The Bookmark Newsletter V.150
Very dear Friend,
There is a growing concern over the declining state of the Christian Science movement. Members of the church are becoming increasingly aware and alarmed at the closing of the branch churches and Reading Rooms, and the decline in membership. Why is this happening? In my opinion it is because Christian Science takes deep, hard thinking. This effort to understand it is needed to enjoy the great gift of finding healing through prayer as our Leader taught us to pray. It takes real dedication to understand its teaching and healing practice. For example: a very successful artist or musician must give many years of dedicated work to mastering his or her talent. Christian Science requires the same dedication and commitment. Too often today it seems that people say, Christian Science is not healing as it once did, and this seems to be so. But how often have we found it easier to pick up the phone and call a practitioner to work the problem out for us, rather than to try to meet it through our own prayerful work?
As I have read the association addresses by the early teachers, I can see that these teachers were already aware that a lack of spiritual understanding on the part of the students would lead to today’s challenges. I saw it in my own branch church in the early 1960’s. That was when I first began feeling that we needed deeper writings to study. Taking class and hearing a strong metaphysical address from the teacher once a year, and then spending the rest of the time in a very materialistic and demanding world is not enough to maintain an inspired spiritual thought. We were not allowed to take notes in class. We were told “You will remember the thoughts shared in class or association when you need them.” This sounds very metaphysical but it simply does not work.
And giving your problem over to a practitioner doesn’t seem to work as it once did. But today we have an answer to this need for deeper metaphysics – the association addresses of the early teachers! These have been written and are ready now for everyone to study if he or she wants to understand how to do good healing work. I would like to share an interesting remark I read recently: “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.” Perhaps that sums up the problem. We can read and repeat some of the profound statements in our Leader’s writing’s, but do we really understand them?
We can answer that question by reviewing our healing work. How often have we ignored a problem or given it to a practitioner to work out for us? We need to understand the prayer of affirmation and denial that Mrs. Eddy gave us. It is often referred to as the treatment. In it we affirm the allness of God and deny the reality of evil. This prayer of affirmation and denial is a new and powerful way to pray.
In reviewing the teachers’ addresses, I am so conscious of the their desire and effort to awake the students to do more healing work with the treatment. The teachers could tell their students about it, but they could not understand it for the student. In all fairness, these teachers tried. Read these early addresses and see how much time they gave to trying to awake the students to learn to do their own healing work. When I learned about the treatment in class, I tried to work every day with it along with the daily Bible lesson until I began to heal physical problems for my family and for myself. My practice began there – with the colds, flu, contagious diseases, and other childhood challenges that usually healed as I prayed silently for my children.
If you spend some time each day thinking in the treatment, when a challenge appears, you will find that you can take the initiative with an aggressive and fearless denial of it – whatever the problem seems to be. It is not a complicated form of prayer, but a breaking up of mesmerism. It is destroying the hypnotic work of animal magnetism. If you study the addresses and writings of Alfred Pittman, Josiah Merriman, Martha Wilcox and Bicknell Young, you will see how earnestly they are trying to enable you to understand Christian Science, exchange faith for understanding, rather then expect to heal on faith alone. They wanted you to understand it!
We have just begun to explore and be blessed by this prayer of affirmation and denial that our Leader gave us. And today I would like to offer you a collection of addresses by a teacher, whose addresses have just recently been made available to The Bookmark. They are by Ethel Morse. These addresses are simple, easy papers to read and think about, for she explores the spiritual work that we need to heal. She presents a practical explanation that is easy to read and filled with ideas that are inspiring to think about. Just sitting quietly, thinking the Truth, has a very healing effect on us as we gently let go of the human and understand the spiritual. These inspired works from the early teachers were written to enable us to do this.
Ethel Morse Addresses
In her 1977 address “Physician Heal Thyself” Ethel Morse writes:
“Our times are demanding new spiritual technique and capacity on every front. Individuality and the freedom of man to live as he is led by his Maker are being challenged on all sides. The continued aggression of the medical thought, corrupt government infringement practices, greed and expediency in business, loose morals and ignorance of individual rights and integrity, false mental so-called sciences and religious cults springing up daily are the erosion of constant wear from material pressure and practice. All these and more the Christian Scientist must handle with the superior law of Spirit. He is not a victim of crushing materialism, but he is a worker in the vast laboratory of divine realism, He must stay awake to his divine capacity to be master of his own soul, his own living under Principle, and he must be ever on guard and with armor on! He is divinely equipped to prove his divine rights, freedoms, and capacities. This he must know! He has been taught that he IS a law unto himself and that no wrong thinking and doing, no malpractice, can harm him.
“Since prayer heals, as our Master and our Leader taught, if we are not healing the big or little problems we face, are we not somehow neglecting our watch, praying amiss or just not praying? Christian Science teaches independence through total dependence on God, and it is a God-given right of man to be able to heal himself. God’s laws may be said to be ‘enablers’ because He gives no command He does not enable man to obey. Obedience to Mind’s commands brings tremendous healing ability and power. ‘Thought imbued with purity, Truth, and Love, instructed in the Science of metaphysical healing, is the most potent and desirable remedial agent on the earth.’ (Miscellaneous Writings. 4:1-3), our Leader tells us.
For more information on this, the second volume of Ms. Morse’s addresses, CLICK HERE.
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I look forward to hearing from you! Thank you for taking the time to read my message.
With great respect and warm friendship,