“Give us this day our daily bread” – Q&A #14

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

Question: Are we supposed to give up eating regular food for “spiritual food”?

Answer: No. As we have already learned, God gives us ideas. How these ideas appear to us, depends upon where our thinking is. So, we can gratefully acknowledge God as the source of all that is right and good for the life of mankind, no matter what form it seems to take. Mary Baker Eddy explains:

“The earth, at God’s command, brings forth food for man’s use. Knowing this, Jesus once said,
‘Take
no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink,’ — presuming not on the prerogative of his creator, but recognizing God, the Father and Mother of all, as able to feed and clothe man as He doth the lilies.” (S&H 530:6)

“Christ, Truth, gives mortals temporary food and clothing until the material, transformed with the ideal, disappears, and man is clothed and fed spiritually.”  (S&H 442:22-25)

It is important to know that just because Christian Science teaches that man is spiritual, and that spiritual ideas are our true daily bread, we do not stop eating food that our bodies need! Mrs. Eddy says that “it would be . . . foolish to stop eating until we gain perfection and a
clear comprehension of the living Spirit. In that perfect day of understanding, we shall neither eat to live nor live to eat.”  (S&H 388:26)

And elsewhere in the textbook, she writes: “I do not maintain that anyone can exist in the flesh without food and raiment; but I do believe that the real man is immortal and that he lives in Spirit, not matter.” (S&H 461:1-4)   

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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Bread #14

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