In this section, we are looking at the fundamentals of the practice, why it remains a calling for us all, and how we can see its infinite value and firm basis. All of how we practice Christian Science has value.
Now whether you are Journal listed as a practitioner or nurse; are in the part-time practice; or are working toward Christian Science nursing; whether your profession includes healing as an artist, teacher, writer, or of caregiving, or your practice is for yourself or family - practicing Christian Science and healing is the only way to BE a Christian Scientist.
Let's ask ourselves these questions:
What is the actual value of Christian Science to the race?
Christian Science uplifts the race.
It makes better people.
It speaks to what is already in people’s hearts.
It removes fear.
It gives us a way out of the chaos, conflict, and disease.
It is freeing.
It brings out infinite possibilities for good.
Your response _______________________________________
Are we giving better value treatments to ourselves? and to those asking for help? and to the world?
How much devoted time is given?
Do I really see myself/the patient/the world as whole?
Am I earnestly seeking to understand how God sees me/the patient/the world?
Your response _______________________________________
How can we make sure we are trustworthy? Mary Baker Eddy answers this question: "What are the means and methods of trustworthy Christian Scientists?
Answer "These people should not be expected, more than others, to give all their time to Christian Science work, receiving no wages in return, but left to be fed, clothed, and sheltered by charity. Neither can they serve two masters, giving only a portion of their time to God, and still be Christian Scientists. They must give Him all their services, and "owe no man." To do this, they must at present ask a suitable price for their services, and then conscientiously earn their wages, strictly practising Divine Science, and healing the sick." (Rudimental Divine Science, pp. 13:23–7)
Know that you are a good, trustworthy Christian Scientist. Why? Because you love God! In the practice of Christian Science, Love is patient, kind, tenacious, earnest, willing, is not weighed down with the baggage of self, and trusts God always, implicitly.
Your response _______________________________________
Morality and abundance in the Christian Science practice
Christian Science is the law of God, good. There is a lot to understand about infinite good, as infinite good means infinite abundance, as divine Love has always met and is meeting every human need.
Christ Jesus said “ I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) and “ I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). Indeed, we have a rich Father - Mother and Christ shows us the richness of the kingdom of heaven that we have right at hand. All of us are heirs, heirs of Christ. Our lives are rich with the Spirit. The promise of God’s love and joy is timeless. “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light”(Psalms 36:7–9.)
When we experience healing, we feel a humble awe, a deep and satisfying praise for God’s nearness and dearness. We are rich beyond measure --satisfied, complete in knowing that our God is good, and good is infinite. “Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul.” (Science and Health p. 60:29–31)
In our understanding of God and our right relation to God - our righteousness - we are healed, redeemed, rightly valued, and known as worthy.
There is the moral component of physical healing as all healing lifts up the physical, moral, spiritual. "Healing morally and physically are one"(Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 300:29–32 (to 2nd .).
There is an exchange of value that goes on in the patient/practitioner relationship. As both practitioners and patients fulfill their moral obligations to one another, we experience abundance. "Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us" (Science and Health, p. 79:31–32). It isn’t uncommon for a patient to ask for healing as one issue and include the issue of supply as well. All can be healed. All can feel abundance in their health and well-being in their homes, with all human needs being met. But even more plainly, being moral relates to abundance. How so? How does being honest, compassionate, temperate, meek, full of faith and hope, etc., relate to abundance? Here, the moral thought transitions to seeing the good already at hand; and by seeing good, we access its multiplying effect. Praise begets praise, and honesty and hope open the way to see and experience greater good. "Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more" (Science and Health, p. 3:22–24). A right idea carries with it all the right resources.
An exchange of value in the context of abundance
Mrs. Eddy has this request: "Christian Science practitioners should make their charges for treatment equal to those of reputable physicians in their respective localities" (Miscellany, p. 237:16). Why is this so?
This is a question that begs for a clarification of what it is we are valuing. Are we aware of Christian Science’s “infinite value and firm basis”?
"Christian Science is not only the acme of Science but the crown of Christianity. It is universal. It appeals to man as man; to the whole and not to a portion; to man physically, spiritually, and to all mankind.
"It has one God. It demonstrates the divine Principle, rules, and practice of the great healer and master of metaphysics, Jesus of Nazareth. It spiritualizes religion and restores its lost element, namely, healing the sick. It consecrates and inspires the teacher and preacher; it equips the doctor with safe and sure medicine; it encourages and empowers the business man and secures the success of honesty. It is the dear children's toy and strong tower; the wise man's spiritual dictionary; the poor man's money; yea, it is the pearl priceless whereof our Master said, if a man findeth, he goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth it. Buyeth it! Note the scope of that saying, even that Christianity is not merely a gift, as St. Paul avers, but is bought with a price, a great price; and what man knoweth as did our Master its value, and the price that he paid for it?" (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, pp. 252:17–5).
The practice of Christian Science is not merely a business transaction here (although we act professionally and do billing and accounting of our work). We are in the most sacred work of redeeming humanity.
"The work of healing, in the Science of Mind, is the most sacred and salutary power which can be wielded. My Christian students, impressed with the true sense of the great work before them, enter this strait and narrow path, and work conscientiously (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 54: 22).
"When considering Science will declare God aright, and Christianity will demonstrate this declaration and its divine Principle, making mankind better physically, morally, and spiritually” (Science and Health, p. 466:28).
In Christian Science treatment, the practitioner recognizes the worth and value inherent in the patient and gives treatment humbly and conscientiously - giving full attention and focus to the work.
The patient has shown trust and receptivity in calling the practitioner and an expectancy of healing. The patient recognizes the value of the work and pays for the work being done. In this fair exchange of value, there are no questionable agendas, or false dependencies, or a trailing sense of unfulfilled obligation. The patient has honestly paid and now owns the treatment.
Mrs. Eddy learned this lesson well - as she often worked for no remuneration and sometimes had the majority of her classes with students who couldn't pay. And this is what she found and therefore required practitioners to charge fees: "Christian Science demonstrates that the patient who pays whatever he is able to pay for being healed, is more apt to recover than he who withholds a slight equivalent for health" (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 300:29–32 (to 2nd .).
But in this exchange of value, there is kindness, benevolence, and grace. In the Manual, we have this directive: “A member of The Mother Church shall not, under pardonable circumstances, sue his patient for recovery of payment for said member's practice, on penalty of discipline and liability to have his name removed from membership. Also, he shall reasonably reduce his price in chronic cases of recovery, and in cases where he has not effected a cure. A Christian Scientist is a humanitarian; he is benevolent, forgiving, long-suffering, and seeks to overcome evil with good”(Manual of The Mother Church, p. 46:19).
Love is correcting, guiding, and supplying all good. No one can be denied the good God gives.
THE BIG PICTURE
Addressing Mrs. Eddy's requirement for practitioners to charge fees comparable to what doctors charge in the practitioner's locality charge - gives guidance on how the world should see the value of Christian Science treatment. It is not "just praying!”
The Founder of Christian Science denominated this religion as a Science, telling the world that religion had another dimension. It lifted Christian Science out of the arguments of theological doctrines and creeds into the arena of Science with its required and repeatable proofs of its effectiveness. Likewise, Mrs. Eddy lifted the idea of “thoughts and prayers” from something that is sometimes seen as comforting, but not often reliable -- to the idea of prayer and healing being Cause and effect, and that what Christ Jesus taught is effective and brings factual and actual evidence of its methodology. Thoughts and prayers grounded in the healing laws of Life, Truth, and Love, aka Christian Science, are valid and are leavening the world's thought in science, health care, theology, human rights, innovation, and peace.
It is most essential that those who practice Christian Science healing are one with Mrs. Eddy’s life- purpose: “ — to impress humanity with the genuine recognition of practical, operative Christian Science.”(Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 207:1)
When answering the question “Why do you charge for teaching Christian Science, when all the good we can do must be done freely?” Mrs Eddy writes: “When teaching imparts the ability to gain and maintain health, to heal and elevate man in every line of life, — as this teaching certainly does, — is it unreasonable to expect in return something to support one's self and a Cause?” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 38:1–12)
Only Christian Scientists can tell the world what the value of Christian Science is. Charging comparable to what doctors charge is one way to share that this is a healing ministry valued equally to a community's highest sense of healthcare and is comparable to or exceeding the best healthcare practices in that locality.
In addition to this, paying the practitioner gives them the financial freedom that enables them to be available to others regularly. In the big picture, it supports the Christian Science healing practice and especially helps those with young families enter into the practice with full confidence. As we look around today at the great stirring going on in thought globally, we are humbly grateful to know we have the tools to help redeem, comfort, and heal all of humanity. It is a task that we are ready and prepared for. We can begin anywhere and start at any time. No prayer is too small, and no effort to help others is ever wasted.
"Metaphysical healing, or Christian Science, is a demand of the times. Every man and every woman would desire and demand it if he and she knew its infinite value and firm basis (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 232:21–24). We know the “infinite value and firm basis” of Christian Science. And because we do, we can take to the practice of Christian Science with full confidence in its ability to sustain us. And we can ask for Christian Science treatment freely and confidently, knowing that every right idea carries with it the right resources. All are enriched and blessed.