From darkness to light

Today’s contributor recalls a Christmas when the light of God’s pure love broke through mental darkness, freeing her from a deep sense of anguish and hopelessness.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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As the much-loved Christmas account goes, a radiant star flickered persistently in the deep shade of night to guide the wise men to the baby Jesus.

We all need a guiding light when we find ourselves in a dark place, and Christian Science has shown me that we have one. It explains how turning to God in prayer can open us to the divine light of understanding that shows what God is and does for us. This spiritual light or divine enlightenment is the Christ, or Truth, that heals.

One Christmas I experienced the healing power of this guiding star – of God’s light of pure love leading to hope and healing. It was shortly after my first husband had passed on, and the weight of grief and deep sadness enveloped me. My future felt bleak and meaningless.

As midnight approached on Christmas Eve, I reached out with the deepest heartfelt longing for God to show me how to go forward. As I did, I felt the impetus to become completely still. In total silence I listened inwardly for a response. In this mental stillness, a shift occurred. Instead of pleading for help, I felt as if I was being filled with the spiritual light of divine Truth.

Christian Science also teaches that Truth, God, is divine Mind, the only true Mind of each of us, God’s spiritual creation. This Mind reflects in its creation all true thought, and God’s thoughts don’t include anguish and pain. Jeremiah, a Bible figure who glimpsed something of this, wrote, as The Jewish Publication Society’s 1917 version of the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, puts it, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

As I considered these ideas in prayer, I realized that Mind, God, doesn’t fret and fear for me or any of His children. He already knows and gives each of us what is necessary for us to thrive.

Acknowledging God’s “thoughts of peace” toward me, I saw a future of good – of great possibilities of a new life full of love and fresh opportunities, because God is expressing His goodness in all His spiritual offspring, at every moment. I knew I could trust God to lead me forward, and I fell into a peaceful sleep. Upon waking on Christmas morning, I felt a clear sense of God’s love and guidance. The mental darkness was gone and didn’t return. I was healed.

In a Christmas message, Mary Baker Eddy, discoverer of Christian Science and founder of the Monitor, wrote, “The star that looked lovingly down on the manger of our Lord, lends its resplendent light to this hour: the light of Truth, to cheer, guide, and bless man as he reaches forth for the infant idea of divine perfection dawning upon human imperfection, – that calms man’s fears, bears his burdens, beckons him on to Truth and Love and the sweet immunity these bring from sin, sickness, and death” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 320).

The radiant beams of divine Mind, God, are ever with us, bearing the good news that darkness has no real power to displace or repel the divine light of God’s goodness. May this guiding star light your way to peace and healing this Christmas season.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.