Christ Jesus told his followers: "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.... I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:9, 10.
Through the study and practice of Christian Science, the Master's promise is explained and experienced. One awakens to his spiritual relationship to God as God's idea. He finds the Christ—the divine idea of true manhood—and so becomes conscious of the illimitability of his real being.
Even more than the warmth and light of the sun bless earth, God's ineffable, abundant good —experienced through the Christ—blesses humanity. This eternal good embraces such spiritual qualities of God as purity, joy, holiness, wisdom, well-being—indeed, all that is included in the image and likeness of a wholly good and loving God.
Since these spiritual qualities are created and sustained by God alone, no limitation can be put upon them. They cannot be depleted, overpowered, diminished, or dominated by mortal mind or matter. The challenges of human existence do not interfere with their resplendency. They glow in spiritual splendor in each individual's true consciousness. The spiritually receptive individual draws heavily upon them, and in that ratio he prospers in health and happiness, in usefulness and in accomplishment.
Abraham's words of encouragement to his servant, as reported in Genesis 24:40, describe God's affluence, guidance, love, and caring. Today this same love can be appealed to for the solution of human needs. "He said unto me," the servant remembers, "The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way." Gen. 24:40.
When the receptive individual approaches Christian Science, the unfolding revelation of Truth, he gains a clearer insight into true substance—its presence and availability to enrich every day of his life. God's abundant good, expressed in the infinite diversity of true individuality, is acknowledged by this Science as reality, in place of many minds and the discords, limitations, frustrations, and traumas of material living.
It is vain to try to "use" Christian Science, to pray for the human adjustments rather than for the spiritual understanding and regeneration needed for healing. As important as physical relief is, the desire for relief alone isn't always enough to awaken our thought to the healing Christ. But when we finally are ready to yield up the false beliefs or mistaken values behind discord, our progress is assured. Christian Science helps us to change our actions to conform to the demands of Spirit. Only through an incorrect approach, a selfish motive, or resistance to regeneration can efforts to demonstrate Christian Science be disappointed.
As we really desire to understand God better and grow in spiritual understanding, feelings and actions become more Godlike. The desire to have Truth, instead of human appearances, determine our state of mind motivates effective prayer and redirects our life.
It is not in accord with Christian Science to seek to pray just for material betterment. Prayer enables us to become more aware of God as uninvadable Spirit and Love and to be better representatives of Him. We pray to get clearer glimpses of the beauty of design that each individual idea of God reflects from God. As we pray sincerely from the heart to awake to the infinite aspects of true, spiritual individuality, a greater degree of spiritual strength and loveliness exalts us.
Unselfish prayer heals the mind and body. It harmonizes human relationships and circumstances and enriches them. It also brings into focus a protective appreciation for the world around us—for birds, animals, trees, and inanimate things that hint at the infinite beauty of God's universe. Moreover, enlightened prayer alerts us to the pitfalls that would interfere with our achieving the spiritual altitude where the riches of divine Love are revealed.
The insidious beliefs that stem from the basic fallacy that we are finite mortals with minds of our own would limit and harm us more than might be imagined. They would fabricate limitation, conflict, frustration, bad memories, jealousy, fear, lust, injustice, and so forth— whatever would divert us from the spiritual bliss of true being. The material sense of existence, however, is only the supposititious opposite of true being. It can be recognized as false and replaced with spiritual sense, so that God's truth can redeem and heal us.
The eternal state of man in God's likeness is affluent spiritual good. Therefore, if limitation confronts us, it needs to be recognized as a spiritual deficiency of some sort—a lack in our realization and demonstration of the facts of Spirit. Something is claiming to be out of tune with real being. But this mesmerism can be broken in Christian Science. God's law, when effectively applied, replaces the harmful influence of a false sense of existence and of human will with a diviner sense of God's unerring presence.
In learning to correct these errors with Christian Science, we can profit from unfortunate experiences. Instead of allowing them to crush our health, happiness, and well-being, we can learn valuable lessons that sharpen conscience. In the degree that this takes place, we stop thinking about and living in the mire of materiality. We're elevated into a more harmonious and productive sense of existence.
In this way misguided material beliefs that have proved to be disastrous and disappointing are rectified with the truth of being. This keeps one from continuing down a dead-end road. As the veil of material sense is lifted, the Life divine is recognized as the only reality in what appears to be the present, past, or future.
Such spiritual regeneration brings forward the deep humility that is receptive to and aware of divine Love's bountiful blessings. Then more of the enriching spiritual ideals of divine Principle, Love, are recognized and adhered to. Not only is a greater degree of genuine prosperity experienced in our individual lives; we have a wider mission. As Mrs. Eddy writes, "Many sleep who should keep themselves awake and waken the world." Message to The Mother Church for 1902, p. 17. Our progressive awakening to and utilization of man's God-derived resources help to hasten the day when spiritual illimitability will be more universally understood and demonstrated.
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