The Purifying Role of Trials

In my early study of Christian Science I was overjoyed at the rich promises it held out. This surely was El Dorado, heaven right here on earth—good supreme, evil powerless, health normal and natural, joy unadulterated.

With new love and hope filling my heart, I could not reconcile my thoughts to references to trials by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She says for instance in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Trials teach mortals not to lean on a material staff,—a broken reed, which pierces the heart. We do not half remember this in the sunshine of joy and prosperity. Sorrow is salutary. Through great tribulation we enter the kingdom. Trials are proofs of God's care."  Science and Health, p. 66; There seemed no place for trials in those early years. I found myself disturbed and apprehensive each time during my study that I encountered the above passage or others in similar vein. I was to learn, however, that drifting along happily in materiality is no way to enter the kingdom. Unless one is jolted out of this false sense of existence, he is no better off than before he was touched by divine Science.

Combat Duty and the Christ
September 20, 1969

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