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The revelation of Truth in the understanding came to me gradually and apparently through divine power. (Science and Health page 109)

This passage from Mary Baker Eddy (and in this week’s Bible lesson) is known by many but often misunderstood. Sometimes it is read to sound like the author is saying “The revelation of Truth in the understanding came to me…” slowly, delayed, and maybe “…through divine power.”

Her use of the two words, “gradually” and “apparently” as they were used in her time, reveals quite a different meaning:

“Gradual” means proceeding by degrees, advancing step-by-step.

“Apparent” indicates something that is evident, become clearer or gaining clarity.

This doesn’t just explain what happened to Eddy, but it says a lot about how inspiration from God comes to us. Rather than something fleeting and rare, Christian Science is about God constantly imparting His good to us. And we have a divine right to hear it and feel it!

Here are a few ideas that help me:

  • Keep in mind that God is never withholding from you. His love is always with you. It is world thought that would try to separate you from Him. It is a constant mesmeric suggestion that would mask His voice. Don’t blame God!
  • Stop reacting to what is wrong around you. That just makes it harder to feel God’s peace. At a season when emotions and relationships can get so tense, it’s really important to be looking upward to His peace rather than looking downward and reacting to it all.
  • Stop the binge reading! Christian Scientists tend to do too much reading and too little praying; too much looking under every rock and not enough finding the divine Word that’s right in front of you. For example, read the whole Bible lesson, but then find one statement and pray about it, wrestle with it, focus on it, stay with it, until you feel the Father’s healing touch.

Remember, it’s gradual and apparent. God’s love is felt through spiritual understanding, coming to you all the time, clearer and closer.


14 Responses to “God’s love comes gradually and apparently”

  1. Cynthia Howland says:

    Just the clarification I have been looking for to be able to read correctly from the desk!
    Thanks very much.

  2. Loral says:

    I have been noticing what you said more and more and it has been bringing me closer to understanding my relationship with God. It’s all good and definitely brings peace . Thanks. Loral

  3. Farida says:

    Thank you for this blog. It met my need beautifully. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  4. George Chaplin says:

    Thanks Phil. I’m so grateful for the way in which Love’s presence is very apparent when it’s particularly needed to encourage us to go forward. Our perfect Teacher! Your quoted passage from the lesson stood out for me this week so it was good to get your thoughts on it.

  5. Allen says:

    I am so grateful for the thoughts shared in your recent communications. Instead of being impressed by material sense, I am in awe of God’s love and support for me and everyone who is His child and cannot never separated from His love and support. I am learning how and why to love myself and others spiritually and understand how God sees the situation. I have been more peaceful and calm and able to grow in my spiritual perception of my experience. And now I know that I can have the expectation of good which will become apparent gradually when I remember to be humble, to listen, to hear and respond obediently only as God directs and guides me.

    Thank you for this wonderful unfoldment this holiday season.

  6. nela says:

    Wow!!! Thanks sooo much, Phil. (My comment is long; but, I am sooo inspired by what you’ve shared here!) I’ve learned that reading the Lesson is less about the letter and more about practicing the healing Spirit behind the letter. RE: “read the whole Bible lesson, but then find one statement and pray about it, wrestle with it, focus on it, stay with it, until you feel the Father’s healing touch.” Yes!!! It’s really working for me, as I employ it in my daily human experiences, to challenge/overcome/annihilate “every ill that flesh is heir to” and earnestly explore being a “joint-heir with Christ,” as He has called us. In this week’s lesson, that “one statement” (spiritual fact to be applied for purposes of growing spiritually and subsequently, growing our healing ministries), has been, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). One way I see it as the universal law of Divine Love, upon which Christian Science healing is founded. As “the baby” grew into manhood, He said “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt 22:37-49). As I practice this, my expectation, witness, and expression of Divine Love is growing, deepening, widening, as I ever-more-frequently and immediately, ask myself, “How do I glorify God in the highest, right now?” and answer, by thinking, speaking, and behaving with “good will” to all (no “if” clause in “Love one another!”; no excuses for NOT applying the Golden Rule at “all” times, as my “all” keeps growing ;-). Un-Christlike ways are falling away, as I insist on following the Christ more closely. And I keep “taking” that “one statement” with me, beyond “this week’s Lesson!” 😉 Thanks again, Phil.

  7. Joan Hamlin-Chapin says:

    Thank you, Phil, for those wise and comforting words. I tend to think of myself as a seeker, reading volumes and always looking for a new clue into the healing process. You have spoke the truth in volumes. Working with the truth not seeking it is the answer. Even in my prayer work I try to encompass volumes of what is true about God. I know that you are right and that it comes from within us always…the ever present angel thoughts that bless and heal.
    May the new year find you with all blessedness and goodness and for your family also.
    Your Maine friend,
    Joan Hamlin-Chapin

    • Phil says:

      Thanks Joan. As I said in my blog, it isn’t that we shouldn’t be reading and reading thoroughly. It is the proclivity to think that the reading of words or listening to words will help us, or that the words themselves will bring spirituality and healing. It is the IDEAS from the words that bring spiritual growth and healing, not the quantity of our reading. Too many “seekers” today are reading “volumes” and all too often, contained in those volumes, is material that strays from genuine Christian Science. Without the careful pondering of what we are reading we can’t discriminate between what is good for us and what separates us from the “pure stuff.” So, that’s why I recommend doing without the binge reading and far more pondering of each sentence or paragraph.