'Healing Under the Law and the Gospel'
Christian Science lecturer Horacio Omar Rivas says he is convinced that ''there is a divine law that brings the good tidings of salvation to the human race'' and that this divine law has healing effects as one opens his thought to the compassionate nature of the gospel. Mr. Rivas gave his lecture, ''Healing Under the Law and the Gospel,'' at The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, on Sunday. He also gave it in Spanish later that afternoon.Skip to next paragraph
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The lecturer lives in Miami, Florida, where he teaches Christian Science in English and Spanish. Mr. Rivas, an American citizen, was born and educated in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While still a college student, he began devoting himself to the healing ministry of Christian Science. He is a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship and has lectured in several languages on five continents.
Mr. Rivas was introduced by Mrs. Sally Ades.
An abridged text of the lecture follows:
The iron doors were automatically slammed behind me. I was a Christian Science Field Worker on my first visit to a maximum-security prison. The job consisted of providing the inmates with help through prayer when they requested it.
I was given a tour of the penitentiary by one of the officers. The tour took me to every section of the jail and included detailed information about the crimes the inmates had committed.
Nobody, even the most insensitive individual, could have remained indifferent , hearing about so many atrocities. One was caught between fear and loathing of those who had shown so little respect for other people's rights and sentiments. After the tour I was supposed to read the Bible for those very individuals. How could I be of help with feelings of fear and resentment? I also began to have doubts about the possibility of accomplishing any good in the face of such subhuman tendencies.
Then I turned to God in prayer. It was a simple desire to be of help, to entertain the right idea of man. And my ''Christian Science Hymnal'' opened at random to Hymn No. 83. The title of that tune is ''Innocents.'' I read, ''God made all His creatures free;/Life itself is liberty.''
On the one hand, the law had declared those individuals guilty. But on the other hand, Jesus proved through countless healings that everyone, in his true being, is innocent and perfect, the child of God. Jesus exemplified the compassionate nature of the Christ, the divine manifestation of God. It was his Christliness that enabled him to perceive man's innocence and to heal and regenerate human lives.
I decided to be obedient to what our Master taught in my attitude toward those men. It was as if an inner voice was telling me that I needed to be more compassionate, more loving, more spiritually generous, seeing all only as spiritual reflections of God. Siding with the law of Love
Instead of accepting the traditional opinion that man is a mortal - born in sin and condemned to eternal suffering - I took sides with the eternal law of God, divine Love, a law that enables us to enjoy the good tidings of healing and regeneration according to Jesus' gospel. This marked the beginning of a very useful, healing activity within those walls, which I took part in for several years.
What was that inner voice, that intuition, that conviction, which led me to accept the innocence of man? Was that a divine influence? Is that divine influence in each one of us?
I'm convinced that it is, and that there's a divine law that brings the good tidings of salvation to the human race. Let's consider together the healing effect of the law of divine Love as we open our thoughts to the compassionate nature of the gospel.
I, too, was once a prisoner - not behind bars - but a prisoner of an enslaving habit. I used to be a chain smoker, and very attached to heavy drinking, also.