The two books that changed my life
I began to find the answers to all the questions I had that nobody had been able to answer.
The two books that changed my life—the Bible, and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy—came to my attention a decade ago at a time when I was facing physical and emotional challenges that had begun early in life.
As a child, I attended a parochial school in Uruguay. I was very introverted, which created problems for me with my classmates and teachers. As a teenager, I found that my social and emotional problems inhibited my progress as a student and created difficulties in my interactions with others.
General frustration led to anger toward my parents, my classmates, and all the people I knew. That’s when my problems with stomach ulcers and gastritis began. At the same time, my father, who was the breadwinner for the family, which consisted of my mother, my father, and me, became ill and could no longer work. It was decided that I should go to work.
I went from being the spoiled child to being the breadwinner for our house, with all the responsibility that entailed. But I did not resign myself to working only to support my family. I wanted to fulfill my dreams, one of which was to be a professional soccer player. The bitterness at not being able to fulfill my hopes and dreams increased my resentment, and I developed additional health problems.
Then, in my late twenties I met a woman of profound faith, who later became my wife. She began to talk to me about spiritual matters and prayer from the perspective of her faith. What she said made a deep impression on me, but my health problems persisted. I had accepted that my situation was hopeless.
In my mid-forties I had to enter an intensive treatment center because of my poor physical and mental condition. I thought I had reached the end of my life. Gradually, with the support of my wife, I began to improve, and my physical ailments began to heal. “I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 30:17 ).
A few months after I went back to work, I was fired after 24 years of service. However, my perspective on life had totally changed, and I had started to see things from a more spiritual standpoint. I loved reading and prayer—things that before had been unknown to me.
It was then that I felt guided to read the Bible; I read it during every free moment of my work at night. But when I finished reading, I still had many unanswered questions about life. I thought, “What now?”
Some time before, my wife had gone to a street fair and bought a copy of Science and Health. She bought the book thinking that reading it would do me good, but without knowing what it was about. The book sat on our bookshelf for a while, and when I finally looked at the cover, I thought it was a book on diets to improve health. But when I opened it, I began to find the answers to all the questions I had that nobody had been able to answer—questions that one naturally has when they have a material concept of existence.
Reading Science and Health, the book I later learned was the Christian Science textbook, opened up the Bible to me and enlarged my understanding of God as good and of my relationship to God. I learned that I was not a hopeless mortal as I had thought, but spiritual and eternal, the
reflection of God that cannot lapse into turmoil or sickness.
On page 559 of Science and Health it says: “Read this book from beginning to end. Study it, ponder it. It will be indeed sweet at its first taste, when it heals you; but murmur not over Truth, if you find its digestion bitter.” When I finished reading the book from cover to cover, I wanted to know more about the author and her other writings, and about her discovery, Christian Science. I was able to contact the nearest Church of Christ, Scientist, and when I visited, I was given other Christian Science literature. The members welcomed me very kindly and invited me to attend their services, which I did without hesitation.
The Bible and Science and Health changed my life completely, reforming me morally and healing me physically. The feelings of anger and resentment disappeared, and instead I felt compassion and forgiveness, as these two books teach. I found new work and purpose as a companion to patients in sanatoriums or at home, and some of them who were receptive to the truth were healed, or experienced rapid improvement when I read from the textbook or prayed during my shift. I realized that when thought is centered on God, it is a better transparency for divine Truth, the healer of both mind and body.
Eventually I took a two-week course called Christian Science Primary class instruction, which teaches the Science of Christianity and how to practice it. More recently, I took a class in Christian Science nursing, showing Christian Scientists how to take practical care of the sick. Every Tuesday and Thursday, here in Uruguay, I participate in a video conference call related to the nursing activity with very loving people from various countries in South America. We are reading Science and Health and sharing spiritual inspiration that supports the nursing activity’s healing mission.
I am grateful for all that I continue to learn from my study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook. Because of them, I am a new man.