Sunday, July 30th, 2023 Roundtable

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Morning Prayers

Love is a mighty spiritual force. Let the good you can do and the stimulation of action keep your mind from dwelling on the past, for the present demands your care, and you must go forth to meet the future calm and strong. God is your refuge and a strong deliverer. He will hide you under His wings till the storms are past and the sunlight of His presence cheers and invigorates you with new strength and exaltation. Your tender night vision and thoughts by day are indications of pure desires to be clothed in white robes. “And not a sparrow falleth” without due observation. Your desire to be Christly will be satisfied, not in its fullest, but in its meekest want. Yes, He who clothes the lilies will tend you and gird you with strength in Truth and Love, and so establish the labor of your hands in His vineyard. Never distrust never doubt the All-Love, for it never faileth. As your day, so shall your strength be. Be patient, and let faith grow stronger and stronger each day of this pilgrimage.

— from Divinity Course and General Collectanea, (the “Blue Book”), by Mary Baker Eddy, page 139

Discussion points

210 — WATCH lest you attempt to pull down some of the main foundation stones in your spiritual building, simply because they appear to be human. Actually they are to be applied spiritually, and must be restored to their rightful category and understanding.

Expectancy is a very important quality in Christian Science that mortal belief should not be permitted to tamper with. Expectancy is the open door through which all good flows in to man; but the humanizing of expectancy, so that it becomes the agency through which animal magnetism brings forth its brood of evils, must be nullified, so that expectancy shines forth alone as a God given medium.

A sick man is apt to pray to God for health without expectancy, and then to wonder why his prayer is not answered; yet God is already pouring forth all that man needs, and more than he can ever comprehend. The sick man’s expectancy that nothing will result from his prayer, is greater than his hope of a change coming through spiritual means. Expectancy, therefore, must be taken from the grasp of false belief, and cherished as a God-given quality. Then man will find that he will daily expect and reflect more and more the presence of good.

— from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter

GOLDEN TEXT: Jeremiah 31 : 3

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

“No Big Power Veto”, from 1948 Association Address, by Herbert E. Rieke

… love is “impersonal, impartial, pure, and free.” We may have some glimpse of its quality and manifestation if we remember the Johannean revelation of God wherein he uses two terms, love and light. In our experience we know that in darkness nothing is visible. When we see one another in the brightness of daylight it is by virtue of reflection. The face of our friend reflects the light and we thereby know him. This reflection of light is a parable illustrating that reflection of love which the senses cannot appreciate. We know one another spiritually because of the reflection of love. It is easy to see how impersonal and impartial light is. When the candle is lighted and set upon its candlestick it gives light unto all that are in the room. It is impossible for light to make distinctions. In the same way it is not possible for love to lose its universally beneficent character and make distinctions of person or condition. Love that is manifested only in view of some return is not love at all but a form of selfishness. Jesus said, “If ye love them that love you what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?” Love which is real must manifest itself like the light; and therefore the truly loving man, the Christian, by virtue of his God-derived nature, shows love even to his enemies, and to all mankind, even as light shines for all who are within the reach of its beams. Jesus is ever our example in showing how love liberates man.

“Gospel of Love A Lecture” from Christian Science Sentinel, January 30, 1902, By William P. Mckenzie

We find in Nave’s Topical Bible, under the sub-heading “Love of man for man,” reference to sixteen verses in the Old Testament and three hundred and seven in the New which urge upon mankind the necessity for loving, and which are in exemplification of the love of man for man. It has been truly said that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of Love.

Of the many verses referred to under this heading, none are more significant of the Principle of which Jesus taught, and none more helpful to his followers, than the ninth and twelfth verses of the fifteenth chapter of John’s Gospel, and the thirtieth and thirty-first verses of the twelfth chapter of Mark “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. . . . This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

The love that fulfils our Master’s behest is not a sensual, selfish, sentimental, or ecstatic condition of mortal mind, nor is it so transcendental as to be beyond human comprehension. It is the reflection of divine Love, and is manifested in human love just as the Christ was manifested in the humanity of Jesus. This love is apparent in our experience only when human consciousness is so imbued with spiritual sense that it perceives somewhat of divine Love, infinite Principle, God. Without the capacity to reflect divine Love, humanity would be at the mercy of mortal mind, sin, sickness, death; without hope and without God. John said, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”

Human love, reflecting the divine, is manifested in kindly, patient forbearance; in generous, ennobling thoughtfulness: in helpful, holy ministration; in virtue, purity, charity. “Whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” Fear of being thought “unscientific” may chill the generous impulse and restrain the kindly promptings of love, the compassionate word, the tender encouragement, the bountiful charity of the divine reflection.

A false sense of human love, expressing anxiety, fear, pride., selfishness, sensuality, is not the reflection of divine Love; it is but an hireling masquerading as the shepherd.

“We find in Nave’s Topical Bible, under the sub-heading…” from Christian Science Journal, January 1903, By M.

A young woman was suffering from TB and decided to travel from her home in England to the coast of Australia hoping the climate would cure her. It didn’t, and instead grew worse, but while sitting on the
beach one day she was suddenly well, completely and permanently. She went back to England and discovered her friends had taken up Christian Science. Her friends wanted to go to America and had an appointment with Mrs. Eddy. The young woman wrote the time and place of her healing on a piece of paper and gave it to her friends. She had a strong feeling that Mrs. Eddy should be told of her healing. The friend took the paper and gave it to Mrs. Eddy, giving the facts of the healing. Mrs. Eddy’s face shone and she explained that at that particular time she put her finger on the globe as far as possible from herself and sent forth a healing prayer. She had touched the
coast of Australia where the girl had been healed. Now she could put in her textbook the statement, “the still, small voice of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound.” She had known it was true but did not wish to include it until she had first proved it.

— contribution shared by listener

Article“TThe Great Heart Of Infinite Love” from, The Christian Science Sentinel,April 3, 1948, by Louise Hurford Brown

She said we are all one in divine Principle, Love; one in demonstration. The light had come to her, but we must not look to her as the light. If we did, this would hinder our progress, even as turning away from her teachings would darken our thought. The first day’s teaching on the subject of Love she concluded somewhat as follows:

Love is the Father, who is strong in His care for His• children and provides for every need. Love feeds, clothes, and shelters every one of His dear ones. Love is a Mother tenderly brooding over all Her children. This Mother guards each one from harm, nourishes, holds close to Herself, and carefully leads along the upward way. Love is a Shepherd who goes forth into the dark­ness of the night, into the storm and wind, to find the lost sheep. This Shepherd of Love leaves the beaten path, searches the wood and marsh, pushes aside the brambles, and seeks until the lost is found; then He places it within His bosom and returns to heal and restore.

— from Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy, by Rev. Irving C. Tomlinson, M.A., C. S. B., page 90, printed 1945

Do you believe in change of heart?

We do believe, and understand — which is more — that there must be a change from human affections, de- 21 sires, and aims, to the divine standard, “Be ye therefore perfect;” also, that there must be a change from the belief that the heart is matter and sustains life, to the 24 understanding that God is our Life, that we exist in Mind, live thereby, and have being. This change of heart would deliver man from heart-disease, and advance Christianity a hundredfold. The human affections need to be changed from self to benevolence and love for God and man; changed to having but one God and loving Him supremely, and helping our brother man. This change of heart is essential to Christianity, and will have its effect physically as well as spiritually, healing disease. Burnt offerings and drugs, God does not require.

— from Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy, page 51

In 1868, at Lynn, Mrs. Eddy healed by one treatment a lunatic who had escaped from an asylum. As he wandered insanely, he entered the house where she had a room. His clothes were in tatters; his appearance was frightful. The mother and daughter who occupied most of the house were badly frightened. The daughter fled; the mother called for Mrs. Eddy to come. When she responded, the man raised a chair as if to strike her, but she felt a great compassion for him, and faced him without fear. Immediately he dropped the chair, approached her and, pointing upward, exclaimed: “Are you from there?” Then he fell on his knees at her feet, his head pressed hard into his hands and began to sob. Reaching out her hand as if she were giving him a benediction, she touched his head. When he asked what she was doing, she told him she was anointing his head with oil (alluding to Psalms 23:5), and told him to go in peace. Thereupon he left the house, evidently restored to sanity. Long afterward (in 1884), this man called on Mrs. Eddy at her home in Boston to express his gratitude. He told her that he had returned to the asylum, had been discharged as cured, and had traced his healing to her. He told her, further, that he had gone to live in the West, had married, had become the father of children, and had never been insane after she anointed him as if with oil. She meant by her answer to his question, as she once said when relating this case, the anointing of Truth.

— from The Healer, by David Keyston, page 33

Thoughts shared on the Lesson from readers:

Article “A Lesson of Love” Golden Memories by Clara Shannon, CS

link Noteworthy News

Article “Mrs. Eddy’s Prayer”Golden Memories by Clara Shannon, CS

Therefore With Lovingkindness Have I Drawn Thee; out of a state of nature; out of Satan’s hands;… unto Christ,…to nearer communion with God, and at last will draw to eternal glory. This is an instance of the love of God; a fruit and effect of it: it is love that draws a soul to Christ, and is the cause of its coming to him; it is love that reveals him to it, and causes it to come to him; love is then manifested and shed abroad in the heart; a cord of it is let down into it, and with it the Lord draws; it is not by the threats of the law, but by the declarations of grace in the Gospel; the cause of drawing is love, and the manner of it is with it.

— by Gill’s Exposition on the Bible

Final Readings

Now, let us turn to the second quality of Mary Magdalene which brought about her healing – “the oil of gladness.” I am happy our Leader put the oil of gladness second, because sometimes when individuals seek to become consecrated Christian Scientists, they become long faced, very serious, and sometimes even sanctimonious. Consecration without the oil of gladness, a joyous attitude, a happy, free sense of things, will not heal. Until the discovery of Christian Science this oil of gladness was lacking from most religions. Yet Jesus taught a religion of joy, and he emphasized the importance of a cheerful attitude in the recovery of the sick. You remember how many times he said to his patients, “Be of good cheer.” On one occasion he encouraged them, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11); and admonished them to see to it that “… your joy no man taketh from you.” (John 16:22) In order to have perfect results in Christian Science we must make certain that nothing takes the Christ joy away from us. A burdened, joyless Christian Science practitioner cannot heal. When you are bubbling over with joy, you will heal with very little effort.

If you should discover one day that your automobile did not have much power, it was getting hot and beginning to smoke; and if you also heard a noise in the engine, you would take it to a garage or filling station. What is the first thing the mechanic would do? Undoubtedly, he would lift the hood and pull out the little measuring rod to see how much oil you have. Ten chances to one he would show that you need lubricating oil. It is said if you will use a good grade of oil, change it regularly, and always keep it up to the mark designated “full,” you can drive a modern car at least one hundred thousand miles without taking the head off the motor.

It might also be said if you will use a good quality of “the oil of gladness” in your thinking, if you will freshen it up regularly, and if you will maintain a good quantity, way up to the “full” mark, you can live at least a hundred years without an ache or a pain and with no slowing down of normal activity.

Trying to have demonstrations in Christian Science without “the oil of gladness” is like trying to run your car without oil. It just cannot be done.

Just as the manufacturer of an automobile has provided a measuring rod, or dial, to show you the condition of your oil supply, so our Maker has given us an accurate gauge to measure our oil of gladness. This gauge is your countenance. If you want to know exactly how much oil you have in consciousness just take a look at yourself in a mirror. Do you find a radiant, happy smile? Then you can be sure your oil is O.K. But if you find a frown of disappointment, some sadness or self-pity, if there is resentment or anger expressed, you had better do something about it, and immediately.

The man who persists in running his car without oil will soon find his automobile in the junk yard. If you are going to persist in being unhappy, miserable, sour, and depressed, I would suggest three things: first, take out all the life insurance you can afford; second, pick out a good undertaker; third, write your will, because you cannot run long without, “the oil of gladness.”

Sometimes people tell me that they are really happy but are not very expressive. That is just like having ten gallons of the best lubricating oil in the world in the back seat of your car while your engine runs dry. You can be glad you have the oil there and do not have to go out and buy it, but the oil isn’t going to do you much good unless you put it in the engine where it belongs. Just so, all of the joy and gladness in the world is not going to do you or others very much good unless you express it in your daily living, in the tone of your words, and your constant smiles.

Do you know what I sometimes have these long-faced, serious, sour patients do? I recommend that they go out and buy a good joke book, the kind you can get at every department store. I have asked them to acquire four or five good funny stories or jokes every day and to use these jokes and stories at home and in their business. This prescription has worked wonders for several business men who were becoming “too serious.” You remember what our Leader says on page 117 of Miscellaneous Writings: “I agree with Rev. Dr. Talmage, that ‘there are wit, humor, and enduring vivacity among God’s people.’”

Sometimes individuals say, “I just can’t be happy or joyful as long as I have this unsolved physical problem, or as long as I have this discord in my home or business. When these problems are solved, I shall promise truly to be one of the happiest and most joyful characters in the world.” That is just like telling the filling station attendant, “I can’t, or won’t, put in any lubricating oil until my car stops getting hot, stops smoking, stops making this awful noise, and until it shows plenty of power. Then I shall reward the engine by pouring in oil.” The attendant, of course, would laugh at you and tell you you had better make a deal with the nearest junk yard, for that is exactly where your car is going. Let us not deceive ourselves. The reason we have trouble in our bodies, our home, and our business is because we have not been pouring in enough of a good grade of oil of gladness.

If you were going on a long hard trip up a mountain, would you drain all the oil out of your car? Certainly not! You would double check your oil and take some extra along with you. How about when we are in the process of solving what seems to be a difficult problem for ourselves or others? Shall we let our joy, our oil of gladness, be taken away from us? Never! We shall check and double check the oil to see that we are one of the happiest, most confident individuals in the world. You know what Jesus told us to do when we are going through deep waters or ascending rough terrain. He admonished us to “Rejoice and be exceeding glad;” “Blessed are ye, (and the word “blessed” means happy) when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad…” (Matt 5:11,12) Isn’t that the finest spiritual common sense ever given to the world? When circumstances seem to be going a little tough, pour on more and more of the oil of gladness to make things run smoother. “Rejoice and be exceeding glad!” If Christians would follow this simple advice, it would not be long before there would be no more tough problems.

In my practice, I sometimes require patients to go to a mirror once every hour to check on their oil. Some individuals think this is unscientific to look at themselves; yet they look in a mirror to shave or put on rouge and lipstick. I cannot see why it is unscientific to make sure that they have a radiant smile. After all, a smile does much more to make one attractive than all the lipstick or rouge in the world.

And do you want to know something very interesting? When you are smiling up here on your face, the smile carries way down to your stomach and even to the tips of your toes. You cannot smile with your face and frown with your kidneys or pancreas very long. The oil of gladness reaches to every portion of the human system.

Last winter I saw this fact graphically illustrated. A good friend of ours was elected as a reader in a Christian Science church. I had received a brush tape recorder for a Christmas present, and I suggested that my friend read her lesson into the machine. When she heard herself as we played the lesson back, she was shocked, for it all sounded so sad and mournful. She did not know what to do about it, because the harder she tried, the more mournful it sounded. She was taking her appointment very seriously. I then explained about a smile and the effect it had on the whole human system. I prescribed a mirror, put it in front of her, and had her smile as she had never done before while she read the lesson. You would be astounded by the difference in tone, quality, and expression when we played the reading back. You cannot smile with the eyes and lips and be sad with the vocal cords. It just cannot be done.

When this friend read from the desk, of course, she toned down her smile a little, but she retained that joy in her voice. Just so is it with every organ of the human system. A smile in your heart will lubricate your entire being.

And so, if you want to be an effective Christian Science practitioner, be sure to check your oil regularly. And if you are not sure where to start with your patient, begin by checking his oil. The chances are that is all that needs correcting.

From “No Big Power Veto”, from 1948 Association Address, by Herbert E. Rieke

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