Christian Science heals the ills of the flesh by recognizing that the cause of every disease is mental and that the law of divine Mind destroys it. Such scientific healing is radical, certain, and immediate, just in the degree of the understanding of the practitioner and the unalloyed sincerity of the patient. Occasionally there is some persistent manifestation of discord that continues to recur. There have not been wanting good Scientists who were able to do excellent service in bringing help and healing to others, while they have had to labor long to free themselves entirely from the encroachments of some discordant physical manifestation. In almost every such instance it is found that the key to the situation, the real cause of the physical discomfort and disease, is something which has to do with temperament and character, and something which requires spiritual unfoldment and growth before that strength and poise of consciousness which maintains health is established.

The element that causes the suffering may be some obscure tendency, some subtle fault, or even a lack at some important point. The higher and nobler the character, the finer the sensibility, the keener will be the consciousness of disturbance, if there be any point of consciousness or character which does not measure up to the standard and the harmony of the rest. Ofttimes it is only through persistent suffering that one learns to discern what are the lines of character which must be unfolded to bring that poise and harmony of consciousness which establishes health.

Paul's oft-noted and oft-quoted "thorn in the flesh" seems to be a vivid illustration of such a condition. Just what the physical manifestation was we do not know, but it is obvious what a sore trial and humiliation it must have been for the great apostle to be open to the constant cavil, "Physician, heal thyself!" But while we do not know just what the disease was, the apostle does reveal to us, if we read a bit between the lines, just what point must be strengthened to bring healing to the flesh. After telling something of the wonderful and unspeakable visions of Truth that had been given him, he writes: "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

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October 31, 1908

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