Our testimony meetings are a wonderful opportunity for us to come together in our gratitude...gratitude for Christian Science, for Mrs. Eddy who gave us this “pearl of great price”, for Christ Jesus, the Master Christian, and for Christian Science churches throughout the world, whose members are working and praying in their communities, and letting their light shine.
Mrs. Eddy writes in the Manual of The Mother Church, “Gratitude and love should abide in every heart each day of all the years”.
I recently came across an article which highlights the importance of gratitude. The article is entitled THANKSGIVING, and it’s in the November 22, 1993, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel. If I may, I’d like to share an extract from the article...and I quote:
“How wonderful it is to recognise the constant flow of gratitude that comes as we let divine Love gently feed, nourish, and sustain us. Gratitude purifies every aspect of our living because it is the recognition of constant good as the only true fact of life. Making the effort to be grateful opens us up to the healing power of infinite Love. How can this be true?
There is an instructive little fable on this subject, which speaks of the “devil’s auction”. At one time, the devil was said to be going
out of business. His tools would be for sale to anyone who would pay the price. On the night of the sale, they were all displayed – malice, envy, hatred, jealousy, sensualism, deceit, and all the other implements of evil. Separate from the rest lay a harmless-looking, wedge-shaped tool. It was much worn and priced higher than any of the others.
When someone asked the devil what it was, he said, “That’s discouragement”.
“Well, why do you have it priced so high?”
“Because,” answered the devil, “it is more useful to me than any of the others because I can pry open and get inside a man’s thought with that when I couldn’t touch him in any other way. It is so worn because I use it with nearly everyone, as very few people yet know that it belongs to me”.
“Is there anyone on whom you can’t use it?”
The devil hesitated a long time and finally said in a low voice, “I can’t use it in a grateful heart”.
At the sale, the devil’s price for discouragement was so high that it was never sold. The fable concludes: he still owns it, and he is still using it!
How wonderful to know our impregnable defence against discouragement is a grateful heart! Gratitude defeats discouragement because it disarms the devil of this much-used tool; light and darkness simply cannot dwell together.” (End of quote).
A line from a much-loved hymn puts it beautifully: “A grateful heart a garden is, where there is always room for every lovely, Godlike grace to come to perfect bloom”.
When thinking about gratitude, and being grateful, a line from a much-loved hymn came to thought: "Gratitude is riches, complaint is poverty" (hymn 249). While pondering this idea, I saw an article in the November Journal, entitled: "Gratitude: a not-to-be-missed spiritual feast". One sentence reads: "Gratitude is a kind of prayer, which keeps us in conversation with God, good". An excellent article with Thanksgiving in mind! You can read the article by clicking on the 'Read the original article click here' top left
One thing I learned years ago when things weren’t going to well for me was that if I acknowledged ,with gratitude ,all the good I saw going on in others’ lives, it opened the door of my thinking to see that good is everywhere and ever-present. I used to take gratitude walks every Saturday morning just to acknowledge any good I saw anywhere for me or others. It brought me so much joy and the wonderful thing was , it opened the floodgates of good that then poured into my experience not long after. Gratitude for me means rejoicing that only good is going on right now, right here for all.
I am so grateful to have been able to use this poem over the past months, as a prayer, while I have been caring for my husband. Some nights the human situation has been challenging but declaring the two lines 'Divine Love holds me tight; safe in the Mind of God I rest' has brought comfort and a promise of 'the gift of a brand-new day.'
Christian Science Sentinel Jan 28th 2022
Night prayer Anne Holway Higgins
Through the journey of the night
I am not alone.
Divine Love holds me tight;
safe in the Mind of God I rest.
And with the dawn’s first light,
in gratitude I wake
and celebrate the gift of a brand-new day!
Well that was fun! Thought I’d do a bit of study around gratitude in the Bible and S+H. Below is what God gave me!
A certain woman cried.
Her husband was dead,
She had no money,
Her sons were taken away.
“What hast thou in the house?”
“Thine handmaid has not anything
… save a pot of oil.”
She borrowed empty vessels,
And they were filled!
She acknowledged present good.
God’s abundance over-flowed!
“What hast thou in the house?”
Appreciate each new day.
Rejoice that God gave life,
To you and those you love.
“What has thou in the house?”
Recognise the truth of God’s supply.
Your vessels will be filled,
Your oil will bless mankind.
As we focus on the subject of gratitude, I was interested to read a short article in one of our national newspapers (Nov 2) which was published under the heading COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. At this time of Thanksgiving, it is heartening to see the media focusing on such a positive subject! The article included these comments:
"Last thing at night, write down three things for which you feel grateful. There is solid science that getting into the habit of being regularly grateful can make you feel happier...
"Think about three things for which you can be grateful for that day," recommends Fuschia Sirols, a psychology professor at Durham University who specialises in investigating gratitude and its role in health. "Perhaps someone has acted kindly towards you, or you managed to get outside and enjoy the fresh air." The aim is to develop what she calls a "grateful mindset".
"Gratitude opens up your perspective, allowing you to appreciate the positive instead of focusing on your worries," she says. In her studies, patients with health conditions who spent three weeks counting their blessings reported significant health improvements...
Reading this article, I was reminded of a verse from hymn 146 in the Christian Science Hymnal:
"In God I find a precious gift
that knows no fear, no feud,
that glows so still, serene and pure:
the gift of gratitude".
My gratitude this year is for a heightened sense of imperturbability at the deepening crises around the world.
I am quicker to direct my thought below the news media and its distressing pictures knowing there is only one power - God good which is all-present and infinite.
Also, when praying for the Reading Room I’ve been grateful to see more quickly and consistently that the community is not ‘out there’ separate from the church … with ‘us’ trying to reach them! The community is already HERE embraced and loved within this structure of Truth and Love.
AUGUST 27, 2021 CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SENTINEL
Grateful heart Kristin Wilkinson
You are a grateful heart
filled with love for all.
If you listen carefully,
you can hear God’s loving call.
You are created
as God’s perfect image.
His reflection never wavers,
and you can never fall.
God lifts you out of darkness.
Your path is paved with light.
Your heavenly Father-Mother
keeps you, holds you tight.
God governs His idea, you,
and is always at your side,
to help you on your journey,
your ever-present guide.
Divine Love leads the way
out of fear and sorrow
and gives to you the promise
of a radiant tomorrow.