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How do you love?

From the January 2022 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Christ Jesus gave his disciples this commandment: “Love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Many things could be said about the nature of this love, but one clue to the love he is asking for can be found in the words of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, to a member of her household. When asked, “Do you love me?” she replied, “I just love. As the sun just shines, I just love” (see Irving C. Tomlinson, Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy, Amplified Edition, p. 225). 

This type of love is universal love that pours forth as a gleaming expression of divine Love. One insightful description of this Christly love can be found in an article in the archives of the Journal titled “The simplicity and profundity of Love” (“Principle” and “Love” are used as synonyms for God): “While love is not without the warmth and joy of true affection, it is far greater than mere personal feeling. Love can have no competitive thinking or desire for monopoly, nor can it be swayed from Principle. . . . Tender, gracious Principle is not expressed in love at one time and not at another, nor in love for one and not for all; it remains Love and acts as love under all circumstances” (Mary Sands Lee, September 1941). 

This is not a limited love or affection. Personality-focus is not involved. And some might be tempted to think that this impartial love might be less satisfying, maybe less comforting, than the love that favors some people over others. 

However, when a mother in Mrs. Eddy’s day saw how our Leader looked at her daughter, she saw a higher concept of Mother Love being expressed than she had ever known, and this higher expression of love healed her daughter. This is how the mother described that love: “I wish I could make the world know what I saw when Mrs. Eddy looked at those children [her two children]. It was a revelation to me. I saw for the first time the real mother Love. . . .” 

The mother describes how she then saw love poured out on a bird and grass and flowers and people around. She said, “This Love was everywhere, like the light, but it was divine, not mere human affection. . . . 

“. . . I saw, for the first time, the absolute unreality of everything but this infinite Love. It was not only everywhere present, like the light, but it was an intelligent presence that spoke to me, and I found myself weeping . . . , saying out loud, ‘Why did I never know you before? Why have I not known you always?’

“. . . When we got back to the hotel, there was no boil on my child’s head” (see Yvonne Caché von Fettweis and Robert Townsend Warneck, Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer, Amplified Edition, pp. 356–359).    

This all-embracing Mother Love is what life is really about. In spiritual reality, it is actually the substance of our being and of everything in God’s creation. Love, God, is expressed in all creation, including us. 

While Mrs. Eddy has many wonderful things to say about human affection, it’s universal love that carries us to see the kingdom of God. It is “an all-absorbing spiritual love” (Science and Health, p. 264). This is Love reflected in its purest form, which discerns only God’s spiritual creation regardless of what the material senses present. In line with the First Commandment given by Moses, expressing spiritual love recognizes only one power, one reality—God’s infinite goodness, in which there are no gaps. 

Divine Love is drawing us all up to a higher consciousness that perceives the kingdom
of heaven.

This love is Love expressed no matter what. It is reflecting Love’s shining no matter what. For example, Jesus gave this counsel in his Sermon on the Mount: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). 

Jesus’ love, expressed in forgiveness of those who were involved in his crucifixion, undoubtedly played a significant role in enabling him to overcome the grave. And earlier in his ministry, an important example of his expression of love is recorded in the Gospel of John, chapter 11, when he raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus had a great deal of friendly affection for Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. But this healing was Love expressed in its highest sense. Seeing understandingly through the eyes of pure love the truth of Lazarus’ intact being, and knowing that this deathless life was true for everyone, raised Lazarus.

Many tend to think this kind of healing was unique to Christ Jesus. But like a loving shepherd, our Savior was showing us the way by listening moment by moment and following what God was leading him to do. We can follow his example. Being careful not to get distracted from the vital knowledge of our oneness with divine Love, God, is one way we can follow Jesus and purely love God and each other.

Divine Love is drawing us all up to a higher consciousness that perceives the kingdom of heaven within, away from the belief of the substantiality of all the challenges of mortal existence. Willingness to grow into this consciousness of pure love and to put off anything that would obscure it, is key to being able to realize it and to witness healing for ourselves and others. With the prayerful treatment of Christian Science practitioners, I have experienced many healings, which prove the care and dependability of divine Love, including healings of suicidal depression, a major theft (Sentinel, July 11, 2011), cancer, flu, injuries from accidents, dog bites (Journal, March 2021); I also experienced a painless childbirth, and so on.    

One idea a Christian Science practitioner shared, which she felt was a turning point in making her healing prayers more effective, was the realization that if she knew that the spiritual truth she was affirming in prayer was true for everyone as clearly as she knew that it was true for herself or her patient, the healing work was much more effective.  

We can all embrace this healing love that is of God. In the book of Ephesians, this love is explained in a way that is supremely comforting and all-inclusive: “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (2:4, 5). One way to look at “by grace ye are saved” is to know that “God just loves you,” as a noted Bible speaker once explained. As God’s image and likeness, we, too, are also able to “just love” through expressing this all-transforming Love that is God. That is what our Father-Mother God, divine Love, created us to do. And, as Science and Health says, “No power can withstand divine Love” (p. 224).

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