We were in France for the summer vacation. We had arrived in a youth hostel packed with people and had our camping mats laid out on the dining room floor - the beds where already taken. That is where my then boyfriend (now my husband) needed help. An hour before, he had handed over his Swiss army knife to a friend - and as kind as he always is, had turned the knife around, with the blade in his hand offering the handle to our friend. Who quickly took the knife, not noticing that he sliced the inside of my boyfriend's middle finger. The cut was deep, my husband swiftly put the hand in his pocket and rushed to the bathroom. Nobody noticed the need of a healing - my husband and I regarded this as a chance to pray in quiet adoration in this mental space free of exterior concerns. We both yearned to feel the guidance of divine Love and to see something of the wholeness and holiness of man. I bandaged the finger, and we both were awake all night in listening and prayer.
And here the prayer book of Christian Science had its moving performance: We turned to the poem "Satisfied". It is a deep prayer of affirmation by Mary Baker Eddy, empowering our humble, spiritual sense:
Especially "Aye, darkling sense, arise, go hence! Our God is good" provided words to our thoughts. And the gloom and the pain and the worry lifted - and the radiant presence of Love was felt. The healing came in the morning, with a quiet sense of "being satisfied".
Many denominations have a prayer book, also Christian Science. This Christian Science prayer book serves as a hymnal and has provided not just the Christian Science community but truly humanity at large since 1892 with a unique, gentle, powerful new repertoire of spiritual songs. The hymns have brought healing after healing after healing after healing, and they are so heartwarming, uplifting, comforting, encouraging, fortifying, reassuring, strengthening, revitalizing, sustaining, restoring, solacing, invigorating, because they are prayers. Prayers of petition and affirmation, prayers of gratitude and praise.
When I had a circulatory collapse about ten years ago and was fading in and out of consciousness, it was a prayer by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) which led the way to healing. He had been healed by Mary Baker Eddy and quite a few of his extraordinary prayers and poems can be found in the prayer book of Christian Science, alias Christian Science Hymnal.
Dear Lord and Father of us all,
I don't remember ever memorizing this prayer. But it was there, as if written into my thoughts, for days on end, presenting itself in my consciousness and giving words to my yearning to understand Life, God, better. I went through it line by line, slowly and thoroughly. I longed to have my life be a life of service, "an ordered life", confessing "the beauty of Thy peace." The full healing came after three weeks of consecrated listening and praying (you can find the testimony here) - you can imagine that since that time I have a special affection for this prayer, having experienced its healing dimension in my own experience. It is here for anyone.
This week my husband and I happen to refer to a prayer by Frederick W. Faber often, it is such a sweet, gentle prayer, giving broadness and freedom to our thought - as we bathe in the wide ocean of divine Love, reaching into the vastness of everpresent continuity. Because "there's a wideness in God's mercy, like the wideness of the sea". Love never ends.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and as a writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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