Monthly Archives: January 2012

Actually, I do rely on God for good health

 

Published on Concord Monitor (http://www.concordmonitor.com)

MY TURN
Actually, I do rely on God for good health
Spiritual healing works; I’ve seen it
By Cathy Ann Horn / For the Monitor
January 29, 2012

God is my health insurance” got my attention. You see, I have no health insurance because God is my health assurance after being healed of cancer three times in my life through spiritual prayer. So you can understand why the headline on Dr. James Fieseher’s Jan. 21 column on the Monitor Opinion page caught my eye.

Fieseher, a Portsmouth physician, wrote that “we can’t afford to replace ‘Obamacare’ with no care at all,” suggesting that we would otherwise be left saying, “God is my health insurance.” He expressed compassion for the millions of Americans who are struggling or unable to afford health insurance, let alone the cost of medication, hospital stays and doctors’ fees, but his column didn’t convey what I had hoped. I thought it might really be about the virtue of relying on God for our health and well-being.

My decision to rely solely on God began with my experience at age 15 when I was diagnosed with terminal cancer by Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic and given just two years to live. My father, an orthopedic surgeon, and my mother, a registered nurse, received word that a hysterectomy would have to be performed to save my life. In the operating room my father, who was in attendance, at the last moment blurted out, “Leave her plumbing in and just remove the tumor!”

The prognosis was that that would not be enough, so my mother, who was also an associate to an order of Episcopalian nuns, had nuns from convents across the country praying for me for two years until I was declared to be in full remission. Thanks to my father’s last-minute decision during the surgery, I was able to have two children later in life. This experience inspired me to pursue a course of study in spiritual healing and alternative healing techniques.

The second episode of a mass in my uterus was healed instantaneously in 1983 through spiritual healing in New York City witnessed by several people in a private home.

Eventually I opened my own healing center here in New Hampshire and obtained national certification as a licensed massage therapist in order to practice “hands-on healing.” Although healing was experienced by others who came for help, I knew something was missing in my understanding of the healing process, so I prayed to God to lead me to whatever teaching was necessary.

I was led to Christian Science. I did not know anything about it but began to study it earnestly.

The third diagnosis came just a few years ago: leukemia. This time, without a doubt, I knew exactly how to handle it and did not for a moment consider anything but healing through Christian Science treatment.

Gratitude for every healing I’ve experienced and a desire to help others inspired my decision to dedicate my life’s work in Christian Science as a practitioner and Christian Science nurse.

The Good Samaritan in Fieseher’s column said, “God is my health insurance” and explained, “I pray that I won’t get sick.”

That is not what I have come to understand is the most effective healing technique after 41 years of study and success in healing. It is not a human plea with the Creator to “please don’t let me get sick” or “please heal me.” It is the understanding and conviction according to biblical teachings expounded upon by Mary Baker Eddy in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, that healing takes place as we acknowledge the true essence of our being as spiritual – not material – and held in perfect health always. It is the belief that we could ever be otherwise that eventually is manifested in the body in various conditions or diseases.

Most people these days have trouble hearing and taking in this spiritual truth. We have been educated to believe in a matter-based philosophy with matter-based medicine and physical intervention techniques as the only “reasonable” course of action. I, for one, grew up on it until my life journey brought challenges and experiences that began to convince me otherwise.

Even cellular biologists, such as Dr. Bruce Lipton, and quantum physicists in their latest and best research confirm that our bodies can be changed through retraining our thinking. However, it is not just positive thinking that has the most profound and lasting healing effect – it is the more than 2,000-year-old teaching that we already have perfect health. It is just our beliefs and misperceptions that need to change in order to see a change manifested in our experience.

Ask the countless individuals who have experienced healing through spiritual prayer alone if they would give up the freedom and simplicity of spiritual healing and choose to spend a large portion of their income on health insurance and resort to hospital visits, surgeries and physicians fees in order to heal. The answer is simple. Of course not.

Friends, acquaintances, sometimes even the attending physician, have often recommended to patients under medical care who were told “there’s nothing more we can do for you” that they turn to Christian Science as a “last resort.”

There are verified cases of complete healing of such patients and every Wednesday night in Christian Science churches across the world people share their healing stories.

So, Dr. Fieseher, you are right when you say we can’t afford no care at all. We can’t put our heads in the sand and use human will alone to affirm that we are well. We can’t ignore what plagues us morally and spiritually because it will eventually manifest in various ailments in our bodies, like cancer. But we can absolutely, unequivocally rely on God as our health assurance.

Let us as a community of concerned, compassionate health-care workers share our knowledge and experience and help those in need who are ready to try an alternative – one that has a lasting impact not just physically but, more important, morally and spiritually.

(Cathy Ann Horn of Gilford is a practitioner and private duty Christian Science nurse working in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.)

“I have a vision”

Martin Luther King Jr. had more than a dream. It was a spiritual vision of true tolerance and freedom without prejudice or discrimination that’s still unfolding. Dr. King preached nonviolent truths that inspire and work to promote peace with fairness and justice. These are time tested Christian truths that heal. King demonstrated the sacrifice of unconditional love that ultimately heals all impositions.

This includes the healing of religious and health impositions. The recent US Supreme Court ruling in favor of a religious organization’s discretion to hire and fire shows that religious freedom is still respected. We’ve seen such respect in our work in the New Hampshire legislature. The result has been many religious accommodations for the responsible practice of religion.

There has been progress with society’s acceptance of alternative care, including spiritual care, yet more work is needed. Some hospitals are providing alternative care because patients are asking for it. But only a fraction of alternative care is covered by insurance companies. Most is paid out of pocket. If the Supreme Court is going to uphold the PPACA mandate of insurance coverage, then the essential benefits should include alternative and spiritual care, including Christian Science nursing and treatment.

We can all be inspired by Dr. King’s vision of freedom and love for our neighbor. The universal and impartial love of God can be seen and lived in legislatures, churches, and homes. Over the years my wife and I have striven to practice cultural diversity with multifaith work in New Hampshire. About 25 years ago we lived in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. While there we did an interracial infant adoption. The infant’s mother changed her mind and decided to keep her baby. We eventually had a child of our own.

A few years ago, while our daughter was still in high school, my wife and I went through the New Hampshire Foster Care licensing program. We have fostered a number of children in need of a stable home. This work involves working with the parents too, even if they are in prison. One child was recently returned to his family. This was New Hampshire’s only successful reunification the social worker had seen in the past decade. The reconciliation came about through the realization that God’s patience and love needs to be understood and demonstrated.

The Christian Science Monitor recently published Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech along with a dozen of his timeless sayings: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0118/Ten-Martin-Luther-King-Jr.-quotes

• Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.

• I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. –Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Dec. 10, 1964

• Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.

• Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

• I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.

• When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.

• Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. –letter from Birmingham jail, April 16, 1963

• The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers. –”Strength to Love”

• I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.

• The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. –”Strength to Love”

“I have a dream” speech
Address at March on Washington, Aug. 28, 1963

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But 100 years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”