New Thought Editorials > The Prospering Power of Love

 

Autumn 2010

The Prospering Power of Love

Staring at Catherine Ponder’s five-foot shelf of books, I decided to borrow one of her titles, because it unites several important New Thought concepts. Certainly we all want to prosper, with prosperity defined the Edwene Gaines way as "peace of mind, health of body, harmonious relationships, and all the cash you can spend!" We need a reasonable amount of power of various kinds, principally a sense of our own power to make an impact on the world in whatever way seems necessary and good. And then there’s love, the glue that holds the universe together. Sometimes it seems as if there’s never enough of it, even though we know that that’s not the case. "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love", said St. John. "God so loved the world that he gave...." said Jesus. "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity [love]", said St. Paul. Numerous theological tomes have been written about love, most of which do not leave us feeling loved or loving. New Thought authors are more helpful: Catherine Ponder in the aforementioned book describes how rereading her own writings on love carried her through some dark times.

Jesus’ Great Commandment consists of two Scriptural texts combined: we are to love God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves. Everything else—"all the law and the prophets"—depends on that. The very foundation of Christianity is to love God and everyone else, including ourselves. And, Jesus added, if you love only those who love you, even tax collectors (at the bottom of the social ladder in those days) do that much. We are to love our enemies, not by becoming doormats or otherwise not loving ourselves, but by treating them as we would want to be treated: with understanding, yet maintaining appropriate boundaries and standards. Every situation could benefit from more love in it. And if God is love, then New Thought author Emmet Fox’s Golden Key—thinking about God instead of the problem—is a way of bringing more love to the situation.

Fox immigrated to the United States from England, and he displayed the enthusiastic love of his new country that one often sees from immigrants, unlike many native-born citizens, who take their freedoms for granted. Writing in 1939, with difficult economic conditions at home and war threatening abroad (sounds like today!), he commented,

Freedom is a thing that must be won anew by each generation for itself. If you will not take the trouble to serve your country to the small extent of registering and voting at every election, of giving reasonable time to the study of public questions, and of raising your voice in the right way in favor of what you believe to be right and against what you think is wrong, you are betraying your country and helping to make it possible for her to lose her freedom. Our fathers risked all to obtain these rights, and we are only called upon to do a little thinking and a little voting to keep them; and yet even that is too much for some people.

Considering events in Europe described in the daily papers, he continued,

The only practical alternatives to the principles of the Constitution are either a military despotism—call it what you will—administered by soldiers; or a bureaucratic despotism of permanent civil servants, whether you call it socialism or communism. Both of these systems undertake to guarantee to supply the individual with the physical necessaries, and both equally deny him the mental and spiritual bread of life. For this reason they are both eternally unacceptable to those who possess the American Spirit, quite apart from the fact that with any kind of despotic government, the grossest corruption is certain to creep in sooner or later because criticism is not allowed. So, if you do not wish to become the serf either of swashbuckling military adventurers, on the one hand, or of a soulless impersonal bureaucracy on the other, you must take a definite stand for personal freedom and the principles of the Constitution. You must care enough about it to defend it vigorously in every way that you can.

Love of God, neighbor, and self leads to love of the country that gives us the freedom to live out this love to the fullest. Be sure to register and vote.