There is a divine Principle in which all of us can always have total confidence. It’s infallible, invariable, concrete, and substantial, and it provides security in life. In Christian Science, this divine Principle is another way of describing God—not a man on a throne or a superhuman god, but the entirely spiritual cause and source of all that is true and good. So if something doesn’t meet the criteria of being true and good, it has no place in the infinite, divine Principle.
Two passages from the Bible shed light on this divine Principle: (1) “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all” (I Chronicles 29:11, 12); and (2) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:17, 18).
These Bible verses show that divine Principle, God, is powerful, strong, reliable, a present help in any situation. Principle is just, impartial, universal, unconfined, and glorious. It is the fundamental basis of everything, the origin and ultimate of all that is real. It reproduces all of its spiritual qualities in each of us—it is perfectly reflected in its own creation.
Also, divine Principle is Love—universal, divine Love, because, like Principle, Love is another name for God. If the term Principle seems distant or abstract, think Love and you will have a clearer idea of it. Principle without Love would be cold, hard, unyielding; whereas, Love without Principle would lack structure, stability, and steadiness. But Principle is Love—perfectly balanced in strength and tenderness, power and affection, authority and support.
I didn’t feel I was engaged in a “great battle” with death. In my prayer I was being a simple witness to the divine Principle of all life.
An understanding of God as divine Principle, Love, gives us a sense of the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God and His laws—the laws of good. Divine Principle is expressed through its laws, throughout its kingdom—the kingdom of all that is real and permanent, the realm of Spirit.
The concept of another realm besides Spirit or of something else in control (matter and material laws) is an illusion, which the understanding of divine Principle, God, erases. Christ Jesus walked on water in direct violation of material law, but in obedience to the spiritual law of Love, giving him mastery over the wind and waves. Moses divided the Red Sea regardless of the so-called laws of physics that would have rendered the act impossible. Moses’ obedience to divine Principle, and his willingness to follow God’s leading out of Egyptian bondage, opened the way for demonstrating the higher spiritual law that was already in place and always accessible.
Matter with its “laws” is not real substance. In the allness of infinite Spirit, matter, the opposite of Spirit, cannot exist. So it isn’t an actual entity that needs to be controlled, improved, or healed, but it’s the outward manifestation of mortal mind, or material human consciousness, that needs to yield to Truth. Prayer that reveals the one true Principle and its laws—the one true substance of all life as Spirit—adjusts our view of reality. This clear awareness of Spirit breaks the illusion of matter with its restrictions, limitations, and problems.
Near the beginning of my career as a Christian Science practitioner, I had a case that resulted in a resuscitation of life from death. As it turned out, it wasn’t a more or less difficult case than any other. I was washing the kitchen floor when the phone call came, explaining that a person had just died. The caller, who had witnessed the death, asked me to pray. I agreed to do so.
My prayer was a gentle yet firm affirmation that divine Life (another name for God) is manifested continuously—that neither God nor His creation can be interrupted in being. The normal activity of every one of us, under the perpetual control of divine Principle, includes only the expression of this Principle—life, not death.
I hadn’t been shocked by the news that a man had died. I had simply realized that this man could continue with his day without being shocked by the belief that life could suddenly end when it couldn’t.
My words here may seem a somewhat feeble explanation of the deep significance of what I saw of spiritual reality in that prayer. Yet my prayer wasn’t difficult or complicated. It was logical and natural. I wasn’t a bit afraid. I didn’t feel I was engaged in a “great battle” with death. In my prayer I was being a simple witness to the divine Principle of all life, the Principle that holds all creation in Life, God, without rupture or interruption.
About ten minutes after he had suddenly deceased, the patient sat up, revived. And he wasn’t in a state of recovery, but in a better state of health than before he had passed. And he continued to be in good health.
This kind of thing can happen because it is based on the laws of divine Principle. The divine Principle that is Love tenderly holds each one of us—holds you and me—completely secure in life.
Michelle Nanouche is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher, and a member of
the Christian Science Board of Lectureship. She’s based in Paris, France.
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