The Lord’s Prayer
Give us our daily bread accroding to the day. —Luke 11:3
What does bread correspond to?
John 6:33-35. [And Jesus said,] the Bread of God is He who comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world. Then said they to Him, Lord, always give us this bread. And Jesus said to them, I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
John 6:51. I am the Living Bread which came down out of heaven; if anyone eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
AC 4217. When “bread” is mentioned in the Word, the angels become aware not of material but of spiritual bread; thus instead of bread they perceive the Lord, who is the Bread of life, as He Himself teaches in John 6:33, 35. And because they perceive the Lord, they perceive what is from the Lord, thus His love toward the universal human race; and they then perceive at the same time man’s reciprocal love to the Lord; for these two things cohere in one idea of thought and affection.
Not unlike this are the thoughts of the man who is in a holy state when receiving the bread of the Holy Supper; for he then thinks not of bread, but of the Lord and His mercy, and of what is of love to Him and of charity toward the neighbor, because he thinks of repentance and amendment of life; but this with variety according to the holiness in which he is, not only as to his thought, but also as to his affection. From this it is manifest that “bread” as mentioned in the Word suggests to the angels no idea of bread, but the idea of love, together with innumerable things that are of love.
SD 6088. Food in the Spiritual World. They eat and drink there, just as in the natural world; but all food there is from a spiritual origin: wherefore, it is not obtained beforehand, but is given daily. When it is dinner-time, and also when it is supper-time, a table furnished with food appears while the meal-time lasts, and disappears when they have dined, or supped. All spirits whatsoever, are supplied with food according to their employments—rulers sumptuously, with much pomp, the magnificence of which cannot be described; the rest less sumptuously according to their condition. Be it observed that everyone is provided with food according to the labors which he performs....
All in the hells are forced to work and those who do not work receive neither food, nor garments, nor bed. Thus, they are driven into labors. The reason is, because idleness is the root of all wickedness; for in idleness, the mind is spread out to various evils and falsities; but in work, it is held to one thing. Food cannot be kept till the morrow: worms breed in it, as in the manna. This is signified in the Lord’s prayer: “Give us daily bread,” and also by the circumstance that nothing of the paschal lamb, nor of the sacrifices, was to be laid by till the morrow.
Inasmuch as the food is from a spiritual origin, and so is in itself spiritual, and since spirits and angels are men, and are furnished with a spiritual body, therefore such spiritual nourishment is adequate for them. A spiritual being is, therefore, nourished in this spiritual manner, and a material man materially. As all things that appear in the spiritual world correspond to the affections, and to the thoughts of the understanding thence, their houses, garments, fields, gardens, paradises do so—all of which, likewise, are from a spiritual origin; and good affection, together with the thought of the understanding of truth, cannot exist in idleness, but is dispersed. Therefore, food does not exist otherwise than according to correspondences.
Questions and Comments
- When we say “give us this day our daily bread,” what comes to mind?
- Does knowing the correspondence of bread change what we might think about when say this part of the Lord’s Prayer?
- Does saying the Lord’s Prayer ever leave us with the impression of being fed?
- What stories in the Word involve the Lord providing bread? Does it help to picture one of these stories when we think about this part of the Lord’s Prayer?