Allan Kardec

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13. They call me 'Charity'. I follow the principal path which leads to God. Accompany me, since I know the goal for all to aim at.

This morning I went on my habitual rounds, and now I come with great anguish in my heart to say to you: Oh! My friends! How many miseries and tears! How much must be done to dry all those tears and put to rights all those miseries! In vain I tried to console some of the poor mothers by whispering in their ears: Courage! There are good souls watching over you and you will not be abandoned, have patience! God exists! You are loved by Him, you are His chosen ones! They seemed to hear me and turned their startled eyes in my direction, and I could read from the appearance of their bodies, that terrible oppressor of the spirit, that they were hungry, and even if my words brought a little serenity to their hearts it was no comfort for their stomachs. I repeated: Courage! Courage! Then one poor mother, still very young and with a small child, held it up with outstretched arms, as if asking me for protection for that small creature, who found only insufficient nourishment in those sterile breasts.

Elsewhere my friends, I saw destitute old people who, being without work, found themselves without shelter and prey to all manner of sufferings and hardships. Being ashamed of their misery and never having begged, they found themselves lacking in courage to implore pity from passers by. With my heart bursting with compassion I, who possess nothing, have turned to begging for them, and so go from place to place in order to stimulate beneficence and inspire good thoughts in generous and compassionate hearts. This is why I am come here to tell you that hereabouts there are those who are wretched, in whose hovels is no bread, whose stoves are without heat and whose beds are without blankets. I do not tell you what you must do; I leave this initiative to your kindly hearts. If I were to tell you how to proceed, you would gain no credit for your good deeds. I say only that I am Charity and I extend my hands towards you through those of your suffering brothers and sisters.

But if I ask, I also give and give generously. I am inviting you to a great banquet wherein I will furnish a tree upon which all will be satiated! See how beautiful it is, how full of flowers and fruits! Go! Go! Gather all the fruits of this magnificent tree which is called beneficence. Then, in place of the foliage and fruit you have taken away, I will fasten to it all the good deeds you have practised. Then I will take this tree to God and He will load it again, in as much as beneficence is inexhaustible. Accompany me then, my friends, so that I may count you amongst those who follow my banner! Do not fear, for I will conduct you along the pathway to salvation for I am Charity - CARITA, martyred in Rome (Lyon, 1861).

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