Healing and Gratitude

There is no denying that Christian Science awakens in the human mind new and healthful sentiments, and quickens those that already exist. This is especially noticeable with respect to gratitude, thankfulness for relief from suffering usually being its first manifestation. Gratitude and healing may indeed be called inseparable; they are in fact so closely related that it is not always easy to determine which is cause and which effect. It would be quite impossible to think of one's being healed in Christian Science without being grateful for the healing, and the intensity of the thankfulness would really measure the extent of the healing.

This does not in any way refer to wordy gratitude, for in some instances we had best follow the advice of our revered Leader, when she bids us "put the finger on the lips and remember our blessings" (Science and Health, p. 3). We must not, however, fail to "remember," and if we find our gratitude at all lukewarm, it were well to seek with wholehearted devotion for more spirituality, for this is what brings the healing which makes one "every whit whole." The story of the ten lepers who came to Jesus and besought his aid is of intense interest to students of Christian Science, because they know that the divine Principle manifested in all the work of Christ Jesus is as truly available today as then; also because this demonstration is truly typical of the healing work undertaken and accomplished in Christian Science. Of the ten men, nine were presumably Jews, familiar with the requirements of Levitical law, which seem to point to the possible healing of this dreaded disease; but in their case nothing beyond their segregation had been reached, until Christ Jesus responded to their pitiful appeal.

As we read in Leviticus the regulations for the leper, we find that in most cases the priest's office was to pronounce the man unclean, but there is no hint of this in Jesus' treatment of these unfortunates. We read that on one occasion he put forth his hand and touched the suppliant and pronounced him clean. In the case of the ten men it seems that there was no physical evidence of their cure when they were started on their journey to the priest, but it came with their obedience and the grain of faith implied thereby. To one of them, however, more than this came. It was that spiritual baptism which so flooded his consciousness that he returned to Jesus, no longer pitifully crying for help, but with a loud voice glorifying God. All the rest of his earthly journeyings were as nothing, whether characterized by joy or sorrow, compared with these steps which brought him to the feet of the Master, steps quickened by the awakening of that abundant sense of life which Jesus had come to bestow. It was meet that the first-fruit of his gratitude should be offered to the divine Love that had healed him, and then that it should be poured out upon the one who had made known to him the truth of man's being, by healing him.

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Lecture in The Mother Church
December 26, 1914

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