Allan Kardec

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12. To be good and charitable, that is the key to Heaven which you hold in your hands. The entirety of eternal happiness is contained in this maxim: Love one another. The soul cannot elevate itself to the high spiritual realms except by devotion to one's fellow creatures; it will not find happiness and consolation except in charitable impulses. Be good and sustain your brothers and sisters; root out that horrible ulcer known as selfishness. In fulfilling this duty, the pathway to eternal happiness should open up before you. Besides, who amongst you has not yet felt their heart beat with jubilation and inner joy at the narration of an act of wonderful dedication or some truly charitable work? If you only seek the pleasure to be felt from a good deed, then you will remain forever on the pathway to spiritual advancement. Good examples are not wanting; what is rare 5 simply goodwill. Take note that history keeps pious remembrance of a multitude of good men and women.

Did not Jesus tell you everything concerning the virtues of charity and love? Why then despise His divine teaching? Why do you close your ears to His divine words and your hearts to His kindly maxims? I would wish that you demonstrate more interest, and more faith, in the reading of the New Testament. However, as you despise this book, considering it to be a compilation of hollow words, a closed letter, this admirable code has been forgotten. All your ills stem from your voluntary abandonment of this resume of the Divine Laws. Read the scintillating pages of the devotion shown by Jesus and meditate upon them!

Those of you who are strong, prepare yourselves for battle. Those who are weak, make your gentleness and faith into your arms. Let us be more persuasive and more constant in the dissemination of your new doctrine. It is only so as to give you encouragement and to stimulate your zeal and your virtues that God has given permission for this manifestation. But if you so wished, God's help and your own free-will would be sufficient for all needs, because spiritual manifestations only produce themselves for those whose eyes are closed and those with troubled hearts.

Charity is the fundamental virtue upon which all earthly virtues are based. Without this virtue there would be no others. Without charity there would be no hope of a better life, no interest in a moral guide line. Without charity there is no faith, because faith is nothing more than pure luminosity which makes a charitable soul become brilliant with light. In all worlds charity is the eternal anchor of salvation, the purest emanation which comes direct from the Creator, part of His own virtue which He gives to all creatures. How then can we despise this supreme generosity? What heart knowing this, is so perverse as to suppress and expel this divine sentiment? What child of God is so evil as to rebel against this sweet caress, which is charity.

I do not presume to speak of what I did, because Spirits also have their modesty. Nevertheless, I believe that the work I began during my earthly life is the kind of work which will contribute most to the alleviation of our fellow beings. I frequently see Spirits who, having asked, are given the work of continuing my task as their mission in life. I see them, these generous and beloved brothers and sisters, in their pious and divine ministry, practising these virtues which I recommend with a joy that can only be derived from a life of dedication and sacrifice. It is my immeasurable good fortune to see how their condition is honoured, how they are protected and esteemed in the mission they perform. Therefore, fellow beings of good and strong will-power, unite yourselves so that you may continue the work of expanding the diffusion of charity. You will find your reward in the very exercise of this virtue, and there are no bounds as to the spiritual happiness which may be felt, even in the present life. So be united, and love one another according to the teachings of Christ. So be it! - SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL (Paris, 1858).

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