It is Time to Love!

It is time to love! This sentence, spoken with solemn, earnest emphasis, has rung in memory like an Angelus. In the dark days of the war, when, amid the conflict of aroused human opinions, friends were divided, and it often appeared that a man's foes were indeed they of his own household; when, the material foundations of human trust being so shaken, suspicion was rife and unjust accusation freely voiced, these inspired words were to one troubled heart rebuke and comfort and a call to prayer. In "No and Yes" (p. 1) our beloved Leader, Mrs. Eddy, writes: "Men, when thrilled by a new idea, are sometimes impatient; and, when public sentiment is aroused, are liable to be borne on by the current of feeling. They should then turn temporarily from the tumult, for the silent cultivation of the true idea and the quiet practice of its virtues." In harmony with this admonition are her words in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 238), "Let one's life answer well these questions, and it already hath a benediction: Have you renounced self? Are you faithful? Do you love?"

It is time to love! Not time to blame and criticize, and stand aloof in distrust of those who were once called friends; not time to pass judgment on those whose error, we say, has brought affliction upon them! It may be too early to separate the tares from the wheat. It may be that our passionate conviction of to-day will not outlast to-morrow's dawn. What will fit us rightly to analyze the situation, rebuke with courage and charity the fault, correct kindly and efficiently the error,—if indeed it be within our province to do all this,—what will fit us thus to "judge righteous judgment," unless we first take time to renounce the strong claim of our own will, and wait on divine Love for the impartation of love? When we have loved enough to silence the tumult of our own thoughts, instead of hurrying off to set others to rights, we may find a wiser, sweeter way, as indicated in "No and Yes" (p. 8): "Quietly, with benediction and hope, let the unwise pass by." Not with silent condemnation, not with merely restrained criticism, but "with benediction and hope"! Does not this require love? We need not fear lest we be found lacking in moral courage, if we have loved the problem out alone with God, for moral courage is an essential element in the reflection of perfect Love, and He will supply all that is needed. If it is ours to rebuke, we shall find the harmonious coincidence of the opportunity and the wisdom to do so under God's guidance alone; and a rebuke with unselfed love behind it has a thousandfold the value and power of a hasty criticism, prompted perhaps by ignorance, prejudice, resentment, or self-righteousness.

September 11, 1926

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