‘Love is the liberator’
Reprinted from the January 9, 1926, Sentinel
How many times in the passage from sense to Soul does the Christian Scientist cry out in despair: How shall I work out of this difficulty? I have done the best I know, and still it clings to me. What have I done that is wrong, or what have I left undone? If the perplexed one will turn to the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and read what its wise author, Mrs. Eddy, has said on page 225, he will find the answer he craves: “Love is the liberator.” That is all; but it is enough! “Love is the liberator”! It matters not what the persistent difficulty may be; because man is the image and likeness of God, each one is entitled to freedom; and, in fact, our Father-Mother God demands that we exercise our divine right to be free. Yes, of course, but how? we plaintively ask. Again comes the answer, “Love is the liberator”!
Now what is this divine Love, and how shall we understand and reflect it, thereby gaining freedom? The answers to these questions, understood and practiced, will open the very kingdom of heaven to one; will indeed liberate him from any and all forms of evil, and bring him into peace and health and the abundance of all good. Therefore, it behooves every one to find the answers and understand what Love is, feel it, and express it.
We reflect divine Love consciously when we realize that God, good, is the only power and the only reality; that good and the creations of good fill all space; and that man and the universe are the expression of this omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God, or good. Think of it. Then let us ask ourselves if we are really comprehending it in some degree; or if we are just saying words which we should like to believe are true, but which are, as a matter of fact, just words to us, and that what we are really believing is the material senses, which tell us that evil is quite as powerful and ever present as good.
When we have been honest with ourselves on this point, our next step is to put out of thought any doubt of God. Accepting the fact that God is, we must accept Him as all-powerful and all-good; for if God were not good, creation must long since have ceased to be, because of the seemingly destructive nature of so-called evil. Convinced by reason, we begin really to believe in God and His power.
We now turn to another inspiring statement in Science and Health (p. 503): “Divine Science, the Word of God, saith to the darkness upon the face of error, ‘God is All-in-all,’ and the light of ever-present Love illumines the universe. Hence the eternal wonder,—that infinite space is peopled with God’s ideas, reflecting Him in countless spiritual forms.” As we ponder this and open our thought to it, it unfolds more and more radiantly in consciousness. What a joyous realization! What majesty of conception! What sublime order and perfection! Its contemplation brings a fervent gratitude to the creator, whose love, wisdom, and power have made His universe so harmonious, so perfect in its activities and adjustments. And this conscious realization of the all-power and ever-presence of good is dynamic. It cannot be confined, but demands that it be shared with every one. One can no more keep it hidden within himself than he can retain the air he breathes. If we really see a friend as the image and likeness of God, we are bound to show it in our attitude toward him. Thus Love is proved to be the liberator.
When we look at personality and see its apparent faults, do we let these erroneous pictures create in us hate, criticism, and condemnation? If we do, right there is where our work of reflecting Love must begin. A very young Christian Scientist once came to her mother and told her she had invited their next-door neighbor to dinner. The mother, who thought she disliked this neighbor for what seemed to her a very righteous reason, said to her daughter, “How could you ask that man to our home!” The little girl hesitated a moment and then said: “Well, mother, I love him. I have not always loved him, but one day I thought God said to me, ‘Mary Ellen, Mr. — is my child just as you are, and very dear to me. I love him very much, and I want you to love him too;’ and I said, ‘All right, dear Lord; I will.’ And now I do; and that is why I invited him to dinner.” Needless to say, the relationship between that Christian Science family and the neighbor began from that day to be an harmonious one, and at least two hearts were freed from the burden of hatred.
What a lovely world this would be if we could all say, All right, dear Lord; I will love—and really did so! The youthful Christian Scientist had learned very quickly that personality is only a false picture, and that it is never true of the real man, whom we cannot help loving when we realize that his qualities are those of our Father-Mother God, and therefore worthy of our deepest love and appreciation.
Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 224), “No power can withstand divine Love.” So if any claim of power in evil seems to persist in our experience, is it not fairly certain that we are not expressing divine Love in that respect? Some suggestion of resentment or anger, some doubt of God, some apathy or discouragement, is perhaps keeping us from loving; and until we cast out the error from thought and are able to radiate the warmth of divine Love’s presence, our problem will doubtless stay with us all unsolved.
“Love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12),was the tender command of the Way-shower, who so magnificently proved divine Love’s triumphant power. We must love one another. And not only because our neighbor is entitled to love, but because we must keep our own consciousness clear of judgment, condemnation, hate, indifference, which if indulged will soon destroy the purity and peace of our mental home.
Each day we need to think about divine Love and try to realize its power and presence. We need to contemplate and desire it, and let it take possession of our thought and unfold itself more and more bounteously therein. Soon we shall feel a greater tenderness, a deeper affection, a warmer sense of justice, a finer discrimination, a more compassionate understanding of humanity and its problems, and a wealth of gratitude blending with it all. And ultimately we shall see the perfect man, as did Jesus, where we had seen only a sinning mortal. This mental state cannot help but bless and heal those with whom it comes in contact. This mental state reflects divine Love, and brings its own peace, answers the heart’s great need, and leads us into the promised land of happiness and security, where all things work together for good.
Human sense has claimed to manufacture a counterfeit, which it calls by the holy name of love. For this counterfeit it seems to work unendingly. But the counterfeit does not bring the satisfaction and peace it promises, and often leaves in its wake new errors to be overcome, such as disappointment, disillusionment, grief, resentment, bitterness, and even hatred. Only the Love that is divine can bring lasting happiness and overcome all evil. And divine Love is not reflected in coldness, or aloofness, or sanctimoniousness, or self-righteousness, or cruelty. The reflection of divine Love is always tender, though mighty. It is always gentle and forgiving, because it knows the utter nothingness of evil. It is always warm and radiant; and it proves the omnipotence of divine Love by destroying every claim of evil that presents itself. Divine Love brings to men an exalted consciousness, a high courage born of confident power over erroneous suggestions, a calmness and poise which is utterly unknown to anxious, worried, suspicious so-called mortal mind. And above all, it brings heaven to earth; for the only heaven there is, or ever will be, is a divinely mental state, which is satisfying and healing, proving always that “Love is the liberator.”