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From emotion to spiritual affection

From the October 1997 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Musing over an unsettled relationship, I was reminded of Mary Baker Eddy's observation "There are no greater miracles known to earth than perfection and an unbroken friendship." Retrospection and Introspection, p. 80. I wondered why a lasting friendship should be regarded as a miracle.

I reasoned that an attraction that included more human emotion than spiritual affection might be unsteady. On the other hand, the affection that derives from divine Love would be stable and enduring.

Christian Science helps us recognize the distinction between human emotion and spiritual love. For instance, it counsels that our discipleship must go beyond personal adulation of Jesus. It shows the connection between physical sensation and material emotion. It reminds us that real love for spiritual things is fostered by such disciplines as self-abnegation, purified daily living, and sober resolve. If our sense of closeness to God is nurtured by spiritual affection instead of emotion, then surely relationships with our fellow beings are best grounded on such affection as well.

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