Allan Kardec

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17. Be indulgent with regard to the faults of others whatever these may be. Do not judge with severity any actions but your own. Then the Lord will be indulgent towards you according to the manner in which you have shown it to others.

Uphold the strong, so stimulating them to perseverance. Strengthen the weak by showing them the goodness of God, Who takes into consideration even the smallest degree of repentance. Show to all the Angel of Penitence, stretching out her white wings over the shortcomings of humanity, veiling them from the eyes of He who cannot tolerate that which is impure. Let all understand the infinite mercy of the Father, never forgetting to say to Him, through thought, and above all through actions: "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." Understand well the meaning of these sublime words, wherein not only is the literal sense admirable, but most of all the teachings enclosed therein.

What is it you ask the Lord for when you implore His pardon? Is it only the oblivion of your offences? An oblivion which would leave you with nothing, if God limited Himself to merely forgetting your shortcomings. It is true that He would not punish, but neither would He offer compensation. A recompense cannot be offered for the good which has not been done, nor even less for the evil which has been done, although this evil may have been forgotten. When you ask God to pardon your transgressions, you are asking for the favour of His grace not to fall into relapse, together with the necessary strength so as to be able to turn into other pathways, like those of submission and love, which should then be joined to those of repentance and reparation.

When you forgive a fellow creature do not be content merely to extend a veil of oblivion across the failings, seeing that in most cases this veil is quite transparent in your eyes. Instead, simultaneously sweep away the failings with forgiveness and love. Do for all your brothers and sisters what you would have the Celestial Father do for you. That is to say, substitute anger which only defiles, with love which purifies. Preach as Jesus taught, by exemplifying active and ceaseless charity. Preach as He did during all the time He remained visible to physical eyes on this planet. Preach as He continues to do unceasingly since He became visible only to the eyes of spirit. Follow this divine Example! Walk in His footsteps, for they will conduct you to a refuge offering rest after the fight. Carry all of your crosses as He did, painfully but with courage, and go up to your Calvary upon whose peak you will find glorification. - JOHN, Bishop of Bordeaux (1862).

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