How empty are our conceptions of Deity! We admit theoretically that God is good, omnipotent, omnipresent, infinite, and then we try to give information to this infinite Mind. We plead for unmerited pardon and for a liberal outpouring of benefactions. Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.If we are ungrateful for Life, Truth, and Love, and yet return thanks to God for all blessings, we are insincere and incur the sharp censure our Master pronounces on hypocrites. (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 3:17–30)
This paragraph above made me sit up and listen recently. I usually never get past the ‘Are we really grateful…’ part because I thought I was, and am. But on closer inspection I noticed I was actually very grateful for the ‘things’ I have, or have been given. It alerted me that I wasn’t going high enough and being grateful for the very source – Life, Truth and Love. In life we do have things we need so I prayed to understand that if God is All then Life, Truth and Love can supply exactly that, All, and with those qualities available to me (and us all) I can never feel lack, or fear, that I shall be without, whatever normal needs occur. It changed my view and approach from fear (which I now see is ingratitude to God for all She already is) to peace.
A special thanks to the Practitioner who brought me to understanding this subtle but important shift in thought. Over the few weeks that followed I noticed my physical, spiritual and mental needs were being met in very loving and gentle ways, without worry or pleading. I am always in awe of the truths that bubble under and break through the mesmerism of life in such beautiful ways and bless us forever.
Love inspires, illumines, designates and leads the way
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary `baker Eddy p 454)
One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, “Love thy neighbor as thyself;” annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed. (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 340:23)
O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;
O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour,
Thou Love that guards the nestling’s faltering flight!
Keep Thou my child on upward wing tonight. (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 207:1)
I love that we get to start over each day. We don’t have to carry over our mistakes. It’s the same for the New year. No carrying on in the same ways that don’t work but a chance to be closer to God. Clearer at receiving Her gifts. Expectant of ongoing and abundant love, provision, supply, ideas, assistance, uplift. And more!
It’s always there. We can choose to make better choices every day. And every day see the benefit of that.
I like this quote from the Bible: ‘And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten …’ (Joel 2:25). So that even when we do make mistakes and they cost us in some way, the very next day(or moment) we have a chance to make a different choice about how we think and behave, and then to act like we are the children of God, joint heirs with Christ and as such live and enjoy the infinite wonders of the Father’s Kingdom which is his pleasure to give us.
At all times, in beautiful ways we can’t always fathom.
This makes me sigh with awe. I hope it does you, too! ~ Blessings.
Sometimes it’s hard to stay where we are with our challenges and trials, and not want to pack our bags and move to the Garden of Eden, spending time looking at the flora and fauna, chatting with friends and enjoying wonderful inspiration while we stroll around in such heavenly surroundings.
I have learned that the whole point of life is to bring this sense of the Garden of Eden into our experience as we go through those challenges and realise we are so loved by God, so held by Her peace and harmony, so very protected with that Divine armour, always led to Truth and Principle, always capable of what we need to do, even if we don’t think so at the time.
It can seem as if the Garden is just behind a veil or a mist or fog, and while we work towards uncovering more of God’s kingdom, more of Spiritual man, more of his blessings we can sense that unreality just fading away and what we knew and had all the the time makes itself known.
This week I had a glimpse of that while working on a challenge myself. As I prayed, I understood that the only power was God’s and the only effect of that power would have to be good. I wasn’t trying to fix a thing, but fix my thinking. The mist that had blocked my way and clouded my view began to clear and I found myself metaphorically in the Garden of Eden again.
This hymn helped:
God’s eternal Word is spoken, Piercing mists, around, above; Of eternal might the token, Emblem of eternal Love; Out of darkness, world-enthralling, Into Light, O hear it calling.
Word of God, O Word eternal, May we hear thy living voice, Learn the power of Love supernal, Learn obedience,-and rejoice; God’s commands forever heeding, Follow where His love is leading.
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 84:1, 2)
I hope you spend more time in the Garden of Eden, too.
Sometimes we can feel like we are privileged to know Christian Science and avail ourselves of the wonders it offers. While that can be the case, privilege also is a separation. Privilege is for a select few. At first when I thought of this word, I thought it was a good thing, a recognition of the specialness of something. One definition is, but it is also:
A right or benefit to some people and not to others
A special opportunity to do something that makes you proud
The advantage that wealthy and powerful people have over other people in society
It led me to reiterate in my prayers that we are all God’s children. We all have access to the good that God bestows. No one is, or can be, left out. It is an impossibility. There is no privilege of any sort. We are absolutely and wholly a part of the awe-inspiring creation that brings us all together under one Love, one Life, in joy.
Mary Baker Eddy says: One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, “Love thy neighbor as thyself;” annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 340:23)
When we pray, in Christian Science, to heal, one thing we have to keep in mind is that we are really asking to see what is already so. In the Bible we are told, in Genesis, that we are created in the image and likeness of God. So, in my mind’s eye I ask to see that very thing. Since understanding is seeing, I ask ‘What must I understand, God, in order that I can properly see myself as your expression?’
Do I look different from the image and likeness of Her? Interestingly, when we spiritually consider what we reflect, we don’t consider the hair colour, the height in inches, but we do consider the qualities. If we seek to understand more of our being, we only need to think of God’s qualities, and then we immediately know we reflect them, know that we are them, and they are us. We obviously can’t actually help but be them, can we?
The one thing we reflect more than all else, which shines brightly above, below, around, to the side … is Divine Love. And that naturally dispels any smudge on the glass, any impurity of thought, any misunderstanding of our being. There is nothing more powerful than Divine Love infusing our soul with the wholeness of our being, the truth of it, the principle of it, the spirit of it, substance of it, the life of it, the All in All of it.
My Mom used to say to me, when I was going forward to something new and unknown ‘The force behind you is greater than the force in front of you’ and that’s such a helpful line. She was right, because with that force and power, we are All in All. Nothing can stop God expressing itself. In all its glory and power, humility and joy, love and warmth, compassion and creativity, energy and peace.
I recently went to a Lecture by Christian Science lecturer, Phillip Hockley, where this idea of reflection was so well communicated and expanded on … so if you would like more on this idea of reflection that Mary Baker Eddy talked about in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures – here is the link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjfW_JaUnbc
We are often told to live in the moment, be in the now, not to look backward or forward, because there is only this moment. I often refer to Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of day:
DAY. The irradiance of Life; light, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love. (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 584:1)
She doesn’t talk about past or present, but shows us a sense of what is here, right now. In spiritual terms there is no time. One of her pupils wrote the following article which really brings to our attention what a wonderful thing day really is.
by Bicknell Young
When you awake in the morning, realise and repeat understandingly and, at once, ‘There is only one Mind’ and then, before the mesmerism of the day is taken in, establish the truth about Day; (S&H 584) ‘The irradiance of Life, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love. Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded. This unfolding is God’s day there shall be no night there.’
Establish your day in consciousness as unfoldment, know that the belief of time has no dominion over you or others – you have dominion over it. When you awake, know that you have time and opportunity to do all the things that you need to do this day. You have not a single thing to do this day but be clear in consciousness so that Mind may unfold. If you stick to this, you will have plenty of time and opportunity to do all the things you have to do. What have you to do today? You have but one thing to do today, and that is to know the truth.
When confronted with many hours work, just know the truth first thing. Do not start out with the belief that you have to do certain things – if you do that you are mesmerised already. You must know the truth before you get started. Knowing the morning that Day is the unfoldment of Mind’s plan and purpose. It is God’s day and is not governed by time. It is unfoldment and revelation that does not begin or end.
All the incidents in God’s day are already arranged and follow each other in order scientifically. Infinite unfoldment never begins and never ends, and is never interrupted for a moment. Infinite Mind knows no limitations. It cannot be restricted in achievement and its laws are irrevocable and cannot be interfered with. This day is Spirit, not matter. Do not let material sense say “I am” in any incident or creation. This day is the very action of Omniscience. This day has no presence but Omnipresence. The only power manifested this day is Omnipotence. This day does not take you or me or anybody nearer to a tomb in belief or at all. This day take you and me and all creation nearer to immortality. This day is immortality revealed and demonstrated. It has no night. It is eternal Light, the irradiance of Spirit, God.
No problem can enter God’s day. Mind is not engaged with problems. Mind unfolds its day without interruption. It has versatility and all originality, all variety. It is infinite and all its manifestations are complete, whole and satisfied, for man is a state of complete and supreme satisfaction.
Health means wholeness, one does not need to appear as anything else but whole. The original meaning of health is just that – just to be complete, nothing wanting, nothing lacking, and health we must have. It is divinely natural. Everyone may have it by claiming it. It can be had in Christian Science because Christian Science reveals the Law and Science of Life in Christ. It needs to be and can be demonstrated. You can demonstrate it. Do this and help others to do it. This daily work will do much, that you cannot appreciate at once. Right understanding of day lifts the burden of mortal belief and serves to dissipate the current mesmerism of mortal mind, as well as protecting you from its claims.
o O o
BICKNELL YOUNG was healed through Christian Science in 1890 when he was at the height of his musical career. He and his wife soon joined First Church of Christ, Scientist, Chicago, where Bicknell became a soloist. After Primary class instruction in 1895, he gave up his profession for the full-time practice of Christian Science. In 1902, after attending Normal class, Mr. Young became a Christian Science teacher. He was appointed to the Christian Science Board of Lectureship the following year, and served as a lecturer for some 26 years. In 1907, he lectured in the Albert Hall, London, to an audience of several thousand, and traveled the next year to Australia. From 1909 until 1913, he was a lecturer, teacher, and practitioner in England — returning briefly to the United States in 1910 to teach the Normal class under the Christian Science Board of Education. Bicknell Young was First Reader of The Mother Church from 1917 to 1920 and, on completion of his term, again became a lecturer. In 1937, he taught another Normal class.
These words are from the lovely hymn called Satisfied, by Mary Baker Eddy
It matters not what be thy lot,
So Love doth guide;
For storm or shine,
Pure peace is thine,
Through every moment of every day, we remain one with God, peace. No matter what takes place around us, our peace remains as a stable and gentle state of rest, wholeness, and joy. Divine Love lives there permanently, so we inhabit that realm of complete satisfaction, of complete uplift, compassion, strength, stability – abiding with our Father, Mother, God in the holy state of being where God is All and All, and All is satisfied.