The writer's childhood recollection of a duty is of something he was going to be made to do against his will. Early in life mortal mind sometimes loads us with misconceptions which, if not refuted by a truer sense, color our thinking for many years to come. Webster gives "respect" and "reverence" as two principal definitions of duty, and says also that a sense of duty comes from "obligation to obey divinely revealed law." This is a scientific statement, and what indeed could more adequately outline the Christian Scientist's conception of a proper course of conduct?

Now reverence and respect cannot mean unhappiness, but indicate rather a consciousness of those higher sentiments which contribute to the building of character. There is joy also in the Scientist's realization that any "obligation" he has "to obey divinely revealed law" must of necessity reveal that greater consciousness of Love which lifts thought above any sense of human obligation and maintains his clear sense of God's allness and ever-presence.

A duty, then, is not some deed to be performed unwillingly, because of the fear of consequences. It becomes an opportunity to demonstrate more of the divine presence—by reflecting and expressing this presence in one's own consciousness—and to follow in the path where God directs.

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The Morning Meal
February 16, 1946

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