Articles & Testimonies

Word Power – Expanding Our Spiritual Vocabulary

by | Jan 9, 2024

Mary Baker Eddy was a wordsmith, and chose her words skillfully and caringly.  No detail was too small; changing an “f” to a “t” — the word “fear” became “tear.” (“Tear or triumph harms” – “Feed My Sheep”).

Words change meaning, and semantics can certainly take its toll. For example: “O make me glad for every scalding tear” (“Mother’s Evening Prayer”), did not mean “burning or injuring by hot liquor.”  In Mrs. Eddy’s day, scalding was a common method of cleansing, purifying and sterilizing …. thus …. O make me glad for every cleansing tear.

Some words communicate multifaceted ideas more precisely than others.  So, let’s focus our mindfulness on those power-packed words which have a deep spiritual meta-meaning, worthy of our awareness and life-long contemplation.

We need to grow our spiritual vocabulary every day.  Below is a short list of multidimensional words which will empower your ability to think on a higher, more enlightened, thoughtful level.

Unequivocally, Eddy tells us in the textbook; “Earth’s preparatory school must be improved to the utmost” (S&H 286:9) so, let’s use our time on earth cultivating and increasing our spiritual vocabulary.

Just as human justice needs to pattern the divine, so our human vocabulary needs to pattern the divine.  Let me give you an example – (one of my favorite words) – which is so simple on the human level, but worthy of life-long study . . . . it’s the word “infinite.”

The word “infinite” appears twice in the same sentence, (page 468 of “Science and Health”) – “All is infinite Mind and it’s infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all.”  Just think how each new generation of space telescope; (from Hubble to Webb – from infrared to optical and ultraviolet wavelengths), offers a deeper, more profound understanding our burgeoning concept of infinity.  We casually think of “infinity” as without limits, and leave it at that . . . . but “limitless” doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of this vital, deep, unfathomable, divine concept.  Man’s perfection is part of God’s infinite manifestation.

Here is my elementary list of words which have meta-meanings beyond their superficial usage – I hope you will explore, and expand this list.

  • Adorable:  Inspiring great affection
  • Affection:  Devotion or Love
  • All:  Whole. Only. Ones whole interest or energy
  • Ascertain:  Determine, discover, learn.
  • Authentic:  Not false or copied.  Genuine, real.  Of undisputed origin. Based on facts. Accurate, trustworthy, reliable
  • Authority:   Power to give orders, adjudicate, make decisions – enforce obedience
  • Beam:  Unreserved satisfaction; pleasure, joy, splendor.
  • Beloved:  Dearly/greatly loved.  Dear to the heart
  • Bless:  To invoke divine favor. To consecrate.  To make holy.  To bestow good
  • Blessed:  Made holy. Consecrated. Endowed with divine protection.  Glorify.  To protect or guard from evil
  • Blessing:  A prayer asking protection. Grace.  A favor bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness
  • Bosom:  Tender affection, kindness.  Interior. To embrace, cherish.  Intimate or confidential
  • Bread:  Sustenance. Livelihood; “Cast one’s bread upon the waters”
  • Breast:  Repository of consciousness.  Seat of the affections and emotions
  • Brood:  To warm and protect; cover
  • Brotherhood:  Fellowship.  Warmth and equality toward one another
  • Chasten:  To purify from error.  Restrain.  Subdue
  • Comfort:  Physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.  Soothe.  Console.  Reassure. Support or encourage.  Bring cheer.
  • Consciousness:  Awareness of one’s own existence.  Thoughts. Internal knowledge
  • Consecrate:  Object of honor or veneration.  Sacred
  • Consolation:  Comfort
  • Creative:  Originality of thought, expression.  Productive. Imaginative
  • Defenselessness:  Humility, spiritual strength.  “I of mine own self can do nothing”
  • Desire:  Request, craving, longing for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment. Hunger, yearning to attain something that is within  reach
  • Dominion:  Supreme authority.  The power to direct, govern, and control
  • Ears: “Not organs of the so-called corporeal senses, but spiritual understanding.” (S&H 585)
  • Error: Deviation from truth. A mistake in judgment. A wandering or irregular course. Deviation from law, justice or right. Sin, iniquity, transgression
  • Eternity: Unending time. Timelessness. (Latin: without beginning or end) Infinite time
  • Exalt: To magnify, purify, refine. To elevate with joy or confidence
  • Eyes: “Spiritual discernment, – not material but mental.” (S&H 586)
  • Family: A group of related things. Those who share common attitudes, interests, goals
  • Fire: “Fear; remorse; lust; hatred; destruction; affliction purifying and elevating man.” (S&H 586)
  • Fountain: Source. The first principle or cause
  • Freedom: Not confined or restrained. Exemption from external control or interference
  • Gentle: Soft, soothing
  • Glory: Source of admiration. Resplendent beauty or magnificence, splendor, prosperity, absolute happiness gratification, contentment. Heaven
  • Goodness: Moral excellence, virtue, generosity, strength, integrity, honesty. euphemism for God.
  • Gracious: Benevolent and courteous. Good taste, comfort, luxury. Merciful or compassionate, kind, happy
  • Heart: “Mortal feelings, motives, affections, joys, and sorrows.” (S&H 587)
  • Hollowed: Holy, sacred, blessed. Honor, greatly revered, respected
  • Honest: Incorruptible, trustworthy, honorable in principles intentions actions. Fair, sincere, frank. Truthful, humble unadorned, virtuous
  • Humble: Modest. Courteously respectful, polite, unpretentious meek, unassuming
  • Humility: Modest opinion of one’s own importance, rank. Meekness
  • Infinite: Immeasurably great. Unlimited. Unmeasurable in extent of space, duration, time. Unbound, unlimited, boundless. Endless
  • Infinity: Increase without bound
  • Inspiration: Divine influence Drawing of air into the lungs; inhalation. Stimulus
  • Inspire: Influence to guide, instigate, to infuse. Breath. Life
  • Joy: Bliss. Great delight or happiness. Pleasure, elation. Something greatly valued or appreciated
  • Justice: Lawfulness
  • Kingdom: Independent action or control. The spiritual reign or authority of God. The rule of God
  • Kiss: Token of reverence. To touch gently. Caress
  • Lambkin: Innocent or tender child. A little lamb
  • Meekness: Humble, patience gentle, kind, soft, mild, calm, yielding.
  • Mercy: Compassion, kindly forbearance, compassion, pity, benevolence, pardon, forgiveness, tenderness
  • Mind: Intelligence, intellect, understanding. Mental alertness or quickness of understanding
  • Oil: “Consecration; charity; gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration.” (S&H 592)
  • Peace: State of mutual harmony. Freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety. Tranquility, serenity silence, stillness quietness
  • Profound: Deep. Far below the surface. Not obvious to the mind. Humble. Penetrating deeply into science or any branch of learning. Having hidden qualities
  • Purity: Cleanliness innocence, chastity
  • Quite: Tranquil, reserved, confident, peaceful, silent, clam, still. Being at rest. Serene unmoving
  • Reflection: Careful, serious, consideration. A thought occurring in meditation. Thinking
  • Rejoice: Joy, joyful, delight, gladness, happiness, glory
  • Replete: Completely filled, full, abundantly provided
  • Salvation: Preservation, deliverance, protection
  • Satisfied: To cause the mind to rest in confidence by ascertaining the truth
  • Scalding: Cleansing
  • Science: Systematic knowledge. Knowledge of facts or principles
  • Shade: Shelter, protection
  • Spirit: The principle of conscious life. Divine influence. Vigor, energy, courage, firmness, enthusiasm
  • Steadfast: Firm in purpose and faith. Unwavering, sure, dependable, reliable, constant, firm,
  • Strength: Power, vigor, mental moral power. Firmness, courage, authority, vigor of action
  • Substance: Understanding. The most important or essential part of something. Possessions, wealth
  • Tear: Physical irritation
  • Thanksgiving: Grateful acknowledgment of benefits to God
  • Triumph: To be prosperous. To flourish
  • Understanding: Sympathetic awareness. Tolerance. Superior power of discernment. Enlightened intelligence
  • United: Joined, combined forming a unit. Mutual sympathy. Common opinion or attitude
  • Unity: Oneness, totality, unified. Oneness of mind. Identity. Harmonious whole. Singleness
  • Vision: The power of anticipating that which will or may come to be. Perception. Discernment
  • Wine: “Inspiration; understanding. Error; fornication; temptation; passion.” (S&H 598)
  • Wisdom: Good judgement. Knowledge of what is true or right. Understanding. Enlightenment
  • Work: Exertion of strength. Action. Achievement


“The Student’s Reference Dictionary” – based on Webster’s “American Dictionary of the English Language” with his original Etymology. 

“The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language,” 5th Edition.

“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy – (S&H).