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Association 2016: Prayer is the Christian’s Vital Breath

august 2015 letter

Dear People,
A recent Christian Science Board of Education conference call with teachers on the subject of praying for class instruction, reminded me of the innate power in our Leader’s provision of instruction and Association. It was never a humanly organized metaphysical education system, but rather, when approached with consecration and a heart and mind open to divine Spirit, it is our doorway to the world behind the words of Scripture and Mrs. Eddy’s inspired writings. It comes from God and leads to God and feels like home.

Sometimes it can seem like the time between our meetings distances us from our spiritual home. We return from class, or our Association meeting full of spiritual awareness, but then, with the passage of time, that awareness seems to fade. And, without quite being aware of what is happening, we return to routine; the illusion of a mortal life, personally managed for better or worse.

Mrs. Eddy tells us, “Remember that mankind must sooner or later, either by suffering or by Science, be convinced of the error that is to be overcome.” (S&H 240:24) The dismay, insecurity, lack of spiritual sense, the alarm over physical sensations and appearances, anxiety about how we are to cope, the frustration of trying to create and manage good with material means - the suffering - that comes from human “business as usual,” does, eventually, “turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love.” There we find what we always find when we become alert to spiritual reality: God, perfect, loving, eternal good, and man His idea, inseparable from that good.

We went home at the end of May taking with us some glimpse of the Church Triumphant - our place as God’s expressions in the divine unfoldment of Truth, Life, and Love. I hope that the “mountaintop view” has been leavening your experience, lifting you and your branch churches and societies out of a material, personal sense of church and into a higher, deeper understanding of the work before us. Church and our practice of Christian Science is never what mortal mind says about it and is always found intact in spiritual sense.

As I am preparing to hold class this fall, this seems to me the perfect time for the entire Association to cherish the teaching that reveals us as belonging wholly to God. Please take the time to share with me and each other, through our Association, how your own thought has progressed since May regarding church, regarding your practice, and how you have seen this understanding demonstrated in your life. Send in remarks, observations, fruitage and I will post it on our website and share it with you all.

Just a note regarding next year’s Association: The meeting will be held May 14, 2016, 9 a.m. at the Student Organization. Put it in your calendars now and make a conscious commitment to be there.

Looking forward to hearing from you all!
with love,
Caryl

fall 2015 letter

Dear People,
We’re about midway through the Association year. We left our meeting last May keenly aware of the need to “do the dishes,” to not be dismayed by the spiritual demand upon us or the effort it might take to cherish spiritual sense. It seems to me that this theme has continued as our year has progressed.
A friend recently shared a testimony at a Wednesday meeting that began by describing his dismay at noticing a growth on his hand. “Oh no,” he thought when he saw that it had been growing worse, “I just can’t deal with this right now!”
Though many testimonies of Christian Science healing include an instant affirmation of God’s absolute and loving control of His creation (including whatever discord has appeared to challenge it) and a quick return to harmony, my fellow church member’s reaction was familiar. Sometimes we don’t immediately, “glory in tribulation,” as St. Paul put it. (Rom 5:3-5).
The trouble with tribulation is that not only may we fail to recognize the blessings that come from the patience, experience, and hope that trials bring, but that the trouble can seem so authoritative and powerful a cause, that we lose sight of the omnipotence of divine law.
It is a feature of what Paul called, “the carnal mind,” to leave God out of any reckoning of what is going on. Mary Baker Eddy called this type of thought, mortal mind; thinking based in material sense and focused on what would seem appropriate reactions to that sense.
That was essentially what was behind my friend’s reaction: an adding up of the material elements and an “appropriate,” sense of despair. But great blessings come from questioning the authority of what initially seems to be a proper and reasonable feeling of inadequacy and hopelessness. Mrs. Eddy writes, “As Mind is immortal, the phrase mortal mind implies something untrue and therefore unreal; and as the phrase is used in teaching Christian Science, it is meant to designate that which has no real existence.” (S&H 114:13-17) That’s all mortal mind is - not our thought, or a powerful intelligence with authority - just a counterfeit of real thinking.
Real thinking, as discussed in class, involves inspiration, freshness, reason, and revelation. Should we find ourselves feeling beset by circumstances beyond our control, it is highly likely that behind such suggestions is the habitual condemnation and negativity of mortal mind’s God-free version of life. To accept such a narrative, we have to accept that we are on our own, that our resources are merely material, and that a change in material conditions is unlikely because those conditions are governed by unchallengeable material law.
Truly, such a story about ourselves or anyone else is, “too bad to be true”.
The Commandments urge us to not “bear false witness” - rather to witness honestly and righteously. That means not permitting God to be left out of what we witness. It may take some striving to find the spiritual sense of things, but we are supported in our efforts to find what is real and true by the intelligence of Mind, the abundant goodness of Soul; the love of God.
The end of my friend’s testimony recounted the dawning recollection that he was not the one being called upon to “deal” with things. That God was there, consistently maintaining the perfection of His creation. And that as God’s idea, he could not be separated from that perfection. With the spiritual, correct basis in sight, the opposing claim went the way of all error - it disappeared into what Mrs. Eddy called its “native nothingness”.
Please share with us your progress at this point in our Association year. We all benefit from the inspiration of the shared journey!
with love,
Caryl

christmas 2015 letter

Dear People,
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Christmas, spiritually understood, is the recognition and acceptance of the Christ light - the dawning awareness that we are, as Jesus taught, the sons and daughters of God. Looking for Christmas in the conventions of the season leaves us disappointed. Our human festivities at best are shadows of divine good, at worst empty counterfeits.

The darkened sense of counterfeit life often seems to loom at this time of year. Our expectations and hopes are essentially spiritual and when material conditions fall short and fail to satisfy, we may forget, in our disappointment, that the light is actually real and present with us. The Christ message is that we cannot be separated from the love of God, nothing can separate us from all that God is; divine, supreme, incorporeal, infinite Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love!

We don’t find this spiritual fact by looking out at the world and letting mortal mind calculate how much good is possible. The report we will get back is the calculus of darkness: more war, more strife, more social turmoil, lack, and want, sin, disease, and death. Had Jesus looked at the world around him with such eyes there would have been no healing, no Christ light. He’d have seen cripples, blind, dumb, leprous, sinning, dying humanity at every turn.

When we read the gospels, we hear of the ten lepers, the widow’s dead son, Lazarus grieved and entombed, people with “diverse diseases”. Yet when Christ Jesus encountered them, those were not the terms and conditions he acknowledged, that was not what he saw. The Christ is the sure knowledge of God’s loving goodness and supremacy. In the light of that, there is only God and His goodness where the lame or epileptic seem to be.

Let’s consider, this Christmas, what Christ Jesus would see if he looked at us. And if we feel far from that ideal man described in Recapitulation - God’s man, the real man - then rather than ruminate over how far we are from what Jesus beheld in Science, let us take a moment to remember that nothing but that man is real. Only the divine, the spiritual, the good is the truth of our being and that of those around us. We are all the temple of the living God. And the focus is on what God is doing right here and now.

Then let that light inform your words and actions. Be the children of your father which is in heaven.

I wish you all a joyous Christmas,
with love,
Caryl

2016 ASSOCIATION CITATIONS

Luke 3:21, 22
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Luke 6:12,13 (to :)
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
¶ And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples:

Luke 6:17, 18
¶ And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judæa and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.

Luke 9:28-35
¶ And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

From the account of C. Lulu Blackman:
“...with one accord, the Lord’s Prayer was spoken. The voice of the class said, ‘Our Father which art in heave.’ As one with the class,

and yet distinct from it, we heard these words in Mrs. Eddy’s voice, ‘Our dear Father which art in heaven.”

These were the first words I heard her speak. They were arresting, compelling. There was a lilt of joy in her voice; I had the impression of a child who was unafraid, and a subtle but clear assurance was with me that she dwelt consciously, confidently ‘in the secret place of the most High.’ (Ps. 91:1) It was not as though she had gone to the Father in prayer, but rather as though, because she was with the Father, she prayed. In days that followed she gave us the Christian Science teachings on the subject of prayer, but this experience has remained with me as one of my most precious memories. The incident was a ‘living illustration,’ and added something that conveyed the very essence of her attitude on prayer.

Man. 41:19
Daily Prayer. Sect. 4. It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to pray each day: “Thy kingdom come;” let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!

Luke 18:1-8 (to .)
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.

’01 28:4
It is only by praying, watching, and working for the kingdom of heaven within us and upon earth, that we enter the strait and narrow way, whereof our Master said, “and few there be that find it.”

Mis. 276:24-28
I pray that all my students shall have their lamps trimmed and burning at the noon of night, that not one of them be found borrowing oil, and seeking light from matter instead of Spirit, or at work erroneously, thus shutting out spiritual light.

My. 340:3-4 (to 2nd .)
St. Paul’s days for prayer were every day and every hour. He said, “Pray without ceasing.”

SH 497:24 1st And
And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.

SH 326:20-21
Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way.

SH 14:31-30
“When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and, when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father 15 which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”
So spake Jesus. The closet typifies the sanctuary of Spirit, the door of which shuts out sinful sense but Spiritual sanctuarylets in Truth, Life, and Love. Closed to error, it is open to Truth, and vice versa. The Father in secret is unseen to the physical senses, but He knows all things and rewards according to motives, not according to speech. To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error.

In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and Effectual invocationsilence the material senses. In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God’s allness. We must resolve to take up the cross, and go forth with honest hearts to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. We must “pray without ceasing.” Such

prayer is answered, in so far as we put our desires into practice. The Master’s injunction is, that we pray in secret and let our lives attest our sincerity.

Christians rejoice in secret beauty and bounty, hidden from the world, but known to God. Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers. Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings.

SH 32:25
Jesus prayed; he withdrew from the material senses to refresh his heart with brighter, with spiritual views.

Mark 1:34-42 he
he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

Matt. 14:22-33
And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled,

saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Matt. 17:14-21
¶ And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Hea. 15:23-28
The Scripture says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss;” and is it not asking amiss to pray for a proof of divine power, that you have little or no faith in because you do not understand God, the Principle of this proof? Prayer will be inaudible, and works more than words, as we understand God better.

SH 254:2-6
Individuals are consistent who, watching Patience and final perfectionand praying, can “run, and not be weary; . . . walk, and

not faint,” who gain good rapidly and hold their position, or attain slowly and yield not to discouragement.

SH 367:17
A Christian Scientist occupies the place at this period of which Jesus spoke to his disciples, when he said: “Ye The salt of the earthare the salt of the earth.” “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Let us watch, work, and pray that this salt lose not its saltness, and that this light be not hid, but radiate and glow into noontide glory.

Matt. 21:21 1st If (to 4th ,), 22 all
If ye have faith, and doubt not,
all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Mis. 59:11-17
Is it wrong to pray for the recovery of the sick?
Not if we pray Scripturally, with the understanding that God has given all things to those who love Him; but pleading with infinite Love to love us, or to restore health and harmony, and then to admit that it has been lost under His government, is the prayer of doubt and mortal belief that is unavailing in divine Science.

No. 38:25-40:27
All prayer that is desire is intercessory; but kindling desire loses a part of its purest spirituality if the lips try to express it. It is a truism that we can think more lucidly and profoundly than we can write or speak. The silent intercession and unvoiced imploring is an honest and potent prayer to heal and save. The audible prayer may be offered to be heard of men, though ostensibly to catch God’s ear, — after the fashion of Baal’s prophets, — by speaking loud enough to be heard; but when the heart prays, and not the lips, no dishonesty or vanity influences the petition.

Prophet and apostle have glorified God in secret prayer, and He has rewarded them openly. Prayer can neither change God, nor bring His designs into mortal modes; but it can and does change our modes and our false sense of Life, Love, and Truth, uplifting us to

Him. Such prayer humiliates, purifies, and quickens activity, in the direction that is unerring.

True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection. Prayer is the utilization of the love wherewith He loves us. Prayer begets an awakened desire to be and do good. It makes new and scientific discoveries of God, of His goodness and power. It shows us more clearly than we saw before, what we already have and are; and most of all, it shows us what God is. Advancing in this light, we reflect it; and this light reveals the pure Mind-pictures, in silent prayer, even as photography grasps the solar light to portray the face of pleasant thought.

What but silent prayer can meet the demand, “Pray without ceasing”? The apostle James said: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, to consume it on your lusts.” Because of vanity and self-righteousness, mortals seek, and expect to receive, a material sense of approval; and they expect also what is impossible, — a material and mortal sense of spiritual and immortal Truth.

It is sometimes wise to hide from dull and base ears the pure pearls of awakened consciousness, lest your pearls be trampled upon. Words may belie desire, and pour forth a hypocrite’s prayer; but thoughts are our honest conviction. I have no objection to audible prayer of the right kind; but the inaudible is more effectual.

I instruct my students to pursue their mental ministrations very sacredly, and never to touch the human thought save to issues of Truth; never to trespass mentally on individual rights; never to take away the rights, but only the wrongs of mankind. Otherwise they forfeit their ability to heal in Science. Only when sickness, sin, and fear obstruct the harmony of Mind and body, is it right for one mind to meddle with another mind, and control aright the thought struggling for freedom.

It is Truth and Love that cast out fear and heal the sick, and mankind are better because of this. If a change in the religious views of the patient comes with the change to health, our Father has done this; for the human mind and body are made better only by divine influence.

SH 9:5
The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer? If selfishness has given place to kindness, we shall regard our neighbor unselfishly, and bless them that curse us; but we shall never meet this great duty simply by asking that it may be done. There is a cross to be taken up before we can enjoy the fruition of our hope and faith.

Luke 22:39-46
¶ And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

SH 13:20-24
If we pray to God as a corporeal person, this will prevent us from relinquishing the human doubts and fears which attend such a belief, and so we cannot grasp the wonders wrought by infinite, incorporeal Love, to whom all things are possible.

From the unpublished class notes of Adam Dickey:

Prayer Is prayer a petition, or is it realization?

Is it supplication, or is it the spiritual discernment of what is always present?
It could not be supplication, because man is all that God is. 'Son,...all that I have is thine'. (Luke 15:31)

Consequently prayer is right knowing. Right knowing, being intelligence, is Mind. To pray, then, is to be one with Mind - understand.

Jesus said, 'When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking'. (Matt 6:7)

Words, as such, have nothing to do with prayer.

The Lord's prayer is not a petition. It is a declaration of the oneness of Mind and its idea. 'Only as we rise above all material sensuousness and sin, can we reach the heaven-born aspiration and spiritual consciousness, which is indicated in the Lord's Prayer and which instantaneously heals the sick.' (S&H 16:20).

To think of prayer as a form of petition is to destroy its efficacy. Supplication, instead of inspiring assurance, encourages an attitude of blind faith.

True prayer is the realization that that which IS is all that is. Thus it inspires confidence and power. [this was emphasized with a mark in the notes]

To repeat Mrs. Eddy's definition of prayer again, 'Prayer is the utilization of the love wherewith He loves us... It makes new and scientific discoveries of God, of His goodness and power. It shows us more clearly than we saw before what we already have and are; and most of all, it shows us what God is'. (No 39:18)

To pray understandingly, we must emulate Jesus, 'whose humble prayers were deep and conscientious protests of Truth, - of man's likeness to God and of man's unity with Truth and Love'. (S&H 12:13)

Treatment
To treat, in the dictionary definition, means to give; to bestow; and

treatment is the manner of treating; usage.

Because usage is the activity of Mind - the use to which Mind puts itself, - the usage of Mind is treatment, the utilization of Truth.

God bestows upon man His entire being, hence man is the utilization of Truth.

Treatment is but another name for man. This is corroborated in Science and Health by the statement 'God will heal the sick through man, whenever man is governed by God'. (S&H 495:1).

To paraphrase this quotation: God will heal the sick through men, through the Christian Science treatment, whenever treatment is understood, whenever reality is comprehended.

Therefore, man, as this activity, this treatment of God, cannot be mesmerized into harboring in thought any doubt or question as to the power of Truth over all error, or as to the efficacy of Christian Science under all circumstances, or as to the expectancy of the spontaneous healing (disappearance) of all error.

He knows that his word, as the Word, presence, and power of God is law; and he knows that it cannot and does not return unto itself 'void' (Isa 55:11), but accomplishes that which is intended, and prospers in the thing whereto it is sent.

He knows that the whole of what is called Christian Science healing is simply the manifestation of the power, availability and sufficiency of Truth to abolish error. He knows that there is no limit to his confidence and faith in this power.

He further knows that there is no mind to retard or reverse this treatment or bring about a belief of a law of relapse, for the law of God is the law of progress, and His law is final; there is no retrogression, for God alone is Mind.

This realization is Christian Science treatment and it never fails.

James 5:13-15
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and

the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

From: Christian Science Treatment, the Practice of Christianity by Samuel Greenwood (1905 Sentinel pg 179)

"The prayer which heals disease and sin is without doubt the best treatment the sick or sinful can receive; but if the word "prayer," as generally used, signifies that man can never get nearer to God on earth than as a suppliant, as one who pleads with the unknown, it might follow that its use could not properly be styled a treatment of the conditions involved.

One of the definitions of the word "treat," as given in the Standard Dictionary, is "to handle with a view to a result:" while the word "pray" is given no definition apart from soliciting or beseeching or other synonymous meanings.

Given a higher knowledge of God and of His relation to His offspring, the word prayer must necessarily take on a higher significance. It must be admitted that Jesus had a higher understanding of what constitutes prayer than that which generally obtains today among his professed followers, for he could not only say "I knew that thou hearest me always," but "All things that the Father hath are mine."

His prayer at the grave of Lazarus was certainly a most effective treatment. All his prayers were likewise offered "with a view to a result:" that is, to the accomplishment of what was desired.

Jesus is the model of the Christian Scientist in his prayers as in everything else. The Scientist's whole religious practice is "with a view to a result," that is, to the working out of his salvation every hour of the day and from every form of evil.

The Christian Scientist in his "treatment" does not beseech nor implore the help of an unknown being called God, and then with little or no faith expect little of no result. He does not use formulas, does not essay to mesmerize or will himself or his patients into health: bur he does enter into his mental closet, where he can shut

out the things of the material world, and there, turning his thoughts to the truth of God's omnipresence and omnipotence, seeking earnestly to realize, as Jesus did, that the will of the Father is ever done in the destruction of all evil, he reverently, intelligently, and confidently applies these basic truths of Christianity to the case before him, whether his own or another's, whether it be sin or disease. He does this between himself and God alone. He does it because he believes it to be his duty as a Christian and as a follower of his Master, and he does it with a view to the same result that Jesus realized and taught his students to expect: that is, the destruction of the evil work.

You can call this a treatment or you can call it a "prayer," for it is both in one when properly understood. Jesus treated all phases of evil thus with good, because there is no other effective treatment for it.”

Man. 40:11
The members of this Church should daily watch and pray to be delivered from all evil, from prophesying, judging, condemning, counseling, influencing or being influenced erroneously.

Matt. 6:5-13 when
¶ when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Ps. 65:2
O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.

No. 8:19-22
I enjoin it upon my students to hold no controversy or enmity over doctrines and traditions, or over the misconceptions of Christian Science, but to work, watch, and pray for the amelioration of sin, sickness, and death.

SH 16:2-4
The highest prayer is not one of faith merely; it is demonstration.

 

2016 LETTER FROM THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

February 2016

Dear association members and guests,

Wherever your Christian Science association gathers for its yearly meeting--in an auditorium or around a table--it’s part of a worldwide family whose deepest desire is to practice Christian healing as revealed in the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The Master himself invited us all to be part of the greatest “harvest” of all time--the salvation of humanity from the claims of sin, sickness, and death! And he promised this harvest would be immediate and overflowing. “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields,” he told his followers, “for they are white already for harvest” (John 4:35).

Like Jesus, Mrs. Eddy knew that the workers in the harvest of healing might not be numerous. “The laborers are few in this vineyard of Mind-sowing and reaping,” she wrote, “but let them apply to the waiting grain the curving sickle of Mind’s eternal circle, and bind it with bands of Soul” (Unity of Good, page 12). She tenderly provided for “associations” to help with the harvest--families of students mentored by the same teacher--as an essential part of the educational system of her Church. As you know so well, inspired and selfless teachers like yours offer life-changing Primary class instruction in the art of “healing and uplifting the race” (Church Manual, Article XXVI, Sect. 1). And their teaching is continued through yearly association meetings and ongoing spiritual nourishment of the harvest fields.

The students, too, are vital to an association’s spiritual support system, gently encouraging the healer in each other as they come together annually (sometimes for well over a half century!). But the association harvest time is much more than a once-a-year, place-bound event. Every day, association members have the wonderful opportunity to prayerfully support the demonstration of their fellow members around the globe, and beyond that, to embrace the healing practice of the Christ-truth everywhere.

And these devoted prayers of both teachers and students must bear fruit! Not because of our human effort, heartfelt as that might be. What empowers us as individual healers is what we know of the divine All-power. As Mrs. Eddy writes, “That individual is the best healer who asserts himself the least, and thus becomes a transparency for the divine Mind, who is the only physician; the divine Mind is the scientific healer” (Miscellaneous Writings, page 59).

We all contribute to the harvest, the salvation of humanity, in our own special way--as fellow association and church members, as friends and neighbors caring enough to share the Comforter with someone whose heart cries out for help, as metaphysicians alert enough to reduce to their original nothingness the sharp claims of evil that would terrorize humanity. Every single association member has so much to give the world at this crucial time in human history. And we’re ready! The Science of being has revealed our intimate connection with universal divine Love, enabling and empowering us all to heal. The Annual Meeting 2016 theme--”Church: Healing and Saving the World”--has shown us our limitless, dynamic potential as church members. So what could be more natural than for us to respond to humanity’s urgent need by demonstrating the reality of God’s allness and love through Christ-healing?

The grand harvest we’re all engaged in must go forward, sustained by God. It’s unstoppable. And we have this promise from the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science to hearten and reassure us: “As time moves on, the healing elements of pure Christianity will be fairly dealt with; they will be sought and taught, and will glow in all the grandeur of universal goodness” (Science and Health, page 329).

With great affection,
The Christian Science Board of Directors and Board of Education

Robin Hoagland, Mary Trammell, Margaret Rogers. A.W. Phinney, Scott Preller, Lyle Young, Lois Herr

2016 ASSIGNMENT LETTER

January 25, 2016

Dear People,

A few weeks ago, before the Sunday School had silent prayer and the Lord’s Prayer, a child asked if everyone would pray for his friend who was in the hospital with cancer. We, naturally, agreed. Afterward, the students and teachers were sharing what had come to them during prayer. One teacher said that the moments of silent prayer had been a struggle to overcome the image of the hospital - tubes, machines, a sick person in the bed… Another teacher said that they had only just begun to get quiet enough to listen for the spiritual sense of thing. A little boy said, “I just knew Spirit was washing every impurity away!” Another child remarked, “I knew that God was there and God is in charge”.

The adults, “experienced,” Christian Scientists all, had struggled during those thirty seconds, or so, of prayer. There were images of disease to contend with, the busy thoughts of mortal mind to step away from, pre-conceptions about what they were supposed to be doing in those moments to get over. It was noted by all of them that the children had gone straight to the Truth. There was no hesitation, no doubt, no over-thinking. It was both inspiring and chastening; we realized that the student’s instant embrace of Divine good was not only true, it was the way we all wanted to live more consistently.

This year’s Association address is titled: Prayer is the Christian’s Vital Breath. Our day will be about the naturalness of prayer and the very real work needed to uncover this Christ truth. The experience described above is fairly representative of the challenges we all face in our daily practice. We’ve all had times when we have wanted to pray, needed to pray, but somehow felt unable to actually pray. We’ll discuss the mechanics of practice and the accessibility of spiritual sense.

In preparation for our May 14 meeting in Madison, please read the chapter on Prayer in Science and Health. It’s a familiar text, but as you read it in its entirety, think about why this is the first chapter in the book which is an exposition of Mrs. Eddy’s revelation. Think about who she was writing to and why it was (and still is) necessary to make the distinctions and rebukes to conventionality that she does. Then ask yourself if that cold conventionality is obscuring the warmth of Love, the awe of Spirit, the call of Truth in your practice. Don’t merely read through the text. As we’ve said before you can’t download S&H intellectually and you can’t practice Christian Science from the standpoint of mortal mind.

To help get a clearer sense of Mrs. Eddy’s message to us, please also read and consider the 91st Psalm. Our Leader once remarked that this Psalm and the Sermon on the Mount contained the whole of Christian Science. Think about why this particular Psalm is so relevant to our practice of the Christ Science and then use what you are learning from it in your daily walk.

As always, we expect there to be fruit from this assignment - thought should move, deepen, inform your life. And we’d like you to let us know the particulars of that experience. I will post your fruitage and remarks on our website and share them with you all via email. Let me know if you have any questions.

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

with love,

Caryl

2015 CHRISTMAS LETTER

December 24, 2015

Dear People,

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Christmas, spiritually understood, is the recognition and acceptance of the Christ light - the dawning awareness that we are, as Jesus taught, the sons and daughters of God. Looking for Christmas in the conventions of the season leaves us disappointed. Our human festivities at best are shadows of divine good, at worst empty counterfeits.

The darkened sense of counterfeit life often seems to loom at this time of year. Our expectations and hopes are essentially spiritual and when material conditions fall short and fail to satisfy, we may forget, in our disappointment, that the light is actually real and present with us. The Christ message is that we cannot be separated from the love of God, nothing can separate us from all that God is; divine, supreme, incorporeal, infinite Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love! 

We don’t find this spiritual fact by looking out at the world and letting mortal mind calculate how much good is possible. The report we will get back is the calculus of darkness: more war, more strife, more social turmoil, lack, and want, sin, disease, and death. Had Jesus looked at the world around him with such eyes there would have been no healing, no Christ light. He’d have seen cripples, blind, dumb, leprous, sinning, dying humanity at every turn. 

When we read the gospels, we hear of the ten lepers, the widow’s dead son, Lazarus grieved and entombed, people with “diverse diseases”. Yet when Christ Jesus encountered them, those were not the terms and conditions he acknowledged, that was not what he saw. The Christ is the sure knowledge of God’s loving goodness and supremacy. In the light of that, there is only God and His goodness where the lame or epileptic seem to be.

Let’s consider, this Christmas, what Christ Jesus would see if he looked at us. And if we feel far from that ideal man described in Recapitulation - God’s man, the real man - then rather than ruminate over how far we are from what Jesus beheld in Science, let us take a moment to remember that nothing but that man is real. Only the divine, the spiritual, the good is the truth of our being and that of those around us. We are all the temple of the living God. And the focus is on what God is doing right here and now.

Then let that light inform your words and actions. Be the children of your father which is in heaven.

I wish you all a joyous Christmas,

with love,

Caryl

2015 FALL ASSOCIATION LETTER

October 20, 2015

Dear People,

We’re about midway through the Association year. We left our meeting last May keenly aware of the need to “do the dishes,” to not be dismayed by the spiritual demand upon us or the effort it might take to cherish spiritual sense. It seems to me that this theme has continued as our year has progressed.

A friend recently shared a testimony at a Wednesday meeting that began by describing his dismay at noticing a growth on his hand. “Oh no,” he thought when he saw that it had been growing worse, “I just can’t deal with this right now!”

Though many testimonies of Christian Science healing include an instant affirmation of God’s absolute and loving control of His creation (including whatever discord has appeared to challenge it) and a quick return to harmony, my fellow church member’s reaction was familiar. Sometimes we don’t immediately, “glory in tribulation,” as St. Paul put it. (Rom 5:3-5).

The trouble with tribulation is that not only may we fail to recognize the blessings that come from the patience, experience, and hope that trials bring, but that the trouble can seem so authoritative and powerful a cause, that we lose sight of the omnipotence of divine law.

It is a feature of what Paul called, “the carnal mind,” to leave God out of any reckoning of what is going on. Mary Baker Eddy called this type of thought, mortal mind; thinking based in material sense and focused on what would seem appropriate reactions to that sense. 

That was essentially what was behind my friend’s reaction: an adding up of the material elements and an “appropriate,” sense of despair. But great blessings come from questioning the authority of what initially seems to be a proper and reasonable feeling of inadequacy and hopelessness. Mrs. Eddy writes, “As Mind is immortal, the phrase mortal mind implies something untrue and therefore unreal; and as the phrase is used in teaching Christian Science, it is meant to designate that which has no real existence.” (S&H 114:13-17)  That’s all mortal mind is - not our thought, or a powerful intelligence with authority - just a counterfeit of real thinking.

Real thinking, as discussed in class, involves inspiration, freshness, reason, and revelation. Should we find ourselves feeling beset by circumstances beyond our control, it is highly likely that behind such suggestions is the habitual condemnation and negativity of mortal mind’s God-free version of life. To accept such a narrative, we have to accept that we are on our own, that our resources are merely material, and that a change in material conditions is unlikely because those conditions are governed by unchallengeable material law.

Truly, such a story about ourselves or anyone else is, “too bad to be true”.

The Commandments urge us to not “bear false witness” - rather to witness honestly and righteously. That means not permitting God to be left out of what we witness. It may take some striving to find the spiritual sense of things, but we are supported in our efforts to find what is real and true by the intelligence of Mind, the abundant goodness of Soul; the love of God.

The end of my friend’s testimony recounted the dawning recollection that he was not the one being called upon to “deal” with things. That God was there, consistently maintaining the perfection of His creation. And that as God’s idea, he could not be separated from that perfection. With the spiritual, correct basis in sight, the opposing claim went the way of all error - it disappeared into what Mrs. Eddy called its “native nothingness”.

Please share with us your progress at this point in our Association year. We all benefit from the inspiration of the shared journey!

with love,

Caryl

POST ASSOCIATION 2015 LETTER

August 11, 2015

Dear People,

A recent Christian Science Board of Education conference call with teachers on the subject of praying for class instruction, reminded me of the innate power in our Leader’s provision of instruction and Association. It was never a humanly organized metaphysical education system, but rather, when approached with consecration and a heart and mind open to divine Spirit, it is our doorway to the world behind the words of Scripture and Mrs. Eddy’s inspired writings. It comes from God and leads to God and feels like home.

Sometimes it can seem like the time between our meetings distances us from our spiritual home. We return from class, or our Association meeting full of spiritual awareness, but then, with the passage of time, that awareness seems to fade. And, without quite being aware of what is happening, we return to routine; the illusion of a mortal life, personally managed for better or worse.

Mrs. Eddy tells us, “Remember that mankind must sooner or later, either by suffering or by Science, be convinced of the error that is to be overcome.” (S&H 240:24) The dismay, insecurity, lack of spiritual sense, the alarm over physical sensations and appearances, anxiety about how we are to cope, the frustration of trying to create and manage good with material means  - the suffering - that comes from human “business as usual,” does, eventually, “turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love.” There we find what we always find when we become alert to spiritual reality: God, perfect, loving, eternal good, and man His idea, inseparable from that good.

We went home at the end of May taking with us some glimpse of the Church Triumphant - our place as God’s expressions in the divine unfoldment of Truth, Life, and Love. I hope that the “mountaintop view” has been leavening your experience, lifting you and your branch churches and societies out of a material, personal sense of church and into a higher, deeper understanding of the work before us. Church and our practice of Christian Science is never what mortal mind says about it and is always found intact in spiritual sense.

As I am preparing to hold class this fall, this seems to me the perfect time for the entire Association to cherish the teaching that reveals us as belonging wholly to God. Please take the time to share with me and each other, through our Association, how your own thought has progressed since May regarding church, regarding your practice, and how you have seen this understanding demonstrated in your life. Send in remarks, observations, fruitage and I will post it on our website and share it with you all.

Just a note regarding next year’s Association: The meeting will be held May 14, 2016, 9 a.m. at the Student Organization. Put it in your calendars now and make a conscious commitment to be there.

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

with love,

Caryl

POST 2015 ASSOCIATION MATERIAL

Dear People,

Praying about the abridgments made to the address yesterday, it came to me that we should “Quench not the Spirit, Despise not prophesyings, …hold fast that which is good.” (I Thess 5:19-21) 

In that spirit, I have attached below the excerpt from the 1931 Journal article on The Church Triumphant that we did not have time to read, the quote from Mrs. Eddy which closed the section on the imperatives, as well as files with the original, unabridged texts for Sections 5 and 6. This material provides further support to our unfolding understanding of the Church Triumphant and what Mrs. Eddy intended for our Mother Church and our role as its “living stones”. 

This material has also been posted on the website. Please be respectful of the long-standing Board of Directors’ admonition against copying or circulating Association writings. What we shared was provided by Mind just for this group and just for this day.

with much love,

Caryl

 

Mrs. Eddy’s letter, summing up our section on imperatives:

We will end this section on the imperatives of Christian Science with a few more of Mrs. Eddy’s words. These are excerpts from her letters, found in chapter 16 of Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Healer, amplified edition, titled, “The Cause needs healers”. 

“I retain my conviction that the greatest need that our Cause has is better healers. Those of experience, Christian character, and ability are more needed, much more, to fill this appointment in proof of Christian Science than to build up churches… I started this great work and woke the people by demonstration, not words, but works. Our periodicals must have more Testimonials in them… Healing is the best sermon, healing is the best lecture, and the entire demonstration of Christian Science. The sinner and sick healed are our best witnesses.”

“The sick need you and you can do great good by healing. The Cause needs healers a million times more than teachers. The best healer is the best Scientist and will take the place that God has for all to take.”

October 1931 issue of Christian Science Journal, from an article on the Church Triumphant: 

“Being a spiritual idea, Church exists in Mind, and hence is permanent, indivisible, universal. In this Church the one God alone is worshiped and adored; His will alone is done; His law is supreme; His Word, the teacher and preacher. In this Church health and harmony reign; peace and love abide; the purity and perfection of being are expressed; divine wisdom, spiritual substance, and heavenly order operate without interruption or resistance. The door of this Church is Christly humility, gratitude, and praise. It is filled with God's ideas, coöperating in eternal, celestial perfection.

Christ Jesus lived and labored to bring something of this true idea of Church into human consciousness and experience. He understood that God is Spirit and must be worshiped spiritually. His spiritual comprehension enabled him to discern the gulf between material ways and means and the genuine worship which is acceptable to God. With this spiritual understanding he purged the temple and "overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves." He taught no creed, but relied for guidance on the Word of God. His baptism was a spiritual cleansing from all worldliness; his spiritual communion a heart-searching desire for more at-onement with God through better reflection of the divine nature.

Throughout the Christian era this Church never has been wholly lost to human experience, but the world has sadly missed its healing power. The complete mission of the church, as established by our Master, must be revived. It must again be made available to humanity for its emancipation from disease and sin.