Archive for the ‘Christian Science Perspective’ Category

Sheltered ‘under the shadow of the Almighty’   Leave a comment

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He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” … He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.
Psalms 91:1, 2, 4, New King James Version

Step by step will those who trust Him find that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 444

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Posted September 15, 2018 by cscanberra in Christian Science Perspective

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Harmony and diversity – together   Leave a comment

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In the wake of France’s celebration as two-time champion of the soccer World Cup (1998 and 2018), many are surfing on a wave of optimism that the momentum of hope and pride might help heal economic and social fractures, especially among French youth.

This contrasts strikingly with the feeling that has been expressed by many disillusioned young people, that they don’t really “belong.” But I believe all of us are valuable, throughout all times and despite the distinct geography of our origins, and we can realize this by considering a more universal and spiritual sense of our identity.

Christian Science discoverer Mary Baker Eddy, who founded The Christian Science Monitor with the object “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind,” wrote in her revolutionary book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry. His origin is not, like that of mortals, in brute instinct, nor does he pass through material conditions prior to reaching intelligence. Spirit is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being” (p. 63).

This approach to thinking about our identity has been expressed in this song in the Bible: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalms 139:14). As we discover infinite Spirit as the real source of our being, both the origin and purpose of our identity shine forth in their true light, and limitations, including those stemming from our environment or education, fall away.

May the liberating universal sense of spiritual worth that each man, woman, and child is entitled to feel guide our interactions with one another.

Click here to read or listen to the entire article by Myriam Betouche from The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective

Out of the depths of depression   1 comment

P1000397_2.jpgOne night, as I lay in bed marveling at the unusual quietness of the evening, I began to consider some of the things I’d recently read that were gaining traction in my thought. Two that stood out were this beautiful verse from the Bible, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalms 61:2), and a line from Science and Health: “The three great verities of Spirit, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, – Spirit possessing all power, filling all space, constituting all Science, – contradict forever the belief that matter can be actual” (pp. 109-110). I saw that God, the divine Spirit, made us not as defective mortals, but as the spiritual expression of His limitless love.

After a few minutes of pondering these ideas in the darkness, my thought suddenly became startlingly clear. It was as though, without realizing it, I had been held under water for a very long time, when all of a sudden I was unexpectedly released and shot to the surface. For two weeks after, all my waking moments were suffused with an awareness of God’s infinite presence. I felt genuine, boundless joy for the first time in years.

For the entire contribution by Dean Coughtry in a Christian Science Perspective from The Christian Science Monitor listen or read here

Value that’s not contingent on circumstance   Leave a comment

shutterstock_169062386A woman I know spent her early years wishing she’d never been born. She knew she wasn’t wanted from day one. In fact, even before she was born she was referred to as “Calamity Jane.” Her family situation included mental illness, physical abuse, and alcoholism. As an adult, she still felt trapped by the circumstances of her birth……

Imagine her enormous relief when she read these words in the Bible and glimpsed that they were true: “Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). This shows that we are all actually children of God. As such, we inherit the characteristics of our divine Parent: we are spiritual, valued, and whole.

The woman came to realize that God, who is good, loves us unconditionally and that our worth isn’t determined by genes or early childhood experiences. And she saw how recognizing these spiritual facts of our existence enables us to live them. Her life turned around, and instead of falling into the same destructive patterns her parents had, she became productive and successful.

The first line of the Lord’s Prayer shows us that God is “our Father.” In Science and Health, there is a spiritual interpretation of this line: “Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious” (p. 16). A life that expresses harmony because our divine Parent is all-harmonious? Wow! Is such a thing possible? Absolutely!

This article by Deborah Huebsch can be listened to or read in The Christian Science Monitor

 

Trusting God, finding home   Leave a comment

P1000710 Our little condo sold before we had found another place to live. While we were able to make temporary living arrangements and borrow a car, the resulting nomadic and uncertain lifestyle felt deeply unsettling to me. As there were no suitable homes in the city available in our price range, an air of hopelessness began to creep in. Discouraged and a bit frightened, I turned earnestly to God in prayer – something I’d found helpful many times before.

I spent hours carefully reading the Bible, pondering what I read, listening for the mental nudge of God’s direction, and acknowledging His loving care for my family and for everyone. These lines from a favorite hymn in the “Christian Science Hymnal brought me great comfort:

Home is the consciousness of good
That holds us in its wide embrace;
The steady light that comforts us
In every path our footsteps trace.

(Rosemary C. Cobham, alt., No. 497)

 

If consciousness is the true expression of home, as the hymn says so beautifully, I saw that my role was to continue to listen for inspiration and trust God’s goodness, and keep that focus in my consciousness. If my thoughts were filled with qualities such as love and gratitude, I wouldn’t have enough mental space left for worry, which is a form of fear. I’ve found many times in my life that the active expression of love, gratitude, and other spiritual qualities results in transformation both of my mental outlook and of whatever experience I’m going through.

As we continued to pray with these ideas, we felt inspired to put in an offer on a particular home, even though we’d previously made an offer on it that had been rejected. This time, however, the offer was accepted and the sale terms were resolved within just a few days; a month later, we moved in. I was touched by how quickly all this happened and felt it was an affirmation of the power of prayer.

To read the full article from The Christian Science Monitor’s A Christian Science Perspective by Jennifer McLaughlin or to listen to it, click here

Prayer beyond words   Leave a comment

P1050983 (1)True prayer isn’t just asking for goodness, love, and peace. It is letting God show us how to live them.

Recently I learned of a strong example of what it means to live consistently with our prayers. Hiroshima, Japan, the first city that experienced having a nuclear bomb dropped on it, flourishes today, beautiful and vibrant. While hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city every year offer prayers, many of its citizens also pray for and are devoted to the elimination of nuclear weapons. In 1949 at Hiroshima’s request the Japanese parliament declared it a City of Peace, which makes it a natural location for the many peace conferences it hosts.

Without a doubt, true prayer involves not just words but the practical expression of goodness, kindness, and love – qualities that prove the sincerity of our prayer. Prayer finds its expression in a change of one’s own heart and in one’s life. It becomes practical when it brings about a change of thought for the better; it’s inseparable from the action that flows from and illustrates that change of thought.

So true prayer doesn’t just remain at the mental or verbal level – it is lived! This may mean that we simply express more patience and goodwill toward others as a result of our prayer, or, as in Hiroshima, prayer may result in taking action that stimulates progress and positive change on a wider scale. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, pinpoints the natural relationship between prayer and working for change. She writes: “In public prayer we often go beyond our convictions, beyond the honest standpoint of fervent desire. If we are not secretly yearning and openly striving for the accomplishment of all we ask, our prayers are ‘vain repetitions,’ such as the heathen use. If our petitions are sincere, we labor for what we ask; and our Father, who seeth in secret, will reward us openly” (p. 13).

 Sometimes we may be tricked into thinking of prayer and action as being on two sides of a room – prayer on one side and action on the other. But prayer and the genuine expression of that prayer – taking form in a greater expression of compassion leading to inspired human actions – are inseparable and stand as one.

As we understand and grow in the expression of God’s goodness in our own lives, our prayers go beyond words to being an effective and powerful force for good.

This article from The Christian Science Monitor by Lyle Young can be  read here

It’s never too late to experience healing   Leave a comment

Otama cliff top +When my daughter was still very young, joint problems developed in one of my hands. As the condition worsened and my knuckles became disfigured, I feared that perhaps it was too late to stop the degenerating process that seemed to have taken root.

As this problem emerged, I became very conscious of a spiritual hunger in me that I had been putting to one side for some years in the face of day-to-day life with school, a career, and then family. But I knew the Bible to be a source of healing, so I turned to the words of the prophet Isaiah and found a comforting message of God’s power to meet our need even when a situation seems beyond hope. Isaiah wrote: “He will not break off a damaged cattail. He will not even put out a smoking wick” (42:3, God’s Word Translation).

I thought of a flower blowing in the breeze until its stem is so weakened that the blossom head droops. And I considered a candlewick burnt until only a single plume of smoke remains to indicate the flame that once had been. These metaphors illustrate what would seem to be past saving. And the tendency may be to hasten the seemingly inevitable – to snap off the head of the flower or to quench the last ember.

But renewal is a reasonable expectation when we understand the healing and saving nature of the divine Spirit, God. ……..

At one point I looked down at the disfigurement and said aloud to myself, “That has nothing to do with me.” Nothing had changed physically, but my understanding of my nature had shifted from a material to a spiritual base. When I looked at my hand, it was as if I were looking at a dark shadow made by “a declining sun.” Unafraid, I knew the shadow was without substance or power to harm and would pass off me.

When I woke the next day, my knuckles were perfectly normal, smooth, supple, and painless, restored to normal color and function – in a word, perfect. And in the many decades since, no such symptoms have ever recurred.

The yearning to understand God, the immortal Spirit, as the source and maintainer of us all reveals what it means to be truly and fully spiritual as God’s creation – including experiencing the beauty, grandeur, and fullness of life that we at all times have every right to enjoy.

In order to read the full article by Michelle Boccanfuso Nanouche from the Christian Science Monitor’s A Christian Science Perspective and follow the transformation of the writer’s thought, click here

Photo credit: Maggie Johnson
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