"Love thy neighbour"

IT is often remarked by those who have not taken up the study of Christian Science, and even by those who have in a small measure, that the commandment which Christ Jesus emphasized, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," is an exceedingly difficult one to keep, and even to understand in the light of ordinary human experience. "How," it is asked, "can I love my neighbor at all, when he may be sinful, callous, and even repulsive; when he may possibly hate me, and would willingly do me an injury?" The writer remembers pondering over this question when quite young, and long before Christian Science was known to her even by name. Later on, she believed she had found a solution in the simple method of substituting the word "pity" for "love," arguing that if it was true that "pity is akin to love," then surely pity was the most that could be expected of any one who was not a saint, though struggling to follow the commandments of the dear Master.

This subtle argument of error seemed to meet the case, and to provide an easy way of obeying this commandment without involving any sacrifice of opinion or admission of a want of understanding. When, however, the light of Christian Science began to dawn upon consciousness the argument was seen to be a false one, since it left a very large opening for contempt and self-righteousness to creep into thought, and also because it was very far removed from the real concept of Love which our Master taught and demonstrated. It was gradually recognized that every word of the commandment referred to was pregnant with meaning, and could not be evaded or compromised with; yet, through failing to grasp its true significance, the writer was left still groping for light, and the question, "How can I love my neighbor as myself?" remained unanswered until thought was prepared to receive the divine message.

While still young in the study of Christian Science, the writer was awakened early one morning, before dawn in fact, with a sense of discouragement and resentment at the seeming tenacity of error in those around her, — at their apparent indifference to the value of the "pearl of great price" which she strove vainly to press upon them, seeing clearly, as she did, their great need of healing and regeneration. Just then her eyes were attracted to a faint light appearing between the slats of the Venetian blinds, which light grew brighter and brighter every minute, until at last the sun fully appeared and its glorious rays came pouring through every chink and hole and opening in the blinds. The day had come!

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The Search
March 10, 1923

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