New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 68

new church life: march/april 2017 thoughts come into our mind we can both know and reflect upon their source and origin. At such a moment, we need to pause and reflect upon their source and origin. That moment of reflection is of vital importance, for in it we can evaluate the consequences to our spiritual welfare if we allow it to have mastery over us. And the Writings reveal another remarkable fact, namely, that during such moments of reflection when evil thoughts are identified as to their origin, angels will come to our rescue and turn the evil away. “For the influx of the angels is into what a person knows and believes, but not into what a person does not know and believe.” (Arcana Coelestia 6206) From these teachings perhaps we can come to appreciate the importance of turning to the Word as a source of inspiration and instruction. Reading the Word, or hearing its sacred message being read, invites angels to be with us. It also helps greatly to strengthen our resolve to reject evil thoughts that come upon us. When we are in a quandary as to the appropriate action we should take, turning to the Lord in His Word, with a sincere prayer for guidance, can yield the enlightenment needed to go forward. We do not live from ourselves but from the Lord alone. Yet to provide for our freedom He has given us a wonderful gift, the gift of allowing us to feel His inflowing life as our own. Yet we need to guard against the false persuasive notion of thinking that the good we may do and the truth we may speak are our own, for they are not. We cannot claim merit for the good things we may do, nor should we bask in the pride of our own intelligence for the truth we may speak. These are gifts bestowed upon us by the Lord, a truth that should be interiorly acknowledged. But if our life, and our ability to act in it, is given us by the Lord we may wonder if there is anything that we can truly call our own? And the answer is that the only thing that is truly our own is the choice we make during times of temptation. That is the moment when we are called upon to exercise our own free will. While the empowerment to make the choice between good or evil is from the Lord, the choice that we make is of our own choosing. That is the only area in which we are truly free. The multiple choices that we make over a lifetime form what is called our ruling love, which becomes the essence of our c &7FW"FBv7VBW2f"WFW&ƖfRVFW"VfV"VFR&Bv&26V7&WBv2BWfW'v76&RRG&W2F7FVW"W"W'&BGW&RFv&BVfVbvR66RWfR6W6W2W2FfVVG&V&VB666V6RBvRfRFFRW"w&vgVFVVB6RP&fFW2FBWf6WfW"&W7B6f'F&ǒVW72vRg&VVFFWFW&֖PW"vF7BG2ff"bvRGW&g&W"v6VFW72R6VG22vV0F7&R&WVF6RBFR&֗6Rbf&vfVW72RW2B&Bf"W03@