Archive for the ‘Mary Baker Eddy’ Category

First Steps   Leave a comment

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

Wake up.  Bound out of bed. Feet on the ground.  Up and running.  Seize the day!

Some advocate such a start to the day.  Others are advocates for an “Oh no! Not another day” approach and pull the covers up and almost refuse to face the day.

To begin my day, I start with a more reflective approach.  It is not a reaction to the day.  It is a contemplative period beginning with a daily prayer.  I begin my day with the Daily Prayer from the Manual of the Mother Church:

“Thy kingdom come;” let the reign of divine Truth, Life and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!   (Manual of the Mother Church p41, Mary Baker Eddy)

This apparently simple prayer holds so much.  But why start the day with such an invocation?

From my experience, beginning with such an approach has a calming effect on my entire day.  It allows me to be less reactive to events that occur during the day.  There is a certain degree of ‘stillness’ within me, and this allows me to call this prayer to mind so much more easily throughout the day.  It reminds me of who I am and what I am capable of. This prayer allows me to feel more at ease with the world and engenders a degree of ‘spirituality’ within me.

Those days when I do not start the day with the Daily Prayer, I tend to encounter ‘problems’ – disharmony, reactions to situations, greater disagreement – thoughts tend to ‘race’, and it is much more difficult to rein in my thoughts.  I still refer to the Daily Prayer on such days, but getting back to such a more considered, reasoned and thoughtful mindset can be time consuming.

In Christian Science there are seven synonyms for God: Life, Love, Mind, Principle, Soul, Spirit and Truth.  If I start the day with such a thought – let God (Truth, Life, Love) be established in me – how can I not have anything but a great day?  This prayer goes further and asks that God’s reign rules out of me all sin. All sin, not just some, but ALL sin.  This is to start the day!  What a positive way to greet the day:  clear my thoughts; start the day seeking and finding all good within myself.  Building on this, the prayer then looks at God’s word to “enrich the affections of all mankind”.  Already at the beginning of the day, I go beyond looking at and thinking about myself and adjust my thoughts to include all mankind.

This is not a prayer without substance.  This is an applied prayer, with application for all my interactions and thoughts throughout the day.  Without the application of this prayer my day can be somewhat ‘pear-shaped’; by applying this prayer even before getting out of bed my day is so much better.

Words to Live By   Leave a comment

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston

There is immense wisdom in the old proverb, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty.” …

We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, — determined not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor even when it is, unless the offense be against God.

These words are taken from an article titled, Taking Offense, by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. They were published in her book, Miscellaneous Writings 1883-18896 pp223-224.

Discover the Mind that Heals   Leave a comment

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

This book is the textbook of Christian Science. It explains God intelligently, not as anthropomorphic, but as Mind and as Love. By aligning our thought with this divine Mind, peace and wellbeing are experienced. Mary Baker Eddy explains:

Not muscles, nerves, nor bones, but mortal mind makes the whole body “sick, and the whole heart faint;” whereas divine Mind heals.

When this is understood, we shall never affirm concerning the body what we do not wish to have manifested. We shall not call the body weak, if we would have it strong; for the belief in feebleness must obtain in the human mind before it can be made manifest on the body, and the destruction of the belief will be the removal of its effects. (p219: 11-20)

You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness. You should banish all thoughts of disease and sin and of other beliefs included in matter. (p208: 29-1)

Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears. (p392: 24-30)

Click here to purchase this book or to read it free on-line. It is also available for purchase or loan at the Christian Science Reading Room and bookshop located on the corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets, Barton, ACT.

Love is the Liberator   Leave a comment

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“A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping-post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon’s mouth. Love is the liberator”.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p225) by Mary Baker Eddy

How to Achieve a Win-Win Election   Leave a comment

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There are complaints that the campaigns of the leaders of the two major parties in our upcoming Australian federal election have been downright dull.

But could that be something to be grateful for?

While there have been some negative comments towards other’s policies, let’s hope that every candidate keeps the negativity to a minimum, especially personal criticisms.

Perhaps surprisingly, that’s not only good for the sake of civil discourse, science says it’s also good for the candidates.

study published in The Journal of Politics notes that “there is no consistent evidence in the research literature that negative political campaigning ‘works.’”  The report goes on to say, “While attacks probably do undermine evaluations of the candidates they target…they usually bring evaluations of the attackers down even more.”  A lose-lose situation for all concerned.

The mood of the public always dips during negative political campaigns.  Normal people with the best of motives can get caught up in the anxiety and anger of opposing sides.

There’s substantial research that suggests political sledging and nastiness can cause emotional extremes and unpleasant physical symptoms.   And the worse the negative campaign becomes, the more anxiety and illness may be experienced.

It seems that a more effective political campaign is built on honesty.  Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and a leading thinker on the connection between spirituality and experience wrote in her primary work, Science and Health: “Honesty is spiritual power,” a viewpoint that brings health and harmony to all aspects of our lives and the world around us.  “Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help” (p453) – forfeits success, peace and happiness.

Irrespective of our beliefs, most of us seek morally upright and harmonious government.

Apart from the obvious benefits to the electorate of honest politicians, another research study discovered that honesty is good for the politician too – the less people lie, the better they feel, both mentally and physically.

The constant barrage of human opinions also seems to play an exaggerated role during the lead up to an election.  We’d be better off if we rejected the kind of thinking that takes offense at harsh opinions or perspectives, or reacts in fear that they can harm us or our country.

Disciplining our own thought, refusing to dwell on another’s personality or personal opinions and their amplification in the media, is possible and will add to our continued wellbeing.

A spirit of fair play suggests that we give candidates space to have their say, and then it’s our task to discern their motives and look at their record.

For me, as a Christian, that means prayerfully listening for and being guided by universal, divine intelligence and wisdom that discerns the very contents of each heart.

I’d have to say that I’ve found it to be quite a challenge to set aside my past allegiances or political inclinations and to open-mindedly vote, according to the above guidelines, for the individual who I feel will do the most good for the electorate at any particular time.

As a Christian Scientist, specifically, I think we can aim for a win-win result in the 2016 elections, whatever our political stance, by considering this view expounded by Eddy:

“We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it…” (Miscellaneous Writings p224, Mary Baker Eddy).

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud, a life-long Christian Scientist, who is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our experience including our health.  She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion, and the APN regional network in Northern NSW and Queensland.

You can follow her blog at www.health4thinkers.com

or follow her on twitter:  www.twitter.com/KayJStroud

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