Perhaps the most difficult problem with which we have to grapple in our warfare with materiality, is in recognizing the nothingness of affection which is not based upon spirituality. At best human affection is unstable, and if we lean upon it in the belief that we are supported by a staff, it oftentimes proves a cruel reed; whereas the true love, that which flows eternally from God, divine Love, bestows lasting joy, peace, happiness, and is veritably the real staff of life.

What a lesson we can learn from the experience of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, where the absolute nothingness of the mortal sense of selfhood was revealed. When one ponders on the history of this sublime character, of his marvelous life-work, his tender love, patience with and compassion for the disciples, it seems incredible that in this hour he should have virtually been deserted by them all. He was indeed alone to mortal sense, and perhaps this seemingly dreary hour was the one lesson which mankind needed in order to realize the utter inability of the carnal mind to bestow anything. When he found his disciples sleeping, after he had asked them to watch with him, he said to Peter, "What, could ye not watch with me one hour?" Concerning this failure Mrs. Eddy writes, "There was no response to that human yearning, and so Jesus turned forever away from earth to heaven, from sense to Soul" (Science and Health, p. 48).

Sometimes the false, material sense of love has caused us to cling to some dear one and spend months, or mayhap years, in endeavoring to awaken that one to Truth and thereby lift him from the slough of sickness and sin; but if our loved ones are not seeking the light for themselves, would it not be far better to bestow our efforts on the many who are waiting and thirsting for the living waters? A very great deal can be learned from Jesus' treatment of Judas. The Nazarene plainly read the man's thought and knew full well the betrayal which he contemplated. Here was one of his own disciples seemingly subservient to sin and unwilling to part with material sense, notwithstanding he had been one of the Master's immediate followers. What did Jesus do with this mentality? He let it alone, fully realizing that an impassable gulf separated Judas from the other apostles, and that naught but suffering could awaken the deadened thought. Nor did Jesus appear anxious or concerned when he realized Judas' unfaithfulness; he did not plead or pray with him, but left the problem where it belonged, namely, in the hands of God.

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January 20, 1912

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