Joy and Gratitude

One modern dictionary gives this definition of gratitude: "An emotion excited by the possession or prospect of some good, that will give joy or make glad." Taking one step higher in our search for the explanation of this subject, we find quoted from Phillips Brooks' "Sermons in English Churches," "Thought and the struggle after truth are the best joys of the best men." Then we turn with relief to page 164of Miscellany, by Mary Baker Eddy, and there we read, "What is gratitude but a powerful camera obscura, a thing focusing light where love, memory, and all within the human heart is present to manifest light." What a beautiful thought of radiation is here expressed, a consciousness so full of gratitude, so overflowing with the light of love that it must desire to include all and share with all with whom it comes in contact. Our Leader further tells us in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 8), "If we feel the aspiration, humility, gratitude, and love which our words express,—this God accepts; and it is wise not to try to deceive ourselves or others, for 'there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed.'"

May it not be that often we try to deceive ourselves and others by endeavoring to assume a position we have not yet attained, talking from a metaphysical standpoint and with a courage we have not yet made our own? Here one may say: Mrs. Eddy tells us on page 264 of Science and Health, "We must look where we would walk, and we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being." Ahyes; we must act, not talk. What a wealth of meaning lies in the difference between those two words! When conditions all around us appear harmonious, and consciousness seems pervaded with a touch of sunlight, it is easy to fancy one's self on the mountain top compassionately ready to assist others to reach this lofty position, but should a testing time arrive and mental confusion and consequent physical discord assert themselves, then we need to pause and ask ourselves if we can stand by our declarations of Truth.

Righteous Judgment
May 29, 1920

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