Illegal "pets"

Do you keep illegal pets? I don't mean exotic or unlicensed animals but a kind of "mental zoo" of pet peeves, personal preferences, forms of pride, and runaway anxieties. Keeping these breaks no statutory law, but it's apt to violate the Christian command to love thy neighbor as thyself. They really don't belong in our mental household. They're unwelcome guests, and we don't have to entertain them. Christian Science shows us that the same law of God that forbids such pets rules them out.

In the Manual of The Mother Church Mrs. Eddy gives "A Rule for Motives and Acts," which Christian Scientists use as a basis for daily prayer and practice. It begins, "Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church." Then follows this truth, which when comprehended enables us to free ourselves from the influence of false attachments and judgments: "In Science, divine Love alone governs man..." The sentence continues, "... and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness." Man., Art. VIII, Sect. 1.

When we begin to understand that man is spiritual, that he is governed by divine Love, innately reflecting the law of Love, we will see growing evidence of our real being in such qualities as patience, gentleness, peaceableness, and a good-natured forbearance with others. Spiritual understanding is the very basis for our work of destroying illegal pets in consciousness, including impatience and indignation, and of expressing qualities recognized as flowing from our divine source. How much the latter need to be practiced in human affairs!

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When tempted
December 7, 1981

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