It often happens that one coming into Christian Science for physical healing firmly believes that it is the truth, knows that thousands have been healed through its teaching, and is convinced that it is the healing which Jesus practised; and yet to understand life spiritually and to reverse the testimony of the physical senses, seems to call for an effort which at times threatens to overwhelm him. Some of us who have been healed in Christian Science could tell of moments which we now smile to remember,—times when error presented itself with such seeming force that we could not see one ray of hope; when struggle as we would to remember that Christian Science is not a theory, not a philosophy, but absolute truth, the voice of reason seemed to be drowned by the louder cry of sense-testimony. One in the grip of such a struggle may be assured that as he holds steadfastly to the truth, as he gains in understanding, these hours will become less frequent and will pass more quickly, until finally they will cease entirely and the spiritual harmony which expresses itself in physical healing will be his. Often just a glimpse of Truth will heal one person, while it may take months of persistent effort in another. This is not because God is a "respecter of persons," for in every case God's work is already done. He is unchanging Love, and the work to be done must begin in one's own mentality.

Christian Science practice is not the use of a formula, and certainly the mere repetition of another's word, however sacred, will not heal. These have to be spiritually understood in order to benefit one. We can, however, sometimes be brought back to peace and harmony by clinging persistently to a clear, fundamental statement of Truth, as this, for instance: Life is not in matter; or, God is Love. Many beginners will find that while repeating these words or reading explanations from our text-book, they thereby gain a measure of spiritual understanding which they are unable to reason out for themselves, especially when confused by a sense of fear and pain. Our Leader's perception of the truth was so clear, her expression so perfect, that in dwelling upon her words we find it easier to "cling steadfastly to God and His idea" (Science and Health, p. 495).

Belief versus Understanding
May 9, 1914

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