Be a fact-checker

Like mathematical principles, the truths of spiritual being articulated in Christian Science writings are provable.

My first job after college was fact-checking in the copy-editing department of a women’s magazine. I had to verify that the dates, addresses, names, and events in each article were correct. These facts were often crucial to the substance of a story.

Facts are even more important in a science, such as astronomy or geology. The Science of Christianity, discovered by a 19th-century seeker of truth, Mary Baker Eddy, includes what she calls “the spiritual facts of being” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 312).

One day I was fascinated to discover in her writings the phrase “the great fact.” In her major work, Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy says, in instructing her readers how to heal, “Insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him” (p. 421).

In the same chapter, titled “Christian Science Practice,” she writes, “The great fact that God lovingly governs all, never punishing aught but sin, is your standpoint, from which to advance and destroy the human fear of sickness” (p. 412).

To me, the phrase “the great fact,” which appears numerous times in Mrs. Eddy’s writings, serves as a kind of spotlight to alert the reader to truths basic to this Science and crucial to demonstrating it in healing. I came to see that this term often references the nature of God as the one and only Being, omnipotent and omnipresent.

Mrs. Eddy also shares great facts about man—everyone’s true identity. For example, “The great spiritual fact must be brought out that man is, not shall be, perfect and immortal” (Science and Health, p. 428). How reassuring that the concept of man’s perfection is not a theory but an actual fact, a reality, that we can discern through our God-given spiritual sense. 

This is the wonderful thing about the truths of spiritual being articulated in Christian Science writings. They are not philosophical abstractions but demonstrable facts. Like mathematical principles, they are provable. These spiritual truths form a basis for earnest prayers to our loving Father-Mother God and are manifested in harmonious human circumstances as we let the active presence of God, good, assert itself in our thoughts.

A Christian Science treatment, which is specific prayer for oneself or another, includes the heartfelt acknowledgment of profound statements about God and about man in His image. A treatment also includes a new way of looking at evil. Mrs. Eddy gives us a “great fact” about evil that deflates its seeming power and influence. “There was never a moment in which evil was real,” she writes. “This great fact concerning all error brings with it another and more glorious truth, that good is supreme” (No and Yes, p. 24). Based on the fact of God’s nature as infinite good, effective prayer challenges the reality of any opposition to good and emphasizes the pervasiveness, activity, and preeminence of good.

These metaphysical facts articulate grand verities prominent in the Bible, such as “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4), and “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion”(Genesis 1:26). Hundreds of years later, Paul brought to our notice the coexistence of that one God with His precious creation, man, when he wrote to the Romans, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39). Mrs. Eddy assures us that understanding these primal and immortal facts can produce “marked effects on the body” (Science and Health, p. 370) and defeat what she called the “triad of errors” (p. 122)—sin, sickness, and death—and so bring healing to any situation.

I had an experience in which I learned to clearly distinguish between fact and falsity. While doing housework one day, I made an abrupt move that caused immediate discomfort in my lower back. Every time I sat down, lay down, or stood up, there was an intense muscle spasm.

When I requested prayerful help from a Christian Science practitioner, she replied firmly, “That spasm is not telling you one fact about yourself. Matter is something to refute and deny as false, not true.” She pointed out that healing consists of revealing our already-existing, God-endowed perfection. And she shared a fact-packed paragraph from Mrs. Eddy’s Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896 explaining that good is infinite, and that therefore, evil can’t claim to have existence or power (see p. 259). I saw that when conscious of good, I can’t be conscious of evil. 

Over the next several days I devoted myself to maintaining these spiritual facts in thought. Deepening my study and prayer, I found this idea to be especially meaningful: “The scientific sense of being . . . undermines the foundations of mortality, of physical law, breaks their chains, and sets the captive free, opening the doors for them that are bound” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 101). To me in this situation, chains meant the belief of interconnecting muscles, tendons, and spine. In two weeks, I was released from those chains—the feeling of injury—and once again enjoyed painless, wide-ranging freedom of movement. Only once during the next 25 years did I experience anything wrong with my back, and that time, too, the problem was quickly healed.

Be a fact-checker and check out the great facts found in the Bible and Science and Health—the undeniable, demonstrable truths of God and His beloved creation. Treasure them. Ponder them regularly. This enables us to delete false impressions from our experience and to underscore true views of our thoroughly spiritual, all-harmonious being.

Nonpartisan prayer
November 15, 2021

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