There are many ways to begin a commentary against terrorism, but only one way to end it - that is in an effort for resolution and healing.
The fire and dust of the destruction we have witnessed as a nation and world spring out of the fire and dust of dementia. Appalled and angry, we go to our knees. And then, we pray to find, in this sacred and searching moment, the most spiritually refined measure of right needed to heal our grief and guide our justice.
It is a time for transformation. An unusual range of disturbances, and across a wide spectrum, has surfaced over the past months. Their only linkage is that they are evil and wrong - from shark attacks to worldwide economic stress, to persecution and human slavery, to intransigent sectarian conflict, and revenge vented upon revenge. From small to massive, from a personal affront to suicide bombings, this evil, and the evil mentality that incites it, must be put down.
The resilience and indomitable response of the people of the United States - and of the support from all corners of the world - show the inevitability of the triumph of good. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor, wrote, "God is not the creator of an evil mind. Indeed, evil is not Mind. We must learn that evil is the awful deception and unreality of existence. Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless; ..." ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 207).
A great and wide-ranging strength is at hand and already in action. Recent years have seen a significant and growing momentum of thought toward having a better understanding of spirituality. This is steady, growing to the proportions of a demand. Spirituality is civilization's best friend. It contains not a grain of fanaticism; it is full of grace. Spirituality comes to the aid of the poor and the hungry and homeless. It is not jealous. It is abundantly good.
Spirituality gentles, energizes, heals, and restores. It is a natural ingredient in intelligent self-government. Identity is glorified by the freshness of spirituality. Under the regimen of spirituality, the phrase quoted above, "good is not helpless," is raised above a plaintive hope to a certainty founded on a rock.
Thinkers, writers, and those who measure the direction of public thought, talk of a new spiritual era. Just one example is from Michael Novak, of The New York Times, who said, "You may be sure that the 21st century will be the most religious in 500 years."
Spirituality is a transforming force we can dependably turn to for succor and to satisfy our higher hopes. These words from the pen of Mrs. Eddy in her book Science and Health give a clear perspective on the nature of the times and challenges we face: "The broadcast powers of evil so conspicuous to-day show themselves in the materialism and sensualism of the age, struggling against the advancing spiritual era" (pg. 65).
Evil thoughts and actions struggled against the advancing Christian era. Its history is well known. Jesus, the best man who ever walked this earth, was crucified to stop his career and influence. The advancing Christian era was not ended. Jesus rose - to the disbelief and fear of those who had struggled against him. He rose to the glorification of victory over death, and the triumph of spirituality, and the clarity and truth it brings to the permanent relation of God and man.
Jesus' goodness was not helpless. Here was and is the principle and the fulfilled promise of spiritual transformation. The power of spirituality nourishes the hopes of women, children, and men everywhere. The truth of spirituality comforts the grieving, it gives resolve to the movements of good, it gives foresight to progress.
The inevitable transformation is underway. As Mrs. Eddy said, there is a struggle, but it is evil's own struggle against the advancing spiritual era. The struggle does not belong to the spiritual advancement or the spiritually advancing. Evil must ultimately destroy itself in this transformation.
What pure gold will remain - in human character and experience.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
... in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Psalm 121:7, 8
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.
I John 4:18