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A HELPFUL EDUCATION
My first experience in the destruction of discord and the realization of harmony was a healing of mumps. One Friday when I was in the primary school I was sent home and told not to report for at least two weeks. I had begun to learn in the Sunday school that man is not material, but spiritual, and through applying this truth, and with my mother's help, I was healed that very day. On returning to school the next day I was compelled to secure a certificate of health before the teachers would admit me, as it seemed impossible to them that I could be well so quickly.
The next experience I definitely remember occurred a few months later. Accidentally another child pushed me down a full flight of stairs. In falling I recalled a statement made to me the previous Sunday in Sunday school: "Man never fell." On reaching the bottom I arose perfectly sound, without a bruise, and proceeded on my way; but I was summoned back by the teachers, each of whom in turn examined me, not believing that there were no broken bones or bruises. Again I had proved that health is real and man's heritage, despite material conditions. For the next fifteen years, whenever any phase of sickness was manifested it was quickly dispelled as unreal, so that I was enabled to maintain a practically perfect record of attendance at school. For example, during that time I was healed of a severe case of the grippe, with the aid of a practitioner, within four hours; whereas my classmates remained in the infirmary from two to four weeks.
Another fact I early learned in the Sunday school was that man reflects God, and that since God is the only Mind or intelligence I must, as God's reflection, ever manifest this Mind. This was a continual help in passing examinations, writing articles and essays, and in all other school and college work.
Mrs. Eddy states in her spiritual interpretation of the Lord's Prayer that "Love is reflected in love" (Science and Health, p. 17). Very early in my Sunday school experience I was taught to apply this, and it enabled me to preserve continually my friendship with my classmates. One experience is especially precious. One much older than I was very unkind and unjust to me, but when resentment or hate tried to enter my consciousness I declared and reiterated, as taught in the Sunday school, that Love is ever present and that "Love is reflected in love." Within four hours the opportunity was given to help that one; and I gladly did so, much to the surprise of my classmates. Then she apologized and expressed a desire to learn something of that Science which enabled me to reflect love instead of hate. This was a great joy, far greater than any material pleasure could have given me.
With this experience and other similar ones, in which I learned to accept the qualities of Love, such as kindness, patience, unselfishness, thoughtfulness, as mine through reflection, I began to discern between joy as real and frivolity as unreal. I learned that it was not wrong to do whatever I could do, if knowing that I could only be a channel for good; but that it was wrong to go anywhere or do anything if forgetful that God demands our obedience continually. The Sunday school aroused me to ask perpetually, "What is my purpose?" and "Who am I?" It taught me that my purpose must be to listen to divine Mind for direction for my thinking as well as acting, and to listen for God's voice not only on Sundays, but every hour of every day. I learned also that divine Mind gives constructive thoughts, thus protecting us from the temptations of mortal mind, which are destructive and lead to disease, sorrow, and suffering; whereas constructive thinking brings health, happiness, holiness, and, best of all, the opportunity to share with others our knowledge of perfect God and perfect man, resulting in their manifesting more of health and happiness.
These are just a few of the benefits the Christian Science Sunday School has brought to me. Of much more value than these definite experiences, however, is the fact that it gave me a background of hope, assurance, love, and mercy, a background that is imperishable and unfailing, because it is built upon the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes.
I am humbly grateful to be an acknowledged follower of Mary Baker Eddy. One of Webster's definitions of "follow" is "attend." May my prayer be to "attend" so closely to her teachings that as a result I may abide by her statement on page 160 of "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany": "To live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science." Only in so far as I do this can I be accounted one of her true followers; in this way only can I express my gratitude to her for giving Christian Science to the world.
Christian Science Sentinel, April 2, 1927
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