Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
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I regard it as a violation of Christian teaching as well as of science and reason. Those good people who take it up so enthusiastically have not lost their attachment to a vague Christian sentiment, but they have lost their grip on the fundamental truths of Christianity, and have no real idea of science and the demands of logic. Mrs. Eddy, the accepted prophetess who gave this new religion to the world in 1875, denied that Jesus is the Eternal Son of God made man. Mr. H. A. L. Fisher, Warden of New College, Oxford, is right when he says that "for the Christian Scientist, a brilliant pioneer in drugless healing has taken the place of the suffering Figure on the Cross." The whole religion depends on faith in Mrs. Eddy as a substitute for faith in Christ. As for science, when a woman rules out anatomy and physiology on the score that they suppose matter, and that matter is unreal and non-existent, she stands condemned as the very embodiment of the unscientific. And the system is absurd, because the absurd violates reason and logic. Mrs. Eddy tells us that "matter is an erroneous belief of mortal mind." Then she declares that "mortal mind is nothing." How nothing can begin thinking, and produce a real thought, even though it be an erroneous thought, is beyond all comprehension. Page after page of her book "Science and Health" is filled with similar nonsense. It simply doesn't make sense. And it is an insult to the God of Truth to assert that such a religion is His responsibility. The only excuse for good and sincere people who take up Christian Science is that they are incapable of logical thought, and do not understand Sacred Scripture.
It is based on the unchristian and unscientific nonsense written by Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, and falsely ascribed by her to the Bible.
Had He intended that, you can be quite sure that all His followers would have possessed the power. For Christ, being God, could undoubtedly accomplish His designs. The fact, therefore, that not all His followers have possessed the power is indication enough that such was not His intention. Any explanation which does not fit in with the known facts must be rejected. But, in reality, there is not a text in the New Testament which implies such a continued power to be manifest in all followers of Christ. He came to save men from sin, and to induce them to live holy lives. He did not come to bestow upon all men the powers of miracles. Holiness does not consist in doing startling things, or in seeking an escape from the cross of suffering.
Jesus had just told the Apostles that He would soon leave them, but He consoled them by saying that He was going to the Father whose work He had come to accomplish, and who would continue to work through them in their task of establishing the Church He had inaugurated. And He promises that the power of God will not be less evident in their work than in His. But there is no suggestion whatever that the special providence watching over the initial stages of the Church would continue to operate always and in the same way through all generations. And, as I have said, the facts themselves exclude the possibility of such having been the intention of Christ.
The signs He mentioned did follow the first believers in Jesus, being verified now in this individual, now in that. And they contributed greatly to the solid establishing and rapid expansion of the infant Christian Church. But it is going far beyond anything contained in the text to suggest that such signs were meant always to follow all believers in all ages, so that they should be a permanent feature in the lives of all who profess the Christian religion. Moreover, once more, the facts of history exclude such an interpretation.
Those words occur in the midst of a passage describing the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. Immediately prior to them, St. James declares that the priests of the Church should anoint the sick with oil in the name of the Lord. And he adds that, if the sick man be in sin, his sins will be forgiven him. There is no reference to an infallible and ever-ready panacea for all temporal ills. The idea of holding out the recovery of bodily health as a bribe to attract recruits is utterly foreign to the religion of Christ Who said, "If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." Matt. XVI., 24. Christian Science, with its impression that Christ came to the world primarily to heal the sick, labors under a complete misconception of the nature of His life-work on behalf of humanity. Jesus came to teach us to avoid sin and all moral evil, and to practice virtue in the midst of the trials of this life. And He died on the Cross to expiate our sins, and to make a heavenly and eternal destiny possible to us as the result of our efforts to serve Him.
Suffering has ever been a problem to man. Deeply sensitive to this problem, some people have cried out that there is no God. But that does not better things.They have their sufferings just the same, and merely forfeit the one source of consolation. As G. K. Chesterton remarks, "These people say: Grin and bear it like a Stoic. But the trouble is that if you bear it like a Stoic, you don't grin." Other people, religiously-minded, insist that there is a God, but deny that there is any real suffering. Thus the Christian Scientist will tell you that suffering is unreal, a mental mistake. You wrongly think you are suffering, and if only you decide to think that you are not suffering, you won't suffer. But this fantastic solution does not solve the problem. It merely violates common sense, leaves people suffering just the same, and dries up the wellsprings of human sympathy. Compassion is necessarily lessened by a mental contempt for those we do not believe to be really suffering at all, but who have merely given way to a weakness of mind. It is hard to respect one whom we think to be a sham. On the other hand, Catholics deny neither God nor suffering. They say that a genuine love of God will give peace in the midst of suffering, and that this alone can do so. Genuine love of God always means happiness. It does not always mean pleasure. It is as much at home with pain as it is with pleasure, for it proves itself by self-sacrifice. Catholics see the love of Christ choosing such intense suffering for them on the Cross, and their love of Him makes them glad to share in suffering, blending their pain with His. And that gives the peace of Christ in their souls, a peace the world can neither give nor take away from them. And it is this attitude which gives the power to communicate peace to others.