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Love Goes Before
ALBERT F. GILMORE, CSB


         Christian Scientists have derived solace and assurance from Mrs. Eddy's words found in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (pp. 149, 150), "Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee." Realization of the ever-presence of Love and of divine omnipotence has reassured many a quaking heart, and sent many a troubled and faltering one forward refreshed, uplifted, heartened for life's journey.

         Fear, discouragement, doubt — archenemies of happiness and well-being — disappear in the presence of the realization that God, the supreme, infinite All, is unchanging Love. Sublime truth! So important to mortals that it is dear above all earthly possessions, the pearl of greatest price! Nothing in the material universe weighs in the balance with this transcendent fact; and this precious truth is to be had for the seeking; it may become the prize of all. None may be shut out from its possession; none may gain of its priceless beneficence to the exclusion of another. Infinite in its capacity to bless, divine Love likewise is incapable of depletion and diminution.

         Most important of all mankind's obligations, as well as most promising of all their possibilities, is the gaining of this demonstrable fact of the all-power of infinite Love. In the presence of this compelling truth, what becomes of hatred, jealousy, malice, and envy, of resentment and the petty tribulations which so commonly mark human experience, sometimes even shutting out with the night of darkness and despair the glories of Life's never-ending day? How reassuring is even a glimpse of the fact that man never has been and never can be apart from the infinite Love which is God! It was the wondrous light of this revealed truth which enabled our beloved Leader to write in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 6) "'God is Love.' More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go." Mrs. Eddy saw in this sublime fact man's sufficiency. Nothing more could be required; nothing more need be revealed of man's complete state of eternal bliss, even the state of holiness and perfect well-being.

         Love everywhere! Love that never changes! Love that exalts and blesses all, for all are within the range of its beneficent rays! How insignificant are the tribulations of mortal experience in the light of this transcendent truth! There terrors of the night of false belief disappear in the full glow of Love's perpetual noon. Mortals, it seems, unwilling to abide in the present sense of Love, looking ahead, anticipate some fortuitous circumstance which they fear will be disastrous. Failing to abide in the assurance of present blessings, mortals in their restlessness anticipate a future wherein Love will be absent, where God will not be, where evil will be the only presence. Futile fears! How are we to escape the eternal presence of timeless Being, the infinite Love that is now, always has been, and ever will be?

         To make this understanding practical in the round of daily life is our problem. To let Love have complete sway in our thoughts is to insure peace, harmony, and useful living. To reflect love, expressed as unselfishness, in our every deed and act, in our motives and aims, is the goal our Leader has placed for all her followers. She has marked the course so plainly that every wayfarer may go forward courageously, with no fear except to wander from the way.

         The course is kept by consecration. The lights which illumine it are discerned spiritually. We may scarcely expect to becloud vision with material living and false joys and gain spiritual sight. As love is not won by fostering hate, so we gain spirituality by dwelling upon spiritual things, holding thought to spiritual Truth, spiritualizing our aims and desires. In all this, Love guides and directs. While it seems that mortals have scarcely glimpsed the significance of infinite Love, have as yet but barely touched Love's garments, yet the glimpse, however fleeting and incomplete it may have been, has brought conviction of the surpassing glory of man's true state as the expression of Love, the reflection of that divine Being who knows only love.

         Suppose one were contemplating some experience which it seemed necessary to undergo. Anticipation of hatred and opposition, perhaps of danger to one's safety, might cause great fear, might even inspire a state bordering on terror. What is the remedy? To know Love's ever-presence, to know that Love will be there in advance of one's arrival, ever present, conscious only of its own qualities of perfection, of love, mercy, justice, wisdom. Can one doubt the healing incident upon such realization? Christ Jesus was in no doubt as to the Father's infinite consciousness of man's need. "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom," contemplates no need unmet.

         Love has indeed been there before us, and the way is prepared for us, — the way of peace and joy, of Life and Love. Love's promises are always kept, for Love's solicitude is ineffable and eternal. "Perfect love casteth out fear." Divine Love, conscious only of its own perfection, contemplates the perfect man, Love's reflection. Since that reflection knows no evil, it partakes of no quality unlike its source, the infinite Love which is God.

 

"Love Goes Before" by Albert F. Gilmore, CSB
Christian Science Sentinel, May 9, 1925
 

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