3 - PRAYERS FOR OTHERS.
FOR SOMEONE WHO IS AFFLICTED
42. PREFACE - If it is in the interest of the afflicted person to continue their test then any request we might make will not shorten it. But it would be a lack of charity to abandon this person, alleging that our prayer would not be heard. Apart from this, even if the test is not interrupted, they may obtain some degree of consolation that will lessen their suffering. What is really useful for someone who is supporting a test is courage and resignation, without which whatever they are going through will bring them no results, because without these attributes they will have to go through it all again. Therefore, it is with this objective in mind that we should direct our effort towards asking the good Spirits to help them, or by lifting their morale through counselling and encouragement, or even by helping them in a material way, if this is possible. In such cases prayer can have a decisive effect by directing a fluidic current towards them with the intention of fortifying their morale (See chapter 5, items 5 & 27; chapter 27, items 6 & 10).
Dear God of infinite goodness, may it please You to soften the bitterness of the position in which X . . . finds himself, if this be according to Your will.
Good Spirits, in the name of God Almighty, I beseech you to help in his afflictions. If it is not in his interest to be spared this suffering, make him understand that it is necessary for his progress. Give him confidence in God and the future, which will make him less bitter. Also give him strength so that he does not give himself up to despair, which will make him lose the fruits of his suffering and make his future even more painful. Conduct my thoughts to him so that these may help him to maintain his courage.
AN ACT OF THANKSGIVING FOR A BENEFIT RECEIVED BY SOMEONE ELSE
44. PREFACE - Those who are not dominated by selfishness rejoice over the good that comes to their neighbour, even if they did not make a solicitation by means of prayer.
Lord, we thank You for the happiness conceded to X... Good Spirits, help him to see that this benefit is the consequence of God's goodness. If the good received constitutes a test, please inspire him with thoughts about how to make the best use of it and not become conceited, so it does not redound to his detriment in the future. You, the good Spirits who protect me and desire my happiness, turn aside from me all sentiment of jealousy or envy.
FOR OUR ENEMIES AND THOSE WHO WISH US ILL
46. PREFACE - Jesus said: Love your enemies. This maxim shows us all that is most sublime in Christian charity. But Jesus did not mean to say that we should have the same tenderness for an enemy as we have for a friend. By these words He teaches us to pardon offences, to pardon all evil done to us and to repay all evil with goodness. Apart from the worth that this conduct has in God's eyes, it also serves to show Man the nature of true superiority (See chapter 12, items 3 & 4).
Dear God, forgive ... . the evil he has done me and still desires to do to me, as I wish You to forgive me; I also ask him to forgive me for the offences I have committed against him. If this person has been put in my pathway as a test, may Your Will be done. Turn me away, dear Lord, from any idea of cursing him and from all other wicked sentiments against him. Do not ever allow me to be happy at any misfortune that may befall him, so as not to blemish my soul with thoughts which are not worthy of a Christian.
Lord, may your mercy extend to him and induce him to harbour better sentiments towards me!
Good Spirits, induce me to forget all evil and remember only the good. May neither hate, rancour nor the desire to pay back evil with evil enter my heart, since sentiments of hate and vengeance belong to bad Spirits, be they incarnate or discarnate! On the contrary, may I be prepared to extend a friendly hand to him, so repaying evil with goodness and help him if it is possible.
So as to test the sincerity of my words, I beg You to give me an opportunity to be useful to him, but above all, Lord, preserve me from doing this out of pride and ostentation, smothering him with humiliating generosity which would only cause me to lose the fruits of my action, since in that case, I would deserve these words of Christ: You have already received your recompense (See chapter 13, items 1 & subsequent).
THANKSGIVING FOR BLESSINGS RECEIVED BY OUR ENEMIES
48. PREFACE - To not desire evil towards your enemies is to be only partly charitable. True charity consists in wishing them well and in feeling happy about the good that comes to them (See chapter 12, items 7 & 8).
Dear God, in Your justice You saw fit to make X... happy, and on his behalf I thank You, despite the evil he has done to me and still tries to do. If he seeks to use this benefit to humiliate me, I accept this as a test of my capacity for charity.
Good Spirits who protect me, do not let me become regretful because of this. Turn away from me all jealousy and envy, which only degrades. On the contrary, inspire me with the generosity that elevates. Humiliation comes from evil and not from goodness, and we know that sooner or later justice will be done to each one according to their works.
FOR THE ENEMIES OF SPIRITISM
50. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the Earth.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Matthew, 5: 5 & 10-12).
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew, 10:28).
51. PREFACE - Of all the liberties, the most inviolable is that of thought, which includes the liberty of conscience. To cast a curse against those who do not think as we do is to demand that liberty for ourself but refuse it to others, which is a violation of the first commandment of Jesus, which is that of charity and love towards one's neighbour. To persecute others for the beliefs they profess is to attack the most sacred right of Man, which is to believe whatever he wishes and to worship God as he sees fit. To compel him to practise exterior acts similar to those we ourselves practise is to show that we are more attached to the form than the essence and to appearances rather than conviction. Forced renouncement will never produce faith. It can only make hypocrites. It is an abuse of material power, which does not prove the truth. Truth is sure of itself, it convinces and does not pursue, because there is no need.
Spiritism is an opinion, a belief; even if it were a religion, why should its adepts not have the liberty to call themselves Spiritists, as do the Catholics, the Jews and the Protestants, or the participants of this or that philosophical doctrine, of this or that economic order? A belief is either true or false. If it is false it will fall by itself, seeing that error cannot stand up against truth when intelligences are enlightened; and if it is true then persecution will not make it become false.
Persecution is the baptism of all new ideas that ore great and just. it grows with the development and the importance of the idea. The fury and wrath of its enemies are in direct proportion to the fear it inspires. This is the reason why Christianity was persecuted in the past, and why Spiritism is today, with the difference however that the former was persecuted by the Pagans and the latter by Christians. It is true that the time of bloody persecutions is now past; nevertheless, if today they no longer kill the body, then they torture the soul; attacking it even in its most intimate sentiments, in its most dear affections. Families are divided, exciting mothers against daughters, wives against husbands. Even physical violence is not absent, the body being attacked through the lack of material necessities by taking people away from their means of livelihood, thereby attacking the believer through hunger (See chapter 23, items & subsequent).
Spiritists, do not be upset by the blows that are hurled at you because they are the proof that you have the truth. If this were not so they would leave you in peace and not attack you. It is a test for your faith, since it is through your courage, resignation and perseverance that God will recognise you as being one of His faithful servants, on whom He is counting as from today, to give to each one the part that rests with them according to their works.
Following the example of the first Christians, carry your cross with dignity. Believe in the words of Christ when He said: "Blessed are those who suffer persecution for the love of justice, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, for they cannot kill the soul." He also said: "Love your enemies; do good to those who do you evil and pray for those who persecute you." Show yourselves to be true disciples and that your doctrine is good by doing what He said and did.
The persecution will not last for long. Await with patience for the coming of the dawn, since the morning star is already appearing on the horizon (See chapter 24, items 13 & subsequent).
Lord, You have said to us through the lips of Jesus, Your Messiah, "Blessed are those who suffer persecution for love of justice; forgive your enemies; pray for those who persecute you." And He gave us an example of this by praying for His tormentors.
Following this example, 0 Lord, we beg Your mercy for those who despise Your most sacred precepts, which are the only ones capable of bringing peace to this world and the next. As did Christ, we also say: "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do."
Give us strength to support with patience and resignation their mockery, insults, slander and persecutions as a test of our faith and humility; free us from all idea of reprisals, seeing that the hour of justice comes to all, and we await it submitting ourselves to Your holy Will.
PRAYER FOR A CHILD THAT HAS JUST BEEN BORN
53. PREFACE - Only after having passed through the tests offered by physical life can Spirits reach perfection. Those who are in an errant state await God's permission to return to an existence which can offer them progress, either by the expiation of their faults by means of the vicissitudes to which they will be subjected, or by the undertaking of a mission which will benefit humanity. Their advancement and future happiness will be in proportion to the manner in which they employ the time given to them on Earth. The duty of guiding their first steps and of leading them towards goodness is up to their parents, who will have to give an account to God for the degree of fulfilment they gave to this mandate. It was to help them that God made paternal and filial love a Law of Nature, a law which can never be transgressed with impunity.
54. PRAYER (To be said by the parents):
Dear Spirit, who has incarnated in the body of our child, we bid you welcome. We thank You, Almighty God, for the blessing of this child.
We know that this is a trust You have deposited in us and for which one day we will have to give an account. If he (she) belongs to the new generation of Spirits who are to inhabit the Earth, we thank you Lord for this blessing! If it is an imperfect Spirit, it is our duty to help him/her progress towards goodness, by means of counselling and good examples. If he/she falls prey to evil through our fault, we shall be responsible for this, seeing that we shall have failed in our mission.
Lord, uphold us in this task and give us the necessary strength and willpower so as to be able to fulfill it to the best of our ability. If this child has come to test our Spirits, may Your will be done, Lord!
Good Spirits, who have watched over this birth and will accompany this child during the course of his/her new existence, do not abandon him/her. Turn away from him/her all the evil Spirits who will try to tempt him/her into badness. Give this being strength to resist all their suggestions and courage to suffer with patience and resignation the tests which await here on Earth (See chapter 14, item 9).
Dear God, You have entrusted me with the destiny of one of Your Spirits; therefore, Lord, make me worthy of the task You have set me. Grant me Your protection. Illuminate my intelligence so that I may perceive right from the beginning the tendencies of the one it is my duty to prepare for ascension to Your peace.
God of infinite goodness, since You have seen fit to permit the Spirit of this child to come once again to undergo earthly trials, destined to make it
progress, give it enlightenment enough so that it may learn to know You, love
You and worship You. Through Your omnipotence may this soul regenerate itself from the source of Your Divine Teachings. That, under the protection of its Guardian Angel, its intelligence may develop, amplify and lead it to aspire to move closer to You. May the science of Spiritism be a brilliant light which illuminates it throughout the many choices of life. And finally, may it learn to appreciate the full extension of Your love, which puts us to the test so that we may purify ourselves.
Lord, cast a paternal eye over this family to which You have entrusted this soul, so that it may learn to understand the importance of its mission. May the seeds of goodness within this child germinate till such time as, by its own aspirations, it elevates itself to You.
O Lord, may it please You to answer this humble prayer, in the name of and by the worthiness of He who said: "Let the little children come to me, because the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who resemble them."
FOR ONE WHO AGONIZES
57. PREFACE - Agonizing is the prelude to the separation of the soul from the body. It can be said that at this moment the person h05 one foot on Earth and the other in the next world.
Sometimes this phase is painful for those who are deeply attached to worldly things and who live more for the possessions of this world than those of the next one, or whose conscience is agitated by regrets and remorse. On the other hand, for those whose thoughts seek the Infinite and who are able to disengage themselves from matter, it is less difficult to break the links which tie them to the Earth and there is nothing of pain in these last moments. Only a thin thread links their physical body to their soul, while in the first case there are thick roots which hold them prisoner. in every case, prayer exercises a powerful action in the work of separation (See HEAVEN & HELL, 2nd part, chapter 1 - "The Passing").
Merciful and omnipotent God, here is a soul who is about to leave its terrestrial covering in order to return to the Spirit world, which is the real homeland. May it be given to them to make this passing in peace and may You extend Your mercy to them.
Good Spirits, who have accompanied this person on Earth, do not abandon them at this supreme moment. Give them strength to support the last sufferings which they need to pass through in this world, for the good of their future advancement. Inspire them to use any last glimmerings of intelligence or any fleeting awareness they may have, to the consecration of repentance for any faults. Allow my thoughts to act in such a way so as to help them achieve this separation with less difficulty, and may this soul take the consolation of hope with it at the moment of departure from this Earth.