"A psalm of gratitude"

On page 3 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy says: "Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech." One of the first mental seeds planted, when one has been healed in Christian Science, is that of gratitude. It may be, however, that the seed has fallen "by the way side," and it is observed that the giving of thanks is perfunctory and conventional. Soon the "fowls"—material pleasures and interests—devour it, and the good received is forgotten. It may be that the seed "fell upon stony places," where there was still much hate and resentment preventing its taking root; or it may be that it "fell among thorns," where thought was filled with a false sense of self or was selfish, choking the seed and killing it. It is not until God's Word cleanses and purifies one's thinking, and it becomes "good ground," that it can bring forth fruit,—the righteous activity that is expressed in something more than words; then one begins to live his gratitude. This fruition is not gained by students of Christian Science without effort. It is most desirable, however, that it should be attained by those thus striving for spiritual progress; and if we take up the battle, feeling that the struggle to overcome evil with good is a joy and a privilege, we are sure to reach the goal.

One student of Christian Science had a struggle of this sort through which she gained much. She had turned to Christian Science in extremity and received a beautiful healing. Her joy at first was loudly expressed in words. However, as other problems presented themselves and had to be worked out, the memory of the first wonderful healing to some extent faded, and she seemed to feel a bit rebellious, impatient, and resentful, because trials continued to be a part of her experience. She groaned many times because one or two material things, especially craved, seemed as far away as ever. In spite of the fact that some problems were solved, and she had learned much in the solving of them, nevertheless she found herself, upon self-examination, to be in the mental state of one who says, Oh, yes! I am grateful for this, but I want that. Verily, a most unsatisfactory state to be in! She felt it to be all wrong; she knew that one who is truly grateful should also be satisfied, for he knows that he has what he needs. She felt, too, that to be alive and active, gratitude must be spontaneous. As it is a gift of God, a quality of divine Mind, man must express gratitude as a part of his real being. That was her goal. She needed the spirit as well as the letter, for "it is the spirit that quickeneth." How could she attain it?

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