When Christ said: ‘Blessed be the afflicted, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them”, He did not refer to all those who suffer, seeing that everyone on Earth suffers, whether they be seated upon thrones or lie upon straw. But alas! So few suffer well! A mere handful understand that only trials which have been well supported can lead to the Kingdom of God. Despondency is a fault and God will refuse consolation to those who lack courage. Prayer supports the soul; however, alone it is not enough. It is also necessary to have a firm belief in the kindness of God as the basis for deep faith. You have heard it said many times that He does not put a heavy burden on weak shoulders. The burden is always in proportion to the strength, just as the recompense depends on the degree of resignation and courage. The more painful the affliction the greater the recompense. It behoves then to make ourselves worthy and it is for this purpose that life presents itself so full of tribulations.

The soldier who is not sent to the front is discontent because by resting in camp he will never receive promotion. So then, be like soldiers and do not desire repose which will only allow the body to debilitate, and benumb the soul! Be content when God sends you into battle because this is not a battle of the fireing-line, but of the bitterness of life, where frequently the one who stands firm before an enemy weakens when confronted with the tenacity of moral suffering. Although there is no reward for this kind of courage on Earth, God will reserve the laurels of victory and a place of glory for those who withstand. When facing sufferings or obstacles, if you are able to place yourself above the situation, by managing to dominate the impulses of impatience, anger and despair, then you may say to yourself with just satisfaction, ‘I was the stronger’.

So then, blessed are the afflicted may be translated in the following manner: blessed are those who have occasion to prove their faith, firmness, perseverance, and submission to the Will of God, because they will have multiplied a hundred times the happiness they lacked on Earth, for after labour comes repose. LACORDAIRE (Havre. 1863).

Excerpt from Allan Kardec’s “The Gospel According to Spiritism”, The Headquarters Publishing Co Ltd (London), 1987. Version found at Public Domain website.

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