Charity And Church From A Logopraxis Perspective

To love the neighbour is to love truth because it is true, as truth is the neighbour because it is what is closest to good. Charity therefore is the use that arises from the application of truths to the life of the mind. From a Logopraxis perspective, the practice of charity is both self-examination (as it relates to the life of the mind) and repentance – having our mind turned away from false thinking and evil affections—in response to engaging with the Word.

The quality of all external life and activity is related first and foremost to this inner practice. External life can only be called a charitable life insofar as this inner dimension is attended to. For it is the practice of charity on this inner plane of life that keeps external life in its proper perspective and gives it spiritual meaning. It is in our effort to work faithfully, to be sincere in our dealings with others, to operate with integrity so far as our external employments, relationships, situations and circumstances are concerned that we become aware of our inner responses. It is this awareness that gives form to seeing what it is that needs to be worked on interiorly.

The function of a work focus task drawn from the Word is to provide a means of drawing a conscious connection between our inner and outer lives and to then bring these two dimensions of life into their proper order.  We are working to make what is inner primary and to keep the focus of external life more related to what is genuinely spiritual. This is one way of understanding the principle “working from primes through ultimates” given in the doctrines for Spiritual Christianity.

… by “creation” is signified that which is Divine from inmosts to outermosts, or from primes to ultimates; for everything which is from the Divine begins from Himself, and advances according to order down to the ultimate end, thus through the heavens down to the world, and there rests as in its ultimate, because the ultimate of Divine order is in the nature of the world. That which is such is said to be “created.” In such an order has come forth, and in such an order subsists, everything in the world that has been created. And in such an order also is the man of the church who by means of truths from the Word has been regenerated by the Lord. From this the Lord is called in the Word “the Creator,” and a man who has been regenerated is said to be “created anew” (n. 1037310545). In such an order also is the Word.” Arcana Coelestia 10634

The important thing to realise in Logopraxis work is that the goal is not to effect changes in our external life, that is, not in our relationships, situations and circumstances; but to seek changes that have to do with our inner states of life.  As we come to experientially see not just that truths are true, but how they are true, the structures of our mind are actually reorganised by the seeing itself.  This kind of seeing is only possible through the practice of truths from the Word; it is an experiential seeing that arises from the good of charity present in those truths we practice.  It is the way the Lord as the Word saves us.

Another important term in the Word which we need to understand is “church”. Think of “church” as the understanding of the Word that exists within human consciousness.  This understanding can be on a cultural, social or individual level. So a church is a church according to its understanding of the Word. The closer that understanding comes to recognising charity as an inner practice, the more a church is a true church.

VIII. THE CHURCH IS FROM THE WORD, AND IS SUCH AS IS ITS UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD. That the church is from the Word does not admit of doubt, for the Word is Divine truth itself (n. 1-4); the doctrine of the church is from the Word (n. 50-61) and through the Word there is conjunction with the Lord (n. 62-69). But doubt may arise as to whether the understanding of the Word is what makes the church, for there are those who believe that they are of the church because they have the Word, read it or hear it from a preacher, and know something of its sense of the letter, yet how this or that in the Word is to be understood they do not know, and some of them little care. It shall therefore be proved that it is not the Word that makes the church, but the understanding of it, and that such as is the understanding of the Word among those who are in the church, such is the church itself.

The Lord is indeed present with a man through the reading of the Word, but he is conjoined with him through the understanding of truth from the Word, and according thereto; and in proportion as the Lord has been conjoined with a man, in the same proportion the church is in him.

For when the church or man of the church is in truths, the Lord inflows into his truths with good, and vivifies them. Or what is the same, when through truths the church or man of the church is in intelligence, the Lord inflows into his intelligence through the good of love and of charity, and thus pours life into it.

(Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 76, 78,82)

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