21. REMARKS: When an affliction is not a consequence of acts committed in this life, then we must look for the cause in a previous life. Everything which we call a whim of chance is nothing more than the effect of God's justice. He does not inflict wilful punishment, but desires that every penalty be in accordance with the misdeed. If in His goodness He has cast a veil over our past actions, He has also pointed out the way by saying: "Who kills by the sword shall perish by the sword." From these words we should understand that each creature is always punished according to the way in which he or she has sinned. If someone suffers the torment of losing their sight, then it is because their sight was the cause of their downfall. It might also be that this person was the cause of someone else losing their sight, perhaps in consequence of excessive work that had been imposed upon them by the one who has now lost theirs; perhaps also through ill treatment, lack of care, negligence, etc. In these cases the person responsible always undergoes the penalty caused by his own actions. On repenting, he may have chosen this very atonement, thereby applying to himself the words of Jesus: "If your eye is the motive for offence, then cast it out."