We are told that when Jesus was healing and teaching in Judea a rich young man came running to him and eagerly demanded what he must do to inherit eternal life. The Master, questioning him, ascertained that he had been obedient to the Mosaic law since he was a child; but Jesus evidently discerned in his thought a hindrance to further spiritual progress, for he said to him (Mark 10:21), "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me." Although the young man had turned to the Master with a sincere desire to gain spiritual understanding, he was unwilling to pay the price— to give up the material comforts and pleasures which his wealth enabled him to buy; and so he went sadly away.

The call of the Christ still comes to each one of us today, "Sell whatsoever thou hast ... and follow me." It is well earnestly to ask ourselves whether we really do desire to inherit eternal life and to gain an understanding of the nature of God and His perfect reflection, man, as revealed through the Christ; whether we are willing to pay the price—to sacrifice all materiality in order to gain this advanced spiritual understanding. Our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, puts this question clearly in our textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," when she says (p. 9): "Are you willing to leave all for Christ, for Truth, and so be counted among sinners? No! Do you really desire to attain this point? No! Then why make long prayers about it and ask to be Christians, since you do not care to tread in the footsteps of our dear Master?"

The chief stumbling block in the pathway from material sense to spiritual understanding is the belief of pain and pleasure in matter. The former is less dangerous than the latter, since everyone willingly gives up the pains of matter, but its so-called pleasures are not so easily abandoned.

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August 7, 1954

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