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HUMAN AFFECTION AND DIVINE LOVE

From the April 1918 issue of The Christian Science Journal


While the average mortal has little need to have human affection defined to him, on the other hand he has every need to understand divine Love and to put into practice what he understands of it. We have all had, either in small or in large degree, our experience of human affection, from the unselfish love of the mother for her child to the selfish so called love which so many "lovers" express for the object of their affections. There are, in fact, many gradations of the sense of human affection; on the other hand, there are no degrees in divine Love, or in the reflection or expression of God, who is Love, and with whom, as the apostle James declared, "is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

In its lower phases human affection manifests varying degrees of selfishness and fear. It loves for what it can get, and it measures its gains by material standards. Reared upon such foundations human affection, like mortal man, "is of few days, and full of trouble." Depending as it does on the hoped-for constancy of human conditions, it is foredoomed to a more or less speedy termination; for material conditions, especially in these latter days, are perpetually changing, and whatever is based on them is necessarily unstable. Again, the attainment of that which is desired is apt to bring satiety; the more material the attraction, the sooner satiety is reached. Nor is there anything remarkable in this, for Jesus of Nazareth declared, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing." The flesh, or matter, can afford no real, no permanent satisfaction.

Because God, as Christian Science teaches, is infinite Spirit, and God is Love, it is evident that human affection is enduring to the extent that it reflects divine Love, to the extent that it is freed from material and selfish considerations. At its best, however, it demands a suitable material personality upon which it can be lavished, and if a personality, according to its standard, is unattractive, it withholds itself, or at any rate does not express itself with freedom. In fact, unless controlled to some extent by ever present divine Love, it would not in such cases express itself at all.

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