When struggles drag on, and you feel as though you’ve scanned every thought corner to find a morsel of sin you need to get rid of, ask yourself, are you trying so hard to stop the suffering and sin that you stop everything?
Allow the thought to permit. Give permission to do something new, useful to the world, and encouraging to your spiritual identity.
From 21st Century Science and Health, “We can follow Jesus’ divine example, and permit spirituality to replace all ill works, error and disease included.
“When Jesus came to John the Baptist for baptism, John was astounded and reluctant. Jesus read John’s confused thoughts and reassured him with the remark, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Apparently, Jesus acknowledged several human ceremonies as a means to advance spiritual good, including baptism and marriage.”
Pope Francis has been a year almost walking the streets rather than sitting on a throne. Irregular to the religious position, Pope Francis comes across as one of the people. Conversations surrounding his less judgmental approach ring with hope. But, some shake their heads slowly. A neighbor recently told me, “Pope Francis is disingenuous.”
Suspicion threads through the disingenuous opinion. “The Pope can sound accepting but religious organizations don’t follow through,” said the neighbor. “People shouldn’t be fooled with feel-good words.”
Sylvia Poggioli wrote thought provoking statements in her NPR article, “One Year Later, ‘A Pope for all’ keeps Catholics guessing.”
Negative and positive human traits can seem to neutralize one another, however if the positive outweighs the negative, it serves as reason to keep our hope and continue striving for spiritual understanding.
On his way to Galilee, Jesus stopped at a well in Samaria. We read in the Gospel John, “A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
Jesus and the woman talked for a while. Christ was recorded to have said, “24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth…
“27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do you seek?’ or, ‘Why are you talking with her?’” English Standard Version
This event apparently took place rather early in Jesus’ ministry. It’s chockfull of lessons.
- -Christ Jesus was objective.
- -The message Jesus shared was uncomplicated and fruitful.
- -The woman was content with the shift in thought about worship that Jesus presented to her. She didn’t expect a “sign.”
- -The disciples marveled yet kept their mouths shut. They didn’t protest when Jesus listened to the woman and then spoke to her in a way she understood.
Interestingly, the woman returned to her city and told other Samaritans about Jesus, who then invited Jesus to stay with them for a few days. Many recognized Christ.
From 21st Century Science and Health, Christ is defined as “The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error.”
The incarnate error of restricting Christ to a nation or ethnic group has been destroyed. And, Christ isn’t pushy. Christ offers spiritual truths without expecting us to be like Jesus. We can be who we are.
A deer near our home
On a whole, I eat fairly healthy. But, evidence shows that food isn’t all it claims to be.
I live in upstate New York, where weather is hovering around zero degrees lately. Deer are a natural part of our environment. You can’t help but take pictures of them. Currently, they are so fuzzy, I stop the car, dig out my camera and take a shot.
I wonder, how can the deer stay healthy, strong, and warm during these winters? They eat bark, leaves, no meat, and dry grass.
I’m not going to stop eating healthy, and I’m not going to stop eating, but my mind can move past thinking food has more power than God. I can grasp better what I read about food in the modern Science and Health, first written by Mary Baker Eddy. We read in 21st Century Science and Health, “Semi-starvation or anorexia is not acceptable to wisdom and it is equally far from Science in which being is sustained by God, Mind. Food has less power to help or to hurt us after thought has transformed to the spiritual. Without the consent of human mind, food and the stomach can’t make you suffer. This new-born understanding brings with it another lesson, that self-indulgence, gluttony, or bulimia, are sensual illusions and can’t give you satisfaction. It is a human deception to believe you have to eat if you feel hungry. It is another deception to believe purging food will help you stay thin. As human deceptions disappear we better understand our spiritual existence and ascend the mountain of a balanced life.
“Food affects the body only as fleshly mind has its material methods of working. One method is to believe that proper food supplies nutriment and strength to the human system. The human mind’s recipe for health never gets it right, whereas Truth regenerates this fleshly mind and feeds thought with the bread of Life.”
At the Tenement Guided Tour in NYC
As my friend, Matt, says, “The stars aligned.”
Not that we depend on the stars to determine an outcome, but sometimes, when everything falls into place, we use the phrase as a funny expression of gratitude.
Upstate New York winter weather this year has kept the snow shovels and plows in high demand. But, when Bryan came to visit us from Washington State last week, the temperatures relaxed. We got to travel to New York City and walk around comfortably. It was a long, but fun day.
We visited the Tenement Museum, which I highly recommend. A guided tour took us through a Tenement housing where thousands of American immigrants lived. My appreciation for the energy and strength of people who overcome many odds to succeed and expand their perceptions increased.
From 21st Century Science and Health, “The calm, strong forces of true spirituality are manifest as health, purity, and a magnanimous self. Spiritual mindedness must expand the human experience until the beliefs of temporal being are clearly exposed as impositions. Confusion, danger, and disorder will then give everlasting place to the scientific demonstration of divine Spirit and to God’s perfect child.”
Below you will find comments and thoughts collected from two meetings in Chicago, February 18 & 19, 2014, while a group of truth seekers and students of Christian Science considered updating Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy.
- Why is there a decline in church membership when Christian Science can’t decline?
- The purpose of Christian Science is to heal humankind but it must be presented usefully.
- Science and Health needs to be easier to read for people unfamiliar with 19th century language.
- References in Science and Health need to be relatable.
- Footnotes are necessary so the book doesn’t look like plagiarism.
- There is a difference between Christian Science and Church. Christian Science doesn’t revolve around church but church should revolve around divine Science.
- Give people credit for being able to understand Science and Health and make their own translations when reading the book.
- The Christian Science Publishing Society is already updating foreign texts in Science and Health.
- Updating Science and Health protects the books integrity and progress.
- The phrase, “if you read this book you will be healed,” is misleading.
- We are students of Christian Science, rather than Christian Scientists.
- Fear of change is based on the culture of a judging church.
- Methods of communication have changed over the last century.
- Old language turns readers away.
- A revision of Science and Health isn’t for people who like Eddy’s version, but for other truth seekers.
- Being afraid that Mary Baker Eddy will be displaced in status actually stops progress and can also build her up as an idol.
- Word definitions change over time and actually change the meaning of Science and Health.
- The Board of Directors at The First Church of Christ, Scientist, can appoint a committee to update Science and Health.
- Can “church officials” reliably translate Eddy’s explanation of Christian Science without pushing an agenda?
- Any update should contain the author, or authors, names. Never act as though we are speaking for Mrs. Eddy.
- Look in the mirror to see what the problem is facing Christian Science today.
- A huge decline in readership of Science and Health exists in the 21st century.
- Be real, be honest, connect, love
- Overcome fear.
- Choose love.
Click here and you can make a comment on a blog post discussing a modern version of Science and Health.
Cheryl Petersen listens as truth seekers consider updating Science and Health