"Semper paratus": Always Ready

The captain of a transatlantic liner, upon taking his seat at dinner one day, remarked to the passengers at his table, "The barometer is falling: it looks as though there is some nasty weather ahead." A lady inquired rather anxiously: "Will there be a storm? Do you think there is any danger?" "There may be a storm," replied the captain, "but there is no danger whatever. We are always prepared for such things." This was said with quiet assurance, and the passenger was thereupon relieved of fear.

The above incident may serve as an illustration of the elimination of fear through assurance of proper preparation. Needless to say, it was the quiet confidence of the captain which brought a sense of security. A lesson helpful to the student of Christian Science may be gained from this illustration, a lesson in accordance with divine Principle, through which to acquire that quality of thinking which is consonant with the title of this article. Should we not take daily stock of our mental defenses to see what state they are in, whether they are impregnable to meet the fury of evil when it beats against them? On board that vessel the captain each day had a thorough inspection made of every department. Also, never a moment of the day or night went by without alert watch being kept in certain parts of the ship; and the first requirement of those keeping watch was obedience to duty.

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, has written in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 117), "God is the fountain of light, and He illumines one's way when one is obedient." The first step, then, and the most important one, in being ready to meet the storms of mortal mind in our journey Spiritward, is obedience to divine Principle. It is well to keep this fixed in our thought; for when, through loving obedience to the demands of Truth, our pathway is illumined, the obstacles which appear to beset us are more clearly discerned, and therefore more easily guarded against. It is invariably the unseen error which gives the most trouble; and such is the subtle nature of error that, without the spiritual illumination which strict obedience to divine law confers, evil will oftentimes find its way into one's consciousness in the guise of good. A false sense of security may be entertained in this way, and the unwary traveler may wonder why his progress is slow, and perhaps painful. Moreover, unless this phase of error is detected and destroyed, one may be the means of causing others to stumble and fall.

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Practitioner and Patient
February 2, 1929

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