catholic, Christian Science, Poems, Uncategorized

An Unfinished Poem,

Gently on piano keys or,
strung upon the harp,
strummed upon the guitar strings or
words said from the heart,

A colder breeze in winter time
or withered flowerless briar
all are made to break your dreams
and draw your thoughts much higher

An Ocean beach in times more calm
At home with people stern
A tempest storm or healing balm
Higher thoughts that you must learn

Ne´er upon life´s empty shores
no matter how it seems
For going to reach a better place
you have to break the dream

Christian Science, Uncategorized

The Future of religion

One of the most interesting things about religion is its tenacity to survive and thrive off fear and human emotion. Many if not all of the institutions I came across during the pandemic were having “pity parties” reminding themselves how bad life is and how suffering MUST be part of faith and the human journey.  It may well be part of the human journey but part of the Spiritual man it is not.

As well as this there are churches who claim to have “grown” and are wholly welcoming ALL people into their fold in a kind of don´t ask don´t tell basis, just come and worship with us. (and sign the regular donation form) These groups, despite  rather dark pasts, seem to be able to forget their own histories and are settling into a new identity, distancing themselves from involvement with slavery, anti LGBTQ rights and other topics which they still don´t feel comfortable discussing. The idea is you go, say nothing controversial with a promise that the pastor won´t either and you all sit comfortably for an hour on Sundays talking about how bad the world is.  This seems to be the religion of the day. Add in Jesus, the cross, suffering and you have a recipe for feeling very sober by the time you leave.

This style of religion is dying and it seems that with every new generation, we move further and further away from any kind of agreement or Mind and are settling into a bunch of egos whom by the end of the service really hate each other and don´t go back. To play it safe, other churches simply have a rock or pop concert without any other sermons or words to avoid lack of unity – who can blame music?  As such, religion is dying and is offering nothing new except the age old belief that there are two powers. One of good and the other a kind of Benny Hill style devil: out to tempt us on every corner with a trident ready to throw us into hell. But it seems it is no longer vogue to mention him either.  Then comes a virus. The Churches really don´t know what to do with that – is it from the Devil or from God?  Let´s not think about it and just say it´s here, that is the approach. If the Churches close, even better, they don´t have to deal with it.

My religion is a God who is Good, who knows no pandemic, who knows of no evil sickness sin or death – as such there is no point pleading with him because he cannot see our issues: It is not because he is cruel it is simply because these issues are products of our own thinking, not of any reality. Like a ghost under the child´s bed – the mother comes and shows there is no ghost. So God comes to tell us there is no suffering.   Let me put it another way: If money was not the most important thing in western countries, would we have closed everything down to protect ourselves from the pandemic?  Likely no, older people would be at home instead of nursing homes, friends and families would assist each other and Governments would have less of a role to play.  Common sense would have prevailed and companies would have shared their products instead of hoarding to sell them to us later.

What if we did not believe that mankind was a bunch of created individuals who live for themselves and their own motives. Right now we are the center of our own universes, demanding, judging, viewing, passing sentence and executing.  What if we are one Mind, a reflection in a pool of goodness, only able to reflect perfection. Without any small mind to judge. What would the world look like?

A good place to begin is to explore what that Mind is and how we can trust it in our day to day lives.  it begins not by realizing who God is but by realizing who we are, a reflection of something beautiful whole and perfect.

It is our beliefs that shape our world, so pure true beliefs will show us the reality of something beautiful.

We should not be relying on any kind of institution for support for this – we should be quietening down our minds to realize “I and my Father are One” and that´s true for everyone no matter what our brain tells us about the guy next door or in the next seat.

The quicker we are able to let go of Sunday Morning religious practice and realize instead that God is one Mind and a force to be trusted in every moment, the quicker a better world will come.

Lets trust one power today – let it be Good.

catholic, Christian Science, Uncategorized

Prejudice leads to death.

At this time, when we see in the media, reports of a policeman killing a young black male in what looks like a senseless attack, it is hard to make sense of any of it.  There are also a number of unhelpful opinions from evangelicals quoting the wrath of God and perhaps darker more racial themes which have not been fully aired yet.

What is even more difficult to get, is how this killing relates to a slave trade abolished 200 years ago. Protests in the UK have resulted in a statue being thrown into the river and others around the UK are likely to be removed in an attempt to lower controversy.

If we view our fellow man with a prejudged label of being black, white, yellow, gay or straight, (remember Matthew Shepard? How soon we forgot him) we are doing nothing more than drawing a perception, laying a frame around the person and hanging them on the wall like an unchanging portrait  –  then of course we expect that person to obey certain stereotypes – in other words, we invent the mental image of the person before us then we decide to dislike him because of the measurement of the perceived label against our own moral standards or preconceptions of how the labelled being should behave. Its a form of mortal slavery which reduces humanity down and places ourselves as a god and executioner in a world without any regulation on our thoughts towards the other person. “I don´t like that portrait anymore – I think I will change it”

Sadly in this case, George Floyd was labelled mentally, prejudged and then killed. The judge jury and executioner being nothing more than a completely  wrong opinion about who or what George was or about himself, believing perhaps that he (the killer) was able to snuff out another person´s life. The scary part is that it could happen to any of us, depending on what choice of label other people put on us or worse, what label we entertain about others or ourselves.

Perhaps this is a good time to remember Jesus – in mainstream Christianity he was or is the son of God. In metaphysics he was the “way shower” and someone who demonstrated that we are all “infinite being”, far bigger than our human bodies. To understand Him more we need to separate Jesus the man, born like the rest of us and the Christ, the message he brought and carried. His legacy included raising the dead, healing the sick and defining himself as Spiritual rather than mortal. As a result, the same opinion which killed George also killed Jesus, the Romans labelled him “king of the Jews” and nailed him to a tree, believing they were able to “kill”. His body died and he demonstrated the Great Infinity of Being by “coming back from the dead” or simply demonstrating that death is another false belief.  Today, the opinion about who he was still rages across humanity, each religious group anxious to give him a label, either to discredit him or to Love him and still he defies every label given, for he fits into none. Jesus was misunderstood then and surely not a lot has changed.  There is a lesson in this for those who can see it.

Some people say that because his mother Mary had an idea of Spirituality, she caught a glimpse of a metaphysical idea and brought it into her view. In some ways this is reflected in Catholic doctrine calling her “the Immaculate Conception” implying that she was the one with pure vision and eventually ascended to “Heaven” in the same way Jesus did. Ironically many people think that the Immaculate conception was Jesus as he too was born without sin.

The belief in our own minds that we are the judge, jury and god in any situation goes no higher than the ceiling of the room we are in. It is a false opinion about who we are and what life we are living.   That is why our prayers do not get answered and that is why we live in a world full of diseases,  sickness and death. To sit quietly for a few moments every day meditating on phrases like “I and my Father are One” help us to get into the mindset of Jesus, Spiritual, Whole and Pure and to displace the loud arguments stating otherwise,  around us.

In my own life, I have  been the victim of many labels, some self imposed, others that people have felt the need to place on me along with the results of those conditions appearing physically.  Locally in South west Scotland some people have a preoccupation with Catholicism and that remains the number one question when you meet someone for the first time or visit a Church – “Are you or were you Catholic”. I suppose that is one of the least harmful labels compared to others people could use to try and bring down my opinion of myself and others. But sadly those opinions about Catholicism have also killed, in Northern Ireland for example.

“Buddha said “with our thoughts we make the world” and the Bible has a lot to say on this including “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

Lets drop the labels and preconceptions – you might be surprised at the results. If the death of George can teach us something – it is to stop us mentally making an identity and expecting others to live up or down to it.

Finally, the CS material organisation should not remain silent on issues like these:

  1. It´s track record on LGBT rights, highlighted by  employee court cases in recent times is awful.
  2. CS Practitioners often may refuse to treat LGBT people if they wish
  3. The Church refuses to take any theological stand on LGBT issues, meaning that discrimination still takes place as no official policy exists. Silence kills.
  4. It´s permitted historical articles on the “healing” of homosexuality.
  5. Robert Peel´s biographical trilogy of Mary Baker Eddy makes reference to her support of the Anglo Israeli Movement. A group which supports the idea that British and American people (white people) are a remnant of the 10 tribes of Israel and favored by God.  I have encountered at least one Practitioner who still carries forward this view.

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Science, Uncategorized

A #ChristianScience Rosary

To hear the audio recitation of this rosary, please click here

The Rosary is an ancient tradition of reciting prayers on the beads or fingers. The origins are unclear, some say they came from the days when we could not read or write and had to count on our fingers, others say it has its roots on Buddhism or Islam. Either way it turned into a major devotion within the Catholic Church before the Reformation, they claimed it was revealed mysteriously to St Simon Stock.

Continue reading “A #ChristianScience Rosary”

Christian Science, Uncategorized

Prayer

For centuries, humanity has been taught that Prayer is one of those “hit or miss” scenarios, something which we say to one another to reassure us of the presence of God and at times a last resort offered to the dying. But few people expect it to do anything except maybe a few well meaning evangelicals.

These days it is not something en vogue – I have seen people looking angry at the mention of the word Prayer and the word itself brings up pictures of religion which none of us wants to face. Cold dark institutions and people who claimed to have the last word on God usually through a stern morality. In short, punishment and Prayer seem to be two sides of the same coin for most.

Continue reading “Prayer”

Christian Science, Uncategorized

Strength and Sweetness

Judges 13 King James Version (KJV)
and

Strength and Sweetness
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Precepts, Vol. 3, by Gilbert Carpenter, page 205 (letter dated Feb. 12, 1895)

 

Judges 13 King James Version (KJV) 13 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.
2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.
3 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:
7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
8 Then Manoah intreated the Lord, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.
9 And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.
10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.
11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am.
12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?
13 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware.
14 She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.
15 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.
16 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the Lord.
17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?
18 And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?
19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord: and the angel did wonderously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.
20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.
21 But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord.
22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
23 But his wife said unto him, If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.
24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.
25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Strength and Sweetness
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Precepts, Vol. 3, by Gilbert Carpenter, page 205 (letter dated Feb. 12, 1895)
It is the masculine thought that feels free to run things with justice, and to forget mercy. It fancies that love is a temptation against which it fancies it must harden itself, that it must rule love out of the heart before it can judge righteous judgement.

It is interesting to consider Samson’s riddle as found in Judges 14: 14, where he said, “Out of the strong came forth sweetness.” Christian Science proves that strength and sweetness must go hand in hand. History proves that every so-called great man that has flourished for a time, and finally been dethroned, either lacked sweetness, or else he had it but lost it. When you find a man in authority losing his sweetness, it is inevitable that he will go down. Mrs. Eddy was the Leader because she had both wisdom and love, strength and sweetness, and she never permitted one to be overshadowed by the other. She taught her followers to distrust any individual, or committee, who found it necessary to bury their sweetness before executing justice.

When students learn the Science of reflecting the power, wisdom and justice of God, they must never forget that it is equally important to reflect divine Love. The Master combined these two qualities. He manifested a wisdom that enabled him to overthrow his enemies. What he asserted to them proved that he was motivated by a wisdom that they did not possess; yet he never forgot to manifest divine Love at the same time. The very name given to his doctrine, namely, Christianity, has come to mean a type of spiritual love, to which Mrs. Eddy added the wisdom of Science, so that no one can truly call himself her follower who does not act up to his highest understanding of justice and mercy.