Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
I had already learned that forgiveness based on personal friendship is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t heal. The hurt just keeps popping up in unguarded moments like an annoying tune stuck in your head. Forgiveness that rests on divine Love, Principle, instead of personality, changes things. In a moment of head-bowed, tear-filled humility, I remembered the example of Jesus on the cross, who meekly appealed to his Father to forgive those who had put him there. The healing that followed changed the world.
By Marian English
From the October 2013 issue issue of the Christian Science Journal
Perhaps I am learning that I have to go even deeper regarding forgiveness and send them health, joy and love with some general prayers. Even if I find it hard to do I do it anyway because it is the right thing to do (Principle) to bring freedom.
LOVE RESTORES MY SOUL
From the December 31, 1949 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
Photo – Courtesy of allposters.com
Many times we may have said, “He restoreth my soul,” but perhaps it was merely beautiful poetry to us. It is far more than this. The sacred method of healing is indicated in these simple words, as we shall find if we apprehend their spiritual interpretation, given on page 578 of the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy. Here we read, “[Love] restoreth my soul [spiritual sense].” If love, health, joy, or supply seems to be lost, we turn to divine Love to restore to us the spiritual sense of whatever seems to be lacking. This is the manner of Christian Science healing. It is so practical, so lovely, so powerful, that only divine Love could impart it and show us that the spiritual qualities which man reflects can never be lost.
As the light of spiritual Truth and Love shines in upon us through the understanding of Christian Science, we may be surprised and grieved to see how little of childlike, confiding trust and love we have been feeling toward our Father and how much criticism, resentment, envy, and superiority we have been feeling toward our brother man. If this is the case, we see that we have been disobeying the basic law of love laid down in both the Old and the New Testament. Our appalling need, then, is for the Love which restores our spiritual sense.
A medical doctor has said: “Grouch causes more sickness than any other one thing. People get down on someone, perhaps in their own family, and they hold on to it, sometimes year after year. They get sick and they wonder what is wrong.” It is plain that only Love can remove the deep-seated resentment which he called “grouch.”
When our love for someone seems to be lost, how can it be restored? We cannot love the injustice or hatred which caused our resentment, but we can see that evil was never part of the glorious, spiritual man made in God’s likeness. The man of God’s creating is forever lovely and lovable, untouched by the unloveliness of mortal mind. Christian Science will lead the receptive thought to the understanding of this spiritual fact and heal all our hurt pride, resentment, and grief.
Love takes away the mortal, material sense of man, which sees him as sick and sad, and restores the spiritual sense, which beholds him as whole and satisfied. It may take our deepest prayer, combined with study of the Bible and our textbook. It may take seeking, striving, and forgiving times without number. It certainly will take practical living of the truths discerned. Jesus said: “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:16, 17). Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 547), “You can prove for yourself, dear reader, the Science of healing, and so ascertain if the author has given you the correct interpretation of Scripture.”
A woman who had been ill nearly three years, and whose money, joy, and courage seemed almost exhausted, obtained a copy of Science and Health and began studying it. She observed some improvement from the first. She had proof that she had found the way. There were times when the truth seemed like a powerful searchlight showing her how far she had strayed from divine Love, how little she had trusted her Father-Mother God, and how much she had feared and trusted matter.
In proportion as she corrected her thought, she gained in strength and began to do some sewing. At first she could sit up for only a short time, but as she lay on the couch she tried to realize the import of such statements as, “God is infinite; God is Love; He is here now. God is my strength; God is my life.” and other statements of truth which dawned on her uplifted thought. Gradually she found that she was able to sit up for longer periods, and her rest periods became shorter and shorter. She completed the sewing, the first work that she had been able to do in nearly three years.
She was finally able to go to a Christian Science Reading Room. There, for the first time, she saw a picture of Mrs. Eddy. She had felt a prejudice against her because of something a college professor had said, but as she stood looking at the picture she thought, “That is the most loving face I ever saw.” And then it was as though she heard the words spoken, “It is divine Love that heals.” She had caught a glimpse of the impersonal love which heals. She saw that Mrs. Eddy did not think that she of herself alone healed, but that she had a clear understanding of Jesus’ words, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). Something divine had touched the heart of the frail invalid. She went out from the Reading Room able to walk down the street with a freedom and joy different from any she had ever before known. She kept studying, working, praying, and proving. As the material sense of things yielded to the spiritual, she was completely healed. She joined a Church of Christ, Scientist, and began to devote herself to the Cause of Christian Science. Love was restoring what she seemed to have lost through the years.
In the book “Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy,” by Irving C. Tomlinson, an account is given of a woman who in 1897 went with her two children to Pleasant View to meet Mrs. Eddy. She says: “I wish I could make the world know what I saw when Mrs. Eddy looked at those children. It was a revelation to me. … It is difficult for me to put into words what I saw. This Love was everywhere, like the light, but it was divine, not mere human affection. … I saw, for the first time, the absolute unreality of everything but this infinite Love. It was not only everywhere present, like the light, but it was an intelligent presence that spoke to me.” It healed her child of an ugly boil on her head.
Mrs. Eddy says in “Miscellaneous Writings” (p. 138), “Remember that the first and last lesson of Christian Science is love, perfect love, and love made perfect through the cross.”
We owe much to our Leader, who has restored to us the practical meaning of the whole Bible. While we as students seem far from attaining the standard set in the Scriptures, we are grateful that her writings illumine our way and cause us to understand divine Love, which restores the soul. Through her revelation of the Science of being she has restored the element of divine healing as an integral part of the Christ-message.