“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7) Below are copies of articles from the Christian Science periodicals that bring healing.
To find more, please go to JSH Online at The Mother Church website, christianscience.com https://jsh.christianscience.com/?icid=Homepage:utility-menu:JSH-Online
The Bible—victor in the battle against fear
By Carol Rockhold Miller
As I arrived at my daughter’s nursery school one day, I encountered a mother in a state of near panic. She had just learned that one of our children’s classmates was ill with scarlet fever. The fear and helplessness that she and others felt took me by surprise, and soon I also began to feel fearful.
As I turned my thought to God for peace and guidance, the Bible verse “Be not afraid of their faces” came to mind (Jer.1:8). At that moment, I paraphrased it to myself, “Be not afraid of their names.”
Throughout the Bible, the message is brought out in countless beautiful verses and wonderful stories that the presence and power of God, divine Love, the Father and Mother of all, are an unfailing help in trouble. I began to see this situation as the temptation to believe that there could be a particular circumstance, a particular disease with a dreaded name, outside of God’s ever—presence and not subject to His all—power. This, I knew, was impossible.
Immediately I felt calmed. I vowed to myself not to be “afraid of their [names].” During the next few days I pondered this message and other comforting words from the Bible and felt peaceful and confident that God’s love was in complete control, caring for each of His children. As it turned out, the young girl recovered quickly, returned to school, and no one else in the school came down with that trouble. We don’t know always the full effect of our prayers, but I do know that my prayer and the inspiration I found in the Bible calmed my fears about my daughter’s well-being, about her classmate who was ill, and about all of the children in the school. Daily study of the Bible, in conjunction with Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy, has been a wonderful source of inspiration and strength. I like to begin my day by reading passages from the Bible and establishing in my thought that God is the only power in the universe, the only Mind, and that He is governing everyone and every event of that day in perfect harmony.
Each of us is God’s loved child, forever safe in His tender care.
In numerous everyday situations, and especially in more challenging moments such as the one that morning at school, the Biblical messages of comfort, help, courage, and reassurance have been of inestimable value. For example, “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders” (Deut. 33:12). And the ninety-first Psalm promises, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Jesus often said, “Be not afraid.” This is indeed possible for anyone as he or she ponders, prays with, and trusts the truth of the Bible that each of us is indeed God’s loved child, forever safe in His tender care. The steps we make toward this goal of overcoming fear may seem tiny, but we can take these steps to know God and to assert our freedom from anything that would try to rob us of our health and peace.
“I AM come,” said Jesus, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Truly, abundant life is what we need to-day, and not life hedged about by unjust, terrifying physical laws, nor dependent upon physical organs, not life threatened, blighted, and overcome by a multitude of ever increasing diseases. The great need of mankind is Truth. In innumerable ways everywhere men are searching for health and life which can only be found through a knowledge of Truth. We find compulsory health laws, medical inspection of school children and factory employees, health crusades among the children to teach them what hygienic rules to follow in order to be well. Newspapers have their daily health columns. Colleges have introduced compulsory health courses. In spite of all this, recent inspectors have pronounced fifty per cent of the school children abnormal. Army test showed appalling physical defects among the soldiers. With this as an excuse an ever increasing health program is being urged upon the public, and men’s thoughts are being turned continually toward disease and fear instead of health and dominion.
Have not men been looking in the wrong direction for health and life? In looking to the body for health and life they have found only pain, disease, imperfection, and death. Indeed it would be well if men would turn from the study of the human body, of diseases, of material remedies and precautions to the greatest healer of all time, Christ Jesus, and learn of him. Jesus paid no attention to the mechanism of the human body; he never diagnosed disease, never laid down health laws, never in the slightest degree gave heed to material laws. In fact, he set aside material laws in a most startling manner. Christian Science brings men back to Jesus’ method of healing. It teaches them to believe his promises and to do the works that he did, to find in the Bible not only spiritual regeneration, but physical as well.
“With Christ, Life was not merely a sense of existence, but a sense of might and ability to subdue material conditions,” wrote Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, on page 42 of “Unity of Good.” How was it that Jesus was able to obtain this power over material conditions? It was not because he was familiar with the symptoms of palsy, leprosy, insanity, and so on, that he was able to heal these diseases. It was not because he knew in minute detail the structure of the eye, the ear, or throat, that he was able to heal the blind, the deaf, and the dumb. It was because he knew God, His power and perfection, and understood that man is His image and likeness.
Mrs. Eddy explains Jesus’ method of healing very clearly, in these words, beginning on page 476 of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.” You may ask where in Jesus’ teachings can one find a single reference to man in the image and likeness of God. Could Jesus have stated it more concretely than this: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth?”
There is nothing in Jesus’ entire record that gives us any excuse for thinking that these mighty works were possible only to him. In fact he persistently pointed out that these works would follow them that believed. The requisite was to believe—to understand; and this demanded spiritualization of thought. This is a thing that cannot be bought, as is brought out in Peter’s rebuke to Simon, the sorcerer, as related in the eighth chapter of Acts. Neither is it something that comes as a special gift to a chosen few without any effort on their part. On the other hand, spiritualization of thought was and is attainable only through consecration, through turning to God and refusing to give power to matter or sense testimony.
Jesus’ teachings fall on many dull and doubting ears to-day as they did in the first century. To many they are nothing more than words or records of remarkable, unexplainable things that happened long ago. To some they bring a vague comfort, while to others they bring life, health, and hope, for they know that these teachings can be practically applied to-day. They know this because they have proved it through the understanding of the Bible gained through Christian Science. To Christian Scientists this statement of Jesus’ means more for their health, happiness, and life, than all the physiology, medical research, and medical knowledge in the world: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
The first requisite for life and health, then, is to know God. We naturally turn to the Bible to learn about God, because the Bible is for the most part a record of men who were earnestly seeking to know God, and whose experiences proved their knowledge of God. The Bible tells us that He is Love, Spirit, Life, too pure to behold evil, and describes Him as all-wise, all-powerful, perfect, just, steadfast, and eternal, the lawgiver, the creator, the Father of all. Consequently, the image and likeness of God, as the Bible defines man, must reflect all these qualities, and hence be harmonious, perfect, loving, honest, strong, intelligent, and eternal. There is no disease in reality nor imperfection of any kind. Thus seeking to know God, we begin to find the real man and realize as the psalmist did that “it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” Jesus explains further that to gain life eternal we must also know Jesus Christ whom God sent. To do this we must understand Jesus’ mission; we must realize that the work which he did was to show us how to do ours, and that it is our privilege throughout all time to overcome sin, sickness, and death by following his teachings.
The question may be asked, How can just knowing the truth about God and man heal organic disease? The human mind desires a more complicated, more spectacular, and even more painful or terrifying process. Undoubtedly this was very much the way Naaman felt when he came to Elisha to be healed to his leprosy. Naaman had his own belief about how he was to be healed. It was to be a spectacular method, befitting his station and the seriousness of his malady. To go and wash in Jordan seven times, in the muddy, insignificant, little stream Jordan in order to be healed of leprosy seemed absurd and ridiculous, and he was duly enraged. Naaman’s servants, however, detected the flaw in his thinking and pointed out to him that he would gladly have obeyed had the prophet demanded some great thing, and then showed him how much easier and more natural it would be to do the simple thing that Elisha asked. So it was that when Naaman’s mental state had changed, when he was willing to lay aside his pride and his opinions as to how he was to be healed, and was obedient, and humbled himself as a little child, then the leprosy left him. It was not the water of the Jordan that healed him. That water never before or never again has healed leprosy. It was Elisha’s understanding of God and Naaman’s willingness to turn unreservedly for help, that opened the way for the operation of God’s law of healing. Even Naaman gave all credit to the God in Israel.
Knowing the truth about God and man does heal organic disease and every kind of disease or inharmony. The cause of all disease is mental, and therefore the cure of disease must come through Mind, through the action of the divine Mind destroying the human fear of disease, and hence acting beneficially upon the health. This is not mere theory. It has been proved countless times in cases pronounced incurable by the medical profession, and reveals the wonderful possibilities of growth Christward.
From the November 1912 issue of The Christian Science Journal
IT is probably safe to say that the great majority of people are quite well acquainted with the word contagion, and that many of these are inclined to regard it wholly from the view-point of materia medica; that is, wholly in the sense conveyed by Webster when, in beginning his definition of the term, he says that contagion is “the transmission of a disease from one person to another by direct or indirect contact.”The Bible teaches that God is Spirit, is good, and is All-in-all. The prophet says of Him, “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.” With this mighty fact before us, what is the conclusion to be drawn? Simply that spiritual facts constitute the only reality, the only power and presence, because they are of God, who is the only cause and creator; and that so-called evil—sin, sickness, sorrow, and death—is unreal, without either power or presence, because it is not of God.What is humanly asserted to be evil and its manifestations is the expression of what Christ Jesus most emphatically called “a liar, and the father of it.” In other words, the works of evil are but the objective expressions, the false pictures, of erroneous, illusive material belief, that belief which, in flagrant disobedience to the first command of the Decalogue, would set up “other gods,” and then bow down before them; that belief which would seek out “many inventions” of sinful sense, of disease, distress, and destruction, and then, in order to excuse and consequently to establish itself, would denominate these very inventions the ways, means, and plans of a good and loving God, at the same time boldly declaring,—
‘Tis not in man
To yield a reason for the will of heaven
Which is inscrutable.
Christian Science teaches that what seems to be evil, with its terrorizing effects, exists only in the belief of misguided, mistaken mortal man. It is not of God, nor is it believed in by the real or immortal man who, as the first chapter of Genesis so clearly portrays, is God’s own image and likeness, having dominion over all the earth. It may be that mortal man will, either wittingly or unwittingly, continue for some time to conceive and bring forth that which must ultimate in pain and disaster, distress and death; but sooner or later he must play the part of the prodigal,—give up the dry, parched husks of materiality. Then we must prepare the way for divine Truth to correct and destroy the ignorant and enslaving beliefs and practises by dealing gently and kindly with those about us. We must have tender and loving respect for their views, and must, as legitimate opportunities permit, reason with them, and not for a moment think of antagonizing or embittering them.
Just as the children of Israel, in their seemingly long and hard journey from Egypt to the promised land, from matter to Spirit, were obliged to respect and obey the somewhat rigid and exacting social and moral requirements laid down by Moses, the very requirements which Christ Jesus was years afterward to replace largely with the divine law of love, forbearance, and mercy, so today we, as a common brotherhood interested in the welfare of each and all, are summoned to respect and obey the laws of our city, state, and nation. In connection with this, and under the caption of “Obey the Law,” Mrs. Eddy writes as follows in the Boston Herald of Feb. 17, 1901: “Whatever changes belong to this century, or any epoch, we may safely submit to the providence of God, to common justice, individual rights, and governmental usages.” Again, in The Christian Science Journal (April, 1901), she writes: “I believe in obeying the laws of the land. I practise and teach this obedience, since justice is the moral signification of law.”
No right-minded person will carelessly oppose, much less wilfully violate, the laws of his country, which will, it is to be hoped, always be honestly framed by those who are chosen to do this very important work. Love and patience are noble virtues, and any man or woman who would either institute or help to institute a genuine and lasting reform, which as a rule includes the placing of better laws upon the statute-books, must be ready and willing to put into constant practise these two indispensable and wonder-working commands from the Master’s sermon on the mount: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
After giving the medical definition of the term contagion, Webster goes on to say that it is also the act or means of communicating “any influence to the mind or heart; as, the contagion of enthusiasm. ‘The contagion of example.’ ” This is indeed the part on which most stress should be laid; and why? Because, in directing attention to the communication, spread, or contagion of influence, we are led to think about the influences which we should seek to convey to the mind or heart of another. And right here we pause, for we are again confronted by those spiritual and eternal facts which are emphasized at the outset of this article, namely, the omnipotent and omnipresent goodness and love of God, and the consequent perfection of all that truly exists. In order to bring before us a living, practical illustration of this goodness and love, and to behold, even though it be in a small degree at first, the perfect creation as God beholds it, let us consider the beautiful and infallible example of Christ Jesus, who so many times declared himself to be the Wayshower of all mankind, and let us ask ourselves, What was the contagion which he respected and upheld? What was the influence which he exerted and communicated to the mind and heart of each and every one who gave him prayerful heed? Manifestly it was this,—the contagion, the influence, of spiritual good,—and of this alone.
Have we anything at all in the account of his earthly ministry which tends to show that he ever made one so-called disease any more real or potent than another, or that he put certain diseases into the contagious or infectious class, and the rest into the non-contagious or non-infectious class? Is there anything of this kind, even in connection with the healing of that humanly dreaded malady named leprosy? No! The Master was not a respecter of diseases, and yet he was the most successful physician the world has ever known. In helping others to rise up and out of seeming discord and distress, and to go freely and happily on their way, he did not direct attention to their bodily and mental ills, but instead he labored to have them recognize just one thing, namely, the ever-present, ever-operative, and ever-sure Science of Christianity—of Christ, Truth, the perfect law of good, God.
In other words, the Master labored to have his patients and students see and understand the unreality, the nothingness, that is, the ungodlikeness, the unrighteousness of disease and its attendant suffering, sorrow, and death, despite the fact that these afflictions often seemed to be “legion.” He tried hard to have them awake, put off “the old man,” and put on “the new man;” thus centering thought upon God, Spirit, instead of upon matter with its lifeless, pulseless, soulless forms and conditions. In this simple way he endeavored to show them that as a man thinketh deep down in his heart, so he is, and that “the kingdom” is within.
Christ Jesus came into the world to overcome evil with good, matter with Spirit; to enthrone Truth and dethrone error,—or the “liar,” and to show others how to go and do likewise. Therefore he first uncovered, then minimized, then annihilated the so-called laws and forces of matter, at the same time making ideally practical and sure the eternal laws and facts of Spirit. His mission was both to teach and demonstrate the verity of being, not to speculate on or to uphold the vacillating and deceptive evidence before the material senses. What he preached was entirely spiritual, and he proved his every statement, thereby rendering both his words and his works indisputable and final.
Thus we are brought to see that it really is “the contagion of example,” of a spiritually good and pure example, guided and governed by a meek, a holy, and an unceasing enthusiasm, which is communicated to the mind and heart of each and every one who accepts without reserve the teachings of the great Master, and then endeavors to make them practical. Christian Science enables us to see and prove that by patterning after the example of Christ Jesus in this way, we, like him, can go about doing good, preaching the gospel and healing the sick. Thus only can we prove our right to be called his followers, thereby demonstrating that, after all, it is truth and not error, health and not sickness, love and not hate, joy and not sorrow, good and not evil, which is contagious; in other words, it is good which spreads itself abroad, ready to enter each and every receptive heart, and abide there forever.
Trust in God’s law of health
By Sarah Hyatt
From the March 14, 2011 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
A 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.
—Mary Baker Eddy,
Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 229
The phone rang one afternoon. I answered to hear a young mom saying that she had just returned from picking up her daughter from preschool. Signs had been placed all over the building warning parents that there was a case of measles at the school, and each parent should be alert to the danger of this contagious disease.
Even though the affected child had been in a different area of the school, this mom was asking if we could pray together for the safety and well-being of her daughter, her daughter’s classmates, and others attending the school. It was easy to appreciate the love motivating her desire to pray. And it was reassuring to know that the source of that love and compassion had to be God, good, because each of us is the image and likeness of our Maker. Since the desire to see health and well-being for all was coming from God, it was natural to expect that God would bring that desire to fruition.
Insights from my family’s healings came flooding into thought as I spoke with that young mother. I could speak with conviction that there was no need to fear for her daughter’s or the other students’ health. We could put our trust in God’s law of health and wholeness as the only health law that could govern the children. When the mom took her daughter to school the next morning, she was delighted to find classes resuming as usual. (Her daughter and her daughter’s classmates were all fine.) The measles outbreak signs were removed that same afternoon.
In life, there do appear to be laws of contagion based on an understanding of existence as based in matter. Whether the contagion is a seasonal illness, a childhood disease, or any of the other myriad contagions that people face, the basis of its power is the belief that God either causes it, allows it, or is powerless to stop it. We become fearful of circumstances that we associate with catching a disease and alter our normal behavior to mitigate those fears.
Yet what Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, discovered in her deep study of the Bible was that a knowledge of God as Spirit, and an obedience to the First Commandment to have no other gods before Him, necessarily precludes the existence of any other lawgiver and denies any basis for the so-called laws of matter.
In her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she asks, as any good teacher would, many compelling questions designed to get students of Christian Science to think deeply about the nature of God as All-in-all, as omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient good. On page 394 we find this series of questions: “Will you bid a man let evils overcome him, assuring him that all misfortunes are from God, against whom mortals should not contend? Will you tell the sick that their condition is hopeless, unless it can be aided by a drug or climate? Are material means the only refuge from fatal chances? Is there no divine permission to conquer discord of every kind with harmony, with Truth and Love?” Coming from the author’s premise of the nature of God as All-in-all and wholly good, the questions are necessarily rhetorical in nature. It’s natural for our hearts to cry out the answer—a resounding no!
What a liberating concept, that we have divine permission to conquer contagion with Truth and Love, synonyms for God. Our prayers then move beyond the idea that we need to beg God to take the sickness away or stop it from going around, to an acknowledgment that God, Truth, Love, is indeed the only lawgiver and never created laws of contagion.
Those so-called laws are imposters, suggesting that God’s cherished children (again, that’s us!) must surrender our God-given dominion over evil and accept the necessity of sickness. We surrender our sense of dominion when we believe that these laws have some enforcing power other than God, and then bow down to them in fear of their reality.
It’s easy to react with fear when we hear of some contagious disease going around. It can be a little harder, but well worth the effort, to take a stand in opposition to the idea that contagion is a law. Contagion begins in thought that accepts illness as inevitable. Reasoning from a spiritual basis, we refute that claim for ourselves and for others, knowing that God’s children cannot be made to believe a lie. Refusing to bow down to false law is an action that brings blessings.
Christ Jesus is our model for action in this regard. Several times the Bible records that Jesus healed leprosy, and while the term included a variety of skin ailments, at least some of them would have been regarded as highly contagious. Yet Jesus not only didn’t show fear, he showed a calm trust that God’s will was for health for all.
Jesus reached out and touched lepers. This was not with any sense of pride—as in, “Look what I can do, and I’m not affected!”—but rather with the deepest compassion and humility, showing the lepers, and those watching, the cleansing power of the Christ, removing the effects of false law and honoring our Father-Mother God as the only lawgiver. These healings showed clearly that contagion was not a law and that we indeed have “divine permission to conquer discord of every kind.”
When we’ve been exposed to a contagious disease, we have divine Love to turn to. In his exposition on the nature of God, St. Paul wrote: “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Where can we go, what can we be exposed to, that could possibly be harmful in the presence of divine Love? And we truly can never be outside of that presence. In Science and Health we find this inspiring counsel: “We should relieve our minds from the depressing thought that we have transgressed a material law and must of necessity pay the penalty. Let us reassure ourselves with the law of Love. God never punishes man for doing right, for honest labor, or for deeds of kindness, though they expose him to fatigue, cold, heat,
contagion” (p. 384).
Whether the contagion is a seasonal illness, a childhood disease,
or any of the other myriad contagions that people face, the basis of its power is the belief that God either causes it, allows it, or is powerless to stop it.
Those lines came to my rescue several times when there were outbreaks of measles, colds, and flu in my children’s schools. On occasions when school officials deemed it appropriate for school to continue, our family reasoned together that attending school was a purposeful activity and that all children could be in their right place, without fear of the “penalty” of sickness. Thinking about the law of Love sheltering them all, we prayed to understand that they were “hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3), known and visible to Truth and health, “invisible” to false laws of sickness and contagion.
It may also be well at times to remember the second great commandment in the Bible—to love our neighbor as ourselves—when facing a challenge with contagion. If we have symptoms that may alarm classmates and co-workers, it would be a kindness to stay out of public spaces until we have gained the victory.
It is also needful to know that immunity to contagion is something that we can and should actively acknowledge for ourselves and for the world. Often, when we hear friends talk about contagion, or TV and radio commercials and news stories reporting on the subject, as well as material remedies suggested, we’re tempted to merely press the “mute” button or simply avoid being drawn into a dialogue. But have we considered those as times to actively pray that we and others cannot be made to be fearful or expectant that disease is inevitable? And if we’re led to share something in the midst of such messages, God will guide us.
When we realize the genuine power of an all-good God, who makes and maintains the universe as the expression of His own nature, it becomes natural to question and then refute the legitimacy of claims that contagion is a law. “Matter succeeds for a period only by falsely parading in the vestments of law” (Science and Health, p. 372). God is divine Principle, Love, and His laws are laws of harmony and health. Understanding this, even a little, can put a stop to contagious disease, revealing the healthy men, women, and children of God’s creating, and blessing the world.
Breaking the Chains of Fear
ELIZABETH BICE LUERSSEN
From the January 21, 1961 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
“Man, the idea of God, is never afraid and is never in danger, since he is indestructible, eternal”
Fear is a recognized detriment to health, happiness, and harmony. Nobody really wants to be afraid, and the encouraging message of Christian Science is that nobody needs to be afraid. This religion echoes the words of Christ Jesus (Matt. 14:27), “Be not afraid,” and demonstrates that there is nothing to fear, for there is no power opposed to God; therefore no thing, person, or condition can harm or destroy God’s creation, man, and there is nothing outside God’s spiritual, safe, eternal, wholly good universe.
Fear is based on the false premise that God can sometimes be absent. But not for an instant of time or in a molecule of space can this be true.
Mrs. Eddy recognized the importance of overcoming fear. She named it as the first requisite of Christian Science treatment. She taught her students the Christianly scientific method of challenging and destroying fear. Why is it important that fear be allayed and destroyed? Because it tends to connect us with the thing we are afraid of. By breaking the chains of fear, we also break the chains of disease or limitation.
There is no incurable fear. Fear can be handled and overcome on the basis of God’s allness and goodness and man’s spiritual immunity from all evil. Fear of the future can be overcome with the understanding that there is never a time when God’s protecting power and influence are not present.
Fear for another—for a loved one who is away or for a child considered helpless to defend himself from possible misfortunes or dangers—can be conquered when we understand that the loved one is actually God’s reflection and under His eternal care. When we learn to trust those we love to the Father’s wisdom and care, we find the burden of concern and human trepidation lifted from our lives.
What about fear for oneself, fear so great at times that it seems to overwhelm us? Here, again, Christian Science reassures us with the truth that in God, divine Love, there is no fear and that consequently fear has no power, no effect, no influence. “Fear never stopped being and its action,” writes Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health (p. 151).
Unreality can have no effect on reality; so there is no need to fear fear. The only need is to destroy it. All depressing suggestions of mortal thought need to be persistently denied, firmly rejected, scientifically destroyed on the basis that they do not emanate from the one divine Mind and so have no influence, authority, or reality. We need to heed less and less the voice of mortal thought and more and more the voice of God, who constantly assures us (Gen. 26:24), “Fear not, for I am with thee.”
A Christian Scientist once became very much frightened when the plane on which she was traveling encountered a severe blizzard and then developed engine trouble. For several moments she vainly tried to establish a sense of calm and trust within her thought. Then she glanced about at the other passengers and saw their panic-stricken faces. She felt a wave of compassion for them all and began to fill her thought with the truth that man, the idea of God, is never afraid and is never in danger, for he is indestructible, eternal.
A feeling of great peace came to her, and she found herself utterly confident and unafraid. A few moments later the engine began to function properly, and the flight was safely completed, to the grateful joy of both passengers and crew.
This experience taught the Christian Scientist a great lesson. She saw for the first time that fear always involves a personal sense of things: generally for a person, for oneself or for another. The remedy is to get rid of a finite sense of person or persons and establish the scientific sense of God and His idea, of infinite Mind and its complete manifestation. Man’s eternal purpose is to express God; and when we are aware of this truth, we cannot be afraid.
Breaking the chains of fear is not a difficult or toilsome task. It can be the work of a moment, particularly if we realize that these chains are not really chains at all, but only vague, illusive images of thought with no more substance than darkness and no more reality than a lie. In “Retrospection and Introspection,” Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 61): “Science saith to fear,’You are the cause of all sickness; but you are a self-constituted falsity,—you are darkness, nothingness. You are without “hope, and without God in the world.” You do not exist, and have no right to exist, for “perfect Love casteth out fear.”‘”
Since “perfect Love casteth out fear,” then each of us should endeavor to develop and express a more perfect sense of Love. Perfect Love does not hate, rather does it unself human thought and give a sweet understanding of God as ever-present infinite good. Mrs. Eddy declares in “Miscellaneous Writings” (p. 113), “We have nothing to fear when Love is at the helm of thought, but everything to enjoy on earth and in heaven.”
Start, stay, stick, and stand with God
By Judith Hardy Olson
From the April 13, 2020 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
From day one of my interest in Christian Science, I saw that Christianity is a whole lot more than sitting in a pew on Sunday and striving to be a good person. Christianity as exemplified by Christ Jesus included healing, and he equipped his disciples well for this work. He didn’t merely suggest that they heal the sick and sinning; he commanded them to, admonishing them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) and, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).
Jesus’ disciples became “doers” of what he had taught them. As a New Testament writer puts it in his letter to the early Christians, “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves,” and, “Faith without works is dead” (James 1:22, 2:20). I love the New Living Translation’s rendition of that first verse: “Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves,” as well as a later one that tells us how: “If you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it” (1:25).
The perfect law that sets you free, I’ve come to realize, is divine Science—the spiritual law of Truth; and when it is practiced faithfully, it heals the sick as Christ Jesus healed. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered this Science of the Christ, wrote, “God’s law is in three words, ‘I am All;’ and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law” (No and Yes, p. 30).
I saw that “perfect God and perfect man” had to be the basis of my prayer, my practice, my every thought.
When I witnessed a healing through turning to this law of Love, it impelled me to “look carefully into [this] perfect law.” Thus began my eager, earnest study of this Christ Science. Soon I took Primary class instruction in Christian Science to better understand this Christly method of healing and how to give a Christian Science treatment, which consists solely of specific, scientific, Christian prayer. There I was taught the rudiments of Christian Science Mind-healing, one of which is, “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” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 259).
I saw that “perfect God and perfect man” had to be the basis of my prayer, my practice, my every thought, in order to be a healer. Doing this, I realized, requires starting with God, then staying, sticking, and standing with Him, not departing from His allness and goodness with a single thought. Now committed to Christian healing, before returning home after the class I jotted down this reminder to myself and tucked it in my copy of Science and Health:
START with God;
STAY with God;
STICK with God;
STAND with God.
Soon, I would learn the importance of remaining committed to this practice of keeping close to God—and how easy it is to unknowingly stray from it if we’re not alert and watchful. But even then, I’ve learned, God awakens us and brings us back to Him—His hereness, nowness, onlyness, allness, goodness, and almightiness.
As my own healing practice started and I began to pray for others who requested it, I made sure to stay with God till my thought was so God-filled that I clearly saw the unreality of sickness, sadness, pain—whatever denied God’s caring control. Soon, this starting, staying, sticking, and standing with God was becoming so natural I discarded my little note reminding me.
But then came a time when I was the one sick and hurting with a painful sore and fever, and suddenly the report of the physical senses seemed so real. Overwhelming even. Contagion, infection, pain, and fear were screaming at me. Instead of turning away from this report and turning to God, Love, to see what’s true—harmony as the law of my being—I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Things got worse. I prayed. But looking back on it, I realize that my prayer wasn’t communing with God; it was really just me rehearsing the problem!
In the allness of God there is no error (evil), and therefore no place error can exist.
It hurt too much to sit or walk or move, so I got into bed to lie down. When I opened my Bible for help, I saw this: “Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed?” (Jeremiah 15:18). “Big help that is!” I said facetiously. But then I realized it was a big help! It alerted me that I hadn’t started with God. I’d looked up a Bible verse on pain and intended to follow it with one on fear. Why, that’s not beginning with God. That’s beginning with the problem. “What was I planning to do next,” I asked myself, “—throw truths at it like darts at a dartboard?” The Lord’s Prayer doesn’t start with “What’s arguing to me today?” It starts with God—His nature, His ever-presence and omnipotence. That’s what equips us to see the unreality of disease.
Now I was alert again, remembering to:
- START with God. “The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind,—that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle” (Science and Health, p. 275). This I was now doing.
- STAY with God. “Thou [God] wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isaiah 26:3) is the Bible’s promise. I’d started with Him, and now felt I was staying with Him—His perfectness—and as His likeness, I was “the king’s daughter … all glorious within” (Psalms 45:13). My prayer went something like this: “Thank you, God, for being Love, and for being right here, right now, causing me. I am Yours—spiritual and entirely lovely in every way: in form, substance, thought, and character.”
Soon, however, came the thought “Then why am I not getting better?” Just like that, fear was back with full force. But God was right there with me, awakening me yet again with this realization: “Hey, wait a minute—that’s not staying with God. That’s a 180-degree turn.” In the allness of God there is no error (evil), and therefore no place error can exist. Error has no ability to lurk, infect, or infest. So the question “Why am I not better?” was based on a lie—a denial of the truth of my perfection—and was not my condition or my thought. Even more, it was a denial of God, saying either that He messed up when He made me (a denial of His goodness) or that He was not the only cause (a suggestion that there must be another cause other than good).
Now striving to stay with God, I continued to reason and understand that “if God is All, and He is good, then good is all, and all is good.” Period. Nothing bad is. That simple logic spoke to me and strengthened me.
- STICK with God. “Stick to the truth of being in contradistinction to the error that life, substance, or intelligence can be in matter” (Science and Health, p. 418). There’s no big difference, I guess, between staying with God and sticking with Him. However, the next morning, as I was still striving to stay with God even though the physical condition seemed worse, a recent experience I’d had of gluing two tiny, broken ceramic pieces together with super glue (and accidentally gluing my fingers together) came to mind. “That’s my lesson here,” I saw. “I’ll stick like super glue to the truth of my flawless being, no matter what picture is dangled in my face.” “Sticking,” to me, said not looking to matter for even a speck of information, or for confirmation of information, either. Somehow, this idea of sticking with God said even more than “staying” to me—it required more vehement vigilance on my part.
- STAND with God. “Set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you” (II Chronicles 20:17), the prophet Jahaziel said to Jehoshaphat and the children of Israel when the Moabites, Ammonites, and others had banded together and called them to battle. He also assured them the battle wasn’t theirs, but God’s. Their part was to set themselves, stand still, and see God. They did. And they were victorious!
This really spoke to me, because I made the decision to literally stand—to get out of bed—even though it was painful to do so. But I knew that God, who was enabling me to take my stand, would help me to stand. Thinking about how one “sets” oneself, I mentally knew myself as planted firmly and standing so still and strong nothing could knock me over. Then came three words: “Truth is God.” In all its simplicity, it sank in. And the pain—which I now saw was a vicious lie insisting I was a blob of matter, subject to conditions of matter and governed by laws of matter—was gone. The fever was gone, too.
That glimpse that my whole being was in God, and therefore spiritual, spoke to me with such authority that I felt God’s presence with me, and I started preparing dinner for my family. By the time I went to bed, the sore had drained. I slept all night, and when I awoke the next morning, the skin had closed. In a short time the place where it had been was all filled in and smooth.
Every day I learn more about healing prayer. And a neon-yellow Post-it note on my computer reminds me daily to:
START with God;
STAY with God;
STICK with God;
STAND with God.
The link below is to a talk by Andrea McCormick, C.S. titled, “Give Us Vision Clear” on March 30, 2020
Zero can’t be multiplied
Martha Swanson Bruck
From the March 5, 1979 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
As Roger was getting ready for bed one evening, he told his mother, “My throat hurts. What if this becomes a cold, and I have to miss the parade tomorrow? I can’t play my trombone with a cold, and the director is expecting me to be there.”
“Roger, has God ever let you down?” his mother replied, sitting down beside him. “Let’s remember some of the truths you know about God and man.”
Roger had attended a Christian Science Sunday School since the time he could walk and had learned there many wonderful truths from the Bible. One of the most important was about his relationship to God as God’s son, as Christ Jesus taught. He had learned that this is a relationship of spiritual oneness with perfection that can be proved anytime, anywhere, through healing. Many times he himself had already proved this. He remembered severe cuts that had been quickly healed, a bad fall on his bike, an injured toe.
His mother suddenly asked him, “Remember the trouble you used to have learning about zero in arithmetic?”
Roger grinned. “Yeah, it seemed to take forever for me to get it through my head that three times zero wasn’t three. I can remember Dad drawing a picture of 0 X 0 X 0, and I could finally see that no matter how many zeros you put together, the answer was still only zero, nothing. But what did you suddenly bring that up for?”
It was his mother’s turn to smile. “When you’re afraid a sore throat will develop into a cold, aren’t you trying to multiply nothing?
“Let me read you something Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health. It will help. ‘The nothingness of nothing is plain; but we need to understand that error is nothing, and that its nothingness is not saved, but must be demonstrated in order to prove the somethingness — yea, the allness — of Truth.’1
“Did God ever create a sore throat?” Roger’s mother asked. “Did God ever make a mortal man who could have a sore throat? What did you learn in Sunday School about mortal man?”
Roger thought a few moments and then answered, “He’s a counterfeit of the man God made in His image and likeness.”
“Right,” said his mother. “And can you multiply or increase the value of a counterfeit? Does a $1000 counterfeit bill have any more value than a $1 counterfeit? Aren’t they both valueless? How do you learn to spot a counterfeit?” she continued.
“Oh, I know that,” Roger answered. “One day a banker visited our school and explained what goes on in a bank. One of the boys in class asked him about counterfeit money. The banker told us that they train tellers to know real money. And that way, when someone gives them a counterfeit, they can tell right away, because it’s not like the real thing.”
“It’s the same with the real man, isn’t it?” said his mother. “We need to understand the true man created by God in His likeness — to know he is spiritual, upright, perfect, always well and strong. Then instead of trying to multiply zero, by fearing and believing in error, we can dismiss it, knowing that it’s nothing.”
Roger nodded. “I see that,” he said. “I guess I don’t have to be afraid of error. If this spiritual man is the man I am, then I must always be well.”
Then his mother added, “As the son of God you reflect the accuracy of Principle, the harmony of Soul, the vitality and joy of Life. These are qualities of God that you can know you express when you play the trombone.” She reached for the Bible beside Roger’s bed and opened it. “Tomorrow as you start on that parade, you can think about this verse from Psalms: ‘I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.'”2
Roger didn’t wait till the parade to be healed, though. Next morning when he woke up, the sore throat was completely gone, and Roger marched with the band, feeling just great. Once again he had proved that zero can’t be multiplied — only good can.
“Be not Afraid.”
REV. IRVING C. TOMLINSON.
From the January 7, 1905 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
Jesus has one message for us that should always ring in our ears, and that message is, “Be not afraid.” When we, like the disciples, seem to find ourselves in the troubled waters of mortal mind, and foolish fears take possession of us, Christ walks over the wave and in a voice full of love exclaims, “Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid.” This has ever been the voice of God to His children. The Psalmist said, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Here should we take our stand. Is not God infinite Love and is He not all-powerful? We have only to be still, only to “wait on the Lord,” and His power will strengthen and restore.
Fear belongs not to the children of God; it is the offspring of mortal mind; it is of dreamland, and without substance or reality. It was Adam who, in the presence of God, exclaimed. “I heard thy voice . . . and I was afraid.” A true child of God, in the presence of his heavenly Father, hears the blessed message, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Daniel is the type of the true Christian Scientist. In the presence of lions he turned his back upon them, and his face toward the light. So may we calmly turn our backs upon error of every form and turn our faces toward the heavenly light of Love divine. Then we shall hear from on high that sweet message which came to Daniel, “O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong,”
Would we escape from fear? Would we utterly destroy it, so that we can live above it, as the mountain rises above the mists? Then let us reflect immortal Love, for where Love is, there fear is not. As the beloved apostle has said. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment.” Love is the eternal sunshine in whose presence there is living light, for God is light and in Him is “no darkness at all.”
This verse from the Christian Science Hymnal is always helpful,—
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?
Health is inevitable; contagion is not!
Kay Ramsdell Olson
From the April 8, 1996 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
We’d probably chuckle at the notion that one could catch good health from someone else. Yet, the founder of this magazine, Mary Baker Eddy, writes regarding one facing contagion, “If he believed as sincerely that health is catching when exposed to contact with health people, he would catch their state of feeling quite as surely and with better effect than he does the sick man’s” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 229).
To believe that one can catch disease may seem natural—but it isn’t. This belief grows out of human customs and the habit of thinking about ourselves as vulnerable to evil. In a sense, we have been educated to believe that sickness and contagion are normal. Mrs. Eddy’s major work, Science and Health, teaches the way to overcome this false education and to defend oneself from its bad effects.
This book explains that the underlying cause of all sickness, whatever its characteristics, is fear. So the first thing to do in prayerfully defending ourselves from disease is to eliminate fear. Science and Health states, “Always begin your treatment by allaying the fear of patients” (p. 411).
Fear sometimes seems rampant. During certain seasons, television commercials and newspaper stories promote the fear of contagion, although much of what they do is meant as a public service. At the beginning of winter, my local newspaper included a pullout section devoted entirely to the listing of contagious diseases (colds, flu, and so on), their symptoms, and methods of prevention or cure. The supposed inevitability of illness that often is conveyed by such materials engenders fear, resignation, and superstition.
What does one do to allay fear? It is a rule in the practice of Christian Science to reassure oneself and those who ask for help in prayer that man is exempt from disease and danger. As the idea of God, Spirit, man is spiritual, not material. Our true consciousness, or individuality—the man we really are—is the immediate expression of God. Since God surely includes no element or thought of disease, sickness cannot be found in what He creates. As Christ Jesus amply proved, an understanding of this unity with Him allays fear and can prevent or cure disease.
What does one do to allay fear?
Instead of resigning oneself to the prevailing belief that disease is a fact and contagion a law, we have a sure defense. In Psalms we find, “My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart” (7:10). Instead of resignation, our defense is a vigorous, silent establishment in thought of the truth that God’s man is permanently sustained as His perfect likeness. Since there is no other power or presence to interfere with or touch man, no evil power or presence can invade us.
I used to think prayer was only a plea to God to protect me or fix me up. When my children were small, I found Christian Science and learned that prayer includes firm, grateful acknowledgement of His goodness and my inclusion in it. One time, our two boys had measles. I took our two younger girls to my parents’ home to give me more time to care for the boys. I vividly remember a moment of prayer as I stood with the girls on the front porch, waiting for my dad to open the door. In my thought, the word no! was as loud as thunder. I could see the word in capital letters! It was a rejection of the whole theory of disease and contagion and an equally powerful affirmation of the well-being of these children.
With that one word—NO!—and the power behind it, any fear I might have entertained that contagion was unavoidable was blotted out. While the girls were expected by my neighbours to catch the measles, they never did. The boys soon returned to school with no further problem.
Science and Health declares: “Insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him. There is no disease” (p. 421).
On this basis, to believe in an unseen, disease-laden power floating in the atmosphere, ready to pounce on an unsuspecting, unwitting, unconsenting victim, is as superstitious as believing in a hidden danger that results from walking under a ladder. It is imperative, however, to turn daily to our ever-present God and gratefully to acknowledge the fact of His allness.
No, we don’t catch good health. We have good health, continuously, unfailingly, by virtue of our real selfhood as the offspring of God.
Overcoming the fear of contagion
By Blythe Evans
From the Christian Science Sentinel – May 28, 2019
As our horses walked calmly along the trail, my fellow riders and I enjoyed a fun spring outing. Then, suddenly one of the horses spooked for some unknown reason, swerving and bolting frantically down the path. The other horses followed suit. There was no apparent reason for this panicked, out-of-control behavior, but because one of them had felt fear, they were now all exhibiting it.
I never did learn what had alarmed that horse, but it was a lesson for me in how contagion appears to work. Fear can be unwittingly picked up and acted out. In other words, a mental condition finds expression in what we experience.
In her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, tells of a tragic occurrence that illustrates this point: “A man was made to believe that he occupied a bed where a cholera patient had died. Immediately the symptoms of this disease appeared, and the man died. The fact was, that he had not caught the cholera by material contact, because no cholera patient had been in that bed” (p. 154).
How could that have happened? Apparently, even in the absence of the physical presence of the disease, a fearful state of thought brought about what the man perceived as inevitable.
According to the teachings of Christian Science, when it comes to contagion, fear is typically the main thing that needs to be discerned, handled, and faced down courageously. It may start with a broad fear that something could hurt us or society at large, then evolve into a more specific fear that a certain condition exists and is present or nearby to threaten us, and then escalate into a dread that this condition has been activated against our well-being.
So how can we protect ourselves and others from fear of contagion that could lead to unwanted physical consequences?
We can start by praying to know and feel that God, divine Love, is the only cause of all that exists. The Bible reassures us, and illustrates, that there is no other source nor origin of being than God, who is all good. The prophet Isaiah assures us, “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand” (Isaiah 14:24). Later, Isaiah confirms that God is gracious and just, and has mercy, compassion, and blessings for all who look to Him (see Isaiah 30:18).
We can prevent the onset of a fear that anything besides God is present or has power.
When we understand that God is Love and has only good in store for His children (meaning all men, women, and children), we can prevent the onset of a fear that anything besides God is present or has power. “Since God is All, there is no room for His unlikeness. God, Spirit, alone created all, and called it good. Therefore evil, being contrary to good, is unreal, and cannot be the product of God” (Science and Health, p. 339). Evil, a.k.a. disease or discord of any type, cannot have substance or power if God, good, never made it.
One day many years ago, one of our children came home from school with symptoms of chickenpox, which another child in her classroom had been diagnosed with. I made our child comfortable, and also began to pray with this statement from Science and Health: “There is but one primal cause. Therefore there can be no effect from any other cause, and there can be no reality in aught which does not proceed from this great and only cause” (p. 207).
Knowing that the sole cause of all being is God, good, I felt free from the fear that there could be a cause of anything that could, in turn, cause a harmful effect. And although our daughter exhibited mild symptoms of this condition, it did not last long.
Over the next week or so, though other children in the family exhibited similar symptoms, I felt confident that the true identity of each one as a child of God was safe in the health and harmony of divine Love. While we kept the children home from school in compliance with school guidelines, none of them experienced pain or aftereffects from this experience. Soon, all were again busy with their regular activities.
I complied with the requirements of the program, praying to understand that I couldn’t suffer any side effects.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of the Christian Science movement, who was devoted to sharing the healing method of Christian Science with humanity, did not take a strident stand against use of vaccinations, but noted, “Rather than quarrel over vaccination, I recommend, if the law demand, that an individual submit to this process, that he obey the law, and then appeal to the gospel to save him from bad physical results” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 219–220).
This was what I felt led to do upon graduation from college, when I joined the United States Peace Corps and was posted to a part of the world that required multiple vaccinations. While I was confident at that time of my own safety and well-being as the spiritual idea of our all-powerful, all-loving God, I complied with the requirements of this program and accepted the immunizations. I was praying to understand that I couldn’t suffer any side effects from this well-motivated cooperation. I am grateful to say I did not.
When we hear reports of contagion in our country or around the world, we can help alleviate fear and any supposed aftereffects by affirming right in the moment that God is present everywhere, a mighty force for health and harmony, and the source of only goodness and well-being. As God told Abraham, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield” (Genesis 15:1), and “I am with thee, and will bless thee” (26:24).