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.

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.

Christian Science, Uncategorized

The Supernatural or Natural God?

Last night I was watching to a speech which was called “Kaplan and Reconstructionist Judaism” by Emmanuel Goldsmith

It was a very nice presentation about how the founder of  Reconstructionist Judaism wanted to end the separatism of the past and embrace new things from non Jewish cultures as well as export the good things and ideas to others. In other words to promote unity and adjustment to the modern world. He goes on to say that Zionism today should motivate others to perpetuate the same wherever they are – as one people. Not to see Zionism as a land battle but as a sense of corporate unity and destiny.

The speaker points out another Jewish opinion which he defines as ultra orthodoxy which seeks to destroy democracy and then defines democracy as a purpose of kindness and goodness, to raise harmony, to free the human mind to use the most Divine Power which he or she can grasp or possess. Further defining God as a “good” force demonstrated by good acts – not a supernatural man on a throne who lives the bonds and shackles of organized religion.  To reach his potential man must align himself with that of the cosmos and realize that Good is a synonym for God thus we should demonstrate that by realizing and working with Good in our lives and not seeking to please a human style God in obedience only from fear or ritual.  He further asks us to consider the word God as a verb or functional noun rather than as a noun proper. To rid ourselves of this “supernatural” idea of God – the man on the throne concept in favor of “naturalism” that God is naturally a force – of the cosmos without a godhead.

In Christian Science Zion is the name given to the city foursquare a “consciousness” of the full understanding of God rather than a land or country called Israel. Mrs. Eddy wrote in 1896: “God hath indeed smiled on my church,—this daughter of Zion: she sitteth in high places; and to deride her is to incur the penalty of which the Hebrew bard spake after this manner: ‘He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision'” (Miscellaneous Writings, p.126). 

In the CS Sentinel dated March 20th 1956 we read the following : “A vehicle to carry these benefactions to mankind was necessary, one which would guard, perpetuate, and faithfully express the revelation. The Mother Church is that vehicle. A careful study of its rules of membership, coupled with continued observation of the effect of these rules upon many individual members, forces home the conviction that in obedience to these rules lies the antidote for the ungodly qualities of the so-called human mind; that what the human mind most needs for its evangelization is the discipline afforded in more clearly understanding and more fully obeying the rules governing membership in The Mother Church. These By-laws were written by Mrs. Eddy, the one who in this age most accurately knew the elements of the so-called carnal mind and their cure, the divine Mind. (Laura Dunbar Hagarty)

From the above, it is clear that there was a time when God, Church and organised religion were more or less synonymous. Mary Baker Eddy wrestled with this concept many times and at least once completely dissolved her Church in favor of having a group instead. Jesus did not begin a Church despite the Catholic interpretation that Peter was the first Pope. It was a mindset within Judaism which eventually had to move out to survive as it organised and changed itself over the first few centuries. Joel Goldsmith, the ex CS Practitioner who founded the “Infinite Way” movement refused to organize his movement to keep it pure and Ernest Holmes often battled with the idea of whether he should set up a Church or simply centers knowing the perils of God and Human Institutions being mistaken for each other using human sentiment and caste.

As a child I was taught that organised Churches had “free reign” over God and it seemed to me that some of these Churches felt that God only belonged either in the tabernacle (the box at the front) or to the hierarchy – imparting blessings, allowing the kissing of Bishop rings and leading services with nice long robes (or suits). Indeed a view which seemingly has continued. So my question then is  why in the time of the virus were these men the first to “run” close their doors and hide? After all – they felt they had exclusive access to  God  – they didn´t even engage in dialogue with the Governments. The Vatican in Rome is closed The Mother Church and Branch Churches were the same – many  immediately disbanding long before there was any requirement to do so –  where was God then and now? Locked until the men are available again? So Government law can displace God now? Now that these men have been removed with their god – do many of us care – would it matter in the grand scheme of daily life if they    didn´t reopen?

We need to work hard to overcome this idea of the punishing God who waits for the right moment or the devil with the fork who prods our hips with a fork chasing us like some kind of Benny Hill cartoon in favor of a scientific entity who can be seen in pure unselfed Love and accessed by everyone everywhere and at every time. To mistake this for a church is fatal unless we redefine the word Church itself as Mary Baker Eddy did.

To simply ask people to close their eyes for a few moments daily with a verse like “I and my Father are one” to gently bring them to a child like trust in a greater power and to foster a trust in it is all that is needed to begin to  see healing and to reshape our world.