Getting Close to Angels
by Rev. Donald L. Rose
Angels can seem so far away. A way has been provided to get close to them, and that is the reverent reading of the Word. You can think of the Word as something to teach you something you did not know. You can think of it as something to bring you encouragement and comfort. You can think of it as something to show you the good path and keep you on it. Here we invite you to think of it as something designed to get people and angels close together.
Truths in the Word are said to have a special "efficacy." This is because they are given by the Lord and "inscribed on the whole angelic heaven; consequently when someone learns truths from the Word, he comes into communion and consociation with angels beyond what he knows" (TCR 347).
Let us see this tremendous teaching in another translation. The truths are "imprinted upon the whole heaven of the angels. When therefore a person goes on to learn truths from the Word, he comes into communion and association with angels, without being aware of it." Another translation says, "closer than he realizes."
Sometimes there is little or no realization of being brought closer to angels while reading. And when there is some sense of this, there is more going on than we realize. When we are in a certain affection when reading, we feel something living in the Word. "There is something intimately affecting the heart and spirit, which flows with light into the understanding and bears witness" (AR 200).
Although it is not apparent to the individual, there is conjunction with the Lord by means of the sense of the letter of the Word (see TCR 234). The affiliation with angels is not something we can see or hear, but it was granted to Swedenborg both to see and to hear, and he testifies that by "living experience" he came to know that the sense of the letter of the Word brings affiliation with the angels (TCR 235).
Yes, we go to church and we read the Word to learn. And another purpose is to get closer to the angels.
-New Church Life 1994;114:458-459