The Spirits' Book
Book Four - Hope and Consolation
Chapter II - Future Joys and Sorrows
Atonement and Repentance
1001. Is there no merit in ensuring the worthwhile use, after we die, of the property we once possessed?
“Merit is not the word. Although it is better than doing nothing, people who give only after they die are often motivated by selfishness rather than by generosity. They want the honor of doing good without any cost to them. People who impose deprivation upon themselves during their life, reap a double reward, the merit of their sacrifice and the pleasure of witnessing the happiness they have caused. Selfishness is likely to taunt, ‘Whatever you give away will lessen the enjoyment of what you keep for yourself.’ The voice of selfishness is louder than that of charity, and too often it leads a person to keep what they have under the pretext of necessity. You should pity a person who does not know the joy of giving because they deprive themselves of one of the purest and sweetest pleasures in life. In subjecting a person to the trial of wealth, which can be very dangerous for their future, God places the happiness that generosity may secure for them within their reach, even in the present life.” (See Q814)