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BD 7736 02.11.1960
About abstinence and asceticism ....
Whatever motivates you to practise abstinence .... you should not weaken your body with it, for I gave it to you so that your soul should attain maturity in it and it is your duty to maintain your soul's vessel for as long as you live on earth .... You will understand that a weakened body is unable to fulfil the task it was allocated by destiny, and I really don't want you to render yourselves unfit for the work you have to accomplish on earth. Yet neither does your spiritual development depend on self-denial, on your withholding from your body what it needs in order to stay alive, what is beneficial to remain healthy. Earthly life makes demands on you which you must comply with in order to be useful members of society .... And you need strength for this, which you must repeatedly replenish by providing your body with the right amount of sustenance and refreshment .... However, you should not exceed the amount, since it is truly not beneficial for you .... But neither should you let the body starve and thereby weaken it .... For this is not My will, Who created you in line with natural law, i.e., I did not provide the body with functions which keep it alive and going for no reason, as far as it is My will. You should respect My wisdom which created the human body this way as you require it to be a vessel for your soul in which it ought to achieve its earthly task: to attain full maturity for the spiritual kingdom ....
However, remember to abide by natural law, too much as well as too little is wrong, you should be moderate in all things and not make the body unfit for its task through excessive self-denial .... just as, vice versa, every overindulgence is bad and can spiritually damage the soul. And therefore you should merely keep to natural law, live a simple and modest life and always request My blessing ....And it will not do you any harm, nothing will influence your spiritual maturing, your body will not become prematurely weak and you will even be spared illness, if you don't sin against natural laws .... if you also acknowledge your body's spiritual task and help it by keeping it healthy and not denying it what it needs for its existence .... And only pray that you will always recognise the right measure .... that your love for the body will not be greater than your love for the soul; pray that I will always give your body the strength to achieve its earthly task. And if you thus endeavour to comply with My will then no illness will frighten you again, for then you will know that even this shall merely help to spiritualise body and soul .... But don't try to achieve this spiritualisation through asceticism as it contradicts natural law and can even result in a healthy body falling ill, but then it will be self-inflicted. Overcome all cravings which do not help to sustain the body .... fight against them, then you will live in the right way and your soul, too, will be able to become fully mature .... Yet all excess is a disadvantage for the soul, for a certain amount of spiritual pride or ambition motivates the person to accomplish something extraordinary for the sake of his soul's maturity. But just as I created the body that is how it should serve you .... what the body requires by natural law it should also receive .... Then it will accomplish its task as a vessel for the soul and help it achieve maturity, and the body will make good use of the time it was allocated by My will on earth ....
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