True desire ascends to God; and "desire is prayer," as Mrs. Eddy tells us on page 1 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Nevertheless, asleep in the dream of material living, we "know not what we should pray for as we ought." Men are seeking, as they have always sought, the joy of life, instinctively recognizing that life is not fully expressed until it is expressed in joy. They are, however, often seeking joy as they have sought life itself, in material substance, in counterfeit worldly possessions, in worldly power and merely personal affection. Always accompanying this kind of seeking is the fear of not attaining or of losing. How often it is brought home to us that not one of these things—wealth, power, merely personal affection—brings real, abiding happiness; for these, which we have called real, belong to the realm of time and carry with them the blight of transiency. Awakening to this, some have believed that true and lasting happiness could be found only after death in a problematic heaven.

It is clear that a sense of security is necessary to joy; and this sense has been sought by philosophers of all ages. Yet there has been no permanently satisfying answer except one, the one given by Christ Jesus, which has been too frequently disregarded or not fully understood, but which is made clear to us in Christian Science. It is only when we seek as Jesus declared we must—only as we desire "first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness"—that consciousness begins to expand into its true home and eternal security. It is only when we become conscious of our spiritual life as existing in divine Love that we find the perfect love which casts out all fear. We then begin to unfold our spiritual wings with the increasingly sure spiritual sense that life is an eternal unfoldment, in which there can be no loss; and that is the beginning of our spiritual awakening. We recognize that the realm of the truly real and the realm of the ideal are the same; and this understanding opens our spiritual vision to perceive that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." Even when such gift seems to be expressed in terms of our present existence, it may be rejoiced in without anxious concern, since it is the result of that which we are beginning to understand of Truth. "When the real is attained, which is announced by Science, joy is no longer a trembler, nor is hope a cheat," Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health (p. 298). Again she says (p. 265), "This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man's absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace."

Putting Joy into Our Work
July 31, 1926

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