by Mary H. Cummins, from February 14, 1920 Christian Science Sentinel
There are few words in the English language more beautiful than the word benediction. Its literal meaning is “good saying,” or the utterance of blessing, and it is associated in the thought of many of us with such comforting passages from the New Testament as, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.” Indeed the whole Bible is full of assurances that nothing but the divine benediction rests upon those who humbly and earnestly seek to know more of God, those who are making the attainment of righteousness their first aim.
The apostle Paul expressed this thought explicitly when he said, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” And yet a false sense of condemnation is just what the carnal mind is continually and incessantly arguing to the aspiring Christian. In fact the unenlightened human mind may be said to revel in mistaken condemnation. If one listens to the ordinary conversation of the day he must be impressed by the fact that this promiscuous condemnation runs through it like a thread; condemnation of some particular person, of the weather, of the government, of almost every existing circumstance and condition. How conspicuous by its absence is the “good saying,” the word that blesses and heals, otherwise benediction.
And yet with God there is no such thing as condemnation of His creation, because there is in it nothing to condemn. The divine Mind knows naught but its own radiant reflection, its own perfect creation, and upon this rests continually the benediction of infinite Love. As Christian Scientists we need to remember this fact, for mortal mind will try to ensnare us into believing that we are in some way or other under false condemnation. Sometimes it is a vague sense of burden, of things not being right, which when we come to trace it to its lair we find to be a suggestion of the reality of evil and of man’s consequent enslavement. At other times it may be a subtle sense of self-condemnation because some of our demonstrations are not more quickly made, because our understanding of Truth is not greater, because our growth has not been more rapid; when all the time our progress may have been normal and steady, our understanding in proportion to our opportunity to learn, our work conscientiously and earnestly done. This being the case there should be no condemnation, although the adversary may tempt us to think otherwise. Indeed, one of error’s pet arguments is that one can desire righteousness above all things, faithfully study the Bible and our Leader’s works, diligently apply what he understands of Christian Science, and yet not grow in grace. One might as well say that a good seed could be put into good ground under favorable conditions, be carefully tended and watered, and not spring up and grow. To admit such a thing for a moment is to impugn the divine integrity. It is to say that we are doing our part but that God is not doing His. The truth is that the divine benediction rests upon every righteous endeavor, and this fact apprehended and retained will banish any debilitating sense of condemnation and enable us to work gladly and rejoicingly, “in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.”
When we come to see that God’s man dwells continually in the sunshine of His benediction we perceive that there is in His creation nothing to heal. What could we do to make the man upon whom the divine benediction rests any better, any happier, any more blessed? How would we set about improving his condition? There is, however, in belief, a lie about God’s man to be faced and destroyed with the truth, and it is destroyed as we apprehend and maintain the spiritual fact of the real man’s eternal well-being as a child of God. When we are able to begin our treatment by understandingly rejoicing with the Father in the radiant reality of His creation, when the only thing that has any existence for us is that which is embraced in the divine benediction, we shall heal the sick as Christ Jesus did, for to eliminate from consciousness that which is unlike God and His reflection is surely to accomplish healing.
On page 60 of “Science and Health with key to the Scriptures” Mrs. Eddy writes, “Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind.” There is, in fact, no limitation to the divine benediction. It rests upon the whole creation, and the very least and apparently most insignificant idea of Mind is embraced in it. For God to be is to bless. it could not be otherwise, and we have only to turn from our belief in false condemnation in order to experience the comfort, gladness, and healing of the divine blessing.
It is possible for every one of us to allow not only his speech but his entire attitude toward his fellows to be one of benediction. Two students of Christian Science left the classroom one day, toward the close of the class term, and walked to the train which was to take them to their home. On the way they were overtaken by one whose thought for a score of years or more had been steadily ripening into greater likeness to the divine. Not many words were spoken in the few minutes that they walked together, and what was said was of no special significance, but as they parted the older student stood for a moment with uncovered head and looked from one to the other of these two who he knew were endeavoring to leave all for Christ. Such was the benediction of that look that one of his companions was instantly healed of a sense of burden which had been with her for days.
Then and there she glimpsed something of what the divine benediction means, also the fact that it is never withdrawn, but rests continually upon its object. Think what the world would be if each one of us constantly reflected to his fellows Love’s benediction! Surely this was what the Master meant when he commanded us to be perfect even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect, the Father who he said “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”