Our knowledge of what is true and good does not become faith until we are engaged in caring. Once we have a faith that is born of caring, though, that knowledge becomes a resource that gives form to our faith (Continued)

I need to tell also how faith is formed out of caring. Each of us has an earthly mind and a spiritual mind, the earthly mind for this world and the spiritual mind for heaven. We have access to both with respect to our intellect but not with respect to our will, until we turn our backs on evils and reject them because they are sins. When we do this, our spiritual mind is opened with respect to our will as well, and a spiritual warmth from heaven flows into our earthly mind. Essentially, this warmth is caring, and it brings to life our knowledge of what is true and good, a knowledge that is in our earthly mind, and forms a faith out of it. Again, this is like a tree that does not get any vegetative life until warmth from the sun flows into it and unites itself with light, as happens in spring.

There is actually a complete parallel between humans coming to life and the sprouting of a tree. The parallel rests on the fact that earthly warmth causes the latter and heavenly warmth causes the former. That is why the Lord so often compared people to trees.

These few thoughts may suffice to show that our knowledge of what is true and good does not constitute faith until we are committed to caring, but that is a resource from which a caring faith can be formed.

Our knowledge of what is true is true for us when we have been regenerated. So is our knowledge of what is good, since our learning about what is good takes place in our understanding, but a desire to do what is good develops in our will. So we call something true if it is in our understanding and call it good if it is in our will.

from Life/Faith: Teaching for the New Jerusalem on Faith, Section 32-33

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