W. S.—Your letter is as follows:—"In relation to the response of gratitude for loving services, I do not find that love and gratitude invariably follow loving services. There are persons who do not return gratitude for services, or love to those who have loved them. I think there are exceptions, and they are not uncommon...But ingratitude does exist...Pride sometimes is a barrier to the expression of grateful appreciation...The capacity for loving is very unequal, it is therefore unreasonable to expect a proportionate return. This mistake we are liable to make of expecting too much. There are some persons who do not make themselves lovable, and it is made a difficult task to love them. Efforts to draw love from them are repulsed, and there is a tendency to give up in despair. In these circumstances what do you advise to be done? The good Doctor Martineau once said:—'Do not despair, but give more love.' I have had to endure heartaches, but happily it does not continue without abatement."
Reply:—Give love and loving service to others without desiring or expecting any return of service, gratitude, or appreciation, then despair will give place to calm joy, and heartaches will pass away forever.
E. L. G.—You ask, "What is your idea about intercessory prayer, or prayer on behalf of others?"
Reply:—One cannot help others by intercessory prayer, but only by ridding his heart of all selfishness, and by living so righteously that others shall by his example, be inspired to search for and walk the path of Truth.
More from James Allen
James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.