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Addiction to alcohol and tobacco overcome

From the October 21, 2013 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Originally written in Spanish, this testimony was first published in the August 2013 Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese editions of The Herald of Christian Science.

I became acquainted with Christian Science when I was dating the man who later became my husband. He had attended a Christian Science Sunday School when he was a child, so when he saw the challenges I was facing, he gave me a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

At that time, I felt great resistance to everything concerning spirituality, and all the arguments I had with my boyfriend were precisely because he was attending church. But one night, trying not to be seen, I took the book, began to read it, and realized how irresistible it was. I couldn’t put it down.

I began with the chapter “Prayer,” which concludes with the Lord’s Prayer and its spiritual sense given by Mrs. Eddy (see pp. 16–17). Although I couldn’t understand it well, I was drawn to it.

At that time, I was also prone to react and get irritated very easily. This brought much inharmony between me and the people I love, and made me feel very unhappy. However, I wasn’t aware that the truth of the Christ had begun operating in my consciousness, and with time I began to temper my character.

Shortly afterward, my boyfriend and I were married, and then had three beautiful children.

Over time, other false character traits surfaced—for instance, shyness. Again, the “tempter,” or carnal mind (see Romans 8:7), tried to deceive me into believing that in order to feel secure, have courage, and be able to make decisions, I had to resort to alcohol and cigarettes. Very soon these two became habits.

I had moments when I clearly recognized that I had a bad attitude while around my family, whom I loved. This made me feel guilty. Then, I would turn again to Science and Health, where I always found comfort. However, since I wasn’t persistent in reading the book, I would again fall into the same bad habits. This affected me physically, and my family was afraid of my violent reactions.

This problem continued until in a moment of despair, like the prodigal son in the Bible parable (see Luke 15:11–24), I came to my senses. I saw that I needed to ask for the prayerful help of a Christian Science practitioner. So, without telling anyone, I went to see one.

When I met this practitioner, I immediately felt the divine Love he was reflecting and expressing. After telling him about all my hardships, I was surprised that he wasn’t taken aback by my account and didn’t condemn me. Instead he said that I was and am the beloved daughter of God.

He recommended I read page 475 of Science and Health, where Mrs. Eddy answers the question “What is man?” as well as page 406, where she says, “The depraved appetite for alcoholic drinks, tobacco, tea, coffee, opium, is destroyed only by Mind’s mastery of the body.” And he suggested I read Hymn No. 51 by Mary Alice Dayton in the Christian Science Hymnal. The second stanza revealed to me what I am to God as His perfect reflection:

God could not make imperfect man
His model infinite;
Unhallowed thought He could not plan,
Love’s work and Love must fit.
Life, Truth and Love the pattern make,
Christ is the perfect heir;
The clouds of sense roll back, and show
The form divinely fair.

I was strengthened by the practitioner’s prayer, and regeneration began within me. I realized that I didn’t need to smoke or drink alcohol, and I gradually put them aside until I totally stopped using them. My character also changed, and I became a much calmer and more patient person.

This was the end of my ordeal. I felt that I was born again! Feeling grateful for this healing, my husband and I began to regularly attend a Christian Science branch church and brought our children to the Christian Science Sunday School there. This healing took place over 30 years ago and has been permanent.

Christian Science has been a blessing for my family and me.

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