Some years ago I went through an extended period of almost...

Some years ago I went through an extended period of almost constant exhaustion. For many months I was able to do only a minimum of housework. Under pressure from a member of my family I finally consented to a physical examination by a physician. His verdict was that I had a rheumatic heart. I was told I would always have to put up with this condition, that there was no cure.

As a student of Christian Science I had been seeking a better understanding of the real meaning of heart, and I continued to do so. I called upon a Christian Science practitioner for treatment whenever discouragement got the upper hand. Using the Concordances to Mary Baker Eddy's writings, I studied everything relating to heart, affections, desire, motives, and aims. I found the Glossary definition of "heart" in the textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mrs. Eddy, very helpful. It reads (p. 587): "Mortal feelings, motives, affections, joys, and sorrows." Also her answer to the question "Do you believe in change of heart?" from Miscellaneous Writings. A portion reads (p. 50): "The human affections need to be changed from self to benevolence and love for God and man."

At no time did I accept the medical verdict as law. I did, however, strive to purify my affections so that I might love God above all else and really understand how to elevate feelings, motives, and affections to a spiritual status.

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October 19, 1974

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