Monday, May 07, 2007

Q: Praying for those who have passed

new picture, how do you like it?

Dennis’s follow-up question to Friday’s post moved me as well:

Can we pray for those who have passed on, seeing them as in God's love and care?

I think this is a great question—it really touches on the nature of reality.

Christian Science has taught me that death is not an end to the individual. I believe that the thing that makes us who we are, our consciousness, continues after the material body that housed us dies. I also believe that consciousness is the emanation of the one divine Mind, which unifies all creation in its play of ideas. We are one in Mind.

So therefore, yes, I believe we can and should pray for those who have gone through the transition we call death. By “pray” in this instance, I mean what Dennis is implying—holding them in thought as one with God’s love and care. We may not be able to do what we’re often tempted to do here in this experience, which is to pray for a specific outcome for them, since we don’t know specifically what’s going on with them. But we can know their completeness, our completeness, our continuing relationship with them in Mind, and that universal harmony is theirs where they are now as it was when they were here with us.

I remember an article once from the Christian Science Sentinel, by a woman who lost her mother. She worried that her mother might be lonely and afraid on the other side, perhaps confused and disoriented. So she prayed to know that all was well with her mother. She received a lovely influx of inspiration that comforted her, and helped her get over her own grief. (Sorry to not remember any more details, this was many years ago.)

I’ve done something similar since reading that article whenever I hear of someone’s passing. I acknowledge that they are moving along in harmony with creation and that they have all the love and comfort they need. I place them in the realm of light, knowing that they now know more than I do—they know for a fact that death is not real. Even the most hard-bitten or troubled learn this one great fact when they cross over, and I can only imagine the impact this has on their understanding of reality.

I also have to say that it’s my conviction that we will see each other again and will then be able to compare notes on our progress. I’ve got some special stories saved up for my grandma, I can tell you.

I heard this at an association address last year: “Death is not the experience of the individual, but the verdict of the onlooker.” We can also pray to have our own verdicts be more accurate, relying on spiritual sense testimony about the loved one rather than what the physical senses are telling us.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 5/07/2007 12:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laura - I think this is one of the best descriptions of what CS says about "death" that I have ever seen!

At 5/07/2007 02:46:00 PM, Blogger Kim said...

I love your sequence of blogs:
praying for those who have passed; we never lose anything; divine law of mourning and comforting; and never cut off.

These have been an inspiration!! Thx so much for posting!
(Plus - love your new photo)

At 5/07/2007 08:53:00 PM, Anonymous Heather said...

** “Death is not the experience of the individual, but the verdict of the onlooker.” **

That's a really neat quote, because I've lately been contemplating what death is like to the one who is dying. To us, we would experience the death for the person because the person is no longer physically here. But the person who is dying can't really experience death -- as in an end to their true life. They just experience 'dying,' and then when it's over, realize that Life continues.


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