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Every bad thought can have two origins: our own spiritual imperfection or the action of a harmful influence. In the last case we have the indication of a weakness which exposes us to these influences, and it is for this reason that our soul is imperfect. So that the one who foils cannot offer as an excuse the influence of a strange Spirit, seeing that this Spirit would not have led them to wrongdoing if they were inaccessible to seduction.
When we have a bad thought, we can suppose that it was an evil Spirit which suggested the evil, leaving us complete liberty to accede or resist, just as if we were facing a living person. At the same time, we should make a mental picture of our Guardian Angel or protecting Spirit who from his side combats within us the bad influences and anxiously awaits the decision we are going to make. Our hesitation in acting upon the evil suggestions is due to the voice of our good Spirit, who makes himself heard through our conscience.
One recognises a thought is bad when it draws away from charity which is the base of all true morality; or when it comes laden with pride, vanity and selfishness; or when its realization may cause harm to another person: in short, when we are induced by our thoughts to do to others what we would not like someone to do to us (See chapter 28, item 15 & chapter 15 item 10).
All Powerful Lord, do not let me succumb to the temptation to fall into error! Benevolent Spirits who protect me, turn this bad thought away from me and give me the strength to resist this evil. If I succumb, then I will deserve the expiation of my failing in this same life and in the next, because I have free will to make my choice.
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Through the dangers we run God reminds us of the frailty of our existence. He shows us that our lives are in His hands, and that being held by only a thread, it may break when we least expect it to happen. From this point of view privilege does not exist for anyone because the same alternatives are to be found for both great and small alike.
If we look at the nature and the consequences of danger we will see in most cases that these consequences, if they are verified, will have been a punishment for a misdeed or for an unfulfilled duty.
Almighty God, and you who are my Guardian Angel, help me! If I must succumb, may God’s will be done. If I am to be saved, may the rest of my life be given to repay the evil I have done, for which I am truly repentant.
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1) To be said by the sick person:
Lord, You are all justice. The illness You saw fit to send me must be deserved, because You never impose suffering without just cause. Therefore I entrust my cure to Your infinite mercy. If it pleases You to restore my health, may Your Name be blessed! If on the contrary it is necessary for me to suffer more, may You be blessed just the same. I submit without complaint to Your wise purpose, since what You do can only be for the good of Your creatures.
Dear God, let this infirmity be a timely warning to me, which will cause me to meditate upon myself. I accept it as an expiation for my past and as a test of my faith and submission to Your blessed will.
2) For the sick person:
Dear God, Your designs are impenetrable and in Your wisdom You have sent this affliction to X… I implore You, Lord, to cast a glance of compassion over his sufferings and if You see fit, to terminate them.
Good Spirits, you who are ministers of the Almighty, I beseech you to second my request to alleviate his sufferings; direct my thought so that a balsam may be poured over his body and consolation poured into his soul.
Inspire him with patience and submission to God’s Will. Give him enough strength to support the pain with Christian resignation, so that the fruits of this test may not be lost.
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During our lifetime to have faith in the future, together with the elevation of our thoughts towards our future destiny helps in the process of rapid liberation of the Spirit because this weakens the links which tie it to the material body. So much so that quite frequently, even before the physical body has expired, the soul being impatient to be free, has already launched itself into the great immensity. The contrary being the case of the person who, having concentrated on all that is material, finds these ties more difficult to break and the separation more painful and difficult, to be followed by an awakening full of anxiety and perturbation in the after-life.
Dear God, I believe in You and Your infinite kindness. Therefore, I cannot believe that You have given Man intelligence which allows him to gain knowledge of You and an aspiration for the future, so as to plunge him into nothingness.
I believe that my body is only a perishable covering for my soul and that when I cease to live, I will awaken in the world of the Spirits.
Almighty God, I feel that the ties which hold my soul to my body are breaking and that in a short while I will have to account for the use to which I have put the life that is now slipping away from me.
I know that I will experience the consequences of the good and the bad that I have practised. There will be no possibility of illusions, no subterfuge. My past will unfold before me and I will be judged according to my works.
I will take nothing with me of earthly possessions such as honours, riches, satisfactions of vanity or pride; in short, everything which belongs to the body will remain in this world. Not even the most minute particle of these things will accompany me, nor would they be of use to me in the spiritual world. I will take with me only what belongs to my soul, that is to say, the good and bad qualities I possess, which will be weighed on the balance of strict justice. I know that the judgement will be even more severe according to the number of times I refused the opportunities that were given to me to practise good due to the position I held on Earth (See The Gospel According to Spiritism, chapter 1(3, item 9).
Merciful God, may the depth of the sincerity of my repentance enable it to reach out to You! May You see fit to cast over me Your cloak of indulgence!
If You see fit to prolong my present existence, may I utilize that time to make good, as far as I am able, all the evil that I have done. But if my hour has come, I take with me the consoling thought that I will be permitted to redeem myself by means of new tests, so that one day I may deserve the happiness of the elected ones.
If it is not given to me to enjoy such perfect happiness immediately, which is known only to those who are pre-eminently just, I know nevertheless that I am not denied hope for ever. Sooner or later I will reach my goal, according to the amount of effort I put into working towards that objective.
I know that good Spirits and my Guardian Angel are near to receive me and that soon I shall see them, just as they see me now. I know too, that if l deserve it, I will meet again all those I have loved here on Earth, and that those I leave behind will later come to meet me. One day we shall all be united for ever, and until that time arrives I will be able to come and visit them.
I know too, that I will re-encounter those I have offended; may they forgive me for whatever they have to reproach me for, such as my pride, my hardness and my injustices, so that their presence will not overwhelm me with shame!
I forgive all those who have either done or tried to do me harm; I hold no rancour against them and beg You, dear God, to forgive them.
Lord, give me strength to leave all the material pleasures of this world without regret, which are as nothing compared to the healthy and pure delights of the world into which I am about to enter, and where for those who are just, there are no more torments, or miseries, and where only the guilty are subject to suffering. But even they always have the consolation of hope.
Good Spirits and you who are my Guardian Angel, I implore you not to allow me to fail at this supreme moment. If my faith should waver, then cause the Divine Light to shine in my eyes, so that it may be reanimated.
Please pray with us.
By the danger we have been through, God shows us that from one moment to another we may be called to give account for the way in which we have utilized our life. This is to alert us to the fact that we should examine ourselves and mend our ways.
Dear God! Dear Guardian Angel! I thank you for the help I received during the danger that threatened me. May this danger be a warning to me and enlighten me with respect to my errors that have brought me this peril. I understand, Lord, that my life is in Your hands and that You may take it away when You see fit. Inspire me then, through the good Spirits who protect me, with the idea of how best to take advantage of the time You grant to me in this world! Guardian Angel! Uphold me in my decision to correct my faults and to do all the good that is within my power to do, so that I may arrive in the spiritual world with fewer imperfections, whenever it pleases God to call me!
Please pray with us.
To not desire evil towards your enemies is to be only partly charitable. True charity consists in wishing them well and in feeling happy about the good that comes to them (See The Gospel According to Spiritism, chapter 12, items 7 & 8).
Dear God, in Your justice You saw fit to make X… happy, and on his behalf I thank You, despite the evil he has done to me and still tries to do. If he seeks to use this benefit to humiliate me, I accept this as a test of my capacity for charity.
Good Spirits who protect me, do not let me become regretful because of this. Turn away from me all jealousy and envy, which only degrades. On the contrary, inspire me with the generosity that elevates. Humiliation comes from evil and not from goodness, and we know that sooner or later justice will be done to each one according to their works.
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We can ask God for earthly favours and He will concede them to us when they have a serious purpose. But seeing that we judge their utility from our own point of view and as immediate necessities, we do not always recognise the bad side of what we ask. God, Who can see things in a better perspective than we can and only desires the best for us, may refuse what we ask for, just as a father would refuse his child what he knew would be prejudicial for him. If what we request is refused we should not be disappointed; on the contrary, we should think that to be deprived of our wish is a test or an expiation, and that our recompense will be in proportion to the degree of resignation shown towards what we have to put up with (See chapter 27, item 6 & chapter 2, items 5-7).
God Omnipotent, who sees all our miseries, please deign to hear the supplication we direct to You at this moment. If my request is inconsiderate, forgive me. If it is just and convenient, according to the way You see things, may the good Spirits who execute Your wishes, come to my aid and help me to realise my request.
However it may be, Lord, let Your will be done! If my request is not answered, it will be because it is Your wish that I be tested, and I submit without complaint. Help me not to become disanimated and that neither my faith nor my resignation be shaken.
(Then formulate your request).
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How terrible is the idea of nothingness! How deserving of pity are those who think that the voice of one who weeps is lost in a vacuum, without encountering the least sign of response! A pure and saintly affection has never been known by those who think everything dies with the body. They believe that the genius who enlightened their world with vast intelligence, is a mere combination of matter which, as a flame, is extinguished for ever; that of a dearly loved person such as a father, mother or adored child, nothing remains but a handful of dust which time will inevitably disperse.
How can anyone who has a heart remain indifferent to this idea? Why are they not frozen with terror at the thought of absolute annihilation and do not even show a wish that this be not so? If till now reason has been insufficient for them to have been able to dissipate their doubts, behold, Spiritism has come to dispel all uncertainty as to the future, by means of the material proof of survival of the soul and the existence of beings in the beyond that it gives! This is happening to such an extent, that on all sides these proofs are being received with joy. Confidence is reborn, because Man henceforth knows that terrestrial existence is only a brief passage leading to a better life, that work done in this world is not lost and that really pure affections are not shattered beyond hope (See chapter 4, item 18 & chapter 5, item 21).
O Lord, may You see fit to favourably receive this prayer in the name of X… Help them perceive the divine lights that will make their pathway to eternal happiness easier. Permit the good Spirits to take them my words and thoughts.
You who were so dear to me in this world, listen to my voice which calls to offer anew my pledge of affection. God allowed you to be liberated before me and I cannot complain about this without being selfish, because this would be equal to a wish that you be still subject to the sufferings of life. So wait with resignation for the moment of our reunion in this happier world, where you have arrived before me.
I know that this separation is only temporary, and that however long it may appear to be, its duration is nothing compared to the blessed eternity which God has promised to His chosen ones. May His goodness preserve me from doing whatever it might be that could delay this longed for moment, so that I may be saved from the pain of not encountering you when I leave my earthly captivity.
Oh, how sweet and consoling is the certainty that there is nothing between us but a material veil which hides you from my sight! That you can even be here at my side, hear me speak as of old, or perhaps even better than then; to know that you do not forget me as I do not forget you; that our thoughts are constantly intermingling and that your thoughts accompany me and uphold me.
May the peace of the Lord be with you.
Please pray with us.
Sleep is for the purpose of resting the body; however, the Spirit needs no rest. While the physical senses are in a torpid state the soul partly frees itself from the body and enters into the enjoyment of its spiritual faculties. Sleep has been given to Man to enable him to repair both his organic and moral strengths. While the body recuperates the spent energies which have been used during the waking state, the Spirit fortifies itself amongst other Spirits. From all he sees, all he perceives and from the advice he is given, he takes the ideas which occur to him afterwards, in the form of intuitions. This is the temporary return of the exile to his true world, a momentary liberty that is conceded to the prisoner.
But it sometimes happens, as it does in the case of perverse prisoners, that the Spirit does not always take advantage of these moments of liberty for the purpose of progress. If he has bad instincts, instead of seeking the company of the good Spirits, he seeks out those who are like himself and goes to those places where he may give vent to his tendencies.
So then, the person who is convinced of this fact will lift up their thoughts to God before they go to sleep. They will ask for advice from the good Spirits and all those whose memory is dear to them, so they may go to join them for the brief moments of liberty which are conceded to them. On awakening they will then feel fortified against evil and be mare courageous when facing adversities.
Lord, for a few short instants my soul will be together with other Spirits. So I beg the good Spirits to come and give me counsel. Guardian Angel, please help me to keep a lasting and beneficial impression of this encounter on awakening!
Please pray with us.
Prayers for those who have just left the Earth are not for the exclusive purpose of showing our sympathy. They also have the effect of helping to release them from their Earthly ties, and in this manner shorten the period of perturbation which always follows the separation, so allowing a more peaceful awakening on the other side. Nevertheless, in this case, as in all other circumstances, the efficacy depends on the sincerity of the thought and not on the quantity of words offered with more or less solemnity in which very frequently the heart does not participate.
Prayers which truly come from the heart encounter a resonance in the Spirit to whom they are directed, whose ideas are still in a state of confusion, as if they were friendly voices come to awaken them from sleep (See The Gospel According To Spiritism, chapter 27, item 10).
Almighty God, may Your mercy be shown to the soul of X . . . whom You have just called back from Earth. We beg and implore that the trials suffered here may be counted in their favour and that our prayers may soften and shorten the penalties still to be suffered in the Spirit form!
Good Spirits who came to fetch this soul, and most especially their Guardian Angel, help them to free themself from matter. Give them light and a consciousness of themself so that they may quickly leave the state of perturbation, inherent in the passing from the body back to the spiritual life. Inspire in their Spirit a repentance for all errors and faults committed and a desire to obtain permission to remedy them, so as to quicken their advancement in the direction of the life of those who are eternally blessed.
And you, … ., who have just entered into the World of the Spirits, we wish to say that despite this fact, you are still with us; you hear and see us, since you have merely left the perishable physical body, which will quickly be reduced to dust.
You have left the gross envelope which is subject to vicissitudes and death, now retaining only your etheric body which is imperishable and inaccessible to material suffering. If you no longer live through a physical body, you live instead through your Spirit, and the spiritual life is free from those miseries which afflict humanity.
You no longer have over your eyes the veil which hides the splendours of the future existence from us. Now you may contemplate new marvels, while we remain bathed in darkness.
You may travel through space and visit the worlds in all liberty, while we still painfully drag ourselves about here on Earth, prisoner in our material bodies, which are like heavy armour.
The infinite horizons stretch themselves before you, and on seeing their grandeur you will understand the vanity of terrestrial desires, of worldly aspirations and the futility of the so-called joys to which Man delivers himself.
For Man, death is nothing more than a separation from matter, lasting but a few instants. From this place of exile in which we continue to live according to the Will of God, and with the duties we still have to fulfill in this world, we will continue to follow you in thought till the moment when it is permitted for us to join you once again, just as now you are reunited with those who preceded you.
We cannot go to where you are, but you may come here. So come then to those who love you and whom you love; help them in the trials of life; watch over those who are dear to you; protect them as much as you are able; lessen the bitterness of absence by suggesting to them the thought that now you are happier and that one day, for certain, you will again be reunited in a better world.
In the place you are now, you must extinguish all earthly resentments. You must hold yourself inaccessible to them now, for the sake of your future happiness! Therefore forgive all those who may have incurred debts towards you, just as those against whom mistakes were committed now forgive you.
Please pray with us.