Neil H. Bowles, C.S.B., of Atlanta, Georgia
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Scientific, spiritual healing is reformative ó redeeming mankind from bondage and revealing Godís supremacy and all-power, Neil H. Bowles of Atlanta said in a public lecture here.
"Prayer, based on spiritual understanding of God, restores health and makes life really satisfying and meaningful," Mr. Bowles stated.
"It is ignorance of God and of the man of His creating that is the basic cause of sickness, poverty and strife."
The subject of his lecture was "Christian Science: Its Reforming and Healing Mission."
The world's greatest need, he said, is for spiritual thinkers.
"Were the world as advanced in the Science of God as it seems to be in technological achievements, the vast sums now being spent on instruments of destruction could be devoted to constructive uses for the betterment of mankind," he declared.
Mr. Bowles emphasized the vital importance for humanity of Christ Jesus' healing mission.
Through his understanding of God, he said, Jesus "turned the water into wine, stilled the tempest, and walked on the waves in defiance of the humanly conceived laws of nature, that he might convince them of the supremacy of spiritual law."
He said that Jesus' mission "was to present the true idea of God and man and to demonstrate the all-power of infinite Spirit, thus proving unreal the sufferings of the flesh."
Jesus always reformed the thinking of those he healed, he noted.
Present-day healings of cancer, stomach trouble, and other difficulties through the reforming power of prayer were described by the lecturer.
"One day a man I know," he related, "came into a practitioner's office and announced that he had been informed by a specialist that he was suffering from cancer.Ē
He described how the practitioner uncovered the fact that the man had been meeting his problems with bitterness and hatred, and then told how the practitioner prayed scientifically.
"He affirmed Godís allness and man's perfect spiritual selfhood in God," he said. "He affirmed the fatherhood of divine Love as the only true and perfect Cause. He denied the false claim that man was born under material laws of heredity. He declared man's true nature to be loving, like God's, and denied that man could inherit an unloving nature."
He added: "Then the patient was shown that he had something to do, and he did it. By rejecting hate and adopting Love; by rejecting self-righteousness and adopting the Mind that is God; by rejecting revenge and adopting forgiveness; by rejecting impatience and adopting patience, this man was completely and permanently healed."
Commenting on the various modes of human thought that are productive of sickness and disease, Mr. Bowles quoted the following from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy.
"The procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin. Disease is always induced by a false sense mentally entertained, not destroyed. Disease is an image of thought externalized. The mental state is called a material state. Whatever is cherished in mortal mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body."
He stressed the need of uncovering latent sickness-producing concepts and replacing them with spiritual thinking.
Prayer in Christian Science, he said, is a "search for lifeís true meaning and a willingness to find it in serving God and man."
A prayer of affirmation and denial, it "affirms God's glory and man's perfect sonship in God," he said, pointing out that it is not a vain repetition of words, for words of themselves do not heal.
"This spiritual knowing," he continued, "this identifying of man with God, lifts human consciousness high on the mount of spiritual understanding, from which he who prays intelligently reasons and argues the unreality of mortal error in all its forms."
He added that such "treatment or prayer operates as a divine influence, spiritualizing and harmonizing the human consciousness. Then the diseased body, the sick business, the unhappy home, or the strained relationships yield to what is governing human consciousness, and healing results."
In closing he emphasized that the reforming process of scientific prayer "restores health and leads the way to the understanding of Lifeís true meaning and substance."