Archive for the ‘CS Perspective’ Category

Seeds of Love   Leave a comment

Loving All, Healing Hatred

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Expressing Christly love can begin humbly with a small, tender seed of spiritual perception that we all have the same Father, or origin, the one divine Spirit.

Each of us has the God-given ability to let the seeds of divine Love take root and flourish in our heart – and to help water them in the deserving hearts of others.

 

It’s certainly fulfilling to express love – to give generously, be supportive, and do unselfish things for family and friends. But it can be especially challenging – and especially important – to care for those who are struggling most to feel loved: the unlawful, the unruly, those who are dishonest or cruel. It can be tempting to think such individuals are not deserving of love.

I truly feel, though, that the genuine expression of heartfelt love – love that is derived from the Divine – has the power to permanently heal hatred in whatever form, whether it’s bullying on the playground or some other manifestation of harmful behavior on the larger world stage. “God is love,” the Bible states (I John 4:8)

When faced with evil deeds, we can strive to water the seeds of Christly love in our hearts – neutralizing any sense of revenge or indifference – so that we may more effectively reach out in prayer and compassion to those on whom evil appears to have made its mark. Right there God is seeing His children in their original, spiritual, sinless nature. And we can, too…..

Jesus lived this love with breathtaking boldness. He reached out to the destitute, the social outcasts, and the morally straying to heal them and restore hope and spirituality to their lives. Articulating a new precedent for humanity, he said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:44, 45).

In speaking of the capacity of good to triumph over evil, the Bible gives this promise: “The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1). Each of us has the God-given ability to let the seeds of divine Love take root and flourish in our heart – and to help water them in the deserving hearts of others.

 

These excerpts come from the article by Laura Clayton in  The Christian Science Monitor’s  A Christian Scientist’s Perspective and you can read or listen to the entire article here.

What if all I had to do today was to love?   Leave a comment

‘First on any list’

The beginning of a new year can inspire a feeling of renewal and a readiness to get things done. We might vow to tackle household projects we’ve put off, to work harder at our jobs or at school, or to get in better shape physically.

I like to make lists of the things I plan to do, and I always feel accomplished as I cross off each task and move on to the next. Not long ago, however, I was adding jobs to my list faster than I could cross them off. Time constraints and limited resources left me feeling overwhelmed and helpless.

As the pressure and stress mounted, I decided I needed to forget my list for a moment – I wasn’t getting anything accomplished anyway! – and pray. For me, praying often begins with putting aside my worries and plans and letting my thought be quiet. Then I can listen for direction from God, who I understand as the universal Mind that expresses intelligence, order, and clarity in its spiritual creation, which includes each one of us.

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Very soon a question came to my thought: What if all I had to do today was to love? This wasn’t what I’d expected. Actually, I had kind of hoped my prayer would lead me to some practical ideas about how to get everything done. Still, I did find this to be a very freeing thought, so I began to really consider it.

I remembered that once when Christ Jesus was asked what the most important law was, he answered by citing two commandments from the Hebrew Scriptures: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself’ ” (Matthew 22:37-39, Eugene Peterson, “The Message”).

I thought, How do I make this kind of love my first priority? I can start by gratefully and humbly acknowledging God as infinite Love and the source of all the love we express, then check my thoughts and actions throughout the day to be sure they are guided by Love.

Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching. Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 454).

After spending some time giving gratitude to God and praying to better see that all of God’s children are embraced in His infinite love, I returned to my list of jobs. I found that I was able to calmly and confidently take care of each one, having just the time and resources I needed.

What better way to begin a new year and the new activities and duties that come with it than to realize that loving God and humanity best guides our thoughts and actions, even as we make our lists and proceed to do what’s needed.

This article from  The Christian Science Monitor’s  A Christian Scientist’s Perspective was written by Heidi K Van Patten


Posted January 9, 2018 by cscanberra in CS Perspective, Love, Resolutions

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Deeds of love   Leave a comment

‘To love is to live’

Have you ever been touched by some act of lovingkindness so pure and genuine, so heartfelt and unselfish, that no words could describe its effect on you? Millions of such acts go on each day, hidden from the world, done quietly, persistently, 

 

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and sometimes at great personal cost or risk to those doing them. Such acts are rooted in the understanding, even in a small degree, that pure love underlies our very reason for existing. To love is to live, in a sense. Our lives are measured more by what we do than by what we say, and rise in the degree that we subordinate self-interest to the interests of others. Such love is the reflection of divine Love, God.

Such acts are rooted in the understanding, even in a small degree, that pure love underlies our very reason for existing. To love is to live, in a sense. Our lives are measured more by what we do than by what we say, and rise in the degree that we subordinate self-interest to the interests of others. Such love is spiritual, the reflection of divine Love.

One of the most profound and inspiring statements on the need for love to be expressed in heartfelt deeds was made by a man who had previously indulged in hatred and violence against a new religious sect springing up in ancient Israel. He was Saul of Tarsus – a brilliant Jewish scholar and lawyer who participated in ruthless assaults against the followers of Christ Jesus, after he had been crucified. And yet, one day, quite suddenly, Saul experienced a dramatic conversion. Temporarily blinded, he found shelter and eventual healing of his blindness from the very people he had been trying to destroy. Remarkably, he went on to become a great healer and Christian leader.

In his brief essay on the subject of “charity,” or spiritual love toward mankind, which has touched millions through the centuries, Saul, whose spiritual transformation earned him the new name Paul, establishes the ascendancy of genuine love over mere words or showy displays:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal…. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth … (I Corinthians 13:1, 3-8)

To express even a few of these characteristics of love toward others may seem like a tall order. But I find it encouraging to remember that deeds of compassion and kindness in the lives of many noble individuals have sprung up, phoenixlike, from the ashes of falsehood and ignorance. And in moments of prayer, when I’ve been especially clear that the love I express originates not in me, but in divine Love, my true spiritual source, it’s as though a veil is lifted from my eyes, so to speak, and I glimpse something of divine Love motivating me and working through my actions. I’ve seen the love that “never faileth” heal what appeared to be a crushing sense of grief or loss – and I’ve also seen it evaporate hatred and ill health. Hatred and discord simply can’t abide within the atmosphere of infinite Love, the all-present and all-powerful divine Spirit, or God. The discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, once wrote: “Heaven’s signet is Love. We need it to stamp our religions and to spiritualize thought, motive, and endeavor” (“Christian Healing,” p. 19).

Like Paul, we can yield to Christ, the true idea of Love, and awaken to a greater clarity of purpose and a desire to love more unselfishly. And we’ll feel pushed by Christ to go beyond words – to better deeds of love. That’s genuine living.

 

Moving Mountains   Leave a comment

shutterstock_160108343Within the past few years we have seen a tremendous accession of physical power to mankind.  We often hear it said that man now has the power to blast all human life from the earth if he wants to.  His latest achievement, the hydrogen bomb, seems a kind of blasphemous parody on the words of Jesus: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matt. 17:20).

The faith that has rocked the world with atomic explosions is a faith in man’s capacity to control nature through scientific method, but today one often finds it combined with a fearful doubt of man’s ability to control himself.

Christian faith may come to our rescue in this dilemma, but in its usual forms it is far removed from the blazing assurance and unlimited claims of primitive Christianity.  The sharp struggle between religion and science in the 19th century has resulted, for the most part, in a sort of gentleman’s agreement between the two—a state of peaceful coexistence, with the methodologies of science supreme in the practical concerns of life, and religion left to play over man’s interests as a kind of inspirational and institutionalized poetry.

The urgent need of our time is for a coherent view of life, at the same time religious and scientific … Read more …

This article by Robert Peel was originally published in the Christian Science Monitor and later in the Christian Science Sentinel of September 1, 2013.

Mobilized for peace   1 comment

A Christian Science perspective from The Christian Science Monitor by Liz Butterfield Wallingford 

“[W]ar is not inevitable,” noted a recent Monitor editorial, attributing this statement to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. It’s tempting to raise an eyebrow at this if we’re perusing a history book or listening to the news. But the Bible speaks of a God-given peace “like a river” (Isaiah 66:12).  

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Rivers flow – that’s their nature. So this peace that’s “like a river” isn’t just an absence of conflict. It’s a powerful force for good that we can discern by shifting our thought away from dwelling on the discord and fear, and looking instead to a deep spiritual peace that is so powerful that it actually precludes the existence of inharmony. Even when conflict seems inescapable, being willing to let the enduring peace of divine Love lift our fear and anger is a powerful way each of us can “mobilize for peace.

LOVE FOR ALL MANKIND   Leave a comment

The Commitment to love  

These words from a poem by Robert Burns, “Man’s inhumanity to man / Makes countless thousands mourn,” describe how hearts everywhere felt when they heard the news last month of a group of teens who taunted and laughed as they watched a man drown, doing nothing to help. Turning to prayer, contributor Judy Cole was reminded of Christ Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan, which so clearly illustrates Jesus’ words: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). To love – to be filled with a spiritual and pure love for our neighbor in a world where hate seems prevalent – is the only genuine way to contribute to the lessening of hate and brutality in the world. As the children of God, nothing can stop us from loving in such a powerful and healing way.

What is it that enabled Jesus to love despite the heinous treatment he witnessed against others and

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that was directed at him? His works point to the profound understanding he had of God as divine Love itself, infinitely more powerful than all the hatred he encountered.

The founder of The Christian Science Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy – who faced much injustice in her life – once wrote: “I will love, if another hates. I will gain a balance on the side of good, my true being. This alone gives me the forces of God wherewith to overcome all error” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 104).

Read the full article from The Christian Science Monitor’s : A Christian Scientist’s Perspective by Judy Cole here

Mothering love for children   Leave a comment

A Christian Science perspective by Michelle Boccanfuso Nanouche

Recognizing that all of us reflect divine Love’s care can contribute to a secure and healthy environment for our children.

 

At the time our daughter started the fourth grade in a new school, I was traveling extensively for work….Although she had a hands-on dad who happily covered all the bases, I bore much guilt, and this led to a combination of hovering over her when I was home and worrying when I was away. Seeking to eliminate the guilt and its unhealthy effects, I began to consider more deeply my role as her mother.

I thought of some of the things I’d learned through my study of Christian Science – for instance, that we are all created by God, each reflecting the nature and qualities of our divine source. From this I understood that we reflect God, divine Love, in unlimited ways. God is the infinite, illimitable Mother of us all – not as a person, but as the universal presence of Love. God’s mothering care is   always with us to guide, protect, cheer, cherish, uplift, and support.

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As I considered God as the true, spiritual Mother of each of us, I recognized that this was true for my daughter, too. Of course I had a responsibility to care for her. But I saw that mothering isn’t limited to one person’s physical presence. We each have an unbreakable relation to our divine Mother, who cares for us at all times and in all the ways necessary for us to thrive. My role as my daughter’s mom could include being a witness to her spiritual nature as a child of God. This idea brought me peace and light, because I knew I could be that spiritual witness at any time and in any place.

 

This article was published in The Christian Science Monitor, read it here

 

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