Giving up the earth-weight of anger

The light of Christly prayer can heal lingering animosity, once and for all.

Some years ago my wife and I were visiting Great Britain, enjoying the rich heritage of an old country where we felt comfortable. One day in a restaurant I noticed a young German couple at the next table, having an animated conversation in their own language. Suddenly, feelings from my World War II experiences rose up in me. And although the couple were two generations removed from the war, I found myself feeling resentment toward them for wartime events in which they had no part.

The incident alerted me to an important question: How does animosity continue over the years to haunt new generations, and how can it be healed? I thought a lot about this issue in the years that followed, until I was finally able to see through the mesmerism of resentment that had gripped me at that moment.

Today, millions of people seem to be caught in the grip of fear and hate, involved in conflicts which are not of their making but which they feel powerless to prevent or terminate. Others may feel exploited as pawns in international strife or warring factions, and perhaps think the only way out is to retaliate. But of all the unlovely traits afflicting mankind, hate ranks among the most undesirable. In fact, Mrs. Eddy sets this standard for her followers: "The Christian Scientist cherishes no resentment; he knows that that would harm him more than all the malice of his foes" (Message to The Mother Church for 1902, p. 19).

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October 11, 1993

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