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BD 0637 24.10.1938
Pleasures of the world ....
Do not let yourselves be beguiled by the charms of the world. Because you will get into great danger, and the salvation of your soul should stand higher than everything in the world. If you want to serve the Lord, you must give up everything that connects you with this earth, you must consciously defend yourselves against the temptations of the world. The fight against these strengthens the spirit in you, and you become, as it were, as conquerors of matter, free from the power of evil.
Everything you see and feel contains immature spiritual things, which you have to resist, because the earth with all it's splendor and all outward appearances is given to you as a stone of offence .... as a temptation .... so that you should test yourselves against it and learn to resist this temptation of your own free will. Once all the splendor of the world has taken hold of your heart, the struggle is unspeakably difficult, and then you have to use force to acquire the kingdom of heaven. Only in the constant struggle against temptation is it possible to lift the soul's misery and deliver it from dark night. It languishes too much in the bonds of the surrounding matter, and it's desire is the liberation from it.
Therefore, man must avoid everything that could thicken it's shell .... he must try to bring it relief by willingly giving up everything that connects him with the earthly world and turn his thoughts to the spiritual world. Thereby it becomes light and bright around the soul, and it's state becomes freer and freer .... It seeks the connection with the Divine Spirit slumbering in it, which can unite with the soul, the freer it becomes from matter. Thus, resistance against all worldly desires is always a prerequisite for the awakening of the spirit. .... For the state of the soul can never improve if the body gives in to earthly desires, and therefore the soul can never become a receptacle for the Divine Spirit.
The world is very tempting and is therefore a constant danger for the soul, but since man has all kinds of help at his disposal during earthly life, he has it in his power to resist it. The Divine Creator does not let any being go through earthly life defenseless and powerless He can obtain every protection and help through prayer, and whoever makes use of this means can master every earthly temptation, for through prayer he becomes partaker of all the Lord's grace and need never fear to be defenceless against all temptations of the world. He increases his spiritual good in the same measure as he makes use of prayer, he has thus himself the possibility and the power to separate himself figuratively from the earth and to satiate himself spiritually for it completely and to exchange far more beautiful things for the soul than the earth can ever offer to the body in worldly fulfillment.
And thus man gives up nothing when he shuns the pleasures of the world, but gains unspeakably much, for the pleasures of the world are not lasting .... they are spurious and fleeting .... but the spiritual pleasures outweigh all earthly things and endure for all eternity
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