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"The crown of rejoicing"

From the June 1998 issue of The Christian Science Journal

A vintage Hollywood movie shows a conquering hero driving his chariot through the streets of ancient Rome, reveling in the deafening cheers of the populace. At his side is a servant, who holds a crown of laurel leaves above his head, repeatedly reminding him, "You are only mortal!"

Like the servant in the chariot, many schools of human knowledge repeatedly proclaim that we are only struggling, suffering mortals—whose victories are short-lived. Physiology, for example, describes health as dependent upon the structure and functioning of the material body, which can fail to defend itself against disease. Human psychology assumes that intelligence is determined by the brain and is vulnerable to deterioration. Scholastic theology suggests the presence of some eternal element within man but asserts that the power of this eternal element is presently subject to the limitations of matter and sin.

The premises and conclusions of material knowledge seem both persuasive and ponderous. But there is a voice to be heard above them. The Science of Christ, unmoved by mortal opinion either good or bad, gives us a crown of rejoicing. And it ceaselessly affirms, "You are forever spiritual!" Learning to replace the mortal view of existence with the spiritual facts of being is a healing experience. And what a joy it is to discover these spiritual facts!

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