Q: The Christian Science churches I’ve been in have the words “God is Love” on the wall. It seems so simple, yet I am having difficulty understanding what love is. What does it feel like? How do you know when you actually feel love? What kind of a feeling is it to truly love your neighbor, whom you may or may not know?
A: This reference is meant to be a comfort and a reminder that our Father-Mother’s love is all-powerful and is reaching out to us, protecting us, supplying us.
In the third volume of his biography of Mary Baker Eddy, Robert Peel writes about an early Christian Scientist who took her two children to hear Mrs. Eddy speak. At one point the mother noticed Mrs. Eddy smiling at the children and realized that she was expressing divine Mother-Love. At that moment the mother herself suddenly felt this love in a way she never had before, and she saw that it was infinite and expressed everywhere. Everything she looked at was more beautiful than ever to her. During this experience, a painful boil on the head of one of the children was completely healed. This presence of Love that she felt couldn’t entertain anything unlike itself, even a discordant physical condition (see Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Authority, pp. 110–111).
I love the reminder from First John, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (I John 3:1). That includes everyone. As we understand divine Love, God, through our prayers and spiritual study, we begin to realize how He expresses love to us. We feel the good it brings to our hearts, stilling our fears and doubts, quieting unkind thoughts about ourselves or others, harmonizing our actions in all things, and thereby showing its universal and unconditional nature. Then we begin to perceive what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves. We focus less on personalities and more on expressing qualities, such as honesty. We don’t choose whom we want to be honest with, but instead it becomes important simply that we are honest. And so it becomes with love—we don’t choose whom we love; we just naturally express love.
Washington, DC, US
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