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Prerequisite unto salvation. Crossing of the bridge.
91,1. The Prior says: Oh, dear and most treasured friend and brother! This glorious thought has also become the perfect master of my feeling. I can thoroughly see the sure completion in the Lord; but I also see besides that, how endlessly unworthy we all together are of such a most extraordinary sacred aid.
91,2. The simple man says: Dear friend and brother! I tell you, but this is, however, the best thing for you and your brothers, if you see it for what it is; for as long as someone believes that he can do something, or that he is worthy of divine grace and mercy, then the Lord will make him wait until such foolish delusion is consumed in him. But if he comes to your present inner view that he is nothing and cannot do anything, but that the Lord is all in all, the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, then he voluntarily surrenders himself to the Lord, and the Lord seizes him, and brings him on the righteous way.
91,3. And so, I too think in this situation of yours: lay down all your love for your brethren, and all your care for them before the Lord's feet, embrace Him with all your heart and all your love and you will surely convince yourself that the Lord to begin to act when man, humbled in his inner knowledge, surrendered all his vain deeds of power to the will of the Lord. For this is already the case among men, who have a secular chief over them.
91,4. As long as someone wants to manage his own fortune, the headmaster will not take care of him and will not investigate how he manages his property. But if anyone has seen his weakness in the administration of his estate, he takes his whole fortune, goes to the honest chief, shows him this, and at the same time asks, in all sincere love and obedient humility of his heart, that the chief takes over his property and thus the chief will completely take over the fortune and give it to the bank court, and the honest, weak petitioner will receive his interests punctually and properly. As has been said, this is often the case among men in the world, albeit in a far more unclean and loveless sense
91,5. But if the foolish men in the world understand their material fortunes so well, and thereby procure a careless retirement, how much more should the wise man, who is far wiser, see who is the most perfect administrator and caretaker for all the vital necessities of the spiritual man, so that he would give him all his life-capitals beforehand.
91,6. Moreover, the Lord in the Gospel also expressly declares to whom all the weary and wronged shall come, to find the right refreshment, and to whom they shall transfer all their troubles. If you think so, you will find it easy, and very soon, that your care for these brethren, with all your loving kindness, is somewhat unnecessary.
91,7. You would at least bring it so far by the complete redemption of your brethren that you could say before the Lord that you too were a most useless servant. Behold, however good the thing may sound in and by itself, in view of the Lord and your merit, there is still a bit of vanity, for thou wilt indeed render a good service to the Lord, but will do it according to the established service, as if you had not done any service to deserve praise from the Lord. But I tell you that there are still many in this empire who say, "I am the last and the least of all before God." But those who profess and confess this in themselves would like to place themselves in special favor before the Lord in order, according to the saying of the Lord Himself in the Gospel, to be the first and greatest in the kingdom of God.
91,8. But the Lord also speaketh in another place: If you shall not be like these little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of God. - How and why? - See, because the children are really the least and the littlest, by transferring all their worries solely to the father. Where is the child who would like to say to his rich parents: "What shall we eat and drink, and what shall we clothe? Behold, such care is alien to the child. When they are hungry and thirsty, they go to the Father, asking for bread and for a drink, and the Father gives it to them. They never even ask for a dress. But if it is cold, the father will remember them well, and give them not only a warm but also a beautiful, handsome dress because they are his dear little children. (mt.18,03)
91,9. So, behold, My dear friend and brother, give thyself also unto the Lord, and be assured, He will not deprive thee of anything that is necessary for you, and certainly much and unspeakably better than would any earthly father of the richest estate, provide for his children, and give them all they need.
91,10. The Prior says, "Listen, my dear friend and brother, as simple and plain as you may look, I must confess to you that these words are still more sublime and more truly true than those of the heavenly ones mentioned by the Messenger of the Lord. Yes, you have now shown me not only the most living truth of all truths, but I must confess to you that these words have filled me with such a living consolation that I do feel in myself completely overwhelmed because of the most humble gratitude and love for our ineffably loving Heavenly Father.
91,11. The words of the sublime messenger of the Lord were for my feelings like a rough file, with which, forever, thanks to divine mercy! - has dealt with my many and most extreme errors; and they were not infrequently like a sharp sword, which painfully wounds, even though it draws the blood of a wrongful life.
91,12. But your words, my friend, and brother are, on the other hand, a lovely, healing balm; I cannot describe to you how inexpressibly good I feel because of all your words! I have now come so far that I can honestly and with full conviction say from my deepest feelings,
91,13. Oh Lord, oh almighty, beyond holy, most good Father, now, for me and for all these my poor brethren, let be only Your Most Holy Will! All my cares and all my will I lay before Your most holy feet; and what Thou wilt to do with me, which thou wilt give unto me, in all this also be only Your holy will! - Oh, you heavenly dear brother you! You must surely be a greater friend of the Lord than the former sublime messenger. But you must forgive me; for your speech has filled me with such love, that I cannot help embracing you, and thereby give you my gratitude for your heavenly doctrine through my most warm brotherly love. As sure as I will never cease loving the most loving Holy Father, my heart shall never forget you!
91,14. The simple man said, "My dear brother and friend, come and love Me, for this is the Lord's will, that all the brethren of the Lord should love each other." See, how our Prior falls upon the still unknown, simple man, embraces Him, and presses him to his heart, and the simple man repays the same act to the Prior even more passionately. What do you suppose, whether this is a favorable or an unfavorable sign for the prior? I tell you, such a sign has always been of afavorable character; for this is so peculiar in the character of the Lord that He, with us and all His heavenly messengers, has the greatest joy in a returned lost Son.
91,15. But now, as you see, our loving couple have calmed down, and the simple man now speaks to the prior: My dear friend and brother, look around at once, for it occurs to Me that during our conversation and during our brotherly love-embrace, the whole chasm vanished, and I think it will no longer be difficult to bring the poor brothers hither. So, let's go and point that out to them.
91,16. Now the two go to the naked soul-sleepers. They rise and look with astonishment and grateful joy, where the eerie chasm had once been. The plain man saith unto them: behold, the cleft is no more; therefore, we shall be without concern. But the naked people say, "Dear friend, and sublime brother, we are naked, and we hardly dare to go to the lighter side of our former refectory. The simple man said to them, "Do not be troubled by a garment, for He who has pity on you, and has destroyed this chasm, has already provided for proper clothing. Behold, there in the middle of this chamber, on the table, ye shall find what is necessary to you; there, then come and follow us! "
91,17. Now they go forth, and the Prior, grateful to his dear brother, speaks to Him: "No, dear Heavenly friend and brother, for this service of love I cannot let you walk like all of us, but I beg you, let me carry you.
91,18. The simple man said, "My dear brother, just let this be. For if need be, I shall be able to carry you together with all your brethren, as far as you would want to, more than you would be able to carry Me to the table. But that you carry Me in your heart, oh brother, is unspeakably better for Me than to carry Me, and perhaps also have carried me in your hands. You indeed ask Me what I mean with the 'Maybe'. But I tell you, do not worry about it; in time, everything will become clear to you. Therefore, let us go to the table, that these our brethren may take their rightful garments.
91,19. The Prior says, "Yes, yes, dear brother, you are right, so I shall absolutely do. The "perhaps" is still stuck in my head, but I shall also let this lay at the Lord's most holy feet, and thus let His and your will be done.
91,20. See, they now go to the table and as we can see, all the poor brethren are already clothed without the help of a chamber servant. Their dress does however not look very heavenly, but it is a garment of righteousness, and it corresponds to the love of the Lord in them. - What will happen now, we shall see next time.
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