The Answer to Mankind's Need for Security (Summary)
Louise S. Karpen, C.S.B., of New York, New York
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Humanity's need for security will be met not by reliance on material things but by growth in spiritual understanding of God, Louise S. Karpen of New York City told an audience here.
Dependence on material possessions has disappointed hope and shattered expectancy, Mrs. Karpen declared, emphasizing that true security is essentially a spiritual experience.
"The greatest teacher and preacher the world has ever known pointed out that to seek 'things' was to be working in the wrong direction," the lecturer declared.
Christ Jesus, she said, gave the recipe for security for all time in the following words (Matt. 6:31-33): "Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? . . . For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Jesus' teachings, she said, have lost none of their potency and are universally available today.
No one is excluded from the blessings of God's love, Mrs, Karpen stated. Declaring that the man of God's creating is inseparable from the changeless perfection of God, good, she said: "Man is the image and likeness of Life, God — Life which is expressed in right activity, spontaneous, unlabored, unerring activity, supporting harmony."
She added: "As the understanding of man as God's reflection unfolds more and more in our consciousness, we shall be found depending upon this relationship to maintain our security, our health, our substantiality, our very being. We shall more and more surrender any tendency to rely on things, on anything material. Instead we shall be found seeking the kingdom of God and trusting our Father-Mother God, who knows our need, to supply it out of His infinitude."
During the course of her lecture, Mrs. Karpen described how a practical understanding of the spiritual relationship of God and man brought healing to a young boy.
When about two years of age both of the boy's ears were operated upon because of abscesses, and the verdict of the doctor was that he would be entirely deaf, she related. "This verdict," she said, "caused the mother to turn to Christian Science for help, and through the effective prayers of a consecrated Christian Science practitioner the child was completely healed of deafness.
"Some four years later, at a time when a relative who was a doctor was visiting in the home, the child became ill. The relative diagnosed the case as mastoiditis, which he said would require an immediate operation. The child was, indeed, desperately ill, but the young mother had by this time become a student of Christian Science, and she turned immediately to Christian Science for help for her small son."
"The pain and the fever were quickly overcome and the boy recovered rapidly and perfectly," she said. The completeness of his healing of both the deafness and the mastoid condition was attested not only by medical diagnosis at the time but by his acceptance years later for combat military service, she added.
People are apt to believe that the size of a problem can limit the power of God, but nothing is impossible with God, she declared. "The rule and its perfection of operation never vary in Science," she said, quoting from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy.
Commenting on problems associated with aging, she declared that man's security from decrepitude, from a sense of uselessness, or from a lessening of opportunity, is found in the understanding of God and of man's relationship to Him.
"We learn in Christian Science," she said, "that man is not a victim of young age or old age; instead, he is ageless. He is young in spontaneity and joy, mature in discretion and understanding . . . He knows only the infinite now of God's goodness and love. He exists at the standpoint of infinite opportunity, in eternal security. It is never too soon or too late for one to know and to demonstration the infinite possibilities of his being as God's reflection."
Mrs. Karpen noted that all truly great natures have found strength and consciousness of security in prayer. "The effect of true prayer, is evidenced in one's being weaned from reliance on the mortal and material and in one's seeking the spiritually real," she declared.
"If we make our goal not for things, but for spiritual-mindedness and unselfed love," she said, "we shall be free from selfishness and self-seeking, and it will be impossible for our human experience to be barren and unsatisfying."