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Theme: The Power of faith. Source:: The Gospel according to Spiritism, XIX: 1-5.
THE POWER OF FAITH
1. And when they were come to the multitude, there came to Him a certain man, kneeling down to Him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for of times he falleth into the fire, and oftimes into the water. And I brought him to Thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, 0 faithless and perverse generations, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart and said, why could we not cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief For verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto the mountain, remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matthew 17:14-20). 2. In one sense it is certain that confidence in one's own strength gives Man the capacity to carry out material things which he would not be able to do if he doubted himself. However, here we wish to deal exclusively with the moral sense of these words. The mountains which faith can transport are the difficulties, the resistances, the ill will, in fact all those things which Man has to face, even when we refer to good things. The prejudices, routines, materialistic interests, selfishness, the blindness of fanaticism and the prideful passions are but a few of the mountains which block the way of those who work for human progress. Robust faith gives perseverance, energy and resources which allow us to overcome these obstacles, be they large or small. From wavering faith results only uncertainty and the kind of hesitation which those adversaries we need to combat take advantage of; this faith does not even try to find the means to win because it does not believe it can. 3. Another acceptance of the term gives us to understand that faith is the confidence we have in the realization of something, and the certainty of attaining a specific end. It gives us a kind of lucidness which permits us to see, in thought, the goal we wish to reach and the means of getting there, so that those who have faith go forward, in a manner of speaking, with absolute security. In either one of these cases, it can give place to the realization of great things. Faith which is real and sincere is always calm; it permits patience which knows how to wait, because having its foundation in intelligence and the understanding of life, it is certain of reaching the objective it aspires to. Vacillating faith feels its own weakness; when its interest is aroused it becomes frenzied and thinks it can supply the force it lacks by using violence. Calmness during the struggle is always a sign of strength and confidence; whereas on the contrary violence denotes weakness and self-doubt. 4. It behoves us not to confuse faith with presumption. True faith is linked to humility; those who have it, deposit more confidence in God than in themselves, as they know they are but simple instruments of Divine Purpose and can do nothing without God. This is the reason why the good Spirits come to their aid. Presumption is less faith than pride, and pride is always punished sooner or later by the deceptions and frustrations inflicted upon it. 5. The power of faith can be demonstrated in a direct and special manner in magnetic action. Through the intermediary of faith, Man acts on the fluids, which are a universal agent, modifying their qualities and giving them in a manner of speaking, irresistible impulsion. From this it follows that whoever joins a normally great fluidic power to that of ardent faith can, solely by the strength of their willpower directed towards goodness, operate those singular phenomena of healing and other occurrences known in olden times as miracles, but which are nothing more than the
Estudo feito no Centro Espírita Joana d’Arc, São João de Meriti, RJ. a 07/ 02/ 2012.
consequences of a Law of Nature. This is the reason for Jesus saying to His apostles that if they did not cure it was because they had no faith.
Points to be observed:
1) - . The mountains which faith can transport are the difficulties, the resistances, the ill will, in fact all those things which Man has to face, even when we refer to good things. The prejudices, routines, materialistic interests, selfishness, the blindness of fanaticism and the prideful passions are but a few of the mountains which block the way of those who work for human progress 2) - acceptance of the term gives us to understand that faith is the confidence we have in the realization of something, and the certainty of attaining a specific end 3)- Faith which is real and sincere is always calm; it permits patience which knows how to wait, because having its foundation in intelligence and the understanding of life, it is certain of reaching the objective it aspires to. 4) - Vacillating faith feels its own weakness; when its interest is aroused it becomes frenzied and thinks it can supply the force it lacks by using violence. Calmness during the struggle is always a sign of strength and confidence; whereas on the contrary violence denotes weakness and self-doubt. 5) - Presumption is less faith than pride, and pride is always punished sooner or later by the deceptions and frustrations inflicted upon it. 6) - The power of faith can be demonstrated in a direct and special manner in magnetic action. Through the intermediary of faith, Man acts on the fluids, which are a universal agent, modifying their qualities and giving them in a manner of speaking, irresistible impulsion. 7)- From this it follows that whoever joins a normally great fluidic power to that of ardent faith can, solely by the strength of their willpower directed towards goodness, operate those singular phenomena of healing and other occurrences known in olden times as miracles, but which are nothing more than the consequences of a Law of Nature. This is the reason for Jesus saying to His apostles that if they did not cure it was because they had no faith.
Faith comes from the development of the Spirit. The development of the spirit doesn't only expresses in the present life, but it already comes from afar past in the progress which one acquired in other lives, because 'their works follow them',2 not only on disincarnating one takes to the' beyond' one’s faith, which is the knowledge and spiritual experience in the accumulated of one’s sensations and experiences, vocations and acquired virtues; as well as also when coming from the beyond, in order to accomplish one’s reincarnatorial need ,' one’s works follow oneself', or be: one’s works accompany him, it is one’s inheritance, one’s values, one’s formation, one’s vocations and virtues which belongs to oneself If it is a spirit already developed, his soul already has in himself, a force of faith, because we noticed that those forces differ a lot among us, since there are people of little religious instruction who attract for themselves their desires which are out surprising our eyes and admiration.? One should also understand that the spirit empties out his sore spots to the carnal body when being reincarnated, but due to his suffering, which impels him to cry out to God in clamor, meditation and regret, after understanding that he cannot continue to live in sin, or be: in adversity to the laws of God, and God when curing his spirit, his body is made whole, in that case the force of faith of the spirit rises to the fluids curators' height or answer to the merits of his will, desire and faith.
***** In the Gospel of our Master there was a case that we can understand to the light of Spiritism, Matthew, 9: 1-7
Matt.9: 1-7  And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Revelation, XIV: 13.
 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.  And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?  For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.  And he arose, and departed to his house.” *****
The patient's situation was, that his spirit was sick, or be in sin, Jesus curing his spirit his body would be cured, thence Jesus asks what to do: to cure the spirit or the body, both had something to do with each other.
***** Other case is it of the blind man by birth, St. John, 9: 1-22:
John. 9: 1-22.  And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.  The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?  Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.  Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?  He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.  Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.  They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.  And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.  Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.  Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.  They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.  And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?  His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:  But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.  These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.””
Well then, if the man had already been born blind, it is because he brought the cause from another life when coming to embody, and he would be blind for his own lacks, it an error to interpret as whether God made him to suffer a blindness, to show up His power ness, the subject needs consideration in the knowledge of God and of His attributes. To the height of men's knowledge at the time in which Jesus lived, the men didn't have condition of Jesus to explain to their understanding on the cause of the man's blindness, then Jesus simply told them: Nor he sinned nor his parents; but it was so that in him might be shown the works of God. Sometimes in the' Laws of Cause and Effect',3 we can interpret as answers of God to our lacks, as we already know when studying the laws of Cause and Effect, but they are the laws in activity not God personally. And the law of' Causes and Effects', it is not revengeful and it is not punitive as many want them to be, but educational, recuperative and the one which rescues us on time, before we stand back too much from God. However we can say as the laws are from God, we accepted them as Will of God, however not as the ancient people thought God o be revengeful, jealous and Lord of the armies who ordered execution of men, women children and even animals.4 To that sort of conception, Jesus revealed us the truth that God is infinitely just and good, 5 and that God was and He is our Father full of Love, Justice, tolerance and patience, and when leaving up this Earth Jesus said: I am going to my Father and your Father, 6 Jesus was and he is our greater brother who tirelessly does help us and he is the Spirit which God has sent to us with the very capacity of accomplishing the hard harshly mission given by God.. The Bible is the History of the evolution and the man's spiritual ascension, Jesus amended the conceptions of Moses or of the ancient men, and when teaching Jesus said: Moses told you.... I however tell you...7 It was a great step in the progress and spiritual evolution, but the progress in the laws of God ought and must have to continue, thence Jesus to have a statement, that he would go away, but would send a Confortor, 8 in other words, that he would be the effective help, responsible who acting of the same way as Jesus would come to give us continuation to his own mission. We Christians or Spiritists of these new times in the evolution and progress of the spiritual thought and knowledge of the laws of God, although still as in a scratching begin, already in us the blind faith is fading out, because now our faith is ratiocinated, 9 meditated and we seek out the logic of things, and we seek the depths of the spiritual truths, their influences and their reasons of being.
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
The Gospel according to Spiritism, V: 4-10. I Samuel, XV: 9-11 - Numbers, XXXI: 1-18. The Spirits’ Book, Chapter, I. John, XVI: 28 + XX: 17. Matthew, V: 21,22,27,33 John, XV: 26 + XVI: 12,13. The gospel according to Spiritism, XIX: 7
Let us verify in the Book of the Spirits, the subject no. 196:
196. As spirits can only be ameliorated by undergoing the tribulations of corporeal existence, it would seem to follow that the material life is a sort of sieve or strainer, by which the beings of the spirit-world are obliged to pass in order to arrive at perfection ? "Yes; that is the case. They improve themselves under the trials of corporeal life by avoiding evil, and by practicing what is good. But it is only through many successive incarnations or purifications that they succeed, after a lapse of time which is longer or shorter according to the amount of effort put forth by them, ill reaching the goal towards which they tend." - Is it the' body that influences the spirit for its amelioration or is it the spirit that influence's the body? "Your spirit is everything; your body is a garment that rots, and nothing more." A material image of the various degrees of purification of the soul is furnished by the juice of the grape. It contains the liquid called spirit or alcohol, but weakened by the presence of various foreign elements Which change its nature, so that it is only brought to a state of absolute purity after several distillations, at each of which it is cleared of some portion of its impurity? The still represents the corporeal body into which the spirit enters for its purification the foreign elements represent the imperfections from which the perispírit is gradually freed, in proportion as the spirit approaches the state of relative perfection.
Let us verify in Allan Kardec's Book - 'Genesis', I: 55 and 56:
55. - A later character to the spiritual revelation, which is drawn from the conditions to which it is produced, is that, leaning upon facts, it is, and ever must be, essentially progressive, like all sentences based upon observation. In its essence it is allied to science, which, being a revelation of the laws of nature by a certain order of facts cannot be contrary to the will of God, the author of these laws. The discoveries of science glorify, instead of demeaning God. They destroy only that which men have built upon the false ideas they have formed of God. Spiritism is based then only upon absolute principle, - that which is demonstrated by proof, or that which results, logically from observation. Touching all the branches of social economy, to which it lends the aid of its own discoveries, it will assimilate itself always with all progressive doctrines, of whatever order they may be. It has arrives at a state of practical truth, and discarded the utopian ideas which would have destroyed it. In ceasing o be that which it is, it would deceive in regard to its origin and its providential object. Spiritism, marching hand in hand with progress, will never be overthrown, because, if new discoveries should demonstrate that it is in error upon a point, it would modify itself in regard to it. If a new truth is reveled, it accepts it.
56. - Which is the utility of the moral doctrine of the spirits, since it is no other than that of Christ? Has man need of a revelation? And can he find all that within himself which is necessary to guide him? God has without doubt given to man a guide in his conscience, which says to him, “So in everything, do to others, what you would have them do to you,” This moral philosophy is certainly inscribed in the heart of man; but do all know how to read it there? Have men never misconstrued these wise precepts? What have they done with the ethics of Christ? Do those who teach them practice them? Have they not become a dead letter, a beautiful theory, and good for others but not for one’s self? Would you reproach a father for repeating a hundred times the same instructions to his children if they did not profit by them? Why should God do less than a father of a family? Why should be not send from time to time special messengers to men, charged with recalling them to their duties, and with reinstating them in that “Narrow path” from which they have wandered, with opening the eyes of those who are blind to wisdom, as the most advanced men are sent as missionaries to the savage and barbarous? The Spirits teach no other morality than that of Christ, for the reason that there is no better. But, then, of what good is this instruction, since it teaches that which we know? One could say the same of the ethical teachings of Christ, which were taught five hundred years before he lied by Socrates and Plato in almost identical words, also by all moralists who repeat the same thing under many forms and words.
The spirits come simply to augment the number of moralists, with he difference, that, manifesting themselves everywhere, they are heard in the hut as well as in the palace by the ignorant as well as the learned. That which the teachings of the spirits adds to that of Christ is the knowledge of the laws which bind the living to the dead, which complete the vague ideas which he gave of the soul, its past and future, and which the laws of nature give as sanction to his doctrine. By the aid of the new lights carried by Spiritism and the spirits, man comprehends the solidarity which binds all beings together. Charity and fraternity become social necessities. Man does from conviction that which he did only for duty’s sake; and this is better when men will practice the moral teachings of Christ. Then alone will they be able to say that they have no more need of incarnate or discarnate moralists, then God will send them no more of them.”””
Unhappily our progress is slow, only little by little are we going to have an understanding of our situation, not only before ourselves, but in confrontation with the consequent needs of the World in which we live, the spirit after being more developed, he has condition of absorbing knowledge much faster, sensations attributes, aspirations which leads him to deepen himself also in the spiritual life, and in that capacity, one grows more and more. Thenceforth, the more one has the more it is given him, because in his effort and wanting to move forward, things are open to him and from one to the other or from a thing taking to the other, the spirit arrives to the truth and the accomplishment of the purposes and intentions which God has for him.10 All we have the same goal to reach out, according to the capacity of each one, some arrive to the goal, earlier than others, however God has not been privileging ones at the expense of others, everyone receives from Him the same love, the same affection, the same blessing, nobody is entitled, no matter how religious a person might be, 11 to say: “I am a son of God; you are not”: since only God knows the roads about for each one to arrive to Him, ‘the devil today will be the Angel tomorrow,’ 12 since in the evolution law and progress the call of God in the innermost of each one causes them the searching up for God, feeling in oneself as if it were a longing, a thirsting of the most intimate, nostalgia of God, that which nor the prodigal son, explained by Jesus. 13 That which one may have will be taken from him, in a certain way, we should also understand that as 'their works follow them', that God won't remove from someone the progress that the spirit has already gained, but for several negative reasons, the soul can stay latent, in a sleeping condition, without external expression of acquired merits in late experiences of the spirit, as if it were to have lost what one had, however in due course of time or something emotional or of the spirit, might provoke a wakening up of that which might be latent; to a certain extent the merits acquired by someone will not be lost away. But caused a stagnation. In other words, his progress stays stagnated for some time, however that stagnation of the spirit does not mean that one retreats to the inferiorities, because the spirit does not retrograde, 14 but it can be a long delay ahead for him to be happy.
I Corintios, II: 9. The object of religion is to conduct humanity towards God. Well, God can only be reached through perfection. Therefore every religion which does not make Man better than at the present time, will never reach its objective. Everything which Man judges will support him in committing evil, is either false or had its principles falsified. Such is the result of all religions where the form surmounts the base. Belief in the efficiency of exterior manifestation is null and void if it does not oppose the acts of murder, adultery, robbery, the causing of slander or damage in whatsoever form to whomsoever it may be. These kinds of religion never create godly men and women, only people who are superstitious, hypocrites and fanatics. The mere appearance of pureness is not enough, because above all else it is necessary to have a pure heart. (The Gospel according to Spiritism, VIII: 10). 12 Heaven and Hell, 1st Part. 13 Luke, XV: 11; 21-32. 14 The Spirits’ Book, Q. 118.
Let us see the subject no. 118 and 119 of the Spirits’ Book
118. Can spirits degenerate? "No; in proportion as they advance, they understand what has retarded their progress. When a spirit has finished with any given trial, he has learned the lesson of that trial, and never forgets it. He may remain stationary; but be never degenerates." 119. Could God exonerate spirits from the trials which they have to undergo in order to reach the highest rank? "If they had been created perfect, they would not have merited the enjoyment of the benefits f that perfection. Where would be the merit without the struggle? Besides, the inequality which exists between spirits is necessary to the development 6f their personality; and, moreover, the mission which each spirit accomplishes at each step of his progress is an element of the providential plan for ensuring the harmony of the universe.” Since, in social life. All men may reach the highest posts. We might as well ask why the sovereign of a country does not make a general of each of his soldiers, why all subaltern functionaries are not made heads of departments, why all scholars are not schoolmasters. But there is this difference between the life f the social and the spirit worlds, viz., that he first is limited, and does not afford to every one the possibility of raising himself to the highest rank whereas the second is unlimited, and ensures to every one the possibility of attaining to supreme degree.”””
Here is then, that faith is of the size of our progress and evolution before God and His very Laws, since everything indicates that man was created ‘simple and ignorant’ 15 and that for his own merits, with the help and care of God has gone on progressing through the times, and as he gained progress, God gave him new revelations, new horizon, new promises through men with mediumnity (second sight) ‘the prophets', consequently the commandments of God, 16 and the announcement of Jesus' arrival, 17 who would come to reveal God to us, by order of God the Father, and finally Jesus revealed to us, not only that God is our Father, but also that the' laws and prophets' 18 are summarized in": to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves. Let us allow that this study when finishing, be with the maxim "to Love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves.” 19 May God be with us as well as formerly, today and always?
Faith comes from the development of the Spirit. The development of the spirit doesn't only expresses in the present life, But it already comes from afar past in the progress which one has acquired In other lives, Because 'their works follow them',20 not only on disincarnating One takes to the' beyond' one’s faith, which is the knowledge and spiritual experience in the accumulated of one’s sensations and experiences, Vocations and acquired virtues; as well as also when coming from the beyond, In order to accomplish one’s reincarnatorial need,
15 16 17 18 19 20
The Spirits’ Book, Q. 115-121. Exodus, XX. John, I: 41 - IV: 25. Matthew, VII: 12 - XXII: 34-40. Mateus, XXII: 34-40. - Luvas, X: 27. Revelation, XIV: 13.
'One’s works follow oneself', or be: one’s works accompany him; it is one’s inheritance, One’s values, one’s formation, one’s vocations and virtues which belongs to oneself If it is a spirit already developed, his soul already has in himself, a force of faith, Because we noticed that those forces differ a lot among us, Since there are people of little religious instruction Who attract for themselves their desires which are out surprising our eyes and admiration?
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