My daughter and I were going through a difficult time, often getting cross with each other. I realized this pattern had to stop, so I turned to God for guidance. His direction came immediately in the form of two phrases from the Bible: ''Hallowed be thy name,'' n1 from the Lord's Prayer; and ''My soul doth magnify the Lord,'' n2 the opening words of Mary's song of thanksgiving. As I pondered these ideas, it became clear how they applied to this particular difficulty.
n1 Matthew 6:9.
n2 Luke 1:46.
My study of the Bible and of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy,3 was revealing a clearer picture of God's nature. I was coming to understand Him as omnipresent, omnipotent Spirit. I was seeing, as the Bible shows, that He is supremely good, and the source of all good qualities, which are infinitely varied and unlimited. It is this spiritual nature that we hallow and to which we consecrate our thoughts and lives. It is the blessedness of God's infinite goodness we magnify and praise.
n3 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
The Bible also teaches us to understand man as made in God's likeness. Because God is the only true cause, the one creator, whom the Scriptures instruct us to worship, man is His offspring, His perfect image. This means that man expresses God's nature, which includes all those good qualities such as joy, beauty, health, love. Just as we hallow and magnify such qualities in relation to God, we also need to gratefully praise them as expressed by man. When we do this, we're following our Way-shower, Christ Jesus, for it was his understanding not only of God but of man's perfect, spiritual nature as God's likeness that enabled him to heal others.
As I realized that I must extend my love for God to include His creation, I began to see opportunities opening up. I found it natural to hallow and magnify the easily recognizable Godlike qualities my daughter expresses. As I actively did this, the friction eased and our happy relationship was restored. But I also saw the necessity for applying this lesson more widely. About this time young people were rioting in various English cities. Here was an opportunity to magnify the Godlike qualities that characterize the actual spiritual selfhood of these people; to hold fast to this sacred reality and not be tempted to indulge in self-righteous condemnation or become despondent and ruminate pointlessly on possible causes of the rioting.
Certainly we need to face up to such troubles and their apparent causes and to condemn evil. But at the same time we need to view our fellowman with deep compassion. We'll be of the greatest service to humanity as we're loyal to the true concept of man and recognize the actual nature of our fellow beings. Every time we look at the news, we're called upon to glorify this truth, and to be truly Christian we need to respond. As part of her answer to the question ''What is man?'' Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health: ''Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy.'' n4
n4 Science and Health, pp. 476-477.
By honoring this perfect spiritual creation, our love for God becomes more complete. This is a Christly mission in which all may participate. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. Psalms 69:30