W h y. . .?

The end of 2004 brought a difficult moment for millions of our brothers and sisters in South Asia. Several thousands
departed from this incarnation in a glimpse. Many more remained behind and will bear moral and material difficulties in the
times ahead. In moments like these, we are naturally compelled to search for the meaning of so much suffering. Fortunately,
Kardec have already posed the same questions to Superior Spirits and we can find solace in their answers. Below, you will
find the enlightening explanations given by the Spirit Benefactors as compiled in
The Spirit’s Book and The Gospel According
to Spiritism
by Allan Kardec.

According to the principle of charity, there are several ways of helping our brothers and sisters in South Asia. We can help by
praying for those who departed to the spirit world and for those who remained here on Earth. Both are certainly going to
benefit from this, because prayer is thought. And thought is life.

You can also help through donations to non-profit organizations such as the ones listed below:
Unicef
American Red Cross
Christian Children's Fund
Doctors Without Borders
AmeriCares
Oxfam America
Network for Good
The Spiritist Society of Baltimore wishes Love and Light to all the families affected by the Tsunami.

 Excerpts from "The Spirits’ Book" (chapter VI)

737. What is the aim of God in visiting mankind with destructive calamities?
"To make men advance more quickly. Have we not told you that destruction is necessary to the moral regeneration of spirits, who accomplish a
new step of their purification in each new existence? In order to appreciate any process correctly, you must see its results. You judge merely from
your personal point of view, and you therefore regard those inflictions as calamities, because of the temporary injury they cause you; but such
upsettings are often needed in order to make you reach more quickly a better order of things, and to effect, in a few years, what you would
otherwise have taken centuries to accomplish."

738. Could not God employ other methods than destructive calamities for effecting the amelioration of mankind?
"Yes; and He employs them every day, for He has given to each of you the means of progressing through the knowledge of good and evil. It is
because man profits so little by those other means, that it becomes necessary to chastise his pride, and to make him feel his weakness."

- But the good man succumbs under the action of these scourges, as does the wicked; is this just?
"During his earthly sojourn, man measures everything by the standard of his bodily life; but, after death, he judges differently, and feels that the life
of the body, as we have often told you, is a very small matter. A century in your world is but the length of a flash in eternity, and therefore the
sufferings of what you call days, months, or years, are of no importance; let this he a lesson for your future use. Spirits are the real world, pre-
existent to, and surviving, everything else; they are the children of God, and the object of all His solicitude; and bodies are only the disguises tinder
which they make their appearances in the corporeal world. In the great calamities that decimate the human race, the sufferers are like an army
that, in the course of a campaign, sees its clothing tattered, worn out, or lost. The general is more anxious about his soldiers than about their
coats."

- But the victims of those scourges are none the less victims?
"If you considered an earthly life as it is in itself, and how small a thing it is in comparison with the life of infinity, you would attach to it much less
importance. Those victims will find, in another existence, an ample compensation for their sufferings, if they have borne them without murmuring."

739. Are destructive calamities useful physically notwithstanding the temporary evils occasioned by them?
"Yes, they sometimes change the state of a country, but the good that results from them is often one that will be felt by future generations."

740. May not such calamities also constitute for man a moral trial, compelling him to struggle with the hardest necessities of his lot?
"They are always trials, and, as such, they furnish him with the opportunity of. exercising his intelligence, of proving his patience and his
resignation to the will of God, and of displaying his sentiments of abnegation, disinterestedness, and love for his neighbor, if he be not under the
dominion of selfishness."

741. Is it in man's power to avert the scourges that now afflict him?
"Yes, a part of them; but not as is generally supposed. Many of those scourges are the consequence of his want of foresight; and, in proportion as
he acquires knowledge and experience, he becomes able to avert them, that is to say, he can prevent their occurrence when he has ascertained
their cause. But, among the ills that afflict humanity, there are some, of a general nature, which are imposed by the decrees of Providence, and the
effect of which is felt, more or less sensibly, by each individual. To these, man can oppose nothing bill his resignation to the divine will, though he
can, and often does, aggravate their painfulness by his negligence."

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Excerpt from "The Gospel According to Spiritism" (chapter V, item 27)

“Should anyone put an end to another's probation when they can, or should God's purpose be respected, so leaving things to take their own
course?

We have already said repeatedly that you are upon this planet of atonement for the purpose of concluding your trials, and everything that happens
is a consequence of past lives. This is the interest on the debt you must pay. However, in some people this fact provokes reflections which should
be combated, due to the disastrous effects that might be caused.

Some people think that by being on Earth for the purpose of atonement all probation must follow its course. Then there are others who will go to
the point of believing that not only must nothing be done to alleviate the suffering, but that on the contrary, they should help others to benefit more
by making these sufferings more active, more intense. This is a very big mistake. It is quite true that trials must take their course as marked by
God, but, and this is the difference, how do we know what God has designed? Do we know to what extent they must reach? What if our merciful
Father designated that this or another suffering should only reach a certain point? How do you know whether Divine Providence has placed you,
not as an instrument of torture to aggravate the suffering of the culprit, but as the soothing balm of consolation to help heal the wounds? So
therefore never say, “It is God's justice and must follow its course.” Rather say, 'Let me see what means our merciful Father has put within my
reach so that I may lessen the suffering of my brother or sister. Let me see if moral consolations, material help or advice can assist in overcoming
these trials with greater energy, patience and resignation. Let me see if God has given me the means of putting an end to this suffering. Perhaps
this possibility has been given to me as a test or even atonement, so that I may allay these troubles and substitute them with peace.

Therefore, always help each other mutually in your respective probations and never consider yourself as an instrument of torture. Every person
who has a heart should revolt against such an idea, especially all Spiritists because they, more than anyone else, should understand the infinite
extension of God's goodness. All Spiritists should be convinced that their whole lives must be acts of love and devotion, that although they do what
they may in trying to oppose God's wishes, these will always be fulfilled. Therefore they can apply maximum strength to attenuate the bitterness of
atonement without fear of the consequences, being certain that only God has the right to shorten or prolong a trial, as He sees fit. Is it not
immense pride on the part of mankind to consider that it is right, in a manner of speaking, to turn the knife in the wound or to increase the dose of
poison in the viscera of one who is suffering, under the pretext that it is part of the probation? Oh, always consider yourselves as instruments for
the alleviation of pain! So to summarize: all are on Earth for atonement but all, without exception, must strive to lessen the atonement of one's
fellow beings, which is in accordance with the law of love and charity.”

                                                                                                                       
  - BERNADIN, a Protecting Spirit  (Bordeaux, 1863)
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- Let’s also take this moment to reflect upon what is expected from us during this period...
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