From the June 11, 2018 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
Is it possible to love God in a time when, in many Western countries, there is a growing number of both those who don’t believe in the existence of God and those who consider themselves spiritual, rather than religious? Maybe before tackling the question of how to love God in such an environment of doubt and denial, one needs to start with the basic question “Does God even exist?” It’s a question I’ve asked myself.
Although I was raised in Christian Science, after some years of wrestling to understand God and make Christian Science my own, I left churchgoing, seeing only what I felt were questionable personal interactions and a narrow denominational focus. But after time spent finishing my schooling and traveling the globe a bit, I noticed something rather basic, and quite profound to me—that everything revolves around love. Whether it was seeing the love expressed by children playing in different parts of the world, or experiencing the love of learning in college, I realized that the idea of love as a harmonizing, beautifying, and creative force was everywhere.
This struck a chord with me. I may have questioned if God exists, but I had no doubt about love’s existence. I remembered learning in Christian Science that Love is a synonym for God. I started looking at Christian Science anew, not as a cultural or denominational phenomenon as I had before, but as a Science that explains spiritual laws of being drawn from the Bible’s statement “God is love” (I John 4:8).
The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, says, “The Christian Science God is universal, eternal, divine Love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death” (p. 140). This can seem incomprehensible to the human mind, which is slow to discern anything that goes beyond the material sense of things. But to understand the unlimited nature of Love is to have some sense of the infinite God, or Truth, that bases reality.
And as I took up the study of Christian Science once again, I saw how freeing it was to love God—even in a world that seemed to be consumed with material things and personalities. I could become more acquainted with infinity than with limitations, and more acquainted with Love than with the fear of lacking love. I could go down deep to understand our fundamentally spiritual being and our inseparable relation to pure, spiritual, divine Love. This is brought out in “the scientific statement of being” in Science and Health, which asserts, “All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation ….” The boldness of the assertion of God’s allness follows the equally bold dismissal of materiality: “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.” These then lead to the profound conclusion, “Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual” (p. 468).
Christian Science explains that God, Love, is the only reality, the only actual substance and cause. Divine Love operates through spiritual laws that break through material beliefs formed by fear, such as dogma, hate, divisiveness, and sickness. Love restores harmony. It grounds us on the rock of Truth, where the storms and stresses of the human experience are dispelled—not isolating us from the human experience, but deepening and enriching it. How does this work?
An analogy may help. Years ago, a friend and I took a photography class that included a section on the study of light. When I drove home that night, I started to see billboards, headlights, trees—everything—in a new way. Nothing had changed physically, but I saw how the light bathed everything, giving it texture, form, and highlights—even the darkness was defined by light. It is like that with new and clearer insights into the nature of infinite Love.
When I realized that Love was the substance of all, my thought shifted, and I saw everything in my experience transformed in this new light of Love, in which Love defined everything.
And as I took up the study of Christian Science once again, I saw how freeing it was to love God—even in a world that seemed to be consumed with material things and personalities.
Loving God is knowing God as Love, and that understanding brings changes in the heart as well as healing. Prayer that affirms the infinite breadth of Love brings out that surge of possibility, that purity of desire to understand that Love is impossible to stop, avoid, or prevent. As light dissolves darkness, Love dissolves the mental darkness that makes materiality feel so real, and reveals our wholeness, resulting in healing and transformation. In proportion as I was gaining in the understanding that divine Love is omnipresent and omnipotent, materialism with all its temptations and fears lost its influence. It was in those gains that I experienced healings—some of physical ailments, some of fears and other discords. And I experienced changes in character, reversing bad habits and becoming more honest and compassionate.
This quote from the Gospel of John took on new meaning for me: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (3:16, 17). God, as divine Love, doesn’t lead us to perish, but to thrive. Love does not condemn, but corrects and governs. Through God’s love we are saved, and feel the power of Love to heal us and to redeem us from under a material sense of life that is full of sickness, limitation, division, and sin. Our lives flourish as we understand that materialism cannot define us or confine us and that Love is supreme.
The Bible says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:4, 5). And in accepting this all-out, wholehearted commitment to loving God, we see the light of Love everywhere.
From the January 9, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
“Oh, be joyful!” That was the first thing the Christian Science practitioner said when I called her as a young girl, asking for prayerful help in healing a painful condition. And the healing came quickly, as did the surprising realization that God loves me with consistency and joy. As I grew into adulthood, there were numerous times when I got to see how joy, brought on by understanding there can never be a separation from God, broke through the mesmerism of doubt, anxiety, and fear, and replaced it with a calm and confident assurance of God’s consistent love—and how this brought healing.
To kearn more about joy, click here!
From the May 14, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
Testimonies of healing are everywhere! And they are central to Christian Science. They are in The Christian Science Journal, Sentinel, and Herald magazines, at testimony meetings, in Sunday School lessons, in the last chapter of Science and Health, and online. The power of the testimony lies in the fact that Christian Scientists can prove what they’ve learned by healing. And no one can take away or discredit what we have proved for ourselves.
My family was introduced to Christian Science when my grandfather was healed of severe head injuries. His testimony and other healings my family had (see below) were the springboard for me to practice Christian Science. Although I broke away from it for about a year at one point, wanting to discover Truth for and by myself, I ultimately came back because I found Christian Science so compelling. I was seeing that the ideas of Christian Science, the law of Love, were everywhere.
It seemed that all aspects of my life were showing me more of the relevance of Christian Science. After making it my own, I saw how its ideas helped my post-college work in education. Later I worked as an administrator for a Christian Science nursing facility, where I saw countless examples of how practical Christian Science is. Being married and having children showed me how tender and powerful Love is. Later, in a job with the publisher of Mary Baker Eddy’s writings, I supported the worldwide distribution of Science and Health. As I traveled to Europe, Asia, and Latin America, I saw how deep the hunger and wide the demand is to know more about Christian Science.
Looking back, I see that each step was preparing me to be a healer. And I just wanted to take more steps! I wanted to dive in with a commitment to help make this Science available, responding more fully to the growing demand for healing through prayer. I knew it was my time to add to the record of healing by becoming a Christian Science practitioner. I got an office, set up a website, put an ad in the local paper, and I was off!.......
To read more,
More about healing:
Healing through prayer in Christian Science has been a standard thoughhout my life. My family and extended family could list many healings of business challenges resolved, third and second degree burns healed, healings (broken bones, coma, etc) resulting from car accidents, migraines, slipped disk, wrenched knees, lost items found, relationship issues resolved, homes found, moving family across the country, financial problems reversed and many more - all resolved and healed through Christian Science prayer. Click on here to here of more testimonies of healing that came about through prayer in Christian Science.
From the May 1996 issue of The Christian Science Journal
It is natural to expect healing in Christian Science to come quickly. There may be times, though, when it isn't immediate, and we need to be firm in keeping out harmful thoughts that would impose themselves on us. Are we tempted, for instance, to condemn ourselves simply for finding ourselves in a challenging situation? Such a thought isn't from God. It's a suggestion of the carnal mind, which would focus our attention on a false view of man as a sinful or victimized mortal. It needs to be recognized as false and replaced with the sweet, perfect, and authoritative truth that God is pure good and that man is His immortal, unblemished, uncontaminated child, inseparable from divine Love.
We have nothing to be ashamed of as we work to establish a clearer understanding of the activity of God and His Christ in our lives. And we can remember that our caring Father-Mother, God, gives us all that we need. The Bible says, "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." 1
God is all-powerful, all-gracious, and man is the direct expression of God. The relationship of God to man is as close as the relationship of a parent to a child—in fact, closer. God and man are inseparable, like the sun and the sunlight. You simply cannot have one without the other. So it follows that man is because God is.
Because of our unity with God, we can expect to understand and feel God's regenerative, purifying love. This understanding disables any sense of guilt or condemnation, or the fear of malicious criticism, and restores the perception of our heaven-bestowed status of health and harmony.
to continue reading..........
From the Sept 2, 1996 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
It's all right to cry.
Let the tears take you down to a place
you thought no one ever knew about,
behold the Christ is here.
You are not alone.
Behold the Christ is here,
the spirit of God,
giving a cup of cold water,
pouring you out a blessing,
filling up the vacant hope,
spilling over with
an endless, purifying love
"I have overcome the world."*
The Christ is here,
carrying you with the truth
that your life is flooded with
God's infinite goodness.
Be comforted now with clearer, wider vision.
You are not alone.
*See John 16:31-33.
From JSH online June 08, 2012 - Practice, Practice, Practice
I just finished another call from a patient, and I am in awe. It is evident that God is leading both of us to a greater understanding of our relationship to Her—and this understanding is conquering every sort of sin, every sort of chaos, discomfort, and disease.
My practice is like being involved in an army of good. I see that each patient self-enlists when she or he calls. There’s some challenge that needs addressing. It’s the patient’s spiritual sense, their own “conscious, constant capacity to understand God” (Science and Health, p. 209) that leads them to seek healing of the issue. Although the challenge may seem to be something that is intimately theirs, it’s really only an iteration of the belief that God is not all powerful. The problem may exist at a micro-level and seem to be personal, but it also exists at a macro-level and is a world belief—the belief that any of God’s children can be separated from Him.
When we pray together, we open ourselves up to Truth, God. And that opening reveals our inseparable relationship to God, to Truth and to Love. My patients have faced down fear with Love; disease with whole and vibrant health; sensuality with purity; apathy with renewed purpose and vigor. I track all progress and healing, and it’s awesome to review each month’s work and reaffirm the progress of Love that has healed all kinds of conditions in all sorts of ways.
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I was moved to hear of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg's tribute for her friend and colleague Supreme Court Justice Scalia. Part of that tribute included this line " 'We are different, we are one,' different in our interpretation of written texts, one in our reverence for the Constitution and the institution we serve." Their lives together as friends is a model that shows how we can all work together, even with vastly different views. And to go one step further, we can see that those who oppose us are sometimes those that force us to refine and strengthen what we believe.
Mary Baker Eddy, reformer and founder of Christian Science, writes
'“Love thine enemies” is identical with “Thou hast no enemies.” Wherein is this conclusion relative to those who have hated thee without a cause? Simply, in that those unfortunate individuals are virtually thy best friends. Primarily and ultimately, they are doing thee good far beyond the present sense which thou canst entertain of good.' (from Miscellaneous Writings, p. 9:9)
Harmony does not always mean homogeneity. Harmony means that there is a congruity in which we can value and love others on the highest level - a spiritual basis.
As you read this article about Scalia and Ginsburg, Ginsburg's tribute is full of appreciation for Scalia's intellect and wit, and devotion and allegiance to his work. Their disagreements served to refine her arguments, further benefiting her office and interpretations of law. Their friendship went higher than their disagreements, as they " bonded over their love for their country and their passion for the law." (To read the full article on Scalia and Ginsburg, click here.)
This made me think of how I have dealt with disagreements within family, work groups or politics. Have I been able to see beyond the immediate clash, to value those with differing opinions and to see how those different views can challenge and change or strengthen my own understanding?
Can I see that we are all united by our love for the same thing? We stand on a lot of territory that is common ground. Am I claiming that common ground enough so that we can all work together in ways that are progressively better?
Mary Baker Eddy writes about the impact of oneness. But before I share that, consider the word "God". Let's take from that word any sense of dogma, division and denomination. Let's use that word as synonymous with Love, as it is done in the book of John when he writes "God is Love."
This opens the door on what is possible when we focus on our higher selves, the "better angels of our nature" as Lincoln coined that phrase.
Where it says "One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations" let's consider "One infinite Love unifies men and nations" and then read on "... constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfills the Scripture, “Love thy neighbor as thyself;” annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed." (See Science and Health p. 340:23-29)
We can go so much farther by working together. The Ginsburg/Scalia friendship certainly gives us hope for what we can all achieve with one another. As we are in full swing with the election season, this is the higher road and hope we can all claim.
You may already know that the Psalms written in the Bible were actually songs. They cover most of life's issues in the 150 songs written. I learned lots about Psalms today at a meeting with our hospital's very cool prayer team.
According to the book Out of the Depths: The Psalms Speak for us Today, there are six major themes for the psalms: 5 storytelling psalms (example: Psalm 78); a whopping 64 lament psalms - the most popular type of all songs (example: Psalm 22); 20 Thanksgiving psalms (example: Psalm 116); 17 psalms of praise (example: Psalm 147); 36 Festival psalms (example: Psalm 47); and 22 meditation or wisdom psalms (example: Psalm 23).
What impressed me most is to learn of the context and reasons behind these songs. The Psalms were written as a life story. This led us to ask- how would each of us capture our life story in its different aspects of praise, wisdom, lament, etc? How would we use a psalm as a vehicle to sing our own song?
As an example, we looked at the most popular psalm: the 23rd Psalm:
A Psalm of David
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
And then we looked at this same psalm rewritten from the Eskimo perspective (author unknown).
A Psalm of the Eskimo
The Lord is my master: I am his dog.
He makes me lie down in soft snow; He leads me across the firm ice:
He calls to me encouragingly.
He drives me on good trails because I belong to Him.
Through storms and troubles, I will not be afraid because He is with me,
My harness is securely fastened and His hand is on the sled.
He guards me while I eat, though enemies lurk near. He doctors my hurts.
My heart overflows with gratitude.
Only kindness and gentle care will be mine from the hands of this Master And I will be on His team forever.
So, dear reader, how would you write your own psalm?
Is it possible that just by knowing God – this can heal you?
A little boy prayed for his younger sibling and simply by understanding God – and this without a whole lot of words, study and instruction – his little brother was healed of a inflamed ear and earache. The little boy knew God. He knew that God made his younger brother to be well, to play and be happy. He knew that God is totally good.
He operated on a Principle of Love, sung by the Psalmist, established by Christ Jesus, discovered by Mary Baker Eddy and demonstrated countless times in the many healings in Christian Science that we are reading about today.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully
made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul
knoweth right well. Psalms 139:14
So let's break this down: What does it mean to know God?
Mary Baker Eddy, discoverer and founder of Christian Science, defines God as omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. These are huge concepts for the human mind to comprehend. Having all power means there is no room for any other power.
Being omnipresent means there was never a time in the past, never a time now or in the future where any other power could have influence.
Being omniscient means that there was never a time when God's power was ever faulty, missed the mark, forgot details, etc.
From the infinitesimal to infinity, God's understanding intelligence is the only influence, the only guidance, the only Love. God's love shows forth an exacting care to all of Love's ideas, powerfully, constantly, and precisely.
To know God is to trust God.
The Psalmist sings this out in Psalm 3: 5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”
What is the result of this trust? Again, from the above psalm: Ps 139:14 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
Praise and joy come from this trust, which is then made manifest in our lives as well as on the body.
To know God is to know no other power
God is whole, complete, pure Truth.
God is life – eternal, harmonious.
God's perfect love brings out Her exacting care.
There is only one Mind, one God.
To know God aligns our thought and lives with what is real. But it also does another thing. Knowing God removes anything unGodlike. Similar to the nature of light: the light doesn't know the darkness; light isn't influenced by any of the characteristics of darkness – it does not need to know why the darkness seems to be there, how long it seems to have been there, etc. The light just does what it does – it shines, radiates forth, and the darkness dissolves.
Having no other gods
Disease is a mental concept supported by beliefs originating from fear of isolation, separation or divisiveness; a belief and fear of intelligent matter; a fear of evil as a power, and /or a belief in chance and deterioration of good. We don't need to bow down to these ideas. They have no substance. In fact, these beliefs need one's consent to actually take hold in thought, as they have no originating power themselves. They are commonly referred to as error – appropriately named as these beliefs are simply mistakes, lies about what is true.
Mary Baker Eddy told a student "Error comes to you for life, and you give it all the life it has." (Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy,Amplified Edition, p. 98).
We have divine authority to refuse to give error any life. We can refuse to animate and act out the fears and suggestions that say we are separate from God, or isolated from Love.
Popular belief may guide diseases' developments from health to illness and vice versa but it won't be eradicated until all false premises are removed. Diseases will seem to pop up in sporadic and random ways until the context of disease is shattered. And how are these false premises removed and its context shattered?
By knowing God.
No room for disease
By knowing God as whole complete, pure; and knowing Truth as omnipotent, there is no room for chance in establishing health or for the fear of the randomness of intelligent matter.
God is life – eternal, harmonious. This crowds out all thought that suggests that limitation or deterioration could be part of our lives.
God's perfect love brings out Her exacting care. This removes the argument that we could ever be separate or isolated from God's goodness, abundance and guidance.
There is only one Mind, one God. This replaces the false premise the evil has a separate mind and is powerful.
There is a sweet saying flying around the internet that says “Don't tell God you have a big problem; tell your problem you have a big God.”
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
There is great comfort in knowing that we need never despair. The more we understand the omnipotence of Truth, the ever-presence of Love and the all-knowing nature of divine Life, the more we will feel that confidence and assurance that we are safe and that “with God, all things are possible.”
I am listening to news reports on Paris as I write. Prayer, support, continues to flood in on my news feed. The whole world is responding. I am drawn to pray for those wounded.
Years ago, I was waiting for the bus that would take me home. Two elderly man got up from the bus bench and started walking toward the bus and then tripped and fell under the bus as it pulled away. People immediately surrounded them and I bent down to talk to one of the men as others called for an ambulance. I don't remember what I said but the word “Christ” came distinctly in thought. Christ – it's a word that means to me comfort, tenderness, attentiveness, power and peace.
I felt that and I think he did too. Soon, the ambulance came and swept them off to the hospital.
It brings it home that the Christ is right there, comforting those involved.
The Christ is here. Comfort, support, help and strength are being called for now. Love endures.
“The world needs the poise, breadth, confidence, and vision of our prayers. It needs our seasoned experience in overcoming apparent evil by realizing God’s presence. It needs our grace to move forward with compassion and our insistence that greater good can come from any disturbance—no matter how large or small.”
I was searching the internet for ideas and prayers and have posted them here. Please add your own prayers here:
In any group consciousness, the stronger thought rules the weaker. And we can refuse to let hatred, anger, mental illness be the stronger thought.
Onward and upward!
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016