Christian Science: The Transforming Power of Truth

 

Mary Wellington Gale, C.S.B., of San Francisco, California

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Christian Science is saying to a troubled world: "Man is not helpless. There is a supreme power to be recognized, welcomed into thought, and utilized - the transforming power of Truth." This power of Truth is as old as the centuries. Its record is written upon the pages of history for all who will to read. Wherever ignorance has given place to knowledge, prejudice to tolerance, tyranny to justice, its transforming power is seen.

 

The Transforming Power of Truth Recorded in the Bible

Its most significant record is to be found in that remarkable book called the Holy Bible. The Bible is the product of a people who perceived the power of Truth and consciously employed it in their national as well as their personal life. Because it is the nature of Truth to make itself known to mankind, these people were inspired to pass on their experiences from one generation to another, first by word of mouth, later by crude modes of transcription.

Not only did the Israelites record their experiences, they meditated upon them and celebrated them in song and verse. The power of Truth which was shaping their affairs as they yielded to its transforming influence led them to interpret the events which had transpired. As an example, we have the Song of Moses celebrating their escape from bondage in Egypt. I shall quote a few verses from it (Ex. 15:1,13): "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. . . . Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which Thou hast redeemed; Thou hast guided them in Thy strength unto thy holy habitation."

The "holy habitation" to which Moses referred was, of course, no physical locality. It was a state of consciousness - a consciousness which was aware of the supreme power which had operated in the affairs of the Israelites as a power of deliverance. This power of Truth was to initiate through Moses one of the greatest advances ever made by humanity, the institution of the moral law in what have been called the Ten Commandments. Without the foundation of the Ten Commandments, present-day civilization would not exist.

 

The First Commandment the Basis of Christian Science

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, makes the following statement with regard to the Commandments in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 340): " 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' (Exodus xx.3). The First Commandment is my favorite text. It demonstrates Christian Science. It inculcates the triunity of God, Spirit, Mind; it signifies that man shall have no other spirit or mind but God, eternal good, and that all men shall have one Mind. The divine Principle of the First Commandment bases the Science of being, by which man demonstrates health, holiness, and life eternal."

Christian Science permits no deviation from the strict moral code of the Old Testament, but it interprets it in terms of the teachings of Jesus. Let us see what Jesus taught about the Commandments. I shall read from the King James Version of the Bible, which is used in all Christian Science churches (Mark 12:28-31): "And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

 

Jesus Taught That God Is Love

Was not Jesus saying that God is One because God is Love? In Love there can be found no warring element, nothing that antagonizes, nothing that repels. An inner attraction holds everything together. At the same time, an infinite beneficence must cause an infinite radiation. Thus the ever-presence of divine Love must express itself as an infinite law embracing all creation in an infinite outgiving of good. What a universe to conceive of - a world Love-created, Love-related, Love-impelled! A world held in an unvarying law which constitutes each object of creation as an expression of Love! Was not this what Jesus was showing the scribe as he put before him this interpretation of the First Commandment?

On the walls of many Christian Science churches is to be found the following inscription quoted from the Christian Science textbook (p. 484): "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." This comforting assurance has often brought healing to people attending a church service for the first time, even before they understood the divine law of Love which it sets forth. It has often brought healing to those who did understand something of the operation of this law but who, under stress of circumstances, were being tempted to doubt their ability to experience the operation on their own behalf.

I know of one such experience of a Christian Science practitioner during the depression of the 1930's. Her source of income had been dwindling with the shrinkage in property values, and as much of her practice had to be of a benevolent nature at that time, she was being tempted to believe that she should give it up and seek some means of augmenting her income. One Wednesday evening, as she waited for the service to begin in her branch church, seeking guidance in this decision, her gaze fell upon the inscription on the wall before her, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." Instantly it came to her that if divine Love would meet her need, her need was for divine Love and not for material income. If her need was for divine Love, then its supply was infinite, because divine Love is infinite and infinitely available. This woman did not go home from the meeting and find a check for a million dollars awaiting her! But she did go home with a quiet assurance and confidence which enabled her to go forward step by step trusting Love's meeting her need each day. Needless to say, she was not obliged to abandon her practice, but, instead, found herself meeting more quickly the needs of the growing circle of those who came to her for help, and in turn finding her own needs supplied.

 

Through the Transforming Power of Truth, Divine Love Meets the Human Need

It is clear that something happened to this woman to bring about the meeting of her need. Something was changed. That "something" was her thinking. The transforming power of the truth contained in the quotation from the Christian Science textbook changed her consciousness from one of fear and discouragement to one of confidence and trust. Through this change in consciousness her need was met. Changes like this, from fear to trust and from discouragement to confidence, took place in the consciousness of the people of Israel as their leaders kept before their thought the truth of the supremacy of God and its power of deliverance. Over and over again they were reminded in metaphor and simile suited to their times that "divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need."

David told them (Ps. 23:1), "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." Ezekiel, voicing God's Word, said (Ezek. 34:15), "I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God." Christ Jesus told his followers (Luke 12:32): "Fear not, little flock: for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

The life of Christ Jesus was the supreme individual example of the transforming power of Truth through which divine Love meets the human need. Whatever the need that confronted him, whether of tribute money for Peter to pay the taxes, of food for a gathering of five thousand, of sight for the blind, hearing for the deaf, or sanity for the demented, Jesus met the need through his understanding of divine Love. His consciousness of the power and presence of Love caused the manifestation of lack to disappear in whatever form it was presented to him.

Mary Baker Eddy has described a similar phenomenon in her own experience. I shall quote this from a little book put out by The Christian Science Publishing Society. It is the first of three volumes of reminiscences by those who knew our Leader, entitled "We Knew Mary Baker Eddy" (p. 74): "I saw the love of God encircling the universe and man, filling all space, and that divine Love so permeated my own consciousness that I loved with Christlike compassion everything I saw. This realization of divine Love called into expression 'the beauty of holiness, the perfection of being' (Science and Health, p. 253), which healed, and regenerated, and saved all who turned to me for help."

 

Mrs. Eddy's Discovery of the Transforming Power of Truth

Mrs. Eddy's own healing from the effects of a supposedly fatal accident led to her discovery of Christian Science. When all hope of her recovery had been given up, she turned to her Bible, as was her custom, for comfort and support. On reading the account of Jesus' healing of the palsied man in the ninth chapter of Matthew, she found herself suddenly well. Her thought had been transformed through taking in this proof of the omnipotence of divine Love, and her years of searching for an understanding of Jesus' healing power were rewarded by a repetition of this spiritual healing in her own behalf.

She at once commenced an intensive study of the Scriptures to find out how she had been healed. This was continued for three years and resulted in the conviction that she had solved the seeming mystery surrounding the healings of Jesus, and could undertake to explain to others the basis on which they were performed. She has likened her healing to the falling of the apple which inspired the discovery of the law of gravitation (see Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24; Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 22, 23). Just as Newton sought the reason for the apple's falling to the ground instead of shooting off into space, so Mrs. Eddy sought to understand the power that had set her free. She examined the data presented in the Bible with the same minute scrutiny with which the physicist or chemist examines phenomena from which he is endeavoring to discover a law. Her conclusion is tersely stated in the following quotation from the textbook, Science and Health (p. 131): "The central fact of the Bible is the superiority of spiritual over physical power." The superiority of spiritual over physical power is the basis of Christian Science healing.

The Gospel of Mark records Jesus' final instructions to his followers in these words which Mrs. Eddy quotes in the heading of the chapter on "Christian Science Practice" in Science and Health: "And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17,18). According to the Master, the sign of healing was to "follow them that believe." Mrs. Eddy fulfilled this condition. She believed "the central fact of the Bible." She believed in "the superiority of spiritual over physical power."

We would not have the airplane and the radio today if someone had not believed that these wonders of material science could be achieved. But the inventors of the airplane and the radio had to do something more than merely believe such inventions to be possible. They had to understand the laws involved in their inventions. As they were led by intuition and reason to this understanding, so Mrs. Eddy was led by revelation and reason to a comprehension of the spiritual laws governing the healings of Jesus. She writes of her discovery as follows in Science and Health (p. 109): "I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing, aid I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration. The revelation of Truth in the understanding came to me gradually and apparently through divine power. When a new spiritual idea is borne to earth, the prophetic Scripture of Isaiah is renewedly fulfilled: 'Unto us a child is born, . . . and his name shall be called Wonderful.' "

 

"The Principle and method of perfection"

So potent is the effect of acceptance of "the superiority of spiritual over physical power" that people are often healed by simply opening their thought to this great truth, but belief must be advanced to understanding before scientific healing work can be done. Christian Science healing is not faith-cure. Neither is it in any way akin to psychiatry, which tries to find within the human mind the remedy for the ills of its own making. Likewise, any hypnotic control of one human being by another is contrary to Christian Science, which leads the human mind to relinquish its falsities by yielding to the influence of the divine Mind.

In a sermon entitled, "Christian Healing," Mrs. Eddy sums up the healing method of Christian Science in two significant sentences which I should like to read to you. She writes (Christian Healing, p. 14), "Metaphysical healing includes infinitely more than merely to know that mind governs the body and the method of a mental practice." She continues farther on, "Metaphysical or divine Science reveals the Principle and method of perfection, - how to attain a mind in harmony with God, in sympathy with all that is right and opposed to all that is wrong, and a body governed by this mind."

A number of years ago I served on the board of a woman's club devoted to civic affairs, with a prominent woman physician, a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. She had retired from active practice and, like myself, was giving her time to public work. One day she brought up the subject of Christian Science, knowing that I was an active member of a local branch church. This was before the day of psychosomatic medicine, which recognizes the mental nature of disease, and I was surprised to hear her say: "Many doctors today agree with the teaching of Christian Science with regard to the effect of the mind upon the body. I myself am convinced that there would be no disease if people would learn to govern their thoughts and feelings properly." For more than eighty years the Christian Science textbook has been teaching people what this physician recommended. As we read in "Christian Healing" (p. 14), the textbook shows "how to attain a mind in harmony with God, in sympathy with all that is right and opposed to all that is wrong, and a body governed by this mind."

To have a mind in harmony with God, one must have some understanding of God. A large portion of Mrs. Eddy's writings is devoted to the unfoldment of the nature of Deity. The concepts of God which are set forth or implied in the Scriptures she has brought together in seven synonymous terms. These seven synonyms are given in a different order in different places in her writings. I shall give them as they appear in the definition of God in the Glossary of Science and Health (p. 587): "GOD. The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence."

There is, today, a growing tendency on the part of physical scientists to question a materialistic explanation of the universe and man. It is being seen that the new concepts of matter, time, and space do not necessarily conflict with the spiritual import of the Bible. The idea of a fundamental intelligence underlying the phenomena of the physical universe is accepted in many instances by advanced thinkers, especially in the fields of astronomy and biology. Dr. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying: "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God" ("The Universe and Dr. Einstein," by Lincoln Barnett, p. 106).

The pastoral people of Bible times, living their lives in tents under the stars, did not need the instruments of modern science to reveal the magnitude of the firmament in order to appreciate the majesty of the creative power to which it points. The credo of the learned doctor paraphrases the simple and beautiful language of the Psalms. I shall quote from the Psalms: "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him?" (Ps. 8:3,4); "Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite" (Ps. 147:5). Basing her concepts of Deity on the inspired Word of the Bible, Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health (p. 143), "Mind is the grand creator, and there can be no power except that which is derived from Mind."

 

Christian Science Teaches the Individuality of God and of Man

As we accept Mind as "the grand creator," we have an intelligent First Cause. We have a creator who knows what He creates, and who creates it according to His knowledge of Himself. God finds the pattern for His creation in Himself. God knows Himself and thus knows all of His ideas. He knows that they are all what He made them to be, and will remain as He created them through all eternity.

Christian Science teaches the individuality of God and of man. It shows their relationship to be that of Mind and idea or creator and creation. All of the qualities of God belong to God's ideas as His reflection. Each idea is distinct and eternal. The integrity of spiritual individuality is the law of the mental realm. To know that one's individuality is the reflection of the divine Mind is the transforming power in one's experience.

As the idea of infinite Mind, man is the expression of Soul. Soul is a wonderful synonym for Mind, or God, as Christian Science defines it. Soul is redolent with the joy of true self-expression, with the beauty of real being. The Psalmist calls upon us (Ps. 29:2) to "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." We all need beauty in our lives, in our homes, and in our characters. Christian Science teaches us how to claim "the beauty of holiness," the divine beauty of our reflection of Soul. There is infinite variety in Soul, and Soul has infinite resources. Reflecting Soul, true consciousness knows no limitation, no barrenness, no boredom. We have the ability to express all the beauty and richness of Soul. This truth is a transforming power to those who understand it.

The oneness of God, or Soul, precludes the possibility of a multiplicity of human souls enclosed in as many human bodies. Likewise Christian Science teaches that there are not many spirits, because God is One and God is Spirit. Man reflects God, Spirit. This reflection is seen in the spiritual qualities which constitute the individuality of man. To realize that God is Spirit, and therefore man is not material but spiritual, has power to transform one's human life and character.

 

Love Is the Deific Principle

The concept of God as Principle is implicit in the Scriptures, although the term does not appear in the text. The patriarchs as well as Jesus demonstrated Principle in their healing works. Mrs. Eddy has used this term to express the undeviating and impartial nature of Deity.

Does the term "Principle" seem distant or cold to you? It did to me when I first came into Christian Science in my teens. Perhaps it was because I didn't like mathematics! But I came to see that the Principle which is God is a different kind of Principle from the principle of mathematics. True, the principle of mathematics will get you out of difficulties, but you have to make it work. It is a static principle. The Principle that is God is an active Principle; it is Life and Mind and Love.

The principle of mathematics won't do much for a little boy lost in the woods. It might help a man who knew how to calculate distances and directions by shadows cast by the sun. But a little boy who simply knew that God is Love and trusted God, would find this active Principle at work as a power in his experience. Divine Principle is active. It is omnipotent, divine Love. It works with us and for us. True, we learn that under Principle there are laws and rules that we must obey. But they are laws of Love. The Ten Commandments are laws of Love. They guide us in the expression of love. The rules laid down in our textbook are laws of love. They make practical the Science of Love.

Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health (p. 283): "Principle is absolute. It admits of no error, but rests upon understanding." The absoluteness of Principle is the most loving thing about it. What could be more kind, more tenderly considerate of our welfare, than not to permit us to err! And it "rests upon understanding" - God's understanding of His infinite perfection and man's ability to express that perfection. Do we not see that this divine Principle which is Love is everything that we ever looked for in a personal God? All the warmth, all the tenderness, all the care for His creation are included in this wonderful term for Deity.

The understanding of God as Principle is a transforming power in one's experience. To realize that the love of God is impartial and unchanging; that His qualities are to be expressed not more by one than by all; that His truth is equally available for all to know and understand! Such realization releases dormant energies and affections, harmonizes one's relationships, stabilizes and brings success to one's endeavors. One's life takes on new meaning as one understands its Principle to be Love.

 

 

"What shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

The first tenet of the Church of Christ, Scientist, reads as follows (I shall quote from Science and Health, p, 497): "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." Following this guide, let us turn to the Bible lo see what Christ Jesus had to say about Life. Jesus was the greatest authority on the subject of Life who ever walked this earth. He proved this knowledge of Life in the raising of Lazarus, and the daughter of Jairus, and the son of the widow of Nain. Let us read his instruction to the lawyer who asked him what he should do to inherit eternal life. It is found in the tenth chapter of Luke (25-28):

"And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do and thou shalt live." What did Jesus say to the lawyer? What was he to do to inherit eternal life? He was to love!

Mrs. Eddy understood Christ Jesus' teaching or she could not have reinstated spiritual healing. Let us see what she has to say about life. In her poem entitled "Love," she said (Poems, p. 7):

 

"Fed by Thy love divine we live,

For Love alone is Life."

Mrs. Eddy said we live because the Love which is God sustains us. So, when we say, "God is my Life," we are saying, "Love is my Life," and this is what Christ Jesus was telling the lawyer - that he could reflect the Mind that is Love, and that this reflection is eternal life. Christian Science is teaching people how to live the life that is eternal - the life that is the reflection of Love.

I should like to tell you a story which shows the far-reaching effect of a child's witness to the transforming power of the truth that God is Love. Just before the outbreak of World War II, a young friend of mine took her five-year-old daughter, who attended the Christian Science Sunday School, to visit her family in Germany. On her return, this young woman told me that she had been unable to talk to her relatives about Christian Science, but her mother would listen to the child telling her that God is Love.

This German family lived in a section that was heavily bombed during the war, and nothing was heard from them for sometime afterwards. Then word was received that the mother was alive and had been located in the Russian Zone. In time it was arranged for her to be flown to New York with a few other persons having relatives in America. She was one of the very few from the Russian Zone to reach San Francisco. It was some time before she was strong enough to go about, but when she was, she asked to talk with me and came to see me with her daughter. I could speak no German, and she could speak no English; so we just sat and smiled at each other for a while. Then she said something to her daughter, who translated it for me. It was this: "Mother says to tell you that when the bombs were dropping, and people abused them, and there wasn't any food, she remembered 'God is Love.' " That was what she had come to tell me - that she had learned that God is Love!

 

"Fed by Thy love divine we live,

For Love alone is Life."

 

The Preventive Power of Christian Science

In the early days of the Christian Science movement when most of those who turned to it for healing were incurably ill, it used to be said that Mrs. Eddy's Church was recruited from the graveyard! Today, the preventive as well as the curative effect of Christian Science is widely recognized. The freedom from fear of contagion which the understanding of divine Love imparts, is one of the great blessings that Christian Science brings to its followers, who find their trust in God's omnipotence to be a sure defense.

A change in consciousness from fear to trust has often been known to aid in averting a critical illness. As an example, a Christian Science practitioner was called one morning to help a child. The parents, who were not Christian Scientists, had hastened to have him inoculated when the Salk vaccine for polio was first made available. He was given shots from a laboratory where the output was officially called in after a number of children who had been vaccinated with it developed the disease. This child was manifesting the symptoms in an aggravated form when his mother called for help. The practitioner spoke to her of God's unfailing love and healing power, and told her of the trust that she might have in the promises of the Bible. She asked her to read the ninety-first and twenty-third Psalms, and said that she would treat the child and would like a report in the evening, When the mother called again it was to say that before she left the telephone in the morning all fear had left her. The child soon fell asleep and slept soundly until noon, while she sat beside his bed pondering the ninety-first Psalm. When he awoke he was perfectly well. In just such ways it is demonstrated in Christian Science that "divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need."

 

The Church of Christ, Scientist

In 1879 Mrs. Eddy organized a church with a little group of earnest members. Later she founded The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, which now has branches throughout the civilized world, and maintains a Publishing Society for the purpose of putting forth the healing message of Christian Science. The Christian Science Journal, the Christian Science Sentinel, and The Heralds of Christian Science, which are printed in nine different languages, together with The Christian Science Monitor and other publications, are put out by the Publishing Society. The Monitor, an international daily newspaper founded by Mrs. Eddy in 1908, is widely recognized today as one of the finest examples of journalism.

All of the activities of The Mother Church and its branches are carried on under the direction of the Manual of The Mother Church, which was written by Mrs. Eddy and is an integral part of the revelation of Christian Science. This remarkable instrument provides for the full exercise of democratic government on the part of the branch churches, where even the Readers are elected by vote of the membership. Within the framework of The Mother Church, and governed by the Manual, the branch churches carry on Sunday services and Wednesday meetings where testimonies of Christian Science healing are given. They conduct Sunday School for pupils under twenty years of age, and maintain Reading Rooms where Christian Science literature may be borrowed or purchased. The Sunday services include the presentation of a Lesson-Sermon which is published in the Christian Science Quarterly and which contains citations from the Bible with explanatory passages from the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." These Lesson-Sermons are studied in advance each week by Christian Scientists throughout the world.

 

The Comforter

Truth, whose transforming power has appeared throughout the centuries, is identified in Christian Science as the Christ, whose light of revelation is ever at hand to illumine the human consciousness. We read in Science and Health (p. 333): "Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the spiritual idea, - the reflection of God, - has come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of the Messiah, or Christ, which baptized these seers in the divine nature, the essence of Love."

The light of this Christ, Truth, was focused on earth for the brief span of thirty years in the life of Jesus. His expression of divine essence which is love won for him the title of Christ Jesus, or Jesus the Christ, and caused him to be called the Messiah or Saviour. Christian Scientists understand that it is the truth that saves - the truth that God is Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle, Life, Truth, Love, and that man is His reflection. The great demonstrator of God's love brought to light man's unity with God, and thus opened up to humanity the way of salvation from sin, sickness, and death. Not through a vicarious atonement, but through a living example of man's oneness with God, Christ Jesus is understood to be our Saviour.

Christian Science is accepted by its followers as the Comforter which the Master said the Father would send in his name. The promise of the Comforter is given in the fourteenth chapter of John, which quotes Christ Jesus as saying (16, 17): "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; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." That the truth contained in the Christian Science textbook is the truth that was taught by the Master is proved by its transforming power in the lives of thousands whom it has healed. I should like to share with you one such healing which was recently brought to my attention. A member of my household who was serving as a Reader in a branch church in San Francisco received a letter telling her of this healing which appeared in a testimony in the Christian Science Sentinel some years ago. I should like to read a portion of this letter to you now.

''Dear Miss (I shall call her name Brown): "I was born blind and deaf. My early education was received in a school for the blind. You no doubt know that these schools are boarding schools. It was impossible for the regular teachers in the school to teach me, because I was deaf as well as blind. This necessitated calling in a special teacher. This lady was reading 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures' by Mary Baker Eddy. When I found this out, I begged her to read it to me. I finally persuaded her to read over the chapter on Prayer several times, so that I was able to memorize it. From this time on, I began to do some healing work among my playmates by the use of the information given me in this chapter.

"One time when I was home on vacation, I met a Christian Scientist who later became a practitioner. She helped me by giving me a copy of Science and Health and showing me how to read the Lesson. I read Science and Health in Braille five times with my fingers. When I was reading it the sixth time, on page 239, line 29, I came to this statement: "The perfect Mind sends forth perfection, for God is Mind." Suddenly I saw sunlight for the first time. I began to hear not long after this. A few months later I left the School for the blind and then completed my education in the usual public school. My sight and hearing at the present time are excellent. I do not use glasses or any material aids for sight or for hearing. I am knowing that all consciousness is permeated with that great radiant light of Spirit, shining throughout eternity, just beaming with the thoughts of God.

"Lovingly yours,

 

Prayer

The Christian Science textbook is teaching people how to pray the prayer that heals themselves as well as others. Reiterating the Master's directive given in the Sermon on the Mount, Science and Health states (p. 15): "In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and silence the material senses. In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longing, we must deny sin and plead God's allness." The denial of sin and the affirmation of God's allness are the two cardinal points of prayer as taught by Christian Science.

The denial of sin is the means of self-correction by which the dual human self loses its materiality and finds man's at-onement with God. Prayer cannot change the unchanging love of God, but it can and does change the finite sense of love often held by mortals and embracing such unlovely qualities as jealousy and envy, which have no relationship to God. The denial of these qualities opens the way for higher, purer sense of love through which the healing Truth is realized.

Two equally unlovely companions of the false sense of love are self-will and self-justification. The Christian Science textbook urges vigorous denial of these qualities which would claim to obstruct one's reflection of God (see Science and Health, p. 242). The denial of self-will opens the way for the fulfilling of God's will in one's relationships and one's affairs. The denial of self-justification opens the way for God's justification of one's righteous thoughts and acts. Christian Science teaches that the denial of sin must go hand in hand with the affirmation of man's unity with God. For one's prayers to be effective, one's life must be lived in conformity to God's law. One must be daily striving to reflect the qualities of God.

This is not difficult as one learns through Christian Science that one's reflection of God constitutes one's only genuine existence. With what rejoicing may we claim that we are honest because God is Truth; that we are active because God is Life; that we are satisfied because God is Soul; that we are spiritual because God is Spirit; that we are intelligent because God is Mind; that we are loving because God is Love; and that all of these God-given qualities which we reflect are eternal and unchanging because God is our eternal Principle. Affirmations such as these constitute the prayer of the Christian Scientist who is daily emphasizing the great transforming truth that GOD IS ALL-IN-ALL!

 

[Published in The Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) News, June 21, 1956.]

 

 

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