Our divine Mother’s day – every day   Leave a comment

 

woman holding baby

Photo by Elina Sazonova Pexels.com

Right now the world is in great need of a big dose of motherly love and a huge, comforting hug. Where could a loving embrace big enough to cover the whole earth and encircle all humanity come from?

It seems clear to me that this size hug and love could only come from God, 

“MOTHER. God; divine and eternal Principle; Life, Truth, and Love.”

(Mary Baker Eddy“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 592), whom I’ve come to understand through Christian Science as our Father as well as Mother. With the power of God behind it, such an embrace is more than just an expression of affection. It includes God’s protecting, healing power.

Leaning wholeheartedly on this divine Love has helped me navigate this period of widespread fear. I trust God, divine Mother, Love, to meet all my needs and to care for me as a loving parent would care for a child who was afraid. Each morning I pray that the whole world can also feel this healing Love hugging it and telling it not to be afraid.

The reason I feel so confident in divine Love is that I’ve experienced evidence of God’s protecting care for me and my family over the past 25 years. One message in particular that I have consistently been inspired by as a mother is a poem by Mary Baker Eddy titled “Mother’s Evening Prayer” (see “Poems,” pp. 4-5), which has been set to music in the “Christian Science Hymnal.” Its words help me better understand the message of God’s protecting power conveyed in the 91st Psalm in the Bible.

In raising my children in five countries over the years, in Africa and North America, I have sung this hymn hundreds of times. The mothering presence of divine Love that shines through the words has brought not only much-needed comfort in times of sickness or danger, but also healing. The hymn’s opening words, “O gentle presence, peace and joy and power,” point to qualities that God expresses and is the source of – qualities that are also expressed in each of us as God’s spiritual offspring.

Another line refers to God as “Love that guards the nestling’s faltering flight,” and another speaks of being under God’s “mighty wing.” This echoes the 91st Psalm, which explains that God covers us “with [Her] feathers, and under [Her] wings shalt thou trust” (verse 4).

Truly, as Science and Health explains, “Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man” (p. 256).

This Mother-Love is free to all to know and feel this day and every day, in every corner of the earth.

Read or listen to the entire article by Samuela Orth-Moore from The Christian Science Monitor’s ‘A Christian Science Perspective’ here

Divine distancing isn’t possible!   Leave a comment

woman sitting while reading a book
Photo by Daria Shevtsova 

If we’re feeling the pull of loneliness during these times of isolation and quarantine, it’s worth considering what God’s biblical promise, “I will not leave thee,” can mean for us today.

Lately, most people’s day includes physical distancing, isolation, even quarantine. There’s an understandable concern that this can lead to mental darkness, such as intense loneliness. But this doesn’t have to be the case, especially if we understand there’s always one tangible presence close at hand.

Toward the very beginning of the Bible, there’s a very encouraging promise God made to Jacob that truly applies to us all: “I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest … for I will not leave thee” (Genesis 28:15).

Contrary to how it may sometimes seem, time spent alone can be a time in which we feel anything but lonely. When we glimpse how God never, ever leaves us, we can start to feel quite connected with God and centered in Divinity’s pure goodness. It’s actually impossible to distance oneself from our divine source. God is always fully present. To begin to acknowledge this, even just a little bit, makes us feel so much less alone.

A friend of mine just returned from working several months in Antarctica. She had very little contact with the outside world. When I asked her, “What inspired and comforted you when you felt isolated?” she cited a line from Hymn 278 in the “Christian Science Hymnal”: “Pilgrim on earth, home and heaven are within thee” (P.M., adapt. © CSBD). It helped her realize that, as she put it: “I didn’t have to be in my home in North America to feel loved, connected, comforted, or safe. Wherever I was, God’s love and the home God gives me were already there.”

Christian Science reveals that God, who is divine Spirit, creates and consciously maintains each of us – not as mortals, but as immortal, spiritual individuals, safe in God. Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy explains in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “Infinite space is peopled with God’s ideas, reflecting Him in countless spiritual forms” (p. 503).

Yes, there is no parting from God’s love, companionship, or endless goodness. A desire to open our eyes to the holy fact that we cannot be distanced from God, good, is deep and comforting prayer. Now (and anytime!) is a time we can let divine Love bring a more solid awareness of how, even when we are physically isolated from others, we are in perfect unity with God, who brings healing comfort and companionship.

Read the full article from The Christian Science Monitor’s ‘A Christian Science Perspective’ here

The how and why and wonder of spiritual healing   Leave a comment

beth-packer This lecture explores the phenomena of spiritual healing as recorded throughout the Bible — healing that for centuries had allowed people to live their lives with dominion and not be victims to their circumstances.  And it shows by present-day examples, that such healing is not something of the past, but is a present possibility — an accessible transforming power for good in our lives today.

It’s shown how a knowledge of our inseparable relationship to God brings practical healing solutions and how practical, effective prayer can help us all experience divine power and protection in our lives.

Listen to this live webinar lecture given by Beth Packer here

Not afraid but not naive   1 comment

photo of man holding an umbrella
Photo by Connor Danylenko 

Many are voicing their fears and worries about the coronavirus. But Christ, ever “voicing good,” is the divine influence that calms our fears, reveals our safety in God, and brings healing to our lives.

I’ve been hearing the same voices many others in society have been listening to – media, government officials, friends. And the focus is pretty constantly the same: coronavirus. A lot of people have learned a new word, and too many of them are afraid of it.

But recently a little phrase has been surfacing in my thought. It’s this: Christ is voicing good, right within consciousness. What an incredible contrast to all the bad stuff I was taking in. It’s clear to me that the source of that more hopeful thought is Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” where she writes, “Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (p. 332).

Now these words weren’t telling me to ignore the difficult things going on in society. But they were assuring me that there was something more going on than all the discussion about contagion. The Christ is the Godlike nature of Jesus that he lived so fully and successfully in his human life. Jesus promised that this Christ always has existed and always will. It speaks to us of God’s goodness and all-power, and of man’s immortal, indestructible nature. And Jesus’ life proved that this “good” voiced by the Christ has a healing and calming influence in our lives. He gave evidence of this again and again as he came in contact with others.

Over a lifetime I’ve seen a wonderful consistency in what Jesus taught. I’ve seen evidence that the Christ can bring a spiritual poise that literally changes our experiences. Changes them in a way that may be unexplainable to the material senses, but is quite understandable to our more spiritual sense.

On a number of occasions, I’ve seen times when everyone expected contagion to take a particular course, and it didn’t work out that way at all. And I’ve experienced times when a kind of mental contagion was stopped in its tracks. Once when a doctor had set some bones after an accident, he explained a number of drugs I needed to take in order to protect myself from potential harm. He described one drug intended to deal with a condition that he said could be fatal. While I certainly wasn’t naive about his warning, my preference was to protect myself with what I had learned about the healing Christ over the years. But his warning remained a little like a contagion from his thought to my thought.

Not too many days later the very condition he had told me about developed. I did something I wasn’t accustomed to doing, and which wasn’t helpful. I looked up the condition in a medical publication. Sure enough, the word “fatal” was prominent in the description. At first, fear tried to take over. But I began to discern the Christ I had come to trust “voicing good,” and soon I felt a spiritual peace and confidence. And within a few days the condition disappeared as I prayed specifically about it.

This voicing of good is a promise to every individual on this planet. In fact, Science and Health also affirms that the Christ is “a divine influence ever present in human consciousness” (p. xi). No one is without access to this healing influence. As we open our hearts to its messages, we recognize that it’s the true and only influence, bringing a calm that changes the course of human discord.

You don’t need to know a lot about the Christ to open your thought to its divine presence and discern the good it is voicing. In fact, when surrounding voices are making their views too prominent in your consciousness, take a moment and acknowledge that Christ is voicing good, and listen for its message right within your mind, assuring you of your safety in God.

This article by Nathan Talbot was published in The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective column 

Easter renewal—showing us what we truly are   Leave a comment

IMG_2585Renewal doesn’t just mean new things start happening. God-inspired renewal shows us what was truly there the whole time—the freshness and permanence of God’s goodness, expressed in man and in all His creation. And it’s through spiritual sense, which Mrs. Eddy defines as “a conscious, constant capacity to understand God” (Science and Health, p. 209), that we discern this goodness. Spiritual sense is native to each of us as the children of Spirit.

So, Easter is about renewal—but not a renewal that involves fixing things once broken. It’s a renewal of our sense of things, showing us we were never broken. Easter shows us that God’s expression is never dipped into a well of desperation or lack. Easter shows us the permanence of God’s will, which is good and forever expressed in each of us. Christ Jesus demonstrated how to be what we truly are: the very image of our Father-Mother God, held forever in the perfect law of divine Love. 

Praise God, for our Redeemer lives!

To read the entire article by John Biggs from The Christian Science Journal, click here

 

Posted April 14, 2020 by cscanberra in Easter

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Spiritual Resources and Today’s Meaning of Resurrection   Leave a comment

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Dear Friends,

We invite you our friends all over the world to join us on our website for a free inspirational talk on Good Friday, April 10th, 7.30pm, Australia Saturday April 11th, 9.30am from Third Church of Christ, Scientist, in New York City. Our guest speaker, Leide Lessa, will deliver her Easter-themed address, “Spiritual Resources and Today’s Meaning of Resurrection.”

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Just imagine for a moment that you were there on the morning when Jesus arose from the dead! Imagine that you stood there in awe as you awakened to a deeper understanding of the spiritual resources of life.

This deeper understanding is what Leide Lessa, a Christian Science teacher and member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, will be talking about. She’ll explore how to find this same sense of healing and renewal available to you now over 2000 years later.

We invite you to experience this very special Easter talk online at ThirdChurchNYC.com from wherever you are! It will also be available later at this website.

“You have no power over me”   2 comments

a photography of a man standing on a tree
Photo by Lukas Rodriguez 

 Like everyone, I have faced fears of the coronavirus. But whenever they pop up, I have a prayerful response inspired by words of defense spoken by Christ Jesus as he was being questioned by Pilate before the crucifixion. My prayer is, “You have no power over me!”

Pilate, governor of the Roman province of Judaea, had demanded of Jesus, “Why don’t you talk to me?” and continued, “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above” (John 19:10, 11, New Living Translation).

Jesus was not afraid of Pilate. He understood that his life was spiritual, in the hands of God, and that there wasn’t anything Pilate could do to stop him from succeeding in his mission. The merit of his faith was proved a few days later when he walked out of the tomb as he had predicted, having overcome death. He had proved that God was the only power over him.

Today, reports of contagion, infection, and death fill the airwaves and blanket the internet. Rather than being afraid, we can respond from the same basis of spiritual authority and dominion that Jesus did, when he told Pilate that he could have no power over him unless it were from God. We can follow Jesus’ example of unwavering faith in God and neutralize threats to our health with a clear understanding of God’s omnipotence. We can find safety in knowing that God is bigger and more powerful than any fears of a virus!

A few months ago, while traveling, I got very sick with flu-like symptoms that implied I was going to suffer a long time. I prayed diligently for relief, but felt I was losing the battle as symptoms worsened. As I groped for what to pray about, a glimpse of God’s almighty power suddenly lit my thought. The battle was not mine, I saw—it was God’s! God was the power that would defeat the disease, reverse its symptoms, and restore my health.

My feeling of helplessness vanished as I accepted God’s might at work on my behalf. I could trust God to work out spiritually what I was not able to do humanly. I felt a peace that signaled a turnaround, and soon fell into a sound sleep. When I awoke in the morning, all symptoms were gone. I was free. The suggestion that disease could displace God’s harmonious control over my being was proven false.

We are not helpless in the face of the coronavirus.

We can apply the same truths to the fears we might currently feel. The Christian Science textbook includes a “scientific statement of being,” which explains in its first sentence, “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 468). A virus, as matter, does not possess intelligence. It cannot plot, plan, or execute. It is mindless. Any effect associated with it is not coming from the virus itself but from fears and false beliefs about it built up in the public consciousness. The good news is that these fears and false beliefs can be reversed through an understanding of God and God’s all-power. As Mrs. Eddy wrote, “At a time of contagious disease, Christian Scientists endeavor to rise in consciousness to the true sense of the omnipotence of Life, Truth, and Love, and this great fact in Christian Science realized will stop a contagion” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 116). 

A consciousness that God—divine Life, Truth, and Love—has all power stops a contagion by dissolving the fears and false beliefs that spread disease. This is what happened during my night of suffering. I saw the omnipotence of God and lost my fear. Once my fear was conquered, the disease went away.

Jesus consistently illustrated the ability of God’s might to reverse the symptoms of disease. In one case, he healed the mother-in-law of his close follower, Peter. The Bible records, “When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him” (Matthew 8:14, 15, New Living Translation). Jesus knew that there is no power apart from God, and this understanding enabled him to heal and bless others, including this woman. Her fever vanished, and health was restored.

We are not helpless in the face of the coronavirus. When fears surface about its spread, we can speak to those fears with the authority of spiritual understanding and declare, “You have no power over me!” When we see fearful images of the disease depicted in the media and those images want to linger in our thoughts, we can keep them out of our consciousness by accepting the truth of these words: “You have no power over me!” If symptoms appear on the body indicating the disease, we can vehemently protest, “You have no power over me!” backed up with an understanding of God’s omnipresence. It is this spiritual apprehension which dissolves those symptoms and restores health.

As Jesus understood, God is the only power over us. This is a demonstrable truth that we too can understand and prove.

Contagion   Leave a comment

beach coast island landscape
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok

Whatever man sees, feels, or in any way takes cognizance of, must be caught through mind; inasmuch as perception, sensation, and consciousness belong to mind and not to matter. Floating with the popular current of mortal thought without questioning the reliability of its conclusions, we do what others do, believe what others believe, and say what others say. Common consent is contagious, and it makes disease catching. 

People believe in infectious and contagious diseases, and that any one is liable to have them under certain predisposing or exciting causes. This mental state prepares one to have any disease whenever there appear the circumstances which he believes produce it. If he believed as sincerely that health is catching when exposed to contact with healthy people, he would catch their state of feeling quite as surely and with better effect than he does the sick man’s.

If only the people would believe that good is more contagious than evil, since God is omnipresence, how much more certain would be the doctor’s success, and the clergyman’s conversion of sinners. And if only the pulpit would encourage faith in God in this direction, and faith in Mind over all other influences governing the receptivity of the body, theology would teach man as David taught: “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”

The confidence of mankind in contagious disease would thus become beautifully less; and in the same proportion would faith in the power of God to heal and to save mankind increase, until the whole human race would become healthier, holier, happier, and longer lived. calm, Christian state of mind is a better preventive of contagion than a drug, or than any other possible sanative method; and the “perfect Love” that “casteth out fear” is a sure defense.

This article is by Mary Baker Eddy from Miscellaneous Writings

Posted April 2, 2020 by cscanberra in contagion

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Certainty in uncertain times   Leave a comment

beach dawn daylight horizon
Photo by Tatiana 

When life’s storms roar, sometimes it can seem the only certainty is uncertainty. But turning to God, the unchangingly loving Principle of the universe, opens the door to progress and healing.

 

This article by Susan Booth Mack Snipes appeared in The Christian Science Monitor.

 

I’ve heard it said that the one thing you can count on is that you can’t count on anything. The changing uncertainties of human existence would tend to support such a sentiment. But are chaos and variableness really the foundation of existence, or is there another, more reliable Principle we can base our lives on?

I grew up singing a hymn from the 1932 “Christian Science Hymnal” that has pointed my thought to the divine Principle that is God. The hymn begins:

In heavenly Love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?
(No. 148, Anna L. Waring)

At first glance this may just seem comforting, but I’ve found the message is so much more than that – it’s affirmative and powerful. What a startling concept: “no change my heart shall fear … for nothing changes here.” Where is this “here” where nothing changes? The hymn states it right up front: “In heavenly Love,” which is another name for God.

Christian Science explains that God isn’t a person who sits on a throne in the clouds picking and choosing who to listen to and what to fix. God is the Principle of the universe – fixed, stable, perfect, and constant. The Bible assures us of the allness and onlyness of God. The whole of existence is one infinite Principle, divine Mind, and its manifestation: man and the universe, not based in matter, but entirely spiritual and flawless. Mary Baker Eddy writes in the textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, – perfect God and perfect man, – as the basis of thought and demonstration” (p. 259).

But what about life’s storms that roar around us? We can’t be simplistic about this. And it’s not appropriate to pretend nothing needs to be solved when humanity is crying out for healing. But dealing with problems, no matter how huge they might seem, does not require us to ignore divine Principle. Actually, an even greater reliance on this unchanging Principle opens the door to progress and healing.

What I am learning is that such situations don’t actually present another version of truth or reality, but are distortions or misinterpretations of the one and only Truth, or God. All the while, the spiritual reality is what is seen from the standpoint of divine Mind, God, rather than from the limited viewpoint of our physical senses: life as entirely spiritual, and God’s care for His spiritual sons and daughters as unlimited and eternal.

Applying these truths in our daily lives takes a willingness to give up our own view of things and to let God be the interpreter of God’s own universe. Science and Health explains: “The divine Principle of the universe must interpret the universe. God is the divine Principle of all that represents Him and of all that really exists. Christian Science, as demonstrated by Jesus, alone reveals the natural, divine Principle of Science” (p. 272).

I have had countless examples of the healing effects of prayerful yielding to God’s viewpoint. One such occasion was years ago when I was experiencing pain in my chest. As I prayed over several days, affirming that God is the immortal Life of all and each of us is the spiritual expression of that Life, the pain lessened.

What certainty and comfort there is in realizing that what we see through physical sense is not the fixed fact about God and God’s children! Yes, we may have to practice yielding to God’s view of the universe in order to more consistently see evidence of divine harmony, but we always have a God-given capability to do this. Our lives and our livelihoods are immovably fixed in Principle, divine Love, whose goodness is unshakable. With this knowledge (even in small degree), we can be up and running to meet life’s challenges with grace and healing humility.

Shielded from contagion during air travel   Leave a comment

scenic photo of pink skyby Vitor Almeida

 

The author of this article was on a plane when her traveling companion was struggling with flu symptoms. She realised that “rather than succumbing to fear, there was something more constructive and health-promoting that I could do while sitting there in my seat. It is an idea I read in a book written by Mary Baker Eddy,.. It says: “… keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. … Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 210).

“God communicates directly to each of us purposeful, powerful, and wise thoughts that help us recognize this spiritual reality. These thoughts are an antidote to fear of illness, shedding light on what is right and true about us all. They protect, help, and heal. The Bible tells us, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, New King James Version).”

She found that herself and her friend were healthy at the end of the day.

Read this article from The Christian Science Monitor, by Susan Tish here

Find A Daily Lift on this subject: listen to it here

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