Is love just a human emotion - or is there more to it than that?
Is there a connection between loving-kindness and finding healing, in all sorts of ways? Does love really have the power to restore happiness and peace to our lives?
International speaker, Mary Beattie, has spoken around the world on the transforming power of love. The local Christian Science church in Wollongong has sponsored Mary's online talk where she explores, 'How far can loving-kindness take us?' It's happening on Friday, May 29 at 8pm.
Mary is a practitioner of Christian Science healing, listed in the world-wide Journal of Healers, as well as a Teacher of Christian Science healing.
Mary says the many reports like that of New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, paying for the groceries of a mother in a supermarket checkout, when the mother had forgotten her wallet, are showing us something. When asked why Ardern did this, she replied, "Because she was a mum too."
In South Africa there was a report that school children were engaged in eco-projects to protect their local environment.
In Zimbabwe a cyclist engaged a friend with a truck and along with some mates they cleaned up rubbish that was repeatedly dumped alongside a road.
In NSW a farmer was gifted holiday accommodation by his community to give him and his family a much-needed break. These reports are showing us that there are simple acts of kindness going on all around us! And this was all pre-COVID-19 lockdown.
In Hugh Mackay, the social researcher and author's, recently published book, Beyond Belief (Pub. Macmillan 2016), a book about people's 'quest for meaning in a society that has lost its appetite for conventional religion', Mackay interviewed many Australians - doubters, sceptics, heretics, agnostics, Christians, Muslims, Hindus - people representing many different points of view on faith. One thing he found they all had in common was a 'spirit of loving-kindness'.
Beattie feels that the Christian Science perspective has something very relevant to offer this topical public conversation.
This is what she'll be exploring in her online talk, 'How far can loving-kindness take us?' To join this talk, register by visiting the Facebook site - Prayer Works Wollongong, or by phoning or texting for the access number on 0409 550 742.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we're seeing daily evidence of loving-kindness on news reports and on social media.
Love is a central theme of Christian Science, taking from the Bible the statement that 'God is love'. A central text, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures states, 'The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite love fill all space.' Then the author, Mary Baker Eddy, concludes, 'That is enough!'
Mary Baker Eddy, an American, from the latter part of 19th century founded the Christian Science Church. Centred in Boston USA, it has independently governed branches in 80 countries.
It remains a deeply thoughtful religion with its adherents characterised by commitment to individual spiritual progress through an intelligent understanding of God.
Mary Baker Eddy states in her major work, Science and Health, 'The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father's loving-kindness' linking knowledge of God and loving practice.
This ever-developing relationship with love, God, has resulted in physical healing and the adjustment of suffering circumstances. Some examples will be shared during the webinar, and many are available through the website christianscience.com.
A group of Christian Scientists meet regularly in Wollongong, providing in-person, online and phone-in services on the number 4227 6916.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the major work by Mary Baker Eddy, is available locally at the Christian Science Centre, where its services are also held, this is located at 10/110 Crown Street, Wollongong above the Post Office.
Free literature is always available in the basket near the entrance to the Wollongong Post Office to satisfy your curiosity or to help answer any questions that you may have.
Love, of course, is always free.