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BD 5194 23.08.1951
Blessing of illness and suffering ....
The body's decline is often a useful warning for a person who is still too earthly-minded and thus endangers the soul. Sooner or later he must learn to realise that nature can impose a limit and as a result of this realisation become aware of what will happen after the body has become completely unsuitable for this earth. As long as the human being fails to think about his soul of his own accord he must often be warned and admonished. Physical ailments, diseases and the loss of bodily abilities must therefore also be regarded as means for maturing the soul, since they can change a person's thinking considerably and consequently are often used as a remedy for the soul if it is at risk of succumbing to spiritual death. Yet they don't always serve their purpose .... then a state of obstinacy ensues, a complete avoidance of all divine-spiritual issues, and despite disease and misfortune affecting his body the human being tries to live life to the full.
Nothing that is inflicted on a person is without meaning .... the body's illness often achieves the soul's recovery; then it has been a blessing because the person learned to despise the world after he had to go without and looked for and found a substitute in the spiritual world. He will receive precious possessions as compensation for the goods denied to him by the world and which he now knows to be worthless. But that involves that he humbly submits to the fate imposed on him for the sake of his soul, that he obediently endures what indeed seems arduous to him but what can also be overcome. As soon as the human being gains just a little faith he feels the hand of God above him and humbly submits himself to God's will; and then he can only win but never lose, thus he need not be pitied either because he owns infinitely more than someone completely healthy and full of physical vitality without contact to the kingdom which one day will also be his abode after the death of his body.
Only the degree of the soul's maturity on passing away from earth is relevant .... Everything that can contribute towards becoming more mature is used by God, even if the human being does not experience it as a benefit while he is without realisation .... One day he will recognise the blessing of suffering and illness and be grateful to God for using successful remedies without curtailing the human being's free will. A sick body is not as bad as a sick soul, and if it is to become healthy the body must endure illness until the soul has become charitable, until it looks up to heaven and has learned to regard the world merely as a temporary school of trials .... One day it will be able to soar freely and without hindrance up into high spiritual regions and be eternally grateful to its Creator for the grace bestowed upon it of letting the body suffer so that the soul can recover ....
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