Faith and Caring

Caring photo_12-14-17

As we near the end of this second week of Advent, we ponder the meaning of Faith, the symbolism of the second candle in the Advent wreath.

“Real faith is simply recognizing that something is so because it is true. This means that people who are devoted to real faith both think and say, “This is true, and that’s why I believe it.” That is, faith is dependent on truth, and what is true is the object of faith. ~~ Emanuel Swedenborg, Life-Faith, §2, George Dole, trans., Swedenborg Foundation

“ … [p]eople who have an inner recognition of what is true are those who have a spiritual love for truth.” ~~ Emanuel Swedenborg, Life-Faith, §4

“ .. [f]aith and truth are one and the same; and this is why the ancients, who thought more about truths than we do because they had a longing for them, talked about “truth” rather than “faith.” This is also why in Hebrew the same word—for example, emuna, and also amen—can mean both “truth” and “faith.” ~~ Emanuel Swedenborg, Life-Faith, §6

Swedenborg goes on to explain how caring has its origin in true faith:

“Caring originates in a desire to do something good. Since what is good loves what is true, this desire leads to a desire for truth and therefore to the recognition of what is true, which is faith. By these steps, in proper sequence, a desire to do something good takes form and turns into caring. … We can see from this how love, which is a desire to do something good, brings forth faith, which is the same as recognizing what is true, and by this means brings forth caring, which is the same as love acting through faith.” ~~ Emanuel Swedenborg, Life-Faith, §13

Therefore, “the ‘Inner Recognition of Truth’ that is Faith is found only in people who are devoted to caring.” ~~ Emanuel Swedenborg, Life-Faith, p. 62