ABANDON FATHER, MOTHER AND CHILDREN
4. And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my Name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life (Matthew, 19: 29).
5. Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all; and followed Thee. And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the Kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting (Luke, 18: 28-30).
6. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the Kingdom of God (Luke, 9: 61 & 62).
Here, without arguing about words, we should look for the thought behind them which quite evidently was: The interests of the future life should take precedence over all other interests and human considerations. This thought is in accordance with the substance of the doctrine as taught by Jesus, whereas the idea of renouncing one's family would be a frank denial of this teaching.
Moreover, do we not have these maxims in mind when we consider the sacrifice of our interests and family affections for those of our homeland? Do we, by chance, censure those who leave their parents, brothers and sisters, wives and children in order to fight for their country? On the contrary, do they not gain in merit for having given up their homes and families in order to fulfill their duty? This then is because there are some duties which are greater than others. Does not the law impose that the daughter leave her parents in order to follow her husband? The world is full of thousands of cases in which painful separation is necessary. Nevertheless, affections are not broken because of this. These temporary separations do not diminish either the respect or the solicitude that children owe to their parents, nor the affection of these parents for their children. Therefore we see that even if we take these words literally, with the exception of the word hate, they would not be a contradiction of the commandment which prescribes that Man honours his father and mother, nor that of parental affections; and would certainly not be if they were understood in their spiritual meaning. These words had the finality then of showing through overstatement, how imperious is the duty of occupying oneself with the future life. Besides, they would have been less shocking for a people in an epoch in which, as a consequence of their customs, family ties were not so strong as they are within a society which is morally more advanced. These ties, always weak in primitive peoples, fortify themselves with the development of sensitivity and a sense of morality. Nevertheless, separation is necessary for progress. Without it families and races would become degenerate if there were no intermingling of different strains. This is a law of nature, and is as much in the interests of moral progress as it is for physical progress.
Here things are considered purely from the earthly point of view. Spiritism makes us look higher by showing us that the real ties of affection are not of the flesh but of the Spirit, and that these ties do not break with separation, nor even through the death of the physical body. In fact they become more robust in the spiritual life by means of the cleansing of the Spirit. This knowledge is a consoling truth from which great strength can be gained by all beings to help them support the vicissitudes of life (See chapter 4, item 18 and chapter 14, item 8).