Your comments on new assignment
- “The purity of the authors in WKMBE probably comes from the fact that in many cases they were tried in the fire of passing Mrs. Eddy’s employment requirement: they needed to know how to protect themselves daily from animal magnetism. So inspiring.
- "We had a tornado warning yesterday late afternoon and as the storm struck I stood in the window and prayed. It is so great to know that God governs - the weather as well as every other lie of discord.”
- “Thanks so much for this. I just finished reading the book about a month ago and it’s everything you say that it is. I don’t mind re-reading at all” for new assignment (2014)
- ”Already bought it already started it!! It was my “summer read” after getting home from Association; I remembered you mentioned it at Association. But as you said, it is not a “quick summer read”; needless to say I am still “digging into it”. I am intrigued with the individual background of each writer, so I first read the biographical sketch of each writer and then went back and started reading the book from the beginning. I was in awe of these individuals before I even started the reminiscences!! “
- ”Thank you for this insightful assignment. How wonderful to know that our Association family will be working on this all together - to learn from the “we knew”, so that we can better become the “we now know”, is a true gift to us all.”
A very early completion of the assignment:
"What did you find in the book that you would particularly like to pass along to fellow Scientists or family members or even those who know little of Christian Science?"
If we know and love God, we will be able to serve others, make it through anything, and live in heaven here and now, and demonstrate God’s presence in healing and doing work aright.
Most every reminiscence refers to Mrs. Eddy’s example using words like “reflection,” “listening,” “demonstration,” etc. These are all different ways of saying that the seeming mortal, Mary Baker Eddy, stepped out of her own way and let God’s presence be active right there, as idea, image and likeness, reflection.
Mary Baker Eddy didn’t separate “the real world” from “the spiritual world” in her activity. She understood better than the rest that God, Love, is All-in-all, and that means there are not two worlds, two realities. Right here and right now God is present, active, and expressing His/Her infinite nature in good. If we make a cup of cocoa, or we are working to demonstrate over death, we must let God lead us. We must do what God does. We must be our true self, an idea of God, a son or daughter of the infinite One. Our cocoa must be mixed with love for it to come out aright and taste the best. Our watch must be realizing God is All-in-all, and not having a good conversation (argument) with the devil.
A Christian and a Christian Scientist cannot be separated from God in our action. As Joseph Mann was told by MBE, “Yes, dear, but God is never seen apart from man, and when I speak of God, I mean also His reflection, for I cannot separate them; they are one, and that one is God and man. I know and see God only in His reflection.”
Now, if I had to pass along something ONLY to a fellow Scientist? I would add that if we aren’t devoting every moment to God, and turning our daily activity into the activity of the movement, then we are not wholly worthy of being called Christian Scientists. Yes, we emerge gently from matter into Spirit, but the law of progress demands that we DO emerge. Building up matter, building prettier churches, inviting more people into church without healing more, is NOT fulfilling God’s work. Without demonstration, we cannot rightly call ourselves Christian Scientists
"Describe what you yourself felt from reading the book. Did it raise questions about how your own life could change during this crucial time in order to bring your best to serve this Cause? What can we learn from the sacrifices of the early workers and their obedience to Mrs. Eddy’s leadership? How does this leadership continue into the second century of Christian Science?"
Reading this book strengthens my sense of purpose and reminds me what “watching” and “practicing” REALLY mean.
The reminiscences awaken me from a slothful thinking and remind me that there is work to do, love to be expressed, and activity to conducted at God’s behest.
I cannot read how the early movement was conducted, and then vainly imagine that attending church and making my business better are what the textbook and the movement are all about. I can’t study these stories and daydream that I am doing it right if I spend half an hour or so in the morning performing the ritual of studying the Lesson-Sermon. I get pulled out of the liar’s comfort zone that “someone else” is being called to heal others, go into the practice, write an article for the periodicals, or work and watch in the Reading Room. How can we read about individuals leaving their families and more, and going to Pleasant View or Chestnut Hill, and not wonder, “Would I have been ready to do God’s work there, whether cutting hay, cleaning the house, or being a metaphysical worker on watch?”
Right now, at this point, I have to ask myself am I delaying my entry into God’s work, or is God leading me slowly? I’ve been out of class two years and my name isn’t listed in the Journal. Many, many of the early students gave up their whole former lives and immediately went into the public practice. They did this in the face of friends who were sure they were nuts. They stood firm amidst the rejection of spouses who were upset at their dedication to the so-called new religion. As we saw in last year’s assigned reading, these students faced courts and legislators and they stepped forward with a firm step. Sometimes it was just faith that allowed them, but they took that step. We see that Mary Baker Eddy followed God’s leading, even when she didn’t understand why she was being asked to make a move.
Can I take the lesson from this that if I am to call myself a follower of Christ, then I must be like John or Mary following all the way to the cross, and not give into fear like Peter did before the cock’s third crowing? Mary Baker Eddy did, and her students glimpsed heaven so surely that some followed faithfully, too, against all mortal odds.
“How does this leadership continue into the second century of Christian Science?”
We have a very, very clear example of how a Christian Scientist demonstrates their faith. We must follow these examples. Again, if our service is as meek as making cocoa, do we follow her example of “stir[ring] more [l]ove into it”? If a question arises in our church or in our daily practice, do we follow the example she set of asking God for the answer, and not expecting a “more spiritual” church member, or a practitioner, or our teacher to answer it for us? Do we ask God how to do everything? Do we watch and bar our mental doors against error, or do we wait until it has seized our sitting room and then cheer that we managed to throw the thief out?
These are examples she set, and standards for us to live up to, and if we are not faithfully living C.S. in these ways, are we living it? Are we following her? If we don’t live C.S. as a practical way of living, day to day, moment to moment, and now, are we living C.S.?
There is so much more to say on the topics, but that ought to be enough for now.
If you were to ask me which one is my favorite chapter, it would change day to day. Lida Fitzpatrick’s is astounding for the useful examples of how to demonstrate Science daily, as Mrs. Eddy taught her students. Joseph Mann’s is delightful and full of tidbits reminding us how she set an example of ALWAYS listening to God and doing His will. Adam Dickey’s has some incredible insights on giving a treatment (for example, pp. 430-432, “Accuracy demanded in stating the truth”). Ravthon’s looked personal and not so useful on first glance, but then as I got toward the end I found treasures of Mary Baker Eddy’s teachings as good as found in any of the others. I think which is “best” depends on the day and the demands of this day.”