Originally published in French.
A community of healers, open to sincere seekers
The opportunity to take class instruction is available to individuals throughout the world who have a sincere desire to deepen their knowledge of Christian Science.
One of the most inspiring and helpful experiences I’ve ever had was taking Christian Science Primary class instruction. And participating in the association meetings held annually by my teacher for all of my fellow students continues to be a meaningful experience that enriches my healing practice of Christian Science. To me it has been a privilege to be part of this community of healers.
This opportunity to take class instruction is available to individuals throughout the world who have a sincere desire to deepen their knowledge of Christian Science. According to the Manual of The Mother Church by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, teaching Christian Science is a question “of morals and religion, healing and uplifting the race” (p. 83 ). So at the heart of class instruction is a love of God, a love of one’s neighbor, and a love of humanity, all inspired by Christ Jesus’ ministry, which demonstrated the infinite power of God, good. It embraces everyone!
The choosing of an authorized teacher of Christian Science (and the teacher’s decision to accept a student) is greatly benefited by prayer and divine guidance. But one of the wonderful things, to me, about Primary class instruction is that it’s not personal, based on individual opinion or interpretation. It’s about spiritual communication from God to man. The Christ, the divine Truth Jesus represented, speaks to all who are receptive, whether teacher or student. And pure, unblemished divine Love is always at the heart of this divine interaction. Mrs. Eddy, in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, reminds us, “Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching” (p. 454 ). She also explains, “The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love” (p. 113 ).
Each person’s experience is different, and it is impossible to outline what someone else’s (or even our own!) experience will be. I like to think of Primary class instruction and the annual association meetings as hastening “the descent of the Holy Ghost” (Science and Health, p. 43 ), as occurred in the days of the apostles when they gathered together for the Pentecost. The instruction in class, and the annual meetings that follow, empower us to demonstrate that the will of God, good, is indeed done “in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 ), promoting spiritual progress and opening wide the door to an effective metaphysical practice.
One year, I was struggling to get to where the association of my teacher’s pupils was to take place. I was plagued by severe stomach pains that threatened to prevent me from making the trip.
I thought of all the benefits of Primary class instruction and of the past association meetings I had attended, and especially of the pure, spiritual atmosphere of thought that reigned there. I realized that the divine Science underlying association activity is already in place, and that nothing can stop our ability to realize that in tangible ways.
Praying in this manner inspired me to set out; and though it was with great difficulty, I made the trip and attended the meeting.
Then, something happened in the middle of the meeting. I decided to apply to myself all the metaphysical ideas that had sustained and helped an association member who was sharing a healing he’d had. For instance, he reminded us of a fundamental idea in Christian Science teaching that really resonated with me: that there is just one God, divine Principle, and that this God keeps man (all of us, in our true identity as God’s spiritual offspring) in a state of perfection that nothing can destroy.
I felt so embraced in divine peace that I was filled with trust in God and in the healing power of Christ. It was only at the end of the meeting that I remembered I’d had a health problem earlier that day. I’d been totally healed.
Another time when I was attending my association meeting, my wife (who had accompanied me) became ill. She was in the outdoor courtyard at the time. She told me later that she asked for prayerful help from an association member who had noticed she was in pain. She was quickly healed, and that evening we went home together without any difficulty.
At its core, the opportunity to take Primary class instruction is an opportunity to join a community of healers where men and women support each other and humanity at large through prayer. As mentioned earlier, it reminds me of the biblical Day of Pentecost when a group united in the love of Christ gathered in one place and received the Holy Ghost; they felt the presence of the divine Spirit that heals.
The spiritual truths underlying Primary class instruction and association meetings endure long after the sessions are over. They are based in substantial, everlasting, durable, stable, constant divine Principle. What a joy it is to be part of such a community!