Be a fact-checker

Learning more about God’s nature and our relation to the Divine enables us to prove the spiritual fact of God’s goodness, which brings about healing.

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My first job after college was fact-checking in the copy-editing department of a women’s magazine. I had to verify that the dates, addresses, names, and events in each article were correct. These facts were often crucial to the substance of a story.

Facts are even more important in a science, such as astronomy or geology. And to take it even further, the Science of Christianity, discovered by a 19th-century seeker of truth, Mary Baker Eddy, includes what she calls “the spiritual facts of being” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 312).

One day I was fascinated to discover in Mrs. Eddy’s writings the phrase “the great fact.” In her major work, Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy says, in instructing her readers how to heal, “Insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him” (p. 421).

In the same chapter, she writes, “The great fact that God lovingly governs all, never punishing aught but sin, is your standpoint, from which to advance and destroy the human fear of sickness” (p. 412).

To me, the phrase “the great fact,” which appears numerous times in Mrs. Eddy’s writings, serves as a kind of spotlight to alert the reader to truths basic to this Science and crucial to demonstrating it in healing. This term often references the nature of God as the one and only Being, omnipotent and omnipresent.

Mrs. Eddy also shares great facts about man – everyone’s true identity. For example, “The great spiritual fact must be brought out that man is, not shall be, perfect and immortal” (Science and Health, p. 428). How reassuring that the concept of man’s spiritual perfection is not a theory but a reality that we can discern through our God-given spiritual sense.

This is the wonderful thing about the truths of spiritual being articulated in Christian Science. They are not philosophical abstractions but provable facts. They form a basis for earnest prayers to our loving Father-Mother God and are manifested in harmonious human circumstances as we let the active presence of God, good, assert itself in our thoughts. Based on the fact of God’s nature as infinite good, effective prayer challenges the reality of any opposition to good and emphasizes the pervasiveness, activity, and preeminence of good.

These metaphysical facts articulate grand verities prominent in the Bible, such as “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39). Understanding these primal and immortal facts can bring healing.

While doing housework one day, I made an abrupt move that caused immediate discomfort in my lower back. Every time I sat down, lay down, or stood up, there was an intense muscle spasm.

When I requested prayerful help from a Christian Science practitioner, she replied, “That spasm is not telling you one fact about yourself.” She pointed out that healing consists of revealing our already-existing, God-endowed perfection. God, good, is infinite, and therefore evil can’t claim to have power. I saw that when conscious of good, I can’t be conscious of evil.

Over the next several days I devoted myself to maintaining these spiritual facts in thought. Deepening my study and prayer, I found this idea to be especially meaningful: “The scientific sense of being ... undermines the foundations of mortality, of physical law, breaks their chains, and sets the captive free, opening the doors for them that are bound” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 101). In two weeks, I was released from the “chains” I’d been experiencing – the feeling of injury – and once again enjoyed painless, wide-ranging freedom of movement.

Only once during the next 25 years did I experience anything wrong with my back, and that time, too, the problem was quickly healed.

Each of us can be a fact-checker and check out the great facts found in the Bible and Science and Health – the demonstrable truths of God and His beloved creation. Pondering and treasuring them brings about healing views of our thoroughly spiritual, all-harmonious being.

Adapted from an article published in the Nov. 15, 2021, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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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.

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