But you might ask: What does this bread mean? Do I mean the bread that is on the altar? This is indeed bread, prior to the words "This is My body," but, once the words have been spoken, it is not bread but the body that I took from the Virgin and that was truly crucified on the cross. But here I do not mean that bread.
The bread that we should store in our house is a good and sincere will. Physical bread, if it is pure and clean, has two good effects. First, it fortifies and gives strength to all the veins and arteries and muscles. Second, it absorbs any inner impurity, bringing it along for removal as it goes out, and so the person is cleansed. In this way a pure will gives strength.
If a person wishes for nothing but the things of God, works for nothing but the glory of God, desires with every desire to leave the world and to be with God, this intention strengthens him in goodness, increases his love for God, makes the world loathsome to him, fortifies his patience and reinforces his hope of inheriting glory to the extent that he cheerfully embraces everything that happens to him.
In the second place, a good will removes every impurity. What is the impurity harmful to the soul if not pride, greed, and lust? However, when the impurity of pride or of some other vice enters the mind, it will leave, provided the person reasons in the following way: 'Pride is meaningless, since it is not the recipient who should be praised for goods given him, but the giver. Greed is meaningless, since all the things of earth will be left behind. Lust is nothing but filth. Therefore I do not desire these things but want to follow the will of my God whose reward will never come to an end, whose good gifts never grow old.' Then every temptation to pride or greed will leave him and he will persevere in his good intention of doing good.
The drink we should have in our houses is holy forethought about everything to be done. Physical drink has two good effects.
First, it aids good digestion. When a person proposes to do something good and, before doing it, considers to himself and turns carefully over in his mind what glory will come out of it for God, what benefit to his neighbor, what advantage to his soul, and does not want to do it unless he judges there to be some divine usefulness in his work, then that proposed work will turn out well or be, so to speak, well digested. Then, if any indiscretion occurs in the work he is doing, it is quickly detected. If anything is wrong, it is quickly corrected and his work will be upright and rational and edifying for others.
A person who does not show holy forethought in his work and does not seek benefit to souls or the glory of God, even if his work turns out well for a time, nevertheless it will come to nothing in the end.
In the second place, drink quenches thirst. What kind of thirst is worse than the sin of base greed and anger? If a person thinks beforehand what usefulness will come of it, how wretchedly it will end, what reward there will be if he makes resistance, then that base thirst is soon quenched through God's grace, zealous love for God and good desires fill him, and joy arises because he has not done what came into his mind. He will examine the occasion and how he can avoid in the future those things by which he was almost tripped up, had he not had forethought, and he will be more careful in the future about avoiding such things. My bride, this is the drink that should be stored in our pantry.
Third, there should also be meats there. These have two effects. First, they taste better in the mouth and are better for the body than just bread alone. Second, they make for tenderer skin and better blood than if there were only bread and drink. Spiritual meat has a like effect. What do these meats symbolize? Divine wisdom, of course. Wisdom tastes very good to a person who has a good will and wants nothing but what God wants, showing holy forethought, doing nothing until he knows it to be for God's glory.
Now, you might ask: 'What is divine wisdom?' For many people are simple and only know one prayer - the Our Father, and not even that correctly. Others are very erudite and have wide knowledge. Is this divine wisdom? By no means. Divine wisdom is not precisely to be found in erudition, but in the heart and a good life. That person is wise who reflects carefully on the path toward death, on how he will die, and on his judgment after death. That person has the meats of wisdom and the taste of a good will and holy forethought, who detaches himself from the vanity and superfluities of the world and contents himself with the bare necessities, and struggles in the love of God according to his abilities.
When a person reflects on his death and on his nakedness at death, when a person examines God's terrible court of judgment, where nothing is hidden and nothing is remitted without a punishment, when he also reflects on the instability and vanity of the world, will he not then rejoice and sweetly savor in his heart the surrender of his will to God together with his abstinence from sins?
Is not his body strengthened and his blood improved, that is, is not every weakness of his soul, such as sloth and moral dissolution, driven away and the blood of divine love rejuvenated? This is because he reasons rightly that an eternal good is to be loved rather than a perishable one.
Therefore divine wisdom is not precisely to be found in erudition but in good works, since many are wise in a worldly way and after their own desires but are altogether foolish with regard to God's will and commandments and the disciplining of their body. Such people are not wise but foolish and blind, for they understand perishable things that are useful for the moment, but they despise and forget the things of eternity. Others are foolish with regard to worldly delights and reputation but wise in considering the things that are of God, and they are fervent in his service.
Such people are truly wise, for they savor the precepts and will of God. They have truly been enlightened and keep their eyes open in that they are always considering in what way they may reach true life and light. Others, however, walk in darkness, and it seems to them more delightful to be in darkness than to inquire about the way by which they might come to the light.
Therefore, my bride, let us store up these three things in our houses, namely a good will, holy forethought, and divine wisdom. These are the things that give us reason to rejoice. Although I speak My advice to you, by you I mean all My chosen ones in the world, since the righteous soul is My bride, for I am her Creator and Redeemer."
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Revelations and Prophesies Imparted to St. Bridget of Sweden - Book Two: Chapter Twenty-Five