Love, love, love…

Christian Scientists will no doubt immediately recognize these three words as part of Mary Baker Eddy’s answer to an important question she asked her last class.  In the reminiscences of Sue Harper Mims (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy: Expanded Edition, Vol. 1, p. 298), Mims wrote:

October 2011Then she asked us questions. One was, “What is the best way to do instantaneous healing?” Many arose. Some said, “Realize the ever-presence of good”; others, “Deny the claims of evil.” There were many answers, but when they had finished, she said, as I remember: “I will tell you the way to do it. It is to love! Just live love—be it—love, love, love. Do not know anything but Love. Be all love. There is nothing else. That will do the work. It will heal everything; it will raise the dead. Be nothing but love.”

It’s a remarkable and powerful statement and one that, without question, is critical to our healing work.  But too often we forget this wasn’t the whole of what transpired.

What? There’s more?

There certainly is!

Mims continued:

Then there came up what was, to me, the most interesting question in the whole class. Someone said, “But, Mother, are we not to discriminate between good and evil?” She answered substantially as follows:

Ah, now you have asked me what is to me the hardest thing in Christian Science! Yes, you must see and denounce evil. The Bible tells us that Jesus was God’s chosen because he loved righteousness, but the Bible does not stop there. It says, “and hated iniquity”! So often have I longed to see and know only Love—only the good—but I have not dared. I must uncover and rebuke and hate iniquity.

See and denounce evil!  Love righteousness and hate iniquity as Jesus did!  These are strong words, but words that are absolutely essential to our continued understanding and fruitful practice of Christianly scientific healing.

It reminds me of the passage from Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy, while referring to Jesus, wrote (p. 52):

The “man of sorrows” best understood the nothingness of material life and intelligence and the mighty actuality of all-inclusive God, good. These were the two cardinal points of Mind-healing, or Christian Science, which armed him with Love.

Focusing solely on Love without uncovering and destroying evil is, clearly, only half the equation.  It’s not one or the other.  Remember, Mrs. Eddy told that final class how she longed to know only Love, but didn’t dare to do so—that she must uncover, rebuke, and hate iniquity (wickedness, unrighteousness, evil).

Shouldn’t we then be willing to courageously follow the path that our Leader blazed through the wilderness of matter to the freedom of Spirit and not be tempted into taking a shortcut suggested by mortal mind—no matter how pleasant or appealing that shortcut may seem?  A shortcut that would have us only look at the good while simultaneously abandoning both our requisite need and our ability to use our God-given spiritual discernment to strip evil of its disguises?

Can we really afford to allow error—in any form—to go undisturbed in its secret as well as blatant enslavement of humanity?

Then let’s make sure that we’re willing to be armed with the same two cardinal points of Love that our Master and Mrs. Eddy went into battle with—that divine sense of compassion which uncovered, rebuked, and destroyed evil while healing the sick, reforming the sinner, and demonstrating the way to transform the world!

4 thoughts on “Love, love, love…

  1. Thanks for completing that story, Ken…most of the time when we hear it, it stops at “love, love, love.” If the story stopped there, we wouldn’t need Alertness to Duty!

  2. This is a wonderful message Ken, thank you dear.

    I was reminded of when Mrs. Eddy shared the background details in publishing Science and Health for the first time. It’s first edition.

    You will recall that part of the way through the entire process ground to a halt. Her publisher was at a standstill.

    She wrote: ” My reluctance to give the public, in my first edition of Science and Health, the chapter on Animal Magnetism, and the divine purpose that this should be done, may have an interest for the reader, and will be seen in the following circumstances. I had finished that edition as far as that chapter, when the printer informed me that he could not go on with my work. I had already paid him seven hundred dollars, and yet he stopped my work. All efforts to persuade him to finish my book were in vain.

    After months had passed, I yielded to a constant conviction that I must insert in my last chapter a partial history of what I had already observed of mental malpractice. Accordingly, I set to work, contrary to my inclination, to fulfil this painful task, and finished my copy for the book. As it afterwards appeared, although I had not thought of such a result, my printer resumed his work at the same time, finished printing the copy he had on hand, and then started for Lynn to see me. The afternoon that he left Boston for Lynn, I started for Boston with my finished copy. We met at the Eastern depot in Lynn, and were both surprised, — I to learn that he had printed all the copy on hand, and had come to tell me he wanted more, — he to find me en route for Boston, to give him the closing chapter of my first edition of Science and Health. Not a word had passed between us, audibly or mentally, while this went on. I had grown disgusted with my printer, and become silent. He had come to a standstill through motives and circumstances unknown to me.

    Science and Health is the textbook of Christian Science. Whosoever learns the letter of this book, must also gain its spiritual significance, in order to demonstrate Christian Science.” [Retrospection pg. 38]

    Note her words: I yielded; ‘contrary to my inclination’ ‘to fulfill this painful task’….What was painful for her was having to reveal evil’s hidden ways and means for accomplishing iniquity. It was a joy for her to concentrate on the positive side of treatment, affirming the presence of good as all in all. But bringing error out into the open for proper handling that was painful for her, partially because she knew the resistance she would encounter in bringing error out into the open for successful and thorough handling. And most importantly for teaching her students this necessary step in their deeper understanding of treatment.

    In Science and Health she refers to Moses having a similar struggle. She wrote on pg. 321: ” The Hebrew Lawgiver, slow of speech, despaired of making the people understand what should be revealed to him. When, led by wisdom to cast down his rod, he saw it become a serpent, Moses fled be‐fore it; but wisdom bade him come back and handle the serpent, and then Moses’ fear departed. In this incident was seen the actuality of Science.” Moses was in dispair because he knew the resistance he would encounter from the people. They were having to move from idolatry to the worship of God as Spirit and spiritual. They were going to have to conform to the discipline of the Ten Commandments. Moses had to overcome his fear of revealing the truth of God’s law. Mrs. Eddy had to overcome this fear too, and well enough to be able to teach us how to handle animal magnetism in its various presentments also.

    How grateful we can be for their moral courage and faithful practice. To reveal to ‘whole’ science so we can be successful too.

    Thank you Ken for reminding us that Love does the work, but in combination with savvy handling of animal magnetism.

    Thank you for your loyalty to Truth……you are a great teacher too.

    • Thanks, Leah! And we can’t even really imagine the sacrifice that Mrs. Eddy went through to bring us Science and Health. But our gratitude can certainly be expressed in our healing works! 🙂

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