaits those who suffer and the resignation which leads Man to bless suffering as a prelude to the cure.

These words can also be understood in this manner: that one should be content to suffer, seeing that the pain of this world is the payment for past debts which have been incurred. Patiently supported here on Earth, these pains will save centuries of future suffering. One should be happy that God is reducing the debt by permitting payment now, thereby guaranteeing a tranquil future.

Suffering Man is like a debtor who owes a large sum and to whom the creditor says: "If you pay me even a hundredth part of your debt today, I will exonerate you and you will be free; but if you do not, then I shall torment you till you pay the very last instalment." Would not the debtor feel happy in supporting all kinds of hardships in order to liberate himself, so paying only a hundredth part of what he owed? Instead of complaining to the creditor, would he not be grateful?

This is the meaning of the words, 'Blessed are the afflicted for they shall be consoled'. They are happy because they are paying their debts and also because after payment they will be free. However, if on acquitting himself on the one side, Man becomes indebted on the other, he will never find liberation. Therefore, each new fault only increases the debt, there being not one, whatsoever, which does not entail a compelling and inevitable punishment. If not today, then tomorrow; if not in this life, then in another. Amongst the list of failings, it behoves Man to put the lack of submission to God's Will in first place. So if we complain about our afflictions, if we do not accept them with resignation, or if we accuse God of being unjust, we contract new debts which in turn make us lose the fruits which should have been gathered from these sufferings. This is why we must begin again from the start, exactly as if after paying part of a debt to a creditor who has been tormenting us, we then took out another loan.

On entering into the spiritual world, Man is like the labourer who arrives on the day of payment. To some God will say: "Here is your recompense for the days you have worked", while to others, the so-called lucky ones on Earth who have lived in idleness, or those who have built their happiness on the satisfaction of their own self-esteem, and on wordly pleasures, He will say: 'There is nothing more to come: you have already received your salary on Earth. Go and begin your tasks again.”

13. Man can soften or increase the bitterness of his trials according to the manner in which he regards earthly life. His suffering will be all the more depending on how long he imagines it to be. But those who can see life through a spiritual prism understand bodily existence at a glance. They see that life is but a point in eternity, comprehend the shortness of its duration, and recognise that this painful moment will soon pass. The certainty of a happier future sustains and animates them and far from complaining, they offer thanks to God for the pain which will permit them to advance. On the other hand, for all those who see only bodily life before them, the duration seems interminable and the pain oppresses with all its weight.

The result of looking at life in a spiritual way is a diminishing in importance of all worldly things, and Man feels himself compelled to moderate his desires, to content himself with his position without envying others. This in turn enables him to receive weakened impressions of reverses and deceptions that may be experienced. From these attitudes comes calmness and resignation, so useful to bodily health as well as to the soul; whereas from jealousy, envy, and ambition Man voluntarily condemns himself to tortures and increases the misery and anguish during his short existence.

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