Rich Enough To be Generous

A long time ago, I heard someone who was not a Christian Scientist, make the comment,

“May I always be rich enough to be generous.”

Although, those particular words were spoken many years ago – by a friend who did not even know Christian Science,  the comment concerning perspective has always stayed with me as a sort of guide post for my own activity.

As a Christian Scientist I ask myself, ‘how rich is — ‘rich enough to be generous?’ Well obviously the answer is not related to money or amount of resources. The impetus of this thought is within the heart. It will always be within the heart.

And the heart is:  Love Itself .   The heart of us, the heart of all is infinite Love Itself.

In pondering my dear old friend’s comment , I also consider: what would be the opposite of generous? My answer comes that it must be “selfish”. But this is not simply about withholding something – as opposed to giving something. Selfishness is actually all about correctly  identifying oneself.   In striving to rightly identity myself, I must further ask, ‘who am I?’ — ‘what am I?’

Within Christian Science my answer comes, “I am the image and likeness of God.” Of course these are cherished and familiar words, but do I stop with satisfaction at hearing familiar words, —- or do I dig into deeply comprehending more of their meaning ? If I am the very image and likeness of God, I do not have any mortal self hood. Therefore I cannot identify myself as “self-ish”.    Nor can I identify another as “self-ish”.      Because God never created mortal self hood.

For “all is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation.” ( Science and Health pg 468)

The false suggestion of any ‘self’ apart from God, good, Life, Love, — simply doesn’t ‘hold water’. Because all is God and God’s manifestation…. anything else is bogus.

Ever since I began cherishing this understanding of right identity,  right Self  …  and the infinite Self-hood of God, the word “selfish” has never conveyed to me the same old boring meaning.

Mortality or mortal ‘self hood’ has nothing to do with God —- of whom I am the image and likeness.  God is the One, only and infinite Self of which I am the clear shining reflection.

There is no substance in matter or in any claim of mortal identity.    God is the only and infinite Self – of which I am the image and likeness.

And there is no one,  about whom we can rightly  ever say less.

In perceiving the fact that there is only One Self…. One Person….One Source of all good, one Life — we find freedom  from restricting or labelling  our own identity with the material or mortal or limited  ‘self’ – righteous caliber of thought.

As the pure image and likeness of God, infinite good, we cannot know or experience any false sense of  ‘self-ish-ness’…. That false perspective only comes from incorrectly identifying God’s idea as having some separate mortal identity apart from God.

If we see or seem to experience anything limiting, restrictive, or of a withholding nature, then we must be wrongly identifying our self or the ‘self’ ( identity ) of another.   For based on this divine truth of God being the only Self,  the only real nature is the nature of God,  good… the giving and enveloping nature of Love.

If we find ourselves pondering how to address any issue,  or make decisions on actions or behavior concerning anything,   we can be assured that by identifying ourselves rightly as the image and likeness of the one infinite Self who is God,    we can confidently move forward — living and experiencing the nature of God, good,  infinite Love with all Its qualities.     For we can clearly recognize ourselves as perfect,  pure,  shining reflection of the infinite Self who is God.

We can never be “self-ish” or unloving or un-giving because our identity and very being is the image and likeness of God — Who is Life, — Who is infinite Love, — Who is the divine and infinite Self.   Thus the only nature we know and have and can encounter or experience is the nature of God, good, infinite Love.

With this understanding, we are most assuredly  ‘rich enough to be generous’  because  our real nature is the nature of God,  good, Love !!

Gayle Weber, CS

Unwavering Good

Good is unwavering. We can always trust the absolute presence of good in our lives.

Why do we know this is true? Because God is good and it is simply impossible that we ever experience an absence of God. Therefore, we know that we can never experience any sense of an absence of good. This is a “fact of life” – which is in truth, a fact of being, – a fact of the only Life there is… divine Life which is God.

How many times in my own experience has it been shown to me that regardless of the state of human affairs, business ventures, innumerable encounters, the one status of being which I can, – which we all can peacefully and deeply rely upon, is the unwavering constancy of good. No introduction of error, illness, evil in any form, can ‘weasel’ into the infinite allness of good which is God.

And infinite good  never fluctuates,   like waves coming in and out on a beach. Good which is God and is our heritage and the very atmosphere of our being is infinitely all – constant, unwavering. as the infinite ocean of good and  joy, peace, safety, freedom and health.

It is enlightening to consider that ‘our’ experience is never a happening apart from God. Our ‘own’ experience is actually God’s experience, – and can never be anything apart from God, for as we are the very emanation of Love, it is clear that what we term ‘our’ experience is actually God’s revealing and unfolding of His infinite knowing. There simply is no other experience.

God who is divine Mind, knows His own expression… knows His cherished infinite ideas continuously and forever – held within the completeness of good, held within the consciousness of divine Love.

God is expressing the infinite good which He is… We are the outcome, we are the very result of God expressing infinite good – God’s own Self. There is no experience apart from God – just as there is no mortal ‘self’ apart from God’s infinite Selfhood. There is not a whisper of a chance that aught but divine good is the essence of all we can know. And as we know and perceive this eternal good which is God, we can only experience that which God is knowing and expressing. This very knowing and being held within the infinite consciousness of Love, good, is all that there is to experience. This is unwavering good, uninterruptible, abundant, constant and enfolding of every cherished idea.

Oh my goodness … how grateful we all must be!!

Gayle Weber, CS

What are Advance Directives?

“Mortals are free moral agents, to choose whom they would serve. If God, then let them serve Him, and He will be unto them All-in-all.”
(Mary B. Eddy Un. 60:17)

Q. What are Advance Directives?
A. Advance Directives are written instructions, such as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care, which guides care when an individual is incapacitated and unable to communicate his/her desires.

Q. Should I have them?
A. The answer is yes! As a Christian Scientist who wants to rely on Christian Science for healing, it is important to have detailed written instructions clearly stating your wishes for care and how that care should be given. See the following link to the BA’s new Health Care section of their website for further information: Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association
The law for advance directives varies from state-to-state. Many states have sample copies, and information that you can download, such as this one for Ohio: Choices

Q. Does the Upward Wing Visiting Christian Science Nurse need to know if I have these Directives in place?
A. Yes. This is one of the questions that we ask our patients before or upon our initial visit to the home. It is important that the Christian Science nurse knows where these forms are kept, so that if a need should arise they can be accessed quickly. Having these forms in place not only protects you, but also those who are caring for you.

The Christian Science nurse, engaged in this Manual-directed activity, is there to support and to confidently uphold the patient’s choice to radically rely on Christian Science for care and treatment.

Please feel free to post your comments below or call Upward Wing: 855-276-4968
(855 – CSN – 4YOU)

 

                                                                           

My Cup Runneth Over

Sustainability and Christian Science Nursing

As Christian Scientists we acknowledge God as the “sustaining infinite” (S&H vii: 1). We also acknowledge “sustainability” whenever we say the Lord’s Prayer with its spiritual interpretation, recognizing that God, Spirit, is meeting and will continue to meet man’s needs. In doing so we conclude that man as God’s image and likeness expresses all the spiritual qualities of Life.

The concern over sustainability, or how humankind can prosper now and continue to prosper in the future, is today the focus of many communications, from socially driven environmental newsletters to business driven executive-education seminars. Even groups with historically opposing interests are coming together to resist the earthly picture of limited resources, demonstrating a breakthrough in world thought, going beyond material sustenance to spiritual flourishing.

The world’s traditional notion of social sacrifice in order to achieve sustainability is shifting to encounters of full-spectrum flourishing, where organizations and individuals employ mindful management practices, which includes fostering the spiritual well-being of all those involved in organizations, from staff to CEO to customer and field member, driving bold thinking, creative problem solving, and profitability for the benefit of all.

Dr. David Cooperrider, professor of social entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, who believes “there’s a profit in peace,” developed “Appreciative Inquiry,” a process for discerning the good and true and bringing those qualities into our experience using a set of tools and research to elevate thought by connecting individuals and corporations to the self, others, and the world.

Scientist and business leader Ratanjat Sondhe, advocate for “oneness thinking” and the belief that it positions businesses and the individuals they touch for success, has said: “Values transformation can fuel great business.” Dr. Cooperrider, in recognizing Tesla Motors’ vision and innovative spirit, believes this automaker with its battery Giga factory is “positioning itself to compete in one of the biggest and most lucrative industries on the planet: the utilities and power generation industry,” going beyond electronic vehicle production.

At a talk he gave at CWRU in May 2014, Dr. Cooperrider’s colleague Dr. Chris Laszlo, shared in reference to Tesla: “Companies that are doing ‘good’ are prospering.” Dr. Laszlo talked about the importance of not only listening to what the customer wants, but the necessity for business leaders to listen to all levels of corporate personnel, remarking that: “People who feel a greater sense of self, others, and the world will care for future generations.”

The desire to reverse the physical picture put forth by scientific evidence, showing us depleted energy sources and limited resources, is one factor propelling this new method. The other is a concept of health or completeness for both the individual and society that goes beyond sustainability to flourishing as the goal.

What a wonderful gift we have in Christian Science, which reveals who we are and our relationship to the one Mind encompassing all of humankind. Christian Science is continuing to leaven world thought.

Through prayer we support and guide the world effort toward Christ healing. Mrs. Eddy instructs: “The facts of divine Science should be admitted, — although the evidence as to these facts is not supported by evil, by matter, or by material sense, — because the evidence that God and man coexist is fully sustained by spiritual sense. Man is, and forever has been, God’s reflection. God is infinite, therefore ever present, and there is no other power or presence. Hence the spirituality of the universe is the only factor of creation.” (S&H 471: 13-20) She also instructs: “At all times and under all circumstances overcome evil with good. Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and occasion for victory over evil.” (S&H 571: 16-18)

In his February 2008 Journal article entitled “Soular Power” Jeffrey Hildner calls the view of the Good and True “Soul Sight,” seeing man as God’s idea. The article includes an interview with Tony Lobl, CS, who comments: “Seeing Soul as God liberates me to see all humankind sharing a unified Soul.” Mr. Lobl goes on to say: “If my vision of others is not of their unique and individual beauty as vital spiritual creations of the perfect Source, then I am misjudging them, mis-observing them. I can look deep into the heart of perfect Soul to readjust my view and change my inner perspective, and by doing so I expect to see a change in what I experience.”

I found the Association of Organizations for Christian Science Nursing (AOCSN) is no stranger to the topic of sustainability as I listened to its Sustainability Committee’s report at the AOCSN Annual Conference in Sacramento this past May. (This year Upward Wing became a member of AOCSN. Overlook House had been an established member prior to the closing of its facility and its formation of Upward Wing.) The purpose of the various AOCSN committees is to support member organizations by providing research and information to assist and guide them in their decision making.

As Christian Science nursing organizations are addressing issues of sustainability concerning their facilities and services, they are seeing the relationship of Christian Science nursing to the Christian Science ministry and that it is sustained as a God supported idea, and likewise revealing Christian Science nursing’s support of the practice of Christian Science.

At the 2009 AOCSN conference Chris Irby William’s keynote address discussed how Christian Science nursing is the proof or demonstration of sustainability. She described the children of Israel’s journey from Egypt as going from “a place of captivity where it looked as if they would perish to a promised land of sustainable demonstration.” She also pointed out Mrs. Eddy’s description of “wilderness” as a “vestibule” where change occurs (S&H 597:16), and said circumstances that are full of loneliness and doubt (the wilderness experience) can launch a big change.

At this year’s conference Sharon Hansen, CS, President of Beacon Haven Facility in Minnesota, presented the Sustainability Committee Report. One thought developed by the committee – of which Mark Schierloh and Helvi Paasinen of Ohio’s Glenmont Christian Science Nursing Facility are contributing members – is that “Jesus could have helped the impotent man into the pool, but instead lifted off the lie of sin, isolation, and impotence and the man was healed” and “by doing this Jesus bore witness to Truth and its life-sustaining quality.” Mrs. Eddy wrote: “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.”

Upward Wing’s mission statement is in part “to bear witness to the Christ in action, meeting the human need.” Caroleen Scholet, Manager of Christian Science Nursing Activities at The Mother Church, explains the Christian Science nurse’s role as witness when she says: “It’s about loving and living Christian Science to the degree that your neighbor feels and experiences it in a very real way… It’s palpable, healing, practical. It’s how we take the best care of one another.”

She describes Christian Science nursing as “health-giving, strengthening, reassuring, calming.” and goes on to say that “The better we understand what it is as a ministry of our Church, the more we will live it and others will feel it. There’s a ripple effect of good when it’s practiced well, and it inspires that same ministry in another. This is sustainable!… The question at hand is: How are we, and can we be proving this for future generations?”

Prayer reveals unlimited Good. Mrs. Eddy tells us the extent to which we “hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true” determines the level at which we experience those qualities (S&H 261: 4&5). As God maintained the Israelites daily supply while leading them to the Promised Land, our understanding of the relationship between God and man leads us from a state of being sustained (supported and comforted) to healing as described in the 23rd Psalm’s expressions of restoration, abundance, and life harmonious and eternal.

As Spirit’s idea man flourishes. In this we fully appreciate the psalmist’s declaration, “My cup runneth over.”

You can read Caroleen Scholet’s full conversation with Kim Shippey in the June 2014 Christian Science Journal.

A Christian Scientist

Recently I have been giving much thought to the question, ‘what does it truly mean to BE a Christian Scientist?’ The answer is far more than being in a Christian Science church on Wed. and Sun; also far more than just ‘reading’ the Lesson each day. What do we actually imbibe from the divine truths we read and hear? And exactly WHERE do we imbibe and live these truths?

Mary Baker Eddy’s words in Science and Health are the key to answering the first question above. On pg 367 she states, “A Christian Scientist occupies the place at this period of which Jesus spoke to his disciples, when he said, “Ye are the salt of the earth. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” I am sure we all know and love Jesus’ words, but let’s think about specifically how we go about living this ‘saltness’ and being this ‘light of the world’.

The essence and make up of our every thought and desire is what determines the success of our ‘saltness’ and reach of this light.

A treasured gift from Jesus’ teachings is the Sixth Beatitude.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Does this not refer to our very deepest thoughts and desires? Turning to page 15 in Miscellaneous Writings, we find the words Mrs. Eddy writes:

“Nothing aside from the spiritualization – yea, the highest Christianization – of thought and desire, can give the true perception of God and divine Science, that results in health, happiness, and holiness.” Also interesting to note is which Beatitude she cites just prior to this statement.

We need not ‘short-change’ ourselves by overlooking her last words in this statement. She writes that this living of genuine spiritualization, – yea, the highest Christianization of thought and desire brings rich results to us… “health, happiness, and holiness.” We cannot live divine truths without having the blessings of Truth in our experience!

In pondering her words, it is so very clear that being a Christian Scientist means living and moving about with the highest Christianization of thought and desire … and thusly perceiving God and divine Science.

No thought can slip by without notice… no desire of the heart can be irrelevant… Bringing into captivity every thought and desire to being the purest expression of the infinite good – is how we truly begin to “see God”. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” This is what it means to live the highest Christianity – spiritualized thought… to truly BE a Christian Scientist.

Sympathy or Compassion

SYMPATHY OR COMPASSION?

Do we have a friend, family member, or perhaps a neighbor who appears to be struggling with a physical need? Perhaps the most impelling response to this kind of situation is the desire to help – to assist – to make the circumstance better for that dear person.

Something we all need to be clear about — is the great difference between a response of sympathy and a response of compassion.
Sympathy can be a manipulative trick of mortal thought impelling us to accept a sad condition or picture as real….. thus, humanly justifying our feelings of sadness for another person dealing with something other than good…. dealing with a painful or troubling condition which is categorized as “real”. Humanly justified sadness or “sympathy” will never heal.
But we know that God never gives a situation or condition which is ever less than all good.

I recently heard of a term describing sympathy as “sympathetic mesmerism”. Isn’t this a clearly great and accurate description of what can happen to our own thinking when we accept a material picture of discord, disease, injury or any circumstance not created by God, — as being real?

Just consider how many times we read in the Bible of Jesus feeling compassion for others, and — his compassion followed by healing. Jesus never felt compassion and then turned away – – – He did not feel compassion, only to accept a sad picture as real for another. The compassion he felt was always followed by healing, correcting, harmonizing of the picture which he clearly understood to be false.

Do we wish to be mesmerized by a sad picture? Or rather, do we choose to embrace another in the healing compassion of divine Love… infinite Love knowing its own precious perfect one — right now in the allness of God’s knowing….
Compassion based on the perfection of God’s knowing enables us to toss out every false impression and replace it with admittance of pure reality.

Do we choose to accept a mental state of being hypnotized by a sad picture, with which another may be engaged ? — The world’s popular concept of sympathy would have us do just that…. By its trick of mesmerism, sympathy would have us give reality to that which is unreal, and thus — would have us give power to something God never established.

I like to think of sympathy accompanied by a deep desire to heal and help… actually growing into a divinely planted heart-felt condition of compassion. Instead of being satisfied with a sense of sympathy – or acceptance of a picture of falsity, let’s really work to replace every such instance with the divinely impelled compassion which is followed by healing.

The next time we think of — or encounter another — (or even ourselves ) engaged with a false picture or struggle of any kind, let’s open our hearts to embracing that dear person (including ourselves) with the healing compassion of infinite Love – – the active healing compassion of Love knowing Its own as purely perfect and spiritual.

What is the difference between a Christian Science practitioner and a Christian Science nurse?

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” (I Cor. 12:4-6)

Q: What is the difference between a Christian Science practitioner and a Christian Science nurse?

In The Christian Science Journal, a monthly publication of The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts, are found the names and contact information of Christian Science practitioners and nurses. These names appear in the Directory of Professional Services and Church Information at the back of the publication. Each of their roles are clearly defined.

Christian Science Practitioners

“The men and women who advertise in these pages are devoted full-time to helping others through Christian Science as explained in the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. They are experienced in the healing ministry of Christian Science and available to give Christian Science treatment through prayer for life challenges.”

Christian Science Nurses

“The men and women who advertise in these pages represent themselves as experienced Christian Scientists who are prepared to provide spiritual reassurance and skilled physical care to those receiving Christian Science treatment for healing . . . The standard of the Christian Science nurse is found in the Manual of The Mother Church, p. 49, Article VIII, Section 31.”

The Christian Science practitioner and the Christian Science nurse both have a demonstrable knowledge of Christian Science practice and both are witnesses to the Divine power of healing but their roles are distinctly different. The Christian Science practitioner provides “Christian Science treatment through prayer for life challenges” while the Christian Science nurse provides “spiritual reassurance and skillful physical care to those receiving Christian Science treatment.”

Further explaining these differences and similarities is an article in the December 1981 Christian Science Journal entitled “Practitioner, Nurse, and the Seamless Garment of Healing” by Donna Nalley Ryburn.

“Fulfilling the demands of their respective roles — each bearing witness to the oneness and allness of God — practitioner and nurse blend their sympathies in Christian cooperation, thus preserving the garment of healing in its undivided wholeness for their patient.”

The Christian Science nurses of Upward Wing consider it a joy and a privilege to support this healing mission. Please call (855) 276-4968 to see how we may be of service.

An Integral Part of Healing Prayer

In thinking about prayer and gratitude, we know that gratitude is an integral part of healing prayer.

Gratitude is something felt deeply and strongly within the heart, and if we truly are comprehending God to be infinite, omnipresent good… we simply cannot pray in Christian Science without acknowledging God to be the Allness of good, the Allness of Truth.

So often we hear expressions of gratitude and love for others, love for our neighbor, and gratitude for kindness of others. But not as often do we hear expression of gratitude for God – expression of love for God – – just for being God, – – love for infinite Truth, just for being infinite All.

Yet perhaps this is the greatest gratitude of all.

Sometimes in early mornings, I listen with such appreciation to the multitude of bird songs coming from the trees. The amazing multitude of infinitely varying songs – – yet each is sung clearly and individually expressive and distinctive.
Such joy expressed in these morning songs! Not a single one waits to be asked for their song. Singing their joy is an aspect of their nature. Isn’t this also an aspect of our nature as God’s precious ideas?

This thought strikes me as so relevant to our own living of our gratitude for Christian Science. No expression of gratitude can be lost or unappreciated by God. We certainly have the realization of gratitude in our hearts for all the good which God is, and God is doing.

Whatever we are praying about, it is essential that we don’t wait to be asked for our song of gratitude. But let us sing as the birds so joyously do – – let us sing freely of our gratitude for God being God – – the All-in-all infinite good, Love – which enfolds and includes every precious idea

Keeping Our Hearts with All Diligence

I’ve been thinking recently about the concept of abundance. We all know the word, and I think we all recognize the feeling of abundance of any good thing. Now the question comes: ‘what is the most valuable sort of abundance?’

If I have 3 bushels of apples, it certainly is an abundance of apples (!) – as compared to a single apple on the counter. But how much  feeling of real richness or wealth does having those bushels give to my heart ? Perhaps real abundance of value, is that which is recognized in spiritual qualities. Doesn’t an abundance of joy fill our heart to overflowing in ways that multiple bushels of apples or fruit can’t begin to ?

In Proverbs 4: 23, we read, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”

Perhaps we need to gauge real abundance by the joy and love with which our hearts are filled.  Simply keeping or holding onto all those bushels of apples really doesn’t pour love and joy into our hearts.   But if we use those bushels of fruit for giving to hungry persons, – – – be alert to the peace and joy and richness felt within your heart  resulting  from that very activity of heart-impelled giving.

So simply having an abundance of apples — or any other good thing, doesn’t enrich our heart. Rather it is the very heart-impelled activity of generosity which brings richness and joy to us.  Giving,  kindness,  and generosity on behalf of  others certainly attest to their source as spiritual qualities.  Giving which emanates  of compassion is rich indeed!

So, for all of us, our acts of generosity,  and living / giving of our understanding of  spiritual qualities is certainly a sure way to  ‘keep our heart with all diligence’,  and enhance our own understanding of the richness of divine Life,  which is Love.

 

What happens when I call Upward Wing?

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. (Isa. 65: 24)

When you make the phone call to Upward Wing, a Christian Science nurse who is ready to rejoice with you in witnessing healing will answer!

Let’s first walk through the steps in placing the call.

  • When you dial Upward Wing (855-276-4968), an automated voice will instruct you to press a number. This number resets daily, depending upon who is on call for that day. Be sure to listen closely for the daily number.
  • After you select and press the number, you will hear the name of the Christian Science nurse who is currently on call. At this point, please be patient as the system transfers your call to the phone of the Christian Science nurse. You will hear a brief series of tones as this step completes.
  • Usually we answer your call immediately. If not, rest assured, we check our phones regularly, and you may expect a prompt return call. Please be sure to leave your name and telephone number. This part is strictly confidential. Only the Christian Science nurse will hear your message. If you have not received a return call within 30 minutes, do feel free to call again.

The Christian Science nurse that answers your call will ask you some simple questions to determine your needs. These questions include your address, phone number, and the name of the Journal-listed practitioner with whom you are working. We then schedule a visit which may occur immediately, if needed, or in the future. Our visits typically last between 1- 3 hours. We are happy to return until healing is evidenced.

We answer our phones 24 hours a day, year round, and look forward to being of service.

Talk to you soon!
Kimberly Thorndike,
Director of Visiting Christian Science Nursing