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Of Good Report

Old and new friends in the Christian Science Hymnal

From the April 2019 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I like to keep bookmarks moving in my favorite books. These include the Bible, and works by Mary Baker Eddy—Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, as well as her Prose Works and Church Manual—and a biography of Mrs. Eddy. When the bookmarks keep moving and I diligently consider the spiritual meaning of what I am reading, my days are full of inspiration!

It wasn’t until well into my professional life that I paid much attention to another important book, other than during weekly church services. That book is the Christian Science Hymnal. My interest was awakened when a Christian Science practitioner suggested that I sing a hymn out loud when I had a need for healing. After overcoming my shyness of singing in an empty house, I was impressed when focusing on the spiritual meaning of the hymn did result in a healing. In other times of need since then, the poetic power of the hymns has been a close comfort. In fact, many hymns have become so familiar that they are like old friends. 

Let me explain further why I have so much appreciation for the healing power of the hymns. Years ago I was praying during a challenging time that lasted many months. When bedtime would arrive, there was often an aggressive suggestion coming to thought and making me feel sad, alone, and in an inescapable mess. For months I listened to the Hymnal each night to find comfort until I could sleep. The words made me feel that my Father-Mother God was at my side and speaking directly to me—“to comfort, guard and guide” (Violet Hay, No. 9). As I continued doing this, the comfort of God, through the hymns, healed me. I was free of despair and have remained so.                                            

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