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BD 7110 03.05.1958
Wealth or poverty is neither an advantage nor a hindrance to attaining beatitude ....
And even if your most pleasing earthly hopes come to fruition, if you gain honour and reputation, the most eminent scientific fame, even if earthly happiness is granted to you .... it will all come to an end the moment you die, and you cannot take any of it along with you into the kingdom of the beyond. On the contrary, you will feel your deprivation twice as much if you have no spiritual wealth to show as it will replace your earthly loss a thousand fold. But precisely this will be rare, the fact that a person who possessed everything on earth has also aspired spiritually, who certainly called many earthly goods his own and also used them according to God's will .... who did not allow himself to be governed by them .... Generally, the hearts of those who are wealthy in an earthly sense are hardened. And according to the state of the heart will be the state of the soul after the body's death. The earth and the spiritual kingdom are completely different, this is what people should always remember, and therefore they should not envy those either whose earthly life gave them complete fulfilment .... For this kind of life on earth is no guarantee for the same state in the spiritual realm. By comparison, earthly poverty and plainness can contribute towards the purification of a soul, and such a soul can go in light and brilliance through the gate to eternity. Yet irrespective of what the earthly circumstances may be which the human being was given by fate, he will always have the opportunity to mature spiritually; in every situation in life he has the means at hand which help to purify his soul ....
Neither poverty nor suffering guarantee an eternal life in bliss, nor is a life of earthly fulfilment a hindrance for such an eternal life .... It solely depends on a person's will as to whether it is spiritually inclined and therefore tries to draw a benefit for his soul from every situation in life .... It solely depends on whether the person establishes contact with God, for which he will be stimulated in every situation in life. There is only a danger that every thought of God will be repressed if a person is satisfied with his earthly life or if he tries to achieve ever greater earthly success, just as, vice versa, those who are denied all fulfilment in earthly life can in bitterness turn against their destiny and also live without faith .... thus likewise have no spiritual achievements to show when they pass away .... Nevertheless, the path of higher development is far easier to travel for people who appear to be less favoured during their earthly life, for their renunciation of material possessions is, in a manner of speaking, required of them by providence .... they need only resign themselves to it and also silence their inner wishes, then they will have a considerable advantage compared to those who, also by providence, live in happiness and excess. Therefore, the poor need not always be pitied and the rich should be envied even less, for only that which the person's soul acquires is of value .... But once the hour of death has come all earthly things must stay behind, and it will be far easier for a person to detach himself from the world if nothing exists which still ties him to it ..... if he was able to completely release himself from matter, if the person's thinking is not burdened by earthly things which make his passing away difficult and only prevents him from the exclusive bond with God, with His kingdom .... Whatever life on earth might offer you, it will become worthless the moment you die. However, whatever you accepted from the spiritual kingdom during your existence on earth will remain forever. And you can only attain spiritual possessions if your heart detaches itself from material treasures, if you can forego them at any time for love of God and your neighbour .... Then you will receive constantly more than you have given away, then you will increase your spiritual wealth, and you will also make the right use of earthly riches, that is, you will use them according to God's will for works of merciful neighbourly love .... In that case, however, you will not need to fear the hour of death either, for you will not die but pass into eternal life ....
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