Throughout the world, people and countries celebrate meaningful discoveries. In the United States, for instance, Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October. Though explorer Christopher Columbus wasn’t the first to discover the “New World,” many would say his voyage launched the start of a new era.
But as important as many discoveries throughout the ages have proved to be, I’ve found none to be more important or valuable than a spiritual discovery that took place in the mid-1800s by Mary Baker Eddy.
Mrs. Eddy’s discovery was also of a “new world,” but it was “the world of Spirit” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. viii), or spiritual reality – though, as with Columbus’s “new world,” the spiritual universe already existed. In fact, it is eternal. Her discovery radically changed countless people’s lives and their understanding of reality, and it continues to do so today.
As a young woman, Mrs. Eddy sought solutions to her ill health. Nothing would bring her a permanent cure, however. Then in February 1866, she slipped on some slick ice on the street, which resulted in severe internal injuries. In this dire situation she turned to her Bible, to the New Testament, and read one of Christ Jesus’ healings.
As she read, a sense of existence entirely in and of Spirit, God – not in physicality – dawned upon her thought, and she experienced a complete healing. This remarkable occurrence instilled in her a deep desire to learn how the healing had taken place. She wrote: “Even to the homœopathic physician who attended me, and rejoiced in my recovery, I could not then explain the modus of my relief. I could only assure him that the divine Spirit had wrought the miracle – a miracle which later I found to be in perfect scientific accord with divine law” (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 24).
Mrs. Eddy went on to explain the divine Science behind Jesus’ healing works, the spiritual laws of God – laws which underlie our true, spiritual identity – and named it Christian Science. This Science reveals our constant relationship to God, our creator, as His very image, purely spiritual and infinitely good (see Genesis 1:26, 27). Mrs. Eddy saw that Jesus’ healings in the Gospels took place as a result of his knowledge of God as the Principle of the spiritual universe. An understanding of this spiritual truth, which we too can gain through study and prayer, brings healing today just as in Jesus’ time.
One night, when a painful headache was preventing me from getting to sleep, I had the opportunity to prove the healing power of Christian Science. I turned to God in prayer. The Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus gave us (see Matthew 6:9-13), and its spiritual interpretation, found on pages 16 and 17 of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy, came to my thought.
I started thinking deeply about this prayer, and Jesus’ words “Thy kingdom come,” along with their spiritual interpretation – “Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present” – really stood out to me. I acknowledged that God’s kingdom of harmony, which included me and everyone, was always present. Since God is All, His reign of harmony – His kingdom – could never be absent.
As I prayed, I suddenly became aware that the atmosphere of my thoughts had become very calm. I remembered Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees when they asked him when the kingdom of heaven should come: “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). The spiritual fact of my oneness with God as His spiritual offspring became clearer to me, and a wonderful sense of peace settled in. The pain melted away completely. I was healed, and fell peacefully asleep.
Christian Science reveals man’s dominion over sickness and inharmony, and the fact of our constant, 24/7 relation to God. It shows that our real identity is not that of a matter-based mortal, and helps us see the spiritual man of God’s creating, our true heritage. Understanding this truth of our individuality as God’s children, even a little bit, can bring healing, peace, and an abiding sense of God’s ever-presence.