Robert Peel, “Mary Baker Eddy and The Christian Science Monitor,” The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, July 24, 1977.

From a talk delivered to the staff of The Christian Science Monitor in the original edifice of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, on July 24, 1977:

“…So [the Monitor’s founding] was something, obviously, to which she gave a vast amount of thought and which to her was an extraordinarily important part of what she was doing.

“You all know the story about the first issue of the Monitor. It came after only four months of preparation. An amazing miracle to put the whole thing together in just four months. How Mrs. Eddy looked out and said, ‘This is the brightest moment. This is the day our Monitor goes forth to lighten the world.’

“Then there’s the other statement that has been question but which has also been at least verbally supported by several people who were in the household, she said at one point that starting the Monitor was the most important single step she had take since writing Science and Health. You see, the building of the church itself, the forming of the church organization, the writing of the Manual, was not a single step, it was a series of steps, whereas here was a single, decisive step. And the more I looked into that, the more it seems to me very probable that she did make that statement.

“If she had passed on in 1908, her followers would have said, “Well, her work was complete.” The church was in its present form, the Manual in essentially its present form, [from all conventional considerations] her work was completed and that was that. But it wouldn’t have been complete, because that vital link which meant an outreaching to the world in all its heterogeneousness, all its secular variety and challenge, all the enormity of the world and what it constituted, demanded something. Demanded direct confrontation, in a way….

“Think how easy it would have been for some very good Christian Scientists, some busy practitioners for instance, to say, ‘Well, I have a great stream of patients, I’m healing all the time, I’m giving my whole attention to that essential work, and I just can’t be troubled with what’s going on in the world at large.’ But from the moment Mrs. Eddy started the Monitor, whether every Christian Scientist did subscribe for and read it or not, it stood as a challenge to that sort of thinking. Its very existence says to them: “No, this is your job, this is your world. Don’t think you can stand in metaphysical isolation from it. You are involved in its rescue, each one of you. These are topics that touch you not just in little personal ways. They are topics that demand your deepest concern, your clearest thinking.” Now that in itself is a tremendous thing….”

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