Prayerful Thoughts on Willingness

What is willingness? It is a quality of both heart and attitude. This being true, it is imperative that we know where we are putting our heart and with what we are aligning our attitude.

Jesus spoke plainly when he said, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6: 21).

What is our treasure? What is it that we love more than anything? If we are following Jesus’ example, we are loving God, and trusting in God in all ways and all things and all events.

Regardless of the severity of the challenges, wrongs, and injustices that Jesus encountered, he, with humble consecration, always turned to his Father, God. Consider his great statement, spoken in the face of severe threat and apparent danger, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). He could not love God without completely trusting in God’s illimitable law of intelligence and good.

Can we take a similar stand? Do we love God enough to yield all human thought, ambition, control, motive, and desire, to God’s directing? This surely must be our daily goal.

We cannot love God without trusting in God. Therefore, looking to human reasoning or human experience, manipulating or planning based on mortal sense, steals away our love for God and trust in His infinite law of Principle. Trusting matter or material sense will never reveal spiritual identity and God’s presence. But trusting God to lead and protect His work, and His lambs in every engagement, does reveal our at-one-ness with Him, the One who is divine Love.

Do we begin each morning with Jesus’ perspective, “Not my will, but Thine, be done this day?” In every encounter and work we can ever be doing, God’s law of divine good is greater than any sense of human intelligence or management. As we move about our lives our love for God should be great enough to yield every ounce of human intelligence or control of events to Love’s boundless embrace. As we, with open hearts, embrace our high treasure, God’s law of good will overflow to all His cherished ideas, God’s law of good will bless and benefit every individual and every activity or work in which we are engaged.

As we love God enough to trust the leading of divine Principle, no mishap or misdirection can possibly deter the outpouring of good in every heart. Our willingness to listen and follow Love’s guiding and directing will prove again the Scriptural promise, “prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Mal. 3:10).

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

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.

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.

 

Introducing our board blog

Serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Overlook House/Upward Wing has been a blessing of both humbling and truly enriching benefit. The joy felt from working with a group of dedicated Christian Scientists whose hearts are prayerfully pursuing the outreach of Christian Science Nursing in Northern Ohio is a gift. We have felt great generosity and love among Christian Scientists throughout the field. As we continue moving toward consistency of support for the Manual provision of Christian Science Nursing, we would like to offer this web “corner” for sharing some of the gifts we’ve received of prayerful thought and insight.

Our sharing here will be a thank you ‘gift-offering’ of our love to all hearts interested in Mary Baker Eddy’s establishment of Christian Science Nursing.

We are calling this our “Sharing Corner” as we welcome your prayerful thoughts and comments shared back in response.

Lovingly, Gayle Weber, CS