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Theme: THANKSGIVING FOR VICTORY OVER A TEMPTATION Source: The Gospel according to Spiritism, XXVIII: 22 to 24.
THANKSGIVING FOR VICTORY OVER A TEMPTATION 22. PREFACE - Those who resist temptation owe this fact to the assistance given by the good Spirits, whose voice they listened to. So, you should thank God and your Guardian Angel for their help. 23. PRAYER: My God, I thank You for having permitted me to be victorious in the battle which I sustained against evil. Allow this victory to give me strength to resist new temptations. And you, my Guardian Angel, receive my thanks for the assistance you gave. Allow that my submission to your counsel makes me worthy to receive your protection once again. TO ASK FOR ADVICE 24. PREFACE - When we are unsure about something we have to do, before anything else, we should ask ourselves the following questions: 1st) Will what I am hesitating about cause harm to anyone? 2nd) Will it be useful to anyone? 3rd) If someone did this to me would I be pleased? If what we think of doing is of interest only to ourselves, it is permissible to weigh the personal advantages or disadvantages which may arise. If it concerns others and if, in doing good for one person, it redounds in badness for another, it is also equally necessary to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding whether to act or abstain. Finally, even when dealing with the best of things it is necessary to consider the opportunity and the circumstances being offered, in as much as something that is good in itself con give bad results when put into the wrong hands, or if it is not directed with prudence and circumspection. Before putting it into effect it is best to consult our strength and the means of execution. In any case, we can always solicit the assistance of our Protecting Spirits, remembering this wise maxim: When in doubt, do nothing. (See chapter 28, item 38). CONSIDERATIONS: Yes, Well reminded, thanksgiving is much forgotten, normally in the circumstances of life with afflictions, contrarieties, sicknesses, lacking, material or moral problems almost everybody only think on to ask, ask, ask and they forget to be grateful, yes we do know that this does happen and we accept that human fact; may God forgive us for us being so like and in this case let us ponder and let us register in our conscious to be grateful to God. We forget sometimes to give thanks for not having received the favor which we required the way we wanted, but in truth God always answers to our prayers, sometimes the answer is to let things as they are, it is because there are things which we do not understand for which the answer comes different of that which we wanted, and there are other reasons such as: ‘Causes & effects’, rescuing, payments of debts, but that God does answer yes He does. From the three suggestions given they do remind us of the words of the gospel that we ought not do to others what we do not wish for ourselves and to wish for our neighbor what we do wish for ourselves, with this attitude before life and before everyone we does live in peace and with a tranquil mind. (Matthew, 7: 12):
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
This teaching in Matthew Jesus leaves out well clearly what in short is ‘The Law & the Prophets’ We should understand that love does not harm anybody, since love knows to forgive, love does not steal love does not kill, and if everyone ‘loves his neighbor as oneself’, little by little the world fills out with love and hence harmony and peace amongst all, even so because we are all interlinked, as we are children of the same Creator being that the Gospel which Jesus had brought from the Father who sent him, is an attribute of God Who
is Love and from Himself wishes to everyone of us that we might be as He is, henceforth in love is condensed the Doctrine of Jesus or the Spiritist one that ‘without charity there is no salvation’, because being outside of love we are as fishes out of the water. Those who achieve the comprehension of love and make efforts to discipline themselves and practice love before God and his next will yes find disappointments and contradictions, because not all are in a general Harmony to the living in love , because they are not found yet nor a little spiritualized, hence living for themselves with their egoistic wishes, their pride, their personalities, with all struggling to be greater than others enriching themselves with material riches, leaving out efforts to acquire the true riches which are the spiritual ones, as Jesus has suggested: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break
through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’
Those riches do accompany us and are eternal, no one who efforts himself in doing good loses one’s reward, everything in life has action and the reaction, it is ‘on giving that one receives’ he who loves already in this world does receive a return, since he who loves is loved, he who is friendly has friends, he who efforts in being good will have divine aid, since he who helps oneself ‘heavens will help’, let us practice love and we shall be the salt of the Earth, let us practice love and we shall be the light of the world, let us live in love and we shall live with God, with Jesus and with everyone who remains in goodness. To be a virtuous person it is not easy, but if, one efforts oneself little by little will gain some virtue which will direct oneself from one to another, and so on, it is worth giving the first step, if a person is not tolerant seek out efforts to be tolerant, if a person has difficulty in being humble do make efforts that may cause little by little to be more humble, if a person is not gifted for forgiving anyone, seek out to undress oneself of pride and offer effort to the pardoning virtue and so on with other virtues. With a thirst for justice thinking in revenge, one ought to resist to that temptation and to make an effort to forgive, to make an effort to forget some offence that revolt a person. Yes to beg help from God to bring peace to one’s own spirit upheavaled and crying out for revenge. Jesus recommends ‘to give the other cheek’, that is to leave thinks as they are (let sleeping dogs lie) ‘not to give tooth for tooth or eye for an eye’ stop as it is, stay with the losses and so to stop with revenges and drained blood, to convey to God the justice with faith and trust and God accepts a heart which is of these attitudes with his neighbor. God is happy when one seeks to act in peace, he who drains blood will have more blood drained, he who is peaceful will attract the one who is of peace and peace gains strength; this is of worth for individuals, for groups of people or even for Nations, hates between families can be avoided, wars can be avoided by the efforts in seeking out for peace and understanding of some to others, each one has to lose a little of oneself and not to impose one’s ambitions, ideals or mania ‘I only myself know’, ‘to me nobody gives orders’, ‘it has always been so it is of tradition’. We ought to stop with pride of superiority of some to others, even because no one is owner of an absolute truth, for example, if there are nations that like to drive on the left and to have the driving wheel on the right let us accept them as they are and nothing of a demand that they should be like us to our will of imposing and saying that it is on the right that one should drive, nothing of that, the maximum that one could do it is to persuade giving acceptable reasons reasonably and logically. If one does not accept eating snails one is not to forbid the French culture (leur cuisine) of enjoying ‘un bon escargot a l’aile du beurre et du vin blanche’. Yes, please, let us have more tolerance in this world, I think we can have? Folks or Religions can have peace some with others in the effort of tolerance, of love, and of the comprehension some to the others. The world is justly one, God is for everyone, the idea there was formerly that God had the privileged ones was a mistake; Jesus revoked that idea and revealed that God is ‘The Father of us all’ and that ‘He makes the rain to fall on the good or the bad’. The misleads of life is because our errors, faith and hope is the way which everyone has to cross over up to the reaching of the emancipation of the soul in the spiritualization of one’s being, one’s soul, as faith and hope is an impulse which is thrown in the past and that direct us to the aim of our spiritual or divine finality. A disqualified life in the past in repentance can rectify itself completely in the actual present in all its being, because the soul is the very same one. Without a past there is no present, the past pursues the present, that’s a law of ‘causes & effects’, modify the present and the past will modify itself, because the past and the present are but one. Being a soul corporeal or perispiritualized it is the same soul, hence its repentance of faults is necessary, be the soul in the material or spiritual world, in the correction before the laws of God the soul retakes the proper heading to its roots and it is as a pardon which comes automatically in the transformation of that soul.
Many persons when in life, say that God looks after them and always did so and they give a testimony of that, but after their decease some persons forget of the given testimony and think: oh poor fellow let us pray some Masses on his behalf so that God may have compassion upon him. It is because people forget that God who looks after us in the physical world is the same who looks after us in the spiritual world. God is in both sides of life, can we not reckon that. ********************************************
Let us consider about the existence of God studying from the ‘‘Spirits’’ Book’ on first chapter, items: 4, 5 & 6:
Proofs of the Existence of God 4. What proof have we of the existence of God? "The axiom which you apply in all your scientific researches, 'There is no effect without a cause.' Search out the cause of whatever is not the work of man, and reason will furnish the answer to your question." To assure ourselves of the existence of God. we have only to look abroad on the works of creation. The universe exists, therefore It has a cause. To doubt the existence of God is to doubt that every effect has a cause, and to assume that something can have been made by nothing. 5. What is to be inferred from the intuition of the existence of God which may be said to be the common property of the human mind? "That God exists; for whence could the human mind derive this intuition if it had no real basis? The inference to he drawn from the fact of this intuition is a corollary of the axiom. 'There Is no effect without a cause.'" 6. May not our seemingly intuitive sense of the existence of God be the result of education and of acquired ideas? "If such were the case, how should this intuitive sense be possessed by your savages?" If the intuition of the existence of a Supreme Being were only the result of education It would not be universal, and would only exist, like all other acquired knowledge, in the minds of those who had received the special education to which it would be due. **********************
Let us learn some teachings of Jesus in the Gospel St. Matthew, chapters 6 & 7:
Matthew. 6  Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;  That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. ************************************** Matthew. 7  Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.  And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:  For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
The Spiritist Doctrine is a science whose study of the soul takes us to the existence of God and to moral consequences, the Spiritist moral is the one of Jesus, Spiritism accepts reincarnation of the Spirits and accepts evolution and the gradual progress of the souls, accepts that there is an ascencial graduation between everyone, being some more advanced than others in moral or in intelligence, that to everyone it is given ‘to each one according to their works’. That in the ‘free will’ each one ascends to his own stepping, that in the progress of the spirit the more backward ones will not remain always in this stage, since with the Law of progress he shall be pushed to the advancement, that ‘the devil of today will be the angel of tomorrow’, that the worlds also do have progress advancing in togetherness with the progress of its habitants. We do have much to be thankfully to God for the world being getting better constantly, we have had much progress in all sciences, however let it be said that morally our advance has been little, for reasons of selfishness, covetousness, greediness, materialism bad comprehension of the spiritual life and of the Laws of solidarity and of the proper explaining of the moral Laws which are of the most necessity to the Humanity. The Decalogue which had come to stay on, it is not being taught efficiently and hence consequences that many think that to steal or to kill are their rights which they have for their survival, they did not come to learn that work brings us benefits, such as our progress, our deserts, not offending our neighbor, we do not offend God, we do not offend the Natural Laws or the ones of ‘Cause and effects’ which do follow us aware of our responsibilities and that in that case we are ourselves who do punish ourselves when we offend any of the Laws, if we live in harmony the Laws will live together side by side with us in harmony in the moral or the natural Laws. Be it exaggerated or not some scientists say that pollution, the burning of nature or other extravagance are the cause of Nature being altered in the sense of rebelliously handling out the give-and-take to the harming which we are causing to it, hereon we appeal to God for help, but we do not ask Him for a pardon for us being the cause responsible for the drastic consequences, has not Jesus said: ‘do not sin again so that worse things may not come to happen’, now, man does not learn , it h as already been many years that it has been revealed to us that cutting a tree one cuts the oxygen which we breath , therefore we do kill us ourselves, God does save us and we do continue doing the same, is it feasible, can it be understood, can anyone explain? Let us give thanks to God for His kindness and mercy to be always constant in our living and that may He inspire us, enlighten us aid us to exercise our responsibilities to ourselves, our neighbor, our future, our world and
specially before Him, if we do not love Him at least let us respect Him, for one hears the saying: to respect the neighbor or Nature it is to Respect God. Well, may God be with us, as formerly, today and forever.
Causes & effects, the Gospel acc. to Spiritism, 5: 4-10. Love the neighbor as ourselves, Matthew, 22: 34-40. Without charity there is no salvation, the gospel acc. to Spiritism, 15: 10. It is on giving that one receives, Luke, 6: 38. Heavens will help, The Spirits’ Book, Q. 663. Give the other cheek, Matthew, 5:39. Eye for an eye tooth for a tooth, Exodus, 21: 24. God is the Father of us all, John, 16: 28. Free will, (the Spirits’ Book, Q. 843.) Do not sin again, John, 5: 14. The devil of today will be the angel of tomorrow,(Heaven & Hell, I part, 3: 6 + 8: 12). The Spiritist moral is the Christian one, (The Gospel acc. to Spiritism, chap. XV) Jesus... the model which God gave us, (The Spirits’ Book, Q. 625)
About Jesus. The Spirits’ Book, question 625:
625. What is the most perfect type that God has offered to man as his guide and model? "Jesus." Jesus is the type of the moral perfection to which man may attain upon this earth. God offers Him to our thought as our most perfect model and the doctrine taught by Him is the purest expression of the divine law, because He was animated by the divine spirit, and was the purest being who has ever appeared upon the earth. If some of those who have professed to instruct man in the law of God have sometimes led him astray by the inculcation of error. it is because they have allowed themselves to be swayed by sentiments of too earthly a nature, and because they have confounded the laws which regulate the conditions of the life of the soul which regulate the life of the body. Many pretended revealers have announced as divine laws what were only human laws, devised by them for serving their own passions and obtaining dominion over their fellow-men.
A Study given at the Centro Espírita Joana d’Arc, S. J. de Meriti, RJ. on 05/ 11/ 2013.
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