OVER lunch the other day, a friend told me she couldn't understand one of the well-known statements of Christ Jesus: ``Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.''1 Why, she wondered, should people who are mourning be considered blessed? What could be good about mourning? My friend's question reminded me of a time in my teens when I was mourning over a situation in which I felt I was being cruelly and unjustly victimized by a group of my peers. It was an extremely challenging time for me, and I turned wholeheartedly to God in prayer.
Through this prayer, I learned to stop relying entirely on others to make me happy. I realized that the affections and opinions of people can be changeable, whereas God's love for man -- who in reality is His spiritual offspring, His very expression -- is unchanging and completely satisfying.
God became solidly tangible and real to me. (I've never lost this feeling of closeness to God.) I found peace. I had been mourning over the material circumstances, but through spiritual sense I felt blessed -- closer to God and secure in His love. Shortly thereafter the cruelty completely ceased. And I learned, too, through this deeper understanding of God to be more tolerant and understanding of others.
Through this experience and others in the years since, I have come to see that it is good to be forced to give up trust in material factors, because this turns us to Spirit, God, who is divine Love. Even if we are mourning the death of a loved one, divine Love never fails us. Our confidence in eternal Life enables us to see that God is always with man, giving him all that he needs for security, stability, joy. As we accept man's oneness with God as His idea, we will see that one can never be cut off from good, from Love, from Life. And through our acknowledgment of this truth, it will be made evident in our lives in ways that bring us peace and happiness.
A statement in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains how those who are mourning over human circumstances can actually receive spiritual blessings: ``The wintry blasts of earth may uproot the flowers of affection, and scatter them to the winds; but this severance of fleshly ties serves to unite thought more closely to God, for Love supports the struggling heart until it ceases to sigh over the world and begins to unfold its wings for heaven.''2 When our material hopes are shattered, we are impelled to turn to an always reliable source of joy -- God. Then we experience the heavenly good God provides for man.
We ``shall be comforted'' -- and not just in a single instance. For once we learn to place our hope and trust in God rather than in circumstances or things, our joy will be firmly founded; it won't be easily shaken by human situations of any sort.
All ``they that mourn'' can turn today to ever-present, divine Love and begin to unfold their wings for heaven and find the spiritual blessings that are always right here to be acknowledged and experienced.
1Matthew 5:4. 2Science and Health, p. 57.
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