Archive for the ‘Peace’ Category

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

How the spirit of Christmas will bring ongoing peace to the world   Leave a comment

Most of us will be travelling during the Christmas holidays, even if we’re simply driving to the local mall and negotiating parking. Whichever mode of transport we take, we’ll be affected by the actions of others.

 

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Although travel can be frustrating at times, I’m finding there are always affirmative, upbeat things to notice as we go: the excited faces of children, the courtesy of others, and the patience of parents and travel staff. However, the presence of harmony in human affairs is not something that happens by mere accident, in a universe of chance. It is actually evidence that the underlying power that governs the universe is Love.

 

The birth of Jesus Christ beautifully illustrated that power. Despite threat of harm by King Herod, Love provided for the travellers and the ensuing birth, comfort and care in a very safe and private place.

The more consciously we acknowledge that divine Love is governing us and everyone, the more harmony we will experience, too.

 

Jesus’ profound mission was to make plain our divine nature as “the children of God.” So, whenever we glimpse ours or another’s true nature, we have, in effect felt “the Christ”, “the divine message from God to men…”, as thought-leader Mary Baker Eddy defines the Christ in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

 

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That voice speaks to everyone, and at all times of the year. When we have done the right thing instead of the wrong, we have been directed by the Christ. When we have been patient instead of irritable, we have conceded to the dynamism of the Christ. When we have made a sound choice among several tempting options, we have listened to the Christ and we have seen the true love that’s characteristic of Christianity in action. (from The Love and Dynamism of the Christ, G J Barratt)

During the Christmas Season many of us revisit the life of Jesus, who so completely demonstrated this power of the Christ to bring out harmony in everyday life. The wonder of his virgin birth was not an isolated miracle but evidence of a spiritual law in operation that was confirmed by the healing works later evident in his adult life. Today, more and more people are recognising that his life, although unique and especially blessed, points to a way of living and thinking that’s actually available to each of us.

 

Indeed, seeing beyond the limits of nationalism and religiosity to the universal Christ is at the heart of Christianity. Truly supranational, the message of “the Christ,” in Jesus’ words, was for us to be “of one mind,” “love your enemies,” “bless them that curse you,” and realise “the kingdom of God is within you” and within all.

From this viewpoint, we can claim that same spiritual nature Jesus exemplified as ours also, and that of every man, woman and child we meet in our travels this Christmas.

There’s really no secret to experiencing harmony in the carpark, on a long-haul flight or during a family get-together. It may largely depend on how we think of ourselves and others.

 

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Kay Stroud writes on the connection between consciousness, spirituality and health, and trends in that field. She practices Christian Science healing and is the Committee on Publication, spokesperson for Christian Science in NSW, QLD, ACT, NT. Blog: www.health4thinkers.com Twitter: @KayJStroud

Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men   1 comment

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$ dreamstime_10813042This recording is of the readings, on the topic, Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men, which formed part of the Testimony Meeting in Canberra on Wednesday 13 December.  Citations were taken from the Bible (King James version) and from the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

The title of the readings is taken from hymn 310 from the Christian Science Hymnal:

Sing, ye joyous children, sing. / Glorious is the Christ, our king, / Truth has come again to earth, /  Through the lowly Saviour’s birth. / Men and angels, anthems raise;  / Hymns of joy and shouts of praise. / Hear th’ angelic song again: / Peace on earth, good will to men. / Sing, ye joyous children, sing, / Glorious is the Christ, our king.

If you are in Canberra on any Wednesday please join us at 6.00 pm – our Testimony Meetings are open to everyone.  We are located on the corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets, Barton in the ACT.

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.

“Dinner” with the enemy   Leave a comment

By Jenny Sawyer

My group of friends and I really didn’t like the way this one girl was acting. She was rude, and she put others down to make herself look good. She’d also singled me out for particularly bad treatment. …

IMG_1310Even though Christ Jesus lived two thousand years ago, I still think of him as my go-to expert on relationships. So in considering how I could think more constructively about this girl, maybe even learn to love her, I took a look at the New Testament in the Bible to see how Jesus treated people who weren’t behaving their best. What I noticed was that Jesus willingly spent time with these individuals whom the Bible calls “sinners.” He even had dinner with them!

Are we willing to sit down, really take the time, and be witnesses to the God-created, good, spiritual nature in those we feel we dislike, even despise? I’ve taken to inviting one person each day to dinner—metaphorically speaking—be it an authority figure I’m unhappy with, or someone I feel hasn’t treated me very nicely. Then, in that quiet place of prayer, I sit with my concept of them until it’s polished, transformed….

Love’s Triumph Over Hate   Leave a comment

Silhouette of people watching sunset at lakeOne of mankind’s worst enemies is hatred.  It may be discomforting to be hated, but it’s injurious to do the hating.  One who hates, harboring intense animosity against another, sometimes feels the bad effects physically in tension and other unhealthy stimulation of the body.  These symptoms should warn him of the danger he is courting by hating.

Mary Baker Eddy quotes Hannah More as saying, “If I wished to punish my enemy, I should make him hate somebody.”  And elsewhere Eddy warns:  “Hate no one; for hatred is a plague-spot that spreads its virus and kills at last.  If indulged, it masters us; brings suffering upon suffering to its possessor, throughout time and beyond the grave.”  Yet she also reassures us, “Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.”

This article, Love’s Triumph Over Hate by Naomi Price, was originally published in the Christian Science Journal.  It is currently available on-line at JHS-online.  In it she examines the question:  How can we love when others hate? 

The Perfect Circle   Leave a comment

 

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