Saturday, June 7, 2008

Each Person Believes in His Own Way

It can seem like everyone in the New Church should believe the same things in the same way, but we know from experience that that's not the case. Even if two people both believe something that doesn't mean that they'll explain that belief in the same way or that that belief will have the same significance to both of them. I was excited to find a quote that speaks of people believing and perceiving things in their own ways.
That the Lord as to the human was made new, that is, glorified (or what is the same, was made Divine), no one can possibly conceive (thus neither believe) who is in worldly and corporeal loves; for he is altogether ignorant what the spiritual and celestial is, nor indeed is he willing to know. But he who is not in worldly and corporeal loves, is capable of perceiving this, for he believes that the Lord is one with the Father, and that from Him proceeds all that is holy; consequently that He is Divine even as to the Human; and whoever believes, perceives in his own way. (Arcana Coelestia 3212:2)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Student Article About Prayer

Bryn Athyn College student Annika Fitzpatrick had a paper she wrote for a college class published in the April issue of New Church Life. Her article titled, “Prayer: Our Connection to the Spiritual World,” discusses various aspects of prayer and explains how prayer works in terms of our spiritual associations.
Regular, sincere prayer, whether spontaneous or from the Word, is essential to spiritual life, and there are no excuses for repetition due to laziness or bad planning. Imagine telling the King of Heaven that you don’t have time for Him today! Instead, we must invest ritual prayers with meaning for our lives. ....

Prayer is not just about asking. If prayer is speech with God, it should not be one long wish list, or a recitation of the things in our life that we want the Lord to change for us. Speech involves thinking, thanking, praising, laughing as well as scolding, yelling and crying. The purpose of prayer is to yank us out of our self-absorption. It calls to mind the fact that life is not just about what we want for ourselves, it is about what we can give to others by following God’s voice. ....

God, and the associate spirits He sends to guide our spiritual footsteps toward heaven, are as close as they can be, but it takes prayer to conjoin us to God and heaven, which will change our spheres such that we can feel their influence. We need to be reminded not to pray, but that we are already praying. Our lives are our prayers, and we must continually strive to use our lives to forge an ongoing connection with heaven.