Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"who did hinder you . . . ?"

A lump of coal in the sock of supplication instead of a spiritual blessing? A rivulet of sincere and hope-filled prayers which peters out ineffectually on mortal mind's dry alluvial plain? If so, it is easy to become discouraged, or at least begin puttering about dispiritedly, while letting aggressive mental suggestions, instead of God, sit in the catbird seat.

I have wondered more than once, regrettably not to my bitter enough chagrin, why I have even once thought I could scale the heights of heaven with less time spent in prayer than Christ Jesus or Mary Baker Eddy. When error's skirmish line of adversity is advancing on one's lethargically defended position is not the time to chase one's tail in a tizzy, wondering how to get the pin out of his Scientific grenade. If we are always as obedient to God as we know how, we are increasingly semper fidelis and semper paratus--and thus under His loving protection.

Prayer, watching, and working are always, Mrs. Eddy tells us, required for growth in grace, and the onset of error's flood tide is not the time to dust off the life-boat kit and begin reading the instructions for assembly. Christ Jesus and Mrs. Eddy are both very clear on the necessity for and how of spiritual progress. The Bible and writings of Mrs. Eddy will not keep the false claims of mortal mind at bay if they are only used as impromptu scotches at the bottom of our mental doors.

Notes: Phoenix AZ wondered if I meant "grisly", not "gristly", in a recent entry. I meant gristly, implying that most of us beware of evil's worst excesses and gristly temptations, but may still find some pleasant, and tempting, vistas in the devil's south forty.
Thank you to LowlyWise for comments on the Pierian springs and for offering some other relevant lines from Pope's Essay on Criticism.
A reader commented on the shortness of some entries. I do the best I can with the time available. Even two paragraphs can take three or so hours to wrestle into some kind of presentability. Most of us are not born writers, and the scope of this little enterprise is also necessarily limited. Yes, Samuel Johnson filled up his "Rambler" [the italics has gone on holiday again] every week, but I am certainly no Dr. Johnson, and he at least gave himself unlimited elbow room to discuss any topic which struck his fancy. I would rather have 25 readers spend one engaging minute here than one reader spend 25 soporific minutes on a dull screed. I try in my way to make this as, some wag suggested, like a woman's skirt: short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject (however scantily).

24 comments:

Stephen said...

A very sound essay, metaphysically strong and filled with wise reminders to us out here trying to prove God's power more successfully.
Thanks!

Boston suburb said...

I think this blog post is unusually well thought out and presented. Much to take away and think about here.

Nameless (like you!) said...

There's nothing hindering you, Christian. You are certainly keeping right at it.
Enjoyed reading this one as well.

Thanks (CA) said...

Really like this one, Christian. Personally quite helpful to me right now.

Greetings, Honululu said...

Keep up your good work on behalf of this Cause we all love so much. How can we ever thank God enough for revealing to Mary Baker Eddy all that He did!

Greetings, Honululu said...

Keep up your good work on behalf of this Cause we all love so much. How can we ever thank God enough for revealing to Mary Baker Eddy all that He did!

Anonymous said...

Good essay, Christian. Got a lot from this, and I appreciate your using your considerable talent to enlighten and inspire the Field.

L. R. said...

You bring out something I've often thought about as I've studied Christian Science, if our great Master spent the time he did in prayer to His and our heavenly Father, then just think of how much more I should be doing! And can.

A longtime viewer said...

Well put, Christian. And your essays are always long enough for me. I get quite a lot from them actually and am so glad you are doing this work.

Practitioner (Midwest) said...

Know what I've found as I've gone along in studying and applying Christian Science? That the more we experience God's healing power in our lives, in so many ways, the more one wants to spend time in thought and prayer with Him. It isn't a chore; it's a joy. Isn't this the way we think Jesus and Mrs. Eddy felt?

Hello from the UK said...

Excellent essay, Christian. A rewarding experience for me to read something this well-written, on CS.

New Hampshire CS said...

Love the freshness and creativity of your blog posts. Glad a friend put me onto you, Christian.

Poet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D. L. said...

Quite a worthwhile website, in my opinion. I always enjoy stopping by to see what you've been pondering, Christian.

Anonymous said...

Morning Christian,
Always a pleasure to read something you write. So well thought out and presented for us out here.

LowlyWise said...

Don't ever apologize for writing tight. A critic (Sir Herbert Read, perhaps)once brought an essay to an acquaintance with an apology for its length, explaining "I did not have the time to make it short." I appreciate Christian's pithiness all the more when I think of someone I know who would never say in 100 words what could be said in 1000.

I have often wished the Publishing Society would cultivate some flexibility as to length: a place for the witty half-page squib but also for full-length treatment of a complex topic. That way they could cut out the turgid boilerplate with which they stuff too many of their articles.

A friend in AZ said...

As more than one person has said, over the years, "Never explain, never complain."

And as Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health p. 225:17

"A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping-post and slave market;"

So wherever Spirit leads, short or long, so be it. No need to apoligize for brevity.

LowlyWise said...

The concluding sentence of a book review in today's CS Monitor: "In this era of information overload, it’s important to go deep, but also to keep it crisp."

http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/Book-Reviews/2010/0630/Hamlet-s-BlackBerry?sp_rid=NTI5OTY2NzMwMgS2&sp_mid=4492193
http://tinyurl.com/28h2xey

Anonymous said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。.................................................................

Mark said...

Nice essay, Christian Science blogger. (Perhaps the commenter previous to mine will translate for those of us not familiar with his or her language?)

Not criticizing! said...

Looks like I've been taken to task for daring to mention Christian's short essays! You do a great job--whether short or longer. It's just that with your talent, I can see a book. Truly.

Florida CS said...

Another good one, blogger. If we, with all the help we get in the inspired Word and the teachings of divine Science, let mortal mind hinder us from knowing God better, it's our fault. We have more than enough metaphysical tools to do what is required, don't we?

F. P. said...

I love what our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, says on the subject of prayer, in fact in the chapter of her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" called Prayer -- that Jesus' prayers were deep and conscientious protests of man's likeness to God as His image. This is it, essentially.
Thank you for your website.

Anonymous said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................