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The living prayer of the prior and its effect
89,1. See, our prior returns to the sleeping souls. This time, I too must keep my promise made to the soul-sleepers, and go to them. We, therefore, follow the prior, so that you may see what is going to happen. See, we are here with the prior; therefore, we shall silently pay attention to what our prior will do with the soul-sleepers. He is close to the chasm and presently begins his address.
89,2. So give attention, for he (the Prior) says, "Dear Brothers! You know what has always separated us in our convent; it was nothing but a disagreement about the condition of the soul after the death of the body. You asserted that the soul must dwell in some idle, hardly conscious sleeping state until the Last Judgment, and appealed in favor of this opinion to your various Church teachers. But we, who are outside, have an opinion diametrically opposed to yours. We present to you that if it is the case that the soul, after the death of the body, is in some dull, almost unconscious state of sleep, that all our soul- directed ecclesiastical functions for the good of the soul, are then as good as a vain empty deceit, since in such a state of the soul after death, no purgatory or any degree of hell can be possible.
89,3. Despite this proof of our counter-evidence, you have nevertheless asserted your opinion with great vehemence. And so between you and us was a secret fiery gulf, from which, in every attempt to make a bridge to you, perpetual destructive flames flared up. What has been only a moral difference in opinion between us in the world, takes its form here in the most obvious reality.
89,4. But now I will tell you something else. You know as well as I about the mighty messenger who has come to us to free us all from our old delusion. This messenger has shown to me how clear and foolish we are in all this and showed me a new way to go. And this way is no other than the sole love of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only God of all heaven and all worlds, and who has said in His Word of Himself that He and the Father are One, and who sees Him, also sees the Father. Moreover, He said: he that hears His word, and lives according to it, has eternal life within him, and whoever also believes in Him, that He is the only-begotten Son out of God, will never ever taste death!
89,5. This then is the way, a whole new way which the messenger has given us. If we follow this path and walk in this way, and in the only Lord Jesus Christ as true brethren, we shall have a good bridge between us and you. As soon as we have a good bridge, the kingdom of the divine mercy of the only Lord Jesus Christ can be safely reached.
89,6. So discern yourself! Throw your old, deceptive sleeping-gown from you, and turn with me to the sole Lord Jesus Christ, and He who knows all things in all infinity and eternity, will have mercy upon us in His infinite love, and soon a bridge of durable kind shall be built over this chasm, which you will be able to cross! The flames in the depths, however, will surely go out as soon as you, with me, and with all our brethren, in faith and love, will turn to the sole Lord Jesus Christ.
89,7. Now the Prior has spoken, and on the other side of the chasm, one of them replies: Good friend and brother! Your speech is praiseworthy and full of good sense; but how can it be of use to us all, since you must know that no man can any longer work for the eternal life after the death of the body, and therefore all faith and all love here are as good as futile thoughts of the spirit. Therefore, we can assure you, in advance, that your opinion, which is good in itself, will be of little use to us all.
89,8. Now the Prior speaks again: O dear friends and brethren, in your supposed merit for eternal life, the knot, which is pernicious for your salvation, lies buried. Did not the Lord, as the messenger show me clearly, say to His apostles and disciples, "If you have done all things, then say, we have been useless servants.
89,9. But apart from this text, tell me, dear brethren and friends, what can the impotent creature do for the Almighty God? Who of you has ever created a blade of grass, or even a leaf-mite with his merits? Who of you all was present in the creation of all worlds and heavens, serving the Lord as a lesser servant! What have we contributed to the great work of salvation, that we might then say that we have given God some merit for the Almighty? What have we done to receive life from the Lord? - What merit can a weak child earn with his parents, that it could then say to them: Pray give me my earned part?
89,10. Behold, we were not only always useless servants before the Lord, but we still thought, as the most wrongfully delusional idlers, to have done something for the Lord. O friends, O men, brethren and moral preachers! How far have we deviated in such delusion from the goal of eternal truth! If we had rather believed and accepted this while on the earth, which we have accepted here, it would have fared much better than now.
89,11. But since we can no longer return to the temporal, it is in this highest spiritual state which is called eternity, time to see this great delusion, and confess in our innermost heart our very greatest guilt most contritely before the Lord, causing us to walk for so long in such delusion in we have hardly done anything deserving unto God and the well-being of our own souls.
89,12. Brothers! Let us beat our breast and earnestly say, "Oh Lord! All this is our sole greatest fault, therefore we shall never cease to be your eternal debtors, Oh Holy Love! Brothers, I am convinced that if you feel this vividly in you, as I now feel clearly in myself, you will surely pass over into a different state, a bridge from which we all have no idea up till now.
89,13. Now also speak in your hearts with me, and say aloud: Oh, thou all-powerful, holy Love, thou most merciful Lord and Father in Jesus Christ. We now confess our old, great guilt before you; we say here that we were always not only useless, but the most miserable servants before you, and confess that all our supposed merits on our side were only an abomination to you, Oh Holy Father, but we still ask you here in our utmost and great need that you may be gracious and merciful to us! Let us here be true brethren who will always love You through Your grace and mercy, and give You in every situation all honor, all glory and all praise! And we also ask You from the bottom of our hearts that You, O Holy Father, would grant us this holiest grace, that we, the greatest sinners before you - would love You, oh everlasting Love, with all our might!
89,14. O brethren, say these things alive in you, and finally say: Oh Father! We asked for what we asked for from our will, therefore we pray that You will have pity on us; for Your will alone is holy, and therefore only Your most holy will shall be done!
89,15. Look, these words of the prior have brought our soul-sleepers completely into a new mindset; they, therefore, unclothe themselves and now stand naked before us. But look at the dining hall’s door; presently a very simple man has entered through it. Do you know this man! You indeed shallknow; this is the One to whom the prior have turned himself. Only now will the actual main scene unfold. You can be sure to expect great things to still happen here.
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