How Christian Science Makes the Healing Christ Available

Arnold H. Exo, C.S.B. of Chicago, Illinois

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts

 

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

Each one of us has a body. But not everyone is satisfied with the body he has. Are you satisfied with yours? Would you like to have it a healthier body? Would you like to have it express more vigor, as well as more grace and beauty? If it is a well-behaved body, would you like to keep it that way?

Of course each one of us would like to have a healthy body and to keep it healthy. Christian Science, the Science of the truth of God, enables us to make and keep our bodies healthy, and to do it in God's way. Christian Science is the reinstatement of God's healing Christ, which the Master, Christ Jesus, taught and demonstrated centuries ago.

How do we know that Christian Science is the incorporeal appearing of the healing Christ, Truth? By its works. Christ Jesus said to judge his teachings by his works, and Christian Science says to judge its teachings by its works.

 How did Christ Jesus perform his works? How did he heal sick bodies? How did he overcome lack? How did he set aside that which is harmful and destructive? How did he redeem character?

First of all, Christ Jesus did not heal by using human methods or human will. He healed by God's will, which is the way God intended healing to be done. Christ Jesus healed in accord with the truth that God is the only power and presence, and that God evidences His will in a right-acting, harmonious man.

On one occasion the Master explained how he healed, in this instance a man who was deaf and dumb. Christ Jesus said, "I cast out devils by the Spirit of God" (Matt. 12:28). What are these devils? And what is the "Spirit of God" by means of which Christ Jesus healed in his day, and by which Christian Science heals in ours? A devil is any kind of lie, especially a lie that God is not perfect and therefore that man is a mortal.

The "Spirit of God" by means of which Christ Jesus healed the man of deafness and dumbness was the Master's God-given Christly understanding that since God is the only cause and creator, hearing and speech are faculties of Spirit, God, and not of matter; and because they are of God, and always will remain so, they can never be hampered by matter, or changed into deafness and dumbness. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the Christian Science textbook, Mary Baker Eddy, its author, writes (pp. 124, 125), "The elements and functions of the physical body and of the physical world will change as mortal mind changes its beliefs. . . . Neither organic inaction nor overaction is beyond God's control. . . ."

When Mrs. Eddy wrote that "The elements and functions of the physical body and of the physical world will change as mortal mind changes its beliefs," she was setting forth a revolutionary fact, the far-reaching implications of which physicists, atomic researchers, mathematicians, philosophers, and astronomers are just now beginning to discern.

As an example of how the medical profession is beginning to discern the mental nature of matter and the mental control over it, a basic fact utilized in the practice of Christian Science, I should like to quote from a radio talk given by Dr. John A. Schlinder over the University of Wisconsin Radio Station WHA: "As a doctor I know that there are a thousand different ailments that this human clay is heir to, and one of them is as common as the other 999 put together. Fifty percent of all the people going to doctors in the United States today are victims of this one disease. Many would put the figure higher. At one well-known clinic in the South a report was published reviewing 500 consecutive admissions to that institution; of those, 386 − or 77 percent − were sick with one disease. . . . It used to be called psychoneurosis. Now it is known as psychosomatic illness."

"Psycho" is a Greek term signifying the human mind, and "somata" is the Greek term for body. Thus literally "psychosomatic" means "mind-body," and "psychosomatic medicine" means "mind-body" medicine such as psychiatric treatment. So important does materia medica now consider the state of the human mind in treating the diseases of the physical body that a whole new and vast department of materia medica has sprung up, built around psychiatry and psychiatric treatment.

The fact that materia medica finds that through psychiatry it can better reach certain sicknesses than it previously did with drugs − doesn't this hint that matter is not the three dimensional stuff it is generally supposed to be? There is something more basic to matter than a neat atomic package of electromagnetic forces whirling about a tiny nucleus.

Does not the fact that matter can be touched mentally indicate that matter is mental? And because it is mental, does it not follow that the physical body can be purged of its sickness only when thought is purified by the "Spirit of God," as Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated?

I do not mean to imply that the teachings of Christ Jesus − and of Christian Science, which is in perfect accord with the Master's teachings and demonstrations − have anything in common with psychiatry. Far from it. A vast gulf exists between the Christ, Truth, and psychiatry. The Christ, Truth, reveals that there is only one Mind, God, and that God is Spirit, the only substance. Psychiatry says that there are thousands of millions of minds, and that matter is substance. The point I am endeavoring to make is that psychiatry could not have any effect whatsoever on matter if matter were not essentially mental.

 

Mrs. Eddy the Trail-blazer

Long before the psychosomatic medicine of psychiatry became the vogue it is today, Mary Baker Eddy knew that matter is mental and proved that it is by healing through prayer just as Christ Jesus healed. Mrs. Eddy sets forth the mental nature of matter in many statements throughout her writings. In one place she says (Unity of Good, pp. 35, 36), "The material atom is an outlined falsity of consciousness, which can gather additional evidence of consciousness and life only as it adds lie to lie."

Well, if matter is "an outlined falsity of consciousness," what kind of mentality produces matter? Can there be a mind greater than or equal to God, good, the supreme and only Mind? The mentality which outlines itself in and as matter is really no mind at all because God, Spirit, is the only Mind. The illusory so-called false mind is a myth. It is nothing more than a conglomeration of its own fears, lusts, and greeds − in short the devils which Christ Jesus cast out by the "Spirit of God."

God is Spirit. Therefore God did not create matter, a material world, a material universe, or a material man.

Because God is not matter, the man God created in the image and likeness of Himself could not be and is not material, with a matter body composed of billions of atoms. This does not mean that God's image and likeness lacks identity. God's man has identity. But this identity is spiritual, not material. The fact that our spiritual identity can never be sick, or never die, because it is not material − does this mean that our God-reflected identity has no form? On the contrary, our perfect and eternal identity has perfect form, outline, color, proportion, action, and functions, but not in the material sense of these terms.

A healing in Christian Science consists of bringing to the forefront of consciousness a little more clearly than ever before the understanding of this real identity of ours as God's reflection. That is what happened when Jesus cast out the devils of false belief by the "Spirit of God." The sufferer's body was healed when the spiritual facts of God, man, and body became more apparent than they were before.

It is through this Christly correction of thought that mortals "put off the old man" and "put on the new man," which, as Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians (3:9, 10), "is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." Here Paul is telling us that mortals are not only physically healed when the Christ, Truth, makes plain to them the true idea of God, man, and body; but that thought must continue to be "renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him."

Thus you see that being a Christian, that is, a follower of Christ Jesus, is not a part-time job, nor a forty-four hour a week job. It is a twenty-four hour a day job, seven days a week. But it is not a difficult job. It is God, our loving Father-Mother, who cares for us and guides us in every way. All we need to do is to know that God guides and cares for us, and to be confident in that perfect care and guidance. Actually it is far easier to be a steadfast Christian than a wavering one.

When through the teachings of Christian Science you understand the unreality of matter because you do understand the allness and substantiality of Spirit, God, you will not lose your body, or your home, or your loved ones. The fabrication of dreams about what constitutes God's man and God's creation − these dreams are all that are lost.

Like a dreamer waking out of a sleeping dream you will give thanks that your dream never was true; and now that you have awakened from it, you know that transient matter does not constitute you, nor can matter, whether it claims to be sick or well, control you or anybody else.

The Bible passage (Isa. 2:22) "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" can be taken literally, especially when the word breath is construed in its original Hebrew meaning as soul or spirit. Thus the passage might be read something like this, "Stop believing that man, the individual reflection of Soul, Spirit, God, is constituted of matter, lives in it, is controlled by it, or is dependent upon it, because matter is only 'an outlined falsity of consciousness.' "

 

The Structure of Healing Prayer

Do you know how to pray as Christ Jesus prayed; that is to say, do you know how to detect and cast out, by the "Spirit of God," the devils of false belief? Do you know how to pray as Christ Jesus prayed so that you can demonstrate the outline, form, and individuality of what God is reflecting as man's eternal identity, your own included?

Do you know how to pray so that any burden and sorrow will be replaced with the freedom and joy of Soul; any ugliness and deformity with man's God-given beauty and grace; any hatred with love; apathy with alertness; false appetites and impure desires with purity; and mistakes with right decisions?

Christ Jesus showed us how to pray successfully. He gave us a model prayer. It is called the Lord's Prayer. Have you ever carefully studied this model prayer of the Master's − not just read it over or repeated it casually, but studied it? The Master evidently intended that his followers should be thoroughly familiar with the model prayer which he gave. He said (Matt. 6:9), "After this manner therefore pray ye."

First of all, have you ever noticed how brief the Lord's Prayer is? As given in the Gospel of Matthew (6:9-13), the Lord's Prayer consists of only sixty-five words! Just think of it, only sixty-five words. But what healing power these words bring out if we but grasp, even in a small degree, the deep spiritual ideas which lie behind the words.

The brevity of the Lord's Prayer shows us that it does not take a wordy prayer to meet human needs. In fact a lot of words tend to shut out from the sufferer's thought that which will heal his body, rectify his character, and propel him Spirit-ward.  The redeeming power which gives spiritual impetus to any prayer is the Christ, Truth, flowing from God. Therefore, not a barrage of words, but the glow of spiritual understanding and inspiration, that is "the Spirit of God," prepares our thought for the changes which must first take place in consciousness before the body can be healed.

With its mental roots gone, the physical disease, the outward manifestation of the wrong thoughts, disappears, and if we guard our thought, the disease will never again crop up in our experience. In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 425), "God is more to a man than his belief, and the less we acknowledge matter or its laws, the more immortality we possess. Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered. Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew."

Prayer, after the manner in which Christ Jesus prayed, corrects thought and thereby heals the body because Christly prayer distinguishes between the falsity of human sense which it casts out of human consciousness, and the truth of being which it explains to mortals. For example, prayer as Christ Jesus taught us to pray, distinguishes between the counterfeit identity or body, liable to sickness, and man's true spiritual identity provided by God for each one of His spiritual ideas (see Science and Health, p. 507:7).

When counterfeit thoughts such as fear, prejudice, false appetites, or mental laziness are uncovered and cast out, we find that we have "put off the old" (the mortal sense of identity) . . . "and put on the new" (our God-reflected identity), as Paul wrote the Colossians (3:9,10). In other words a redeemed consciousness will have constructed a better body for us.

 

Healing Prayer

I could tell you many healings, including many of my own, resulting from prayer after the manner in which Christ Jesus prayed. I should like to tell you of one such healing. But first, let me emphasize that a Christian Science healing is much more than just getting well. It is much more than having a good job, a lot of money in the bank, or a nice home, or car, or clothes, or many friends. Yes, material well-being and happiness may be an outward manifestation of the blessings brought to an individual by Christian Science. But a lot of people who never heard of Christian Science, or know very little about it, get well, are prosperous, have nice homes, jobs, and families.

What is it that distinguishes Christian Science healing from the demonstration of ample provision made without the help of God's Christ, Truth? It is this: Christian Science identifies all good as flowing from God, as God's perfect evidence of His own goodness. To put good thus in its proper perspective does three things: first, it makes clear to us that God is the source and substance of good; second, the proper perspective of good makes good more available to us; and third, the right understanding of good makes good more secure in our keeping.

The healing I should like to tell you of is that of a man who, at the time of his healing, was actively engaged in business. According to the testimony of the five physical senses this man was on the verge of death from an ailment which was later found to be a virulent form of dysentery. This disease had appeared in the community in which the man lived, and had caused a number of deaths. The man was restored to health through the steadfast scientific prayers of his loved ones and the help of a Christian Science practitioner. This healing occurred over twenty years ago and today this man is hale and hearty.

 

Treatment and Prayer Not a Formula

Here, very briefly, is the kind of prayer or Christian Science treatment which healed the man: because God is infinite good He is divine Love. The goodness of God, Love, is universal and supreme, because God is universal and supreme. Hence God would never establish dysentery to contaminate or adulterate either His goodness or that of man, the enduring and healthy expression of God's goodness.

Since God did not make dysentery, and He made all that is real, dysentery cannot be real. It can only be an illusion without real power over man, because God is the only power, and His power is as present and as effective on earth as it is in heaven, as the Lord's Prayer assures us.

Because it is not created by God, dysentery has no principle by which to operate, no law to enforce its operation, and no intelligence to fasten itself on anybody. Therefore dysentery cannot act, inflame, multiply, make itself felt, believed in, produce poisonous conditions or symptoms, or be contagious, regardless of how many mortals believe it can do these things.

Dysentery, being unreal, cannot dethrone Life, God, nor man's real being, the tangible, living, perfect expression of that Life. Hence man cannot lose his perfect God-fashioned identity, nor can he be made to believe that he can lose it, or that he has any predisposing inherited tendency to dysentery. In his spiritual selfhood, which is his only real selfhood, man is the immediate reflection of God and therefore requires no drug, diet, or other material means to bridge a nonexistent gap between himself and God.

As you see, prayers for this businessman, like all Christian Science prayer or treatment, followed in a general way the spiritual reasoning laid down by the Master in his model prayer, the Lord's Prayer − first, the affirmation of the allness, power, and ever-presence of God; second, that God's presence and power, being everywhere, are just as available and effective in earth as they are in heaven; and third, that God's supreme power, being ever present, meets every human need, whether it be a present need, or a need for forgiveness of past mistakes, or a need for guidance and protection in the future.

Since prayer, as Christ Jesus taught us to pray, is the activity of the Christ, Truth, flowing from God, and God is infinite Mind, the example I have given in the treatment of the businessman only hints the infinite variety and scope of prayer.

Because God is infinite, and knows that He is, He never repeats Himself. God gives each of His ideas its own distinctive and eternal individuality as an expression of His, God's, own infinite oneness (see Science and Health, pp. 502:28 to 503:3; 550:5-7). Therefore no two Christian Science treatments or prayers are ever alike in their audible or silent outpourings of the healing Christ, Truth. That is why Christian Science treatments do not consist of set little formulas of words or sentences to be repeated or read silently or audibly.

 

Patience is Expectancy, Not Endurance

Christian Science prayer or treatment consists of pouring into consciousness the Christ idea of God and man; and from the standpoint of that Truth, denying and casting out the lies to be overcome, instead of mulling over and thus enlarging and entrenching them in consciousness.

We need never labor under the lie that we must forever be penalized for past mistakes. We never need believe that man ever was or ever can be separated from God, good. We need never fear the future, fear that the day will come when God will cease to be God, cease to be the only presence and power, cease to be our only real Life and substance. We need never believe that pills, drugs, surgery, diet, cocktails, cigarettes, wealth, position, or highly placed friends can and will do more for us than God can and will do for us when we accept the teachings of the Christ, Truth. We need never be tricked by evil into reasoning in reverse − that is, looking at the physical sense of body, our own or another's − and accepting the lie that the physical body is the real identity of man, the image and likeness of God.

We do not need to struggle or wait for the perfection of God. He is always expressing His love and harmony in our individual perfect being. To wait patiently does not mean that we have to endure pain, or sickness, or lack. Patience is not a matter of endurance. Patience is understanding, expectant understanding, steadfast understanding, spiritual understanding. It is the understanding that the power and presence of God are as ever present and as irresistible on earth as they are in heaven, and always will be. God's perfection never needs to be struggled for, or waited for. It needs only to be accepted and enjoyed just as a little child, without question or hesitation, accepts his mother's tender love and care.

Christian Science prayer, if it is spiritually inspired, is not a matter of a five-minute treatment, or a one-hour prayer, or any certain number of treatments for any certain length of time. Christian Science treatments are not scheduled by the week or month. If you had a toothache, would you want treatment by the week? Each Christian Science treatment is designed to bring quick and permanent healing, and do it entirely through prayer, without the use of material means or methods of any kind whatsoever.

In Christian Science, prayer is continued until the thought of the patient − whether oneself or another − yields its beliefs in the error constituting the trouble. When the lie is uncovered for the nothingness that it is, healing and peace follow. Christian Science prayer or treatment is not a matter of time or number, but of the purifying, healing operation of the Christ, Truth, in consciousness.

 

The Christian Science Church

About three centuries after the Master's ministry mortals lost their Christly inspiration, their understanding of how to pray so successfully that consciousness would be purified and, being spiritualized, would be made manifest in a better body, in nobler lives, and in a more harmonious existence.

To restore this healing Christ, Truth, God gave mankind the Comforter, Divine Science. Christ Jesus said (John 14:16,17), "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth." This Comforter, or Divine Science, was needed because the people who saw and heard Christ Jesus confused the human Jesus, the son of the Virgin Mary, and the healing Christ, Truth, which flows from God correcting human consciousness. Jesus was the greatest human being ever to tread the globe.

The Christ, the truth of God which Jesus understood and demonstrated better than anyone before or since, enabled Jesus to heal in accord with God's laws, that is, spiritually. This same Christ, Truth, is just as available and operative in this age as it was in the Master's, and Christian Science,  the  Comforter promised by Christ Jesus, reveals it and how to put it into practice.

Mary Baker Eddy's discovery of Christian Science includes directions for the promotion and extension of God's healing gift to humanity. Mrs. Eddy was divinely directed to establish the Christian Science church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and to provide for its branches throughout the world.

But the church which Mrs. Eddy founded did not just spring into full-fledged being the moment she began to see that church organization is necessary to protect and extend the reappearing of the healing Christ, Truth. The Christian Science church, as we have it today, grew step by step. It started with thirty-two members when it was organized some seventy years ago (See Manual, p. 18:12-22).

Mrs. Eddy saw that a manual had to be written to guide the church in its growth and activities, and she wrote it. As experience was gained she revised and added to the Manual so that the church would always be able to meet readily the demands upon it in this and all future ages.

Until Mrs. Eddy saw the need, and was inspired by God to supply the need, there were no authorized Christian Science teachers and practitioners. Mrs. Eddy had to provide for their teaching and to set up standards for their selection. There were no qualifications for church members and no helpful rules for their conduct as Christian Scientists. These had to be provided. There were no lecturers, no publications, and no provisions for establishing branch churches and societies. All these had to be provided for and under God's guidance Mrs. Eddy did it.

She taught, she wrote, she edited, she published, she preached, and she healed. She worked long hours, often far into the night. She solved problems which only God's inspiration and guidance could have enabled her to solve. In short, Mary Baker Eddy demonstrated the effectiveness of her discovery in establishing the church to protect and promote the discovery.

The church established by Mrs. Eddy is the human counterpart of the spiritual and eternal Church founded by Christ Jesus. His church is based on the healing power of God. Accordingly, the purpose of the church established by Mrs. Eddy is to bring the scientific religion of Christian healing to the entire human family. Its mission is to help each individual to see and prove the fact of his perfection and consequent inseparable oneness with God, who is infinite, ever-present, and eternal good.

 

Mrs. Eddy and Her Work

People sometimes find a stumbling block to their acceptance of Christian Science because it was discovered and founded by a woman instead of a man. Since God is the only real Mind of man, and He is both Father and Mother, can there in reality be any such thing as a female mind or a male mind? Let it be said, to the credit of Christian Science, that more and more the world is accepting an individual for what he is and what he does. Less and less are the false standards of sex, birth, race, nationality, creed, wealth, or position used to measure the worth or contribution of an individual.

Despite all that critics of Mrs. Eddy have said or are saying, Mrs. Eddy was a spiritually minded and spiritually advanced woman. Even by ordinary human standards she was a cultured, well-bred, well-educated, and a refined woman.

We must remember that Mrs. Eddy lived in what is known as the Victorian age. Even though this age was named after a great English queen, as a general rule a woman was regarded, even in this politically advanced country of ours, as her husband's chattel. In very few of our states a hundred years ago could a woman vote, serve on a jury, hold public office or property, or have unrestricted access to the courts which are charged with administering impartial justice to all.

When one considers Mrs. Eddy's struggles and her great achievements against the backdrop of her times, what she accomplished takes on a luster which can come only from those who are as truly God-inspired and God-sustained as she was.

Christian Science, which Mrs. Eddy discovered and founded because  she was spiritually equipped to do so, will go down through the ages as one of God's great gifts to mankind, second only to that greatest of gifts, the ministry and teaching of Christ Jesus. And why shouldn't Christian Science be so recognized, and Mrs. Eddy given her just acknowledgment? By its works Christian Science proves that it is the same impersonal Christ, Truth, which Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated.

Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science, explained it, and thereby made it available to mankind. But Mrs. Eddy wanted no deification of her personality, and she expressly forbade it. In a letter to a New York newspaper, Mrs. Eddy included these statements (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 302, 303), "I stand in relation to this century as a Christian Discoverer, Founder, and Leader. I regard self-deification as blasphemous. . . . I believe in one Christ, teach one Christ, know of but one Christ. I believe in but one incarnation, one Mother Mary. I know that I am not that one, and I have never claimed to be. It suffices me to learn the Science of the Scriptures relative to this subject. . . . What I am remains to be proved by the good I do."

In proportion to their understanding of the Christ, Truth, Christian Scientists demonstrate that man, the spiritual man of God's creating, is their only real selfhood. Knowing this they are able to bring this real selfhood onto the stage of their human experience, replacing the false sense of man as a mortal, liable to sickness, with the right sense that man is immortal, God's perfect expression.

Thus Christian Scientists put off the mortal personality and put on their spiritual, their God-reflected identity. In the proportion that this is done, mortals are transformed. They are healed because the Christ, Truth, has removed from consciousness that which causes sickness, sin, limitation, and fear.

Thus Christian Science enables you and me to prove the statement, "Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered."

Christian Science will heal you. Take it. Use it.

 

 

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