Jesus' disciples, seeing a man who had been born blind, immediately (like most of us today) looked to heredity for the explanation of his affliction. The Master, however, knew, as Mrs. Eddy has since so clearly pointed out to us, that "divine Mind is the only cause or Principle of existence. Cause does not exist in matter, in mortal mind, or in physical forms" (Science and Health, p. 262); and his answer therefore was that neither the blind man nor his parents had sinned, but "that the works of God should be made manifest." On another occasion, when speaking of Lazarus, he said, "This sickness is ... for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."

For a long while it was not clear to me what Jesus meant by these sayings, for I felt it was not possible to imagine that God had purposely created the man blind, in order that, after many years of suffering, he might be healed, and thus be the occasion, as it were, for the great Teacher to exhibit some of God's mighty works. This is an explanation which most thinking people have long since rejected. While puzzling over this problem, a sentence in Science and Health came to mind, bringing with it light and clarity, as each sentence in this "Key to the Scriptures" does when even partially understood. It was the following: "The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflivtive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares" (Ibid., p. 574).

From this we learn that it is by realizing the unreality of our suffering and overcoming our sense of disharmony (not by passively being victimized by it, or believing it to be God-sent), that we are able to understand a little more of what the true spiritual creation is. Therefore, every time that we see the utter nothingness of evil and the allness of good, the works of God are being made manifest to our consciousness, and then follows their externalized manifestation. Moreover, it is the Son of God, Christ, Truth, who is being glorified when we overcome seeming discord. Living in the generally held belief that matter can give us both pain and pleasure, God's works are not being made manifest in us, although this manifestation really should be the one object and only lasting joy in our lives. A suffering sense, however, more frequently induces us to look for Truth and glorify the Son of God, than does a belief in the pleasures of material sense; so that it more often happens that we find the truth which makes us free when the circumstances are deemed "wrathful and afflictive."

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June 10, 1911

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