Category Archives: Healing

Holiday healing

With so much going on during the Holidays, it takes effort to remember everything.

Why not forget bad memories?

Why not stop making the effort to remember the horrible thing our neighbor, spouse, or co-worker said?

Why not remember to enjoy the day?

Have a blessed day everyone. You are loved and loveable.



Video on survival or salvation

This is a sermon I gave at the local Unitarian Universalist Church in Oneonta, New York.

Kitty lesson on healing

???????????????????????????????Lately I’ve been thinking about the difference between the domesticated and the wild. It started when one of our cats received a terrible gash in her foot, raw down to the bone. My stomach twisted in a knot to see it.

The cat didn’t want me to clean or pull together and bind the wound. I thought about taking her to the veterinary, however putting her in a carrying bag would have made her scramble and I didn’t want the gash to worsen.

She never made a big deal out of it.

The kitty is housetrained, however she definitely embraces her independence.

Creatures in the wild are survivors, independent. Whereas, the more we become domesticated, the more dependent it seems we are.

Being an avid reader, I came across a few ideas. From 21st Century Science and Health, “Spiritual being, as God’s reflection, doesn’t need domestication, but is always beautiful and complete.”

I also read in Two Winters in a Tipi: My Search for the Soul of the Forest, by Mark Warren about how he learned to respect the wild creatures as intelligent. While living in the tipi, a rat snake would visit to eat mice. Mark Warren was delighted because the mice were eating his granola.

Though my stomach still twisted for a couple of days while petting and speaking quietly to our kitty, telling her her substance is whole, spiritual, and flawless, I could see a blend of a love that independently is at work.

Within a few more days, the wound filled in quickly and new fur grew over the area. My stomach now is at peace and I’m humbly grateful to see a law of healing at work. This law of healing is not dependent on sophisticated methods, but is backed by love and the truth of our spiritual beingness.

Idolatry causes a healing method to be lost

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIdolatry is a trickster. How often, without even knowing it, do we idolize something or someone?

Idolatry is defined as adoration, reverence, veneration, or fetishism.

I adore my cats.

I venerate some people. Or, it looks like I do because there are some people who I avoid because of their backward thinking.

I have a fetish for certain foods and means of healing.

Is this idolatry?

I think idolatry comes into play when I take what is a benefit and focus on it so much that I lose sight of new ideas. Yesterdays benefit then becomes todays hindrance.

The method that healed me yesterday might not work today, therefore I want to be open to new ideas. The openness disallows an unconscious idolatry of yesterdays method.

This idea of newness can be found throughout literature:“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, (Jer. 31)

Have a Long Way to go to Realize weary Hope

Today, in homes and churches, as well as on Twitter and Facebook, Mary Baker Eddy’s words are repeated.

That is, of course, appropriate. Her words are thought-provoking and filled with many profound images. Borrowing effectively from Christ Jesus, the apostle Paul, John Wesley, the Declaration of Independence, and Alfred Tennyson’s “Hope, Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier,’” Eddy laboriously called upon citizens of the world to recognize and realize “the healing power of the divine Love in what it has done and is doing for mankind.”

Eddy’s words speak clearly over a century. From her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

  • “Now is the time in which to experience salvation in spirit and in life.”
  • “My weary hope tries to realize that happy day, when man shall recognize the Science of Christ and love his neighbor as himself.”

But today it is important that we remember not only Eddy’s iconic words, but the period that led to them. It was the 19th century. Sickness was God’s will, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was a blow to religion, and social equality was struggling to emerge.

Eddy made herself known, “through her laborious publications,” emphasizing “how much time and toil are still required to establish the stately operations,” of the Science of Christ, Love. After publishing Science and Health, she organized a church contemporary to the 19th century yet with the timeless mission to advance deliverance from sickness and evil through divine Love, as lived in the life of Christ Jesus.

On the one hand, gone into the dustbin of history are preachers that shriek predestination and damnation, gone are absolutes in science, and gone is the tradition of overlooking social equality.

But on the other hand, after 100 years, these issues still are in the forefront of our lives and thoughts. It is no wonder Eddy wrote, “Time and toil are still required to establish the stately operations,” of the power of truth and love. (Science and Health, page 464)

The late 19th and early 20th century crowd may have shared a sense of history, mission and community when Eddy’s words first were gathered and articulated, but there is more work to be done.

Many people act as though we are in a post-religious stage. They hold to the legacies of predestination and damnation—believing only a few select will see the light—and as a result, Eddy’s church withers away. They are complacent as barrenness, dogma, and isolation manage the church. And Eddy’s words become confined to reduction and repetition.

But, against these odds, the new work will be accomplished.

I may not fully understand the dynamics of the thought movement during Eddy’s time, but I do recognize the benefits of knowing I can find, and know, a healing love now. I can respond to the same divine Mind that spoke to previous spiritual leaders. And, instead of only repeating Eddy’s loving words, we can apply the same love in today’s spirit and life, and advance the Science of Christ  in today’s language [with the use of 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: A modern version of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health].

It’s not over. The work Eddy labored over is unfinished. Time and toil are still required to keep the Science of Christ alive in today’s presentation and tone.

Divine Love continues its need of expression. We have made progress, but we still have more work to do to make Eddy’s weary hope become realized.

How to Help

People are helping all the time. We like helping.

Everyone wants to be a hero. Disaster hits, and heroes fly in for the landing.

But some crash land.

Those who come ill-prepared need rescuing themselves.

Those who come enamored with desperation make poor judgments.

Those who come to help, but lack common sense, however brave, run around without a plan and get in the way of those who really are helping.

Then there is the help that is no help at all. After a crisis, they helper comes with outdated or unneeded aid.

Does the church want to help? Then remember, it is not the churches need that needs helping.

To help: be prepared. Have common sense. Act accordingly. Offering outdated words about God is the same as offering outdated medicines and rotten food.

Moreover, when people are starving, we must give real food, not Twinkies. When people are battling disease, we must give them accessibility.

When in a crisis yourself, do you want someone to give you Viagra or a truckload of basketballs?

Empty churches are churches that give useless sermons, or that have forgotten how to help. The same principle holds in helping as in healing: First, do no harm.

Seriously God?

Just when I have a perfect excuse to get upset, God goes and fixes the situation so that I no longer have an excuse.

Yesterday I drove to a distant town to meet a person who wanted to be interviewed. As a local newspaper reporter, and a mediocre writer, I set up these kind of appointments regularly. Most people make it, and on time.

While waiting, my neighbor walks in.

Adam Riva head shot

Our neighbor

I love this neighbor. We hug. Within 14 seconds he learned I was waiting and I learned he had just finished a 25 minute public presentation at college. He says, “Hey, let’s sit down, I have time.” So we sit down and start laughing and catching up.

My interviewee never shows up. Could I be annoyed? Nope.

I drive home happy. My neighbor is doing well, and we always talk about God and how important it is to focus on God and keep an open mind, always asking questions yet looking for progressive answers, because there is no complete truth in the human realm. But, we can identify with the spiritual realm and spiritual truths. Seriously.

I hear a lot of talk about forgiving and living love. It must have validity, because serendipitously things work out and circumstances allow me to do so.

I can even remember a time when I was came down with the flu. Nauseous. Aha, I covertly thought, now I won’t have to volunteer tomorrow. But, a few minutes later, I prayed and sure enough, within 30 minutes the illness was gone. Seriously God, what’s this, the 30 minute flu? I guess so, but I was happy to volunteer the next day, feeling good.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Tim. 1:7, ESV

Timeline with No Time

The Bible spans millenniums. Taking the event of divine healing, a timeline can be drawn that includes Hannah, Elisha, Peter and John. Hannah was barren for years. After being prayed for, she bore children (I Samuel 1). Elisha heals polluted waters (II Kings 2). Peter and John healed a lame man (Acts 3:1)

Hannah                                                             Elisha                     Peter and John


Collapse the timeline and the idea of healing is found alive and well throughout all time.

Now, I can be a skeptic. Biblical people have an upper-hand, right? No, not really. I can easily collect more information and add to the timelessness of divine healing.

John Wesley, founder of the Methodist faith, prayed for, and received, divine healing. Wesley was also acutely aware of the mid-18th century social conditions and encouraged a practical ministry that advocated healthy lifestyles and cleanliness.

Mary Baker Eddy, a 19th century spiritual leader left behind documented evidence of successful healing through the power of spiritual understanding.

As the 20th century opened up, Smith Wigglesworth was found traveling the world, giving many proofs of divine healing.

Mid-20th century, Charles and Frances Hunter ministered to thousands of people, healing many who needed it.

I’ve experienced divine healing, and continue to feel encouraged as time collapses and God’s power is seen as effective today as it was yesterday.

John Wesley                Mary Baker Eddy   Smith Wigglesworth    Hunters           me


Mind Medicine

The medicine of divine Mind is divine Mind. The nature and the character of Mind, Truth, is the remedy for error of every kind. The medicine of divine Mind is unlike the temporal medicines of human minds and their inventions. In divine science, the human mind yields to divine Mind and relies on God for healing.

Native Language and the Language of Spirit

Communication is essential in any industry and especially so in environments that deal with health and well-being. Many of us dealing with spirituality take proper care to communicate effectively, not because a certain human word is necessary but because we know the language of Spirit is not the human language.

There are over 6,000 verbal languages spoken in the world. Most of us know how difficult it is to learn and communicate in a language other than our native tongue. We admire those who speak many languages. But yet we also see that people who speak the same language still have poor communication. Moreover, words become idle noise if body or tonal language takes over.

Effective communication in regard to spirituality and its therapeutic properties isn’t a matter of becoming bilingual in the common sense of the word. It’s a matter of using the human language, no matter what dialect, to relay the spiritual meaning.

The language of Spirit is unseen and unheard by the physical senses. The pure language of Spirit has been taught and learned through parables, stories, art, dissertations, yoga, and so on. To neglect this fact is to miscommunicate. To insist on using a particular human language or set of words is to kill the spirit with the letter.

In whatever spiritual path we are studying and practicing, do not be surprised if positive results taper off when we cling to words attached to physical or human perceptions. We must adapt to Spirit and this is accomplished with signs following, even the signs of new words or different wordings, actions, or tones infused with love.

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