Allan Kardec

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11. The act of beneficence in this world, my friends, gives you happiness of the heart, being the purest and sweetest delight, which neither remorse nor indifference can perturb. Oh! If only you could understand something of the greatness and enjoyment which encompasses the generosity of beauteous souls! It is a sentiment which makes people look at each other as they would look at themselves and gladly disrobe in order to clothe a fellow creature in need! If only you could have as your single occupation that of making others happy! What worldly feats can be compared to those celebrated when men and women, as Divine representatives, have taken happiness to families who have known only bitterness and vicissitudes; when they see mortified faces suddenly glow with hope because without any bread these unfortunate parents only heard their children, who were ignorant of the fact that to live is to suffer, crying out unceasingly with clenched fists the words which were as daggers penetrating the maternal hearts: "I'm hungry! . . ." Oh! You must understand then the joyous impressions of those who see happiness born again, where but a moment before there had been nothing but despair. You must understand the obligations that you owe to your brothers and sisters! Go! Go then to meet misfortune! Go and offer help! Offer help, especially against hidden miseries which are the most painful of all! Dearly beloved brethren, go remembering these words of our Saviour: "When you clothe any one of these little ones, remember it is Me that you clothe!"

Charity! That sublime word which synthesizes all the virtues, it is you who will conduct all peoples of the world towards happiness. It is only by the act of charity that infinite delights can be created for each one in the future. Yet even while you remain exiled on Earth, it will be your consolation, a foretaste of the joys to be possessed later when you find yourselves united in the bosom of the God of love. It was you, divine Virtue, that enabled me to experience the only moments of satisfaction I was to enjoy while on Earth. I hope my incarnate brothers and sisters on this planet will believe these amicable words when I say: It is within charity that you must seek peace of heart, contentment of the soul and the remedy for life's afflictions. Oh! When you are on the point of accusing God, first cast your eyes down and you will see all the miseries waiting to be alleviated, the poor children without families, the old without even a friendly hand to close their eyes when death claims them! How much good there is waiting to be done! Oh! Do not complain! On the contrary offer thanks to God and lavish handfuls of sympathy, understanding and money on all who, disinherited from wordly possessions, languish in suffering and isolation. You will reap sweet happiness in the world, and later... Only God knows!...

ADOLF, Bishop of Argel (Bordeaux, 1861).

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