Reflected Love

In her spiritual interpretation of the Lord's Prayer, found on page 17 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy writes, "And Love is reflected in love." Divine Love, spiritually reflected and humanly expressed in deeds of kindness, gentleness, and unselfishness, finds ready response not only on the part of men, but on the part of animals as well, especially those known as domestic animals. Kindly consideration for domestic animals has been general with right-thinking persons at all times. And Christian Science inculcates kind and considerate treatment of animals upon the part of its students.

Shepherds are proverbially kind to the sheep entrusted to their care, and it is not strange that in many beautiful passages in the Bible the figure of the shepherd and the sheep is used to depict the tenderness and love of God. All students of the Bible are familiar with the words with which the shepherd king of Israel began the twenty-third Psalm: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." And continuing the metaphor, David wrote, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters," which might be understood in the light of Christian Science to mean "green pastures" of spiritual refreshment and "still waters" of quiet reflection, meditation, and prayer. And the Psalmist ends his beautiful song with these reassuring words: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." Mrs. Eddy has rendered the last phrase, on page 578 of Science and Health, as follows: "And I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [LOVE] for ever."

In the Gospels we find that Jesus used the same figure in teaching the loving beneficence of his heavenly Father, God, and the compassionate appeal of the divine Christ, which he came to declare and demonstrate. He said: "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

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December 18, 1937

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