Friday, March 27, 2009

A simple way to think about Holy Supper

[W]hen a person reads of bread, the angels have no perception of bread, but instantly instead of bread they perceive celestial love and all that belongs thereto, that is, to love to the Lord; and when wine is read of in the Word, they do not perceive wine, but instead of wine spiritual love and all that belongs thereto, that is, to love toward the neighbor. ... If a person thought in like manner when he is in a holy state, as when he attends the Holy Supper, and instead of bread perceived love to the Lord, and instead of wine love toward the neighbor, he would be in thought and perception like that of the angels, who would then approach nearer to him, till at last they could consociate their thoughts, but only so far as the man was at the same time in good. (Arcana Coelestia 3316:3)


Unknown said...

Is this really about Holy Supper, or is it about a person who is "in good" reading "bread" and "wine" while reading the Word while contemplating its application to their life, LIKE the state they are in WHEN they approach Holy Supper?

Malcolm said...

Interesting question. The way I read it is that earlier in the passage it is talking about what happens "when a person reads of bread..." but that later it is talking about "when he attends the Holy Supper..." Elliot phrases it this way: "If a person when in a holy frame of mind were to think as they do - such as during the Holy Supper - and instead of bread were to perceive love..."

The reason I like this passage is because I don't remember reading before the idea of thinking of the bread as love to the Lord and the wine as love to the neighbor. I've read in lots of places about the bread meaning good and the wine truth (e.g. Apocalypse Explained 329) but somehow it's more concrete and meaningful, for me, to think of it in terms of eating and drinking in love to the Lord and love to the neighbor.