Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, like the Bible, is a wondrous book, the ever-unfolding, kaleidoscopic statement of Christian Science. Each thoughtful reading reveals new facets of sentences and paragraphs which have been read dozens, if not hundreds, of times before. Only eternity will reveal the whole of it. All that in a mere 600 pages!
An old Sentinel article pointed me once again to one of hundreds of S&H's challenging statements. "Whatever is cherished in mortal mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body." (411: 25-26) Cherish is an intriguing word choice. It is likely that its usual meaning is not the most fruitful one. Here are some others from the Student's Reference Dictionary: "To treat in a manner to encourage growth; to harbor; to indulge and encourage in the mind". The word encourage implies active support, which I would hope all Christian Scientists avoid assiduously. The word harbor , however, is passive--and subtle. A harbor is where boats seek shelter and moor or tie up. Are we unconsciously permitting false beliefs, mesmeric suggestions, to dock unchallenged in the harbor of our consciousness? Such beliefs may reside quietly and inobtrusively for a time, but eventually they begin offloading their malignant cargos.
God put his perfect reflection, man, in the catbird seat--gave man dominion over error in all its forms. To cede that dominion would be a sin. For many, modern, frenetic lifestyles seem to allow little unencroached-upon time for adequate study and prayer. Some may begin to exist on a diet of half-warmed Pop-Tart prayerlets which are grabbed on the run like a mail sack snatched by an express train (in olden times) as it sped by a small town. It usually takes time to calm the agitation of mortal mind before meaningful prayer, communion with God, can take place. Effective prayer is not a product knitted together in the odd scraps of time left over from a busy day. True prayer draws truths from the scabbard of the page, enthrones them in active thought, and thereby lets the sword of Truth guard and guide individual experience (S&H 538: 4). Sufficient quiet time for prayer often has to be vigorously scuffled for since the devil has his own malicious and false claims on our God-given catbird seat.