Love is Life
Reprinted from The Christian Science Journal
Jesus demonstrated on the cross that life is made continuous and becomes indestructible when its quality is love. Not once only did he say, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." The tense used gives us to understand that he kept saying this beautiful prayer. Thus the bitterest form of error, pharisaic injustice and brutality, could not destroy his sense of nearness to Love; and so none of the efforts of error could destroy his life. The silence of peace is the right thing before the judge who is wrong, and Jesus had maintained this silence. To have answered would have involved the judge in worse injustice. He "held his peace," and in that sanctuary preserved his good will. His demonstration of love to the priests and soldiers, even when they were bringing about his crucifixion, portends eternal life, for such love could be manifested only as the reflection of divine Love. This attitude of meekness brings us into safety. We are safe if, like our great Example, we are "meek and lowly in heart." Why? Because then we know Love, which is life.
Whatever attempts to destroy love is a killing sin. That which is "a murderer from the beginning" shows its character in hatred. Love gives life, as may be understood through the healing work of Christian Science; and the effort of error is to prevent this work. The carnal mind, which is just "enmity against God," tries to perplex and annoy the healer, so that he may lose his sense of Love. Let him be wise in discerning this, lest he be led into any even transcient animosity to officious relatives, medical attendants, or others who fail to understand the ministry of metaphysical healing. It is but error seeking to divert from the patient the reflection in love of the Love divine.
Is there a field where there are not some complications? Does any earnest worker stand forth unharassed by envy? Does not every one discover that he has weak joints in his armor by shafts from the enemy that pierce through? How may we draw out the arrow that has pierced us and be healed of the wound, or shake off the viper of ingratitude, and "feel no hurt"? The various problems presented are but so many occasions for learning from Love, and for proving its life-giving power. How better can one rise above hatred than by needing to keep saying, "Love is the only reality and power," and to prove it by forgiving those who trespass against him not "until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." This means a forgiving spirit even when the unbrotherly brother does not come and say, "I repent," but continues his hostile action. The one consideration for us is the maintenance of unbroken connection with God.
It is in such discipline that one learns the healing power of Love, whose life-giving potency does not result in "mental healing," which may fade away, but in a new life, which cannot be lost. Human will-power may be used as a drug is used, and a temporary belief of health be produced; but no drug, mental or material, ever resulted in holiness. Health, wholeness, holiness, characterize the life of one who has learned love by forgiving enemies. His whole being reflects life-giving Love. He has obliterated in consciousness the malice that answers to malice; and so when hatred and injustice come, they find no answer in him; no resentment; no blow for blow; only and entirely love. Jesus reached the point where he said, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." What is this condition of love unalterable but the present understanding of eternal life?
— William P. McKenzie.
[This article, published as a tract by The Christian Science Publishing Society, was found pasted into the back of a copy of the 1907 pamphlet "The Ministry of Truth". Advertising at the bottom of the tract includes an offer for The Christian Science Monitor (first published in 1908), and it was advertised in Vol. 27 of The Christian Science Journal (1909-1910); thus it was issued at some time between 1908 and 1910. The original article was published in The Christian Science Journal, June 1899.]