For 20 years, Mary Alice Rose was a physical scientist – keeping watch over tornado activity, engineering underwater research and managing engineers and scientists monitoring the Hubble Space Telescope.
She says she still loves “all things Hubble,” but Rose is now channeling her energies toward the teachings of Christian Science. She spoke on “The Science of Christianity” at the Fayette County Library on May 4.
About 35 people – including Coweta residents – attended the event, sponsored by the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Fayetteville.
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“Science asks us to look beyond what we can see,” Rose said. “It asks us to look beyond where we can see.”
Although Rose said she “really did love my career in the earth sciences,” her early connections with the scientific world began with fear. At age 11, she was terrified of storms. Her family moved from Kentucky to Oklahoma, and she had read in a magazine that Oklahoma was in “tornado alley.”
“When we moved it was right at the height of tornado season at the first of June. I literally thought we had moved to the most dangerous place on earth,” Rose said.
When bad weather threatened, she would hide in her closet, “my dog under one arm and my radio under the other,” she remembered.
“As scared as I was, I saw my parents were completely unafraid,” Rose said.
She said she knew that calmness came from God.
Finding the peace her parents had was hard for Rose.
“I knew I couldn’t just will myself to do it. I was trying that, and it wasn’t working,” Rose said. “I was learning that God is love. God is love itself. … I was learning that this God that is love dies not send destruction or disaster. God is life giving, life preserving.”
When Rose got to college, she decided to major in meteorology, perhaps “trying to understand my nemesis.”
What she learned was not particularly soothing. The origins of storms are not fully understood, and the paths they take are not easily predicted.
“The more I learned from my study of meteorology, the more I learned what we don’t know,” she said.
While working as a broadcaster in the National Weather Service office in Oklahoma City, she read a warning that she quickly realized was for the location of her office.
“I also realized something wonderful. I was completely unafraid. I knew I was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing, and God blessed that right activity,” Rose said. “Nothing could keep me from it, not even a tornado.”
After that experience, she said she knew that she would never be afraid of weather again.
“My study of physical science didn’t help me overcome my fear, but my study of Christian Science did,” she said. “Christian Science is the study of the Christ – a study of the life and teachings of Christ Jesus.”
Just as earth science courses teach about the laws that govern the earth and computer science explains how computers process information, “Christian Science studies the laws of God,” Rose said.
Rose talked about Mary Baker Eddy, who teachings about divine healing are the cornerstone of Christian Science.
“She grew up in New England in the early 1800s in a family of Congregationalists. They loved God, and they loved the Bible. They read it every day,” Rose related.
Eddy sought to understand God’s role in healing. She tried traditional medicine, water therapy and hypnotism and fund “some measure of help,” but no permanent cure.
Eddy continued to read the Bible – with a particular interest in stories about healing.
“It was her deep desire to understand those words that propelled her forward,” Rose said.
In 1866, Eddy fell on an icy street in Lynn, Mass. A newspaper reported she was “taken up in an insensible condition” to a nearby home and then to her home the next day. Her doctor decided she had suffered severe internal injuries.
As she convalesced, Eddy read a passage in the Bible about Jesus healing someone.
“She got up from her bed and got dressed and went into the next room, where her friends were astounded,” Rose said.
Eddy reported she was forever healthier than she had been before. She concluded divine healing is based on divine laws “that can be learned and applied today,” Rose said.
She taught that love heals, only love.
“By this she meant the love that is God,” Rose said.
Eddy also saw that physical healing from God often was accompanied by a spiritual and moral transformation.
“Every prayer in Christian Science is a kind of prophecy. It’s an exchange of the physical … for the spiritual.”
Rose testified to the truth of Eddy’s conclusions.
“I’ve seen it work. I’ve seen its relevance to my life,” she said. Many times, Rose said, she has “relied on spiritual law to good effect.”
She also said that Christian Science can change lives in ways scientific study cannot.
“The most real moments have been revelations of divine science,” she said.
“God’s universe is the only universe there is. It is entirely spiritual, and it is entirely harmonious without any discord at any time,” Rose said. There is no room for pain in God’s divine plan.
“Christian Science is for everyone, regardless of your background or education,” Rose added. “Proving it for yourself is what any good scientist would do.”