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Following the example set by the question–and–answer columns in the early Journals, when Mary Baker Eddy was Editor, this column will respond to general queries from Journal readers—such as the one above—with responses from Journal readers. It will not cover questions about how to interpret statements in Mrs. Eddy writings. There's more information at the end of the column about how to submit questions.


From the March 2007 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I sometimes hear people talk about Christian Science nurses who care for a wide range of physical needs. But Christian Science treatment through prayer is purely spiritual. It seems somewhat contradictory to admit that there's a physical need to be met while you're trying to heal on a purely spiritual basis. If a Christian Science practitioner is already giving specific treatment, why would someone also call a Christian Science nurse?

A1 It is true that the practitioner prays from the basis that God, or Spirit, is all. However, at our present stage of understanding, humanity has only a limited concept of Spirit's allness, we still need to physically care for the body, and to do so in a gentle and humane way.

The kind of care a Christian Science nurse offers is intended to help the individual carry out normal daily activities without conflicting with the individual's desire to rely on prayer for healing. A Christian Science nurse does not administer drugs or have any specialized medical knowledge, but has the practical skills to care for basic needs, such as dressing a wound, assisting someone in bathing, or showing one how to use a walking aid.

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