Category Archives: Quotes and Reflections

The Leaves of The Tree of Life

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (Revelation 22:1-4)

As we approach New Church Day this Friday, my family and I have been reading through Revelation. We decided to make leaves out of sculpey and put them onto a bookmark as a reminder of the Tree of Life described in the passage above.

In this year full of many unexpected changes and concerns on a global scale it has been reassuring to spend time focusing on the Word and learning more and more about living a full, loving, and meaningful life through the teachings of the New Church.

Arcana Coelestia 9481 (included below) describes the representative connection between the stories in Revelation and the New Church.

‘”In accordance with all that I show you, the pattern of the dwelling-place’ means a representative of heaven where the Lord is. This is clear from the meaning of ‘the pattern of the dwelling-place’ as a representative of heaven; for ‘the pattern’ means a representative, and ‘the dwelling-place’ means heaven. The reason why ‘the pattern’ means a representative is that Divine realities in heaven are also manifested in visible shapes, which are representatives. For the meaning of ‘the dwelling-place’ as heaven where the Lord is, see 82698309. What the representatives that appear in heaven are like is clear in the prophets, for example in John’s Book of Revelation, in which he describes lampstands, Chapter 1:12ff; a throne with twenty-four thrones around it, and four living creatures before the throne, Chapter 4:2ff; a book sealed with seven seals, Chapter 5; horses going out when the seals were opened, Chapter 6; angels who are clothed in various ways and have bowls, Chapters 9101516; a white horse, Chapter 19; and at length a new Jerusalem, its walls, gates, foundations, height, breadth, and length, Chapters 2122. Similar sights are also described by other prophets.

[2] All those sights are representatives such as appear unceasingly in heaven before angels’ eyes, manifesting in visible shapes the Divine celestial realities that belong to the good of love and the Divine spiritual realities that belong to the good of faith. Such realities taken all together were represented by the tabernacle and its contents, that is, the ark itself, the table on which loaves were laid, the altar of incense, the lampstand, and everything else. Therefore when these objects, being outward forms of Divine celestial and spiritual realities, were beheld by the people while they were engaged in holy acts of worship, such realities as were represented by those objects were brought to notice in heaven. These, as stated above, were the Divine celestial realities that belong to the good of love to the Lord and the Divine spiritual realities that belong to the good of faith in the Lord. All the representatives of that Church had that kind of effect in heaven. It should be realized that a person always has spirits and angels present with him and that a person cannot live without them. It should likewise be realized that through them the person is linked to the Lord, and that in this way the human race, and heaven too, is kept in being. From this one can see what purpose was served by the representatives and also the ritual observances of the Church established among the Israelite nation. One can also see what purpose is served by the Word, in which all things mentioned in the sense of the letter correspond to Divine realities that exist in heaven, thus in which all the objects mentioned are representative and all the words used carry a spiritual meaning. This is what brings about the linking of a person to heaven, and through heaven to the Lord. Without that link the person would have no life whatever, for without being linked to the actual Essential Being (Esse) of life, from which the Coming-into-Being (Existere) of life emanates, no one has life.

[3] But these considerations are unintelligible to those who think that life exists essentially in a person himself and that a person lives without spirits or angels, thus without influx from the Divine by way of heaven. But in actual fact anything that is not linked to the Divine perishes and ceases to exist. Indeed nothing can ever come into being without that which is prior to itself, thus without the Divine, who is the First and is self-existent Being (Esse) or Jehovah; nor consequently can it remain in being, for remaining in being is constant coming-into-being. Because ‘the dwelling-place’ means heaven where the Lord is, it also means the good of love and faith, since these compose heaven; and because all good comes from the Lord, and heaven is called heaven by virtue of its love to and faith in the Lord, ‘the dwelling-place’ also means in the highest sense the Lord, as is evident in Isaiah 63:15Jeremiah 25:30Ezekiel 37:26-27Psalms 26:843:390:191:9Exodus 15:13Deuteronomy 12:511; and other places. From this it is clear that the tabernacle was called Jehovah’s sanctuary and dwelling-place for the reason that it represented the realities mentioned above.”

He Crowns the Year with His Goodness…

Blessed is the man You choose,
And cause to approach You,
That he may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Of Your holy temple.

You visit the earth and water it,
You greatly enrich it;
The river of God is full of water;
You provide their grain,
For so You have prepared it.
10 You water its ridges abundantly,
You settle its furrows;
You make it soft with showers,
You bless its growth.

11 You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
12 They drop on the pastures of the wilderness,
And the little hills rejoice on every side.
13 The pastures are clothed with flocks;
The valleys also are covered with grain;
They shout, yea, they sing.

~Psalm 65

Joy to the World the Lord is Come!

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
The Lord has made known His salvation;
His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.

 Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell in it;
 Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the hills be joyful together before the Lord,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.

~Psalm 98

Giving them Back

Today I am 38 weeks pregnant with my sixth child. And, as is usual for me at this point in my pregnancy, I am currently in the throes of intense impatience and longing for my new little one. In my current state, I found it particularly powerful to be reminded at a recent doctrinal class that this coming child is a gift from the Lord which my husband and I are receiving so that may nurture and guide him and then turn around and give him back to the Lord.

“And she brought him up with her when she had weaned him, with three bullocks, and one ephah of meal, and a jug of wine; an she brought him to the house of Jehovah, to Shiloh; and the lad was but a lad. And they slaughtered a bullock, and brought the lad to Eli. And she said, O my lord, by the life of they soul, my lord, I am the woman who stood up with thee in this place to pray to Jehovah. For this lad I prayed, and Jehovah has granted to me my petition which I petitioned of Him. And also I have given back what I asked of Jehovah.” I Samuel 1:24-28

“Spiritual parents love their children for their spiritual intelligence and moral life, loving them thus for their fear of God and for their piety of conduct or life, and at the same time for their affection for and application to useful endeavors of service to society, thus for the virtues and good habits in them. Out of a love for these traits principally do they provide for and supply their needs. Consequently, if they do not see such traits in them, they estrange their heart from them and only out of duty do anything for them. ” Conjugial Love 405

“The nature of the love of little children and love of older children found in spiritual people, and the nature of it in natural ones, is clearly apparent from such people after death. For on arriving in the other world, most fathers remember their children who have passed on before them; and these are also presented to them, and they recognize each other. Spiritual fathers simply look them over and ask them in what state they are, rejoicing if all is well with them, and grieving if it is not. Then, following some conversation, instruction and counsel regarding a heavenly moral life, they part from them, telling them before parting that they are no longer to be remembered as their fathers, because the Lord is the only Father of all who are in heaven (according to His words in Matthew 23:9), and that they will never remember them as being their children. ” Conjugial Love 406

“The earth is Jehovah’s, and the fullness of it; The world, and they who dwell in it.” Psalm 24:1