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BD 8680 21.11.1963
Following Jesus: Bearing the cross ....
You will always cross the bridge to the spiritual kingdom if you follow Jesus, the divine Redeemer, Who established this bridge for you humans and walked the path before you. He Himself bridged this broad gulf between the earth and the spiritual kingdom through His act of Salvation, He walked the most arduous and painful path to the cross and thereby built the bridge into the kingdom of light .... which can be crossed by every human being and will always lead to the right goal ....
The path of following Jesus has to be taken, that is, just as He had accepted all suffering out of love for the wretched human race so the human being, too, has to take the path of love and suffering, he has to endeavour to follow Him in order to purge his soul .... even though the human being Jesus had taken all guilt of His fallen brothers upon Himself and thus the immense original sin is redeemed through the crucifixion, through the act of Salvation .... His soul can only get cleansed and purified through love and suffering, and it has to accomplish this purging while still on earth if it wants to achieve the degree of light which guarantees its happiness. For the human being lives on earth in order to free his soul from all impurities, from all vices and longings, weaknesses and bad habits, which still cling to you as a result of your past apostasy, which it should and will be able to shed if it patiently travels the earthly path in suffering and makes an effort to live a life of love. For love is the most assured means of purification, love dissolves all impurities and layers which still burden a soul. And suffering .... humbly endured .... is likewise suitable to crystallise the soul, which then has become receptive to light and translucent when it enters the realm of the beyond.
For this reason Jesus spoke the Words 'Whosoever will come after Me, let him take up his cross ....' No human being will be entirely spared suffering, even if the weight of burden varies with each person. Yet earthly life is not the ultimate fulfilment, it is only ever a preparatory stage for the true life in the spiritual kingdom .... And any load the soul is still burdened with on earth can only raise its beatitude in the beyond, providing it is humbly endured as God's will. Thus the human being shall take the path of following Jesus of his own free will .... He himself has to want that his soul should attain greater maturity on earth, he consciously has to decide to follow Jesus, he also has to acknowledge His act of Salvation and make use of it for himself. For no earthly existence, no matter how sorrowful, will ever help the soul to perfection if the human being does not acknowledge Jesus, if he does not make use of His act of Salvation and its blessings, if he does not believe in Him and the fact that it was God Himself Who accomplished the act of Salvation in the man Jesus. Then his earthly path can be as wretched as anything, he will not derive any benefit from it for his soul, for then he did not voluntarily 'follow Jesus' ....
However, the more you humans are filled with love the less you will be weighed down by suffering, for love is the best means of release, the fire of love will dissolve the soul's every layer, it will melt away everything that is unclean and hardened, love will achieve the soul's purification within a short time, and the extent of suffering can be reduced where love is already dealing with the soul's purification process ....
And therefore the human being will have to be of service to a large extent in order to express his love thereby, for love impels people to be active, and as soon as it thus unselfishly applies to another person the human being will constantly perform labours of love, and then he will travel the path of following Jesus, Who time and again was likewise impelled by love to accomplish helpful acts, Who aimed to alleviate his fellow human being's suffering and distress and used remarkable strength in order to help his fellow human beings.
And thus a constant willingness to help will be a path of following Jesus, because it demonstrates love, which can only ever have a beneficial effect, both for the provider as well as for the one who accepts the help .... For love is the most Powerful, the Divine, which has to lead to the soul's perfection without fail, which has to purge a soul and make it receptive to light .... love is the final objective on earth, because it leads to unification with the Eternal Love, because it restores the original state of the created being and therefore also has to guarantee supreme bliss, which the being then finds in closest unity with its God and Father of eternity, from Whose love it once had emerged ....
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