Prayerful Solitude

Often amid the stress of human problems, the Christian Scientist loves to retire and be alone so that he can quietly study the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings, which, the Church Manual tells us, "shall be his only textbooks for selfinstruction in Christian Science" (Art. IV, Sect. 1). Truly, he needs this prayerful aloneness, for it brings moments of sweet renewal of the consciousness of his at-one-ment with God, a surer consciousness of good, a deeper consecration of purpose; and so this aloneness is indeed a joyous, not a lonely time.

Jesus was wont to retire to the mountains for a higher and closer communion with God. We read in the Bible that once "he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them." In the silence of spiritual communion he gained the divine wisdom through which his teachings grew, and which drew his disciples to him. His communion with God brought all who sought him nearer to Love and, by the brightness of his divine reflection, attracted those who were in need and were receptive to spiritual teaching and healing. His heart was full of love and compassion for humanity. To Christ Jesus, aloneness did not mean loneliness.

The pitiable lonely one is he whose thought is blinded by a sense of self so large that it does not leave room for consideration for the brother. Wherever he looks he sees only himself, his own needs, his own sorrows, his own grievances, and sometimes, alas, the belief in his own superiority. How can he help being lonely? There is no room in his thinking for more than one person, and that one, when deceived by error, not a very companionable one—himself.

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Loyalty to Our Associations
April 27, 1935

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