WHEN Mrs. Eddy wrote the words (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 366), "If we would open their prison doors for the sick, we must first learn to bind up the broken-hearted," she pointed to a primary necessity in the work of spiritual healing. For whoever would heal the sick by spiritual means must be compassionate and loving. The practitioner of Christian Science must have spiritual understanding; but to ensure results this understanding must be supplemented by the Christ-spirit. No words are better fitted to bring this out than those just quoted from the Christian Science textbook.
The teaching and example of Christ Jesus emphasize this great requirement. Mark, in his Gospel (1:41), relates that on the occasion when Jesus healed a leper, he was "moved with compassion." His heart went out to the sufferer as he realized the unreality of disease, and the man was healed. Then there is the parable of the prodigal son, which conveys to us the truth of God's steadfast love and the necessity for our practicing similar steadfastness in our love. To the elder son who in his selfishness was unwilling to join in welcoming home the prodigal, the father in the parable says, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine" (Luke 15:31), thus emphasizing the universality of divine Love.
And what could more strongly convey to us the need for love as one of the chief essentials in Christian character and Christian activity, than the parable of the good Samaritan? A man had been wounded by thieves and left by the wayside in his distress. A priest and a Levite came along, and passed him by "on the other side;" but a Samaritan going that way saw him, had compassion on him, bound up his wounds, and arranged that he should be cared for after he left. "Which now of these three, thinkest thou," asked the Master (Luke 10:36), "was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?" The reply of the lawyer, whose questioning had prompted the parable, was, "He that shewed mercy on him." To which the great metaphysical Teacher made answer, "Go. and do thou likewise."