567. At Shiloh. First Parable on Advice.

27th February 1947. prev home next

Jesus is speaking in the middle of a square planted with trees. The sun, which is just beginning to set, brightens it with a yellow-green light, glimmering through the new leaves of gigantic plane trees. A thin precious velarium seems to be spread over the large square filtering the sun-light without obstructing it.

Jesus says:

« Listen. Once a great king sent his beloved son to a part of his kingdom, whose justice he wanted to test and he said to him: “Go everywhere, do good to the people in my name, inform them of me, make me known and loved. I grant you full powers, and everything you do will be well done.” The king's Son, after being blessed by his father, went where he had been sent and with some squires an friends he began, working untiringly, to cover that part of his father's kingdom.

Now, through a series of unhappy events, that region was morally broken up into parts opposed to one another. Each part was making a great fuss on its own account, and was sending urgent entreaties to the king to tell him that each was the best and the most loyal, and that the neighbouring ones were perfidious and deserved to be punished. So the king's son found himself in front of citizens whose humours varied according to the town to which they belonged, but were alike in two things; first: each town believed it was better than the others; secondly: each town wanted to ruin the neighbouring enemy one, making it disreputable in the opinion of the king. As the son of the king was just and wise, with much clemency he tried to instruct each part of the region in justice, to make them all friendly with his father and beloved by him. And as he was good, he was succeeding, although slowly, because, as it always happens, only the upright-hearted people of each province of the region followed his advice. Nay, it is right to say that he found more good will to listen to him and become wise in the truth, exactly where they scornfully said that there was less good will and wisdom.

Then those of the neighbouring provinces said: “Unless we take pains, the grace of the king will go entirely to those whom we despise. Let us go and overthrow those whom we hate and let us go feigning that we are converted and willing to forget our hatred in order to honour the king's son.” And they went. In the guise of friends they spread among the towns of the rival province and with deceitful kindness they adviced what to do to pay greater and greater honour to the son of the king and consequently to his father, the king. Because the honour paid to the son, the messenger of his father, is also honour paid to him who sent him. But they did not honour the king's son, on the contrary they hated him cordially, to the extent of wishing to make him loathsome to his subjects and to the king himself. They were so astute in their false geniality, they succeeded so well in presenting their advice as the best policy, that many people of the neighbouring region accepted as good what was wicked, and they left the right path that they had followed, and took an unjust one, and the king's son realised that his mission was a failure with regard to many.

Now tell Me: who was the greatest sinner in the eyes of the king? What was the sin of those who advised, and of those who took their advice? And I ask you another question: with whom will the good king be more severe? Do you not know the answers? I will tell you.

The greatest sinner in the eyes of the king was he who incited his neighbour to do evil out of hatred for him, as he wanted to thrust him into deeper darkness of ignorance, out of hatred for the king's son, whom he wanted to defeat in his mission by making him appear incapable in the eyes of the king and of his subjects, out of hatred for the king himself, because if the love given to the son is also love given to the father, likewise the hatred for the son is hatred also for the father. So the sin of those who gave evil advice, knowing fully well that they were giving evil advice, was a sin of hatred in addition to a sin of falsehood, a sin of premeditated hatred, and the sin of those who took the advice thinking that it was good, was only a sin of stupidity.

But you know very well that only he who is intelligent is responsible for his actions, whereas he who through disease or other reasons is foolish, is not responsible personally, but his relatives are responsible in his stead. That is why while a boy is not of age, he is considered irresponsible, and it is his father who answers for the actions of his son. So the king, who was good, was severe with the intelligent ill advisers, but he was benign with those who had been deceived by them, and he only reproached them for believing this or that subject before asking the king's son himself, in order to learn from him what was really to be done. Because only the son of the father really knows the will of his father.

That is the parable, o people of Shiloh, of Shiloh where several times in the course of ages advice of different nature was given by God, by men or by Satan, and that advice bore good fruit when it was taken as advice for good purposes or when it was rejected by people who recognised it as leading to evil, and it bore bad fruit if it was not accepted when it was holy or it was taken when it was wicked.

Because man has his wonderful free will and he can freely choose between good and evil, and he has the other magnificent gift of an intellect capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, so reward or punishment may be brought about not so much by the piece of advice itself, as by the way in which it may be taken. Because if no one can forbid wicked people to tempt their neighbour to ruin him, nothing can interdict good people from rejecting the temptation and remaining faithful to good. The same piece of advice may harm ten people, and avail other ten. Because if he who follows it does harm to himself, he who does not follow it does his soul good.

So no one may say: “We were told to do so.” But everybody must sincerely say: “I wanted to do it.” Then you will at least receive the forgiveness that is given to sincere people. And if you are doubtful about the goodness of the advice given to you, meditate before taking it and putting it into practice. Meditate imploring the Most High Who never denies the spirits of good will His light. And if your conscience, enlightened by God, sees only one tiny imperceptible spot, but such that cannot exist in a deed of justice, then say: “I will not do that because it is an impure justice.” Oh! I solemnly tell you that he who makes good use of his intellect and of his free will and invokes the Lord to see the truth in things, will not be ruined by temptation, because the Father Who is in Heaven will help him to do what is good in spite of all the snares of the world and of Satan. Remember Anna of Elkanah and Eli's sons. The bright angel of the former had adviced Anna to make a vow to the Lord if He made her fecund. Eli, the priest, adviced his sons to go back to a life of justice, and not to sin any further against the Lord. And yet, although it is easier for man, because of his heaviness, to understand the voice of another man than the spiritual – but imperceptible by physical senses – speech of the Lord's angel speaking to the spirit, Anna of Elkanah took the advice, because she was good and upright in the eyes of God, and she gave birth to a prophet, whereas Eli's sons, as they were wicked and far from God, did not take their father's advice and were punished by God with a violent death.

Advice has two values: that of the source from which it comes, and it is already great because it may have incalculable consequences, and that of the heart to which it is given. The value given to it by the heart to which it is proposed is not only incalculable, but also immutable. Because if the heart is good and follows a good piece of advice, it gives that advice the value of a just deed, and if it does not follow it, it deprives it of the second part of its value, as it remains just a piece of advice, but not a deed, that is, it is a merit only for the adviser. And if it is a wicked piece of advice and is rejected by a good heart, which has been tempted in vain through blandishments or terrors to put it into practice, it achieves the value of victory over Evil and of martyrdom for loyalty to Good, and thus it prepares a great treasure in the Kingdom of Heaven.

So when your hearts are tempted by other people, meditate, guided by the light of God, whether it is a good word, and if with the help of God, Who allows temptations but does not want your ruin, you see that it is not a good thing, have the courage to say to yourselves and to those tempting you: “No. I will remain loyal to my Lord and may my loyalty absolve me of my past sins and allow me to enter the gates of the Kingdom and not be left outside, near them, because the Most High sent His Son for me also, to lead me to eternal salvation.”

Go. If anybody needs Me, you know where I rest during the night. May the Lord enlighten you. »

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