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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in life (3)


The Death of the Fear of Death

Erica vividly describes the path of her life. She shares a delicate awareness gained firsthand - the resolution to an abiding question - what is death, and must I fear it? -Editor.

As a child, while most little girls were learning how to tie their shoes and walk to school by themselves, I was busy working on a more distressing task: figuring out what happens when we die. I developed the awareness very early that I would not exist forever in my current form. I was young, healthy and growing, without ever knowing anyone who died, so this existential question was slightly unexpected. I cannot identify the exact moment I was hit by this painful and terrorizing realization (and it truly felt like a blow), but I can remember staying up countless nights, trying to determine the answer. What would happen after my body ceased to exist? When the sun blew out, how could I ever come back to life if there was no habitable planet for me? What did infinity and forever look like, and how was it possible that my whole life was just a small blip on the radar screen of eternity?

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Meditate | Building Houses; Walking on Water

“The role of the intellect is to hear the Word, while the role of the will is to do it…‘Everyone who hears my words and does them I compare to a prudent man who built his house on rock. But everyone who hears my words and does not do them I compare to a stupid man who built his house on sand’ (Matthew 7: 24, 26)” (Secrets of Heaven 44).

Prudent = rock; stupid = sand. Prudent = hears Word and does it; stupid = hears Word and doesn’t do it. Rock and sand are made of the same thing, but rock is stuck together. Rock is held together while sand is all broken up into tiny particles. So to live what the Lord teaches is the glue that makes the truths we know a true foundation. This is such a perfect symbol but I never thought very deeply about it before. It doesn’t matter how much you know—how much sand you have—it won’t do you any good as support you can live on unless it becomes glued together through living what you know is true.

This meditation of mine happens to go very well with an idea presented in yesterday’s adult Cathedral service. There, Rev. Grant Odhner gave a sermon about the story of the Lord and Peter walking on water.

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Meditate | What Does It Mean To Be Alive?

Nothing that is a person’s very own has any life in it. When presented to view, it looks hard as bone, and black. Everything that comes from the Lord, on the other hand, has life. It has a spiritual and heavenly quality and looks like something living and human.

Incredibly, perhaps (although it is absolutely true), each word, each mental image, and each scintilla of thought in an angelic spirit is alive. Passion received from the Lord, who is life itself, permeates every single thing about such a spirit. Secrets of Heaven 41

The Lord is life itself. This amazes me. Life is something we receive from the Lord. It is so easy for me to get more focused on the concept of “having.” I have life. I have love. I have passion. But all these things we receive from the Lord. My concept of reception has been shifting. It is now a much more dynamic, moment-to-moment, real time experience of receiving things (like passion and life and good and true thoughts) from the Lord. Recognizing that, that it’s a constant flow is hard for my small, limited mind to handle sometimes, but it excites my spirit.

Also this passage changed my ideas about what is our “very own.” I often in the past have equated what is our “very own” with what is physical. The physical parts of me are inherently lifeless and it is only through the Lord’s influx that I get to be alive.

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