Sunday, June 28, 2015

Handling Malign Influences

                                                       John Robert Howell

        Error sometimes makes it felonious overtures and suggestions with blatant obviousness.  The sinister insinuation of evil into consciousness, however, can be devilishly difficult to detect, especially if such suggestions are administered discretely in carefully measured doses by a skilled and depraved mental malpractitioner--and they do exist.  There are now and have always been institutions and individuals who hate Christian Science and Christian Scientists and work to destroy both, quietly and unobstrusively over the humdrum landscape of years and decades if necessary.  To induce in the unaware and unwary even modest mental perturbation or a growing spiritual coolness will almost certainly accomplish more than a bold rush at the mental gates. This would, or should, produce a quick and one hopes, effective defense and repulsion.

        It is wise to remember that the serpent is subtle, subliminal. The hugger-mugger corruption of a human mind over years can be far more effectual. We should not ever doubt or dismiss foolishly the possible influence of invisible and silent mental animal magnetism or aggressive mental suggestion.

        When such a miasma settles over a Christian Scientist, often the good that should be done isn't, but the wrong that should not be done is--or the Scientist simply goes "a fishing".  He should rather take comfort in an assurance that he is never a helpless victim of animal magnetism error, or any mortal belief. While there is no simple step we can take to get on a "do not call" list for the devil's incessant callings, Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy have taught us everything we need to know to uncover and tread each temptation, whether bold or subtle, down.  To be victorious over malign influences.

        God be thanked, there are many wide-awake, working students of Christian Science doing this every day.  They are proving that evil under whatever flag it is flown has no power because God, divine Mind, has it all. They are experiencing what Jesus assured all his followers, that they have been given all power over all power of the enemy.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Two Oceans

        Recently I was talking with a friend who happened to serve our country in WWII, in the Pacific theater of war.  This boy was still in the Christian Science Sunday School when he enlisted in the Marines.  He was with the Marines when they landed on Iwo Jima in 1945 and has told us a lot about his experiences.  Even then, he was devoted to the teachings of Christian Science and owes his religion much in saving his life.

        As they were going ashore, his DUKW which is what they called the vehicles they were being transported in, turned over in the high waves, almost crushing him. He very nearly drowned. And as he was in that water, something from Mary Baker Eddy's book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures came to thought:  It's from The Scientific Statement of Being, and this is what our friend recalled:  "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.  All is infinite Mind, and its infinite manifestation."  Needless to say, he was divinely protected that day.

        And what brought oceans to my thought was something I remembered from reading about Mrs. Eddy's early years when she was writing her book.  She would take a break from work, and walk down to the rocky shore of the Atlantic Ocean in Lynn, Masssachusetts, and sit on Red Rock for awhile. Whatever she was thinking about, how could this woman have known that years later a young Marine there across the vast Pacific Ocean would recall some of her words and find help.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why That Color?

        In an earlier blog this month I sent,  in a manner of speaking, a bouquet of roses to all the dedicated workers out there who are giving so much of themselves to our wonderful Cause.  And the reason "pale pink" came to thought, was due to a poem in one of my books.

Pale Pink Roses

I can see them still,

Masses of pale pink roses

Spilling over a white picket fence

Surrounding three sides of

A quaint old house

Off a narrow country road.

Talk about your eye-popping scenery --

Roses covering every available inch,

Quintessential New England spring.

I never did stop and smell those flowers;

Just seeing was overload enough.

And these years later,

 I can close my eyes,

And there they are.

But you know how it is,

Some scenes in nature are going

To escape time's mental eraser.

If ever a picture ought to be

In a nature calendar

For the pleasing month of May,

It is this one.

But who knows, maybe it has been.

"The smile of God", indeed!*

*As Mary Baker Eddy puts it in her book,
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Bible in Public Places

Whether somewhere close to home,
or while traveling abroad,
how nice to see people
reading the Word of God.
Waiting in an airport,
dining in some cafe,
how inspiring to see
the Bible on display.
That one cares enough
to spend time this way,
obviously devoted to Him,
always lifts my day.
And who knows?
Seeing the Holy Book
being pored over bold,
may lead someone else to
The Greatest Story
       Ever Told --
the prophesying,
the coming,
the hallowed life,
of Jesus Christ,
God's beloved Son,
and our forever Lord.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Bouquet of Pale Pink Roses

         Was just sitting here in my office feeling awash in love and gratitude for all the Christian Scientists through the years who have given their best to this religion of ours. How much less blessed my life would be without the dedicated work they did for this Cause of ours.

        While I can't personally thank each one of those who furthered Mary Baker Eddy's sublime purpose for her Cause--to reinstate the words and works of our dear Master, Christ Jesus--I can say thank you to those of you who are giving out so much now.

               So to each one of you, a bouquet of pale pink roses.

Proof of God's Presence

        "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble", the Holy Bible assures us. (Psalms 46:1)

        "Well, suppose He is", someone may be saying back to me.  "What good does that do me?  I need to have some sign, some proof that God is present." Absolutely.  We shouldn't, and don't have to, settle for less.

        This is the beauty of Christian Science, that through its teachings you and I can experience that help that is ever at hand. While comforting statements of God's love and care are wonderful, and we Christians couldn't do without them, how much better it is, and this Jesus showed in his healing work, to have actual demonstrations of God's all-power.

        To achieve this, one could not do better than to get a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy and ponder its inspired truths.  But on the way to this, for the readers who are not acquainted with what my religion teaches, let me share some of the things I've found that help me realize God's power and presence.  These are illustrated for us in the life of our Master, Christ Jesus.

        First, voluntary, fervent aloneness with God, divine Spirit.  A keener awareness of His ever-presence has to be patiently cultivated, even as effort has to be expended to deepen a human relationship.  When we wholeheartedly reach out to divine Mind, we hear what God is revealing about His infinitely loving and powerful nature.  From this we gain a priceless awareness of our unity with God, divine Love.

        Once we've complied with the command in Psalms, "Be still, and know that I am God," (Psalms 46:10) then what?  Again, observing Jesus' example and how he was always glorifying his Father, we naturally think of using our solitude to the same holy end.  The Scriptures abound with admonitions to give God the glory He is due, and as we advance spiritually, we find that praising Him is something we cannot do enough.

        Christian Science shows that the ability to feel God's presence in our day-to-day is inseparably interwoven with sanctification of thought.  Reflecting on the way Jesus conducted his life shows that purity was a "given" for him.  Purification is the price we must pay if we would prove our true spiritual nature.  As Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8) And since purity is the natural spiritual state and birthright of you, me, and all God's children, it can progressively predominate in our thoughts and our daily lives.

        Turning to God with mere wishful thinking, hoping He will hear but feeling underneath that He is inaccessible, too far away, or indifferent to our needs is a little like our putting an opaque covering in front of a window through which sunlight has been streaming.  We don't cause the sun to be any less near to us, nor do we stop it from shining. But we do cut ourselves off temporarily from its invigorating warmth.  You can see this, can't you?

        But learning to go to God as Jesus did saves one from this futile exercise.  It enables us to feel our Father's tender, powerful presence that is always right where we are.