Christian Science Testimony

         I am very grateful today to be able to express in writing my thankfulness to God for my healing, and so fulfill a long felt desire. Seven years ago Christian Science found me at the gate of Truth, waiting to be received. After three years of sickness in which I had tried all kinds of medicines, I was a complete wreck, and as the only hope was told to go to the operating table. The operation was performed and was said to be successful, but after six days, in which time I thought I would soon be out of bed, I woke up in the night with terrible pain. The blood seemed to be stagnated in the left leg, up to the hip. It was impossible for me to stand or walk, and after being in bed a few weeks with no relief I was taken home. I lay on a couch for about six months with no hope of getting well. All those six months I could do nothing but read, so I read all kinds of books, romances, and the like, and at the end of this time I could find no more interest in them, as they seemed all alike to me.

         One day I commenced to think what I had done to merit such punishment. I started to figure out all the wrongs, but I also thought upon what I had already suffered; then I felt I was getting fuller measure than I deserved. Rebellion was aroused in my mind, and if I could then have seen God face-to-face, I would have reproached Him. This was my old belief that God punishes His children, but at this point the thought of God made me seek after Him. I sent for an old prayer book, but I could find no help. I used to believe in a "power of thought" (forza del pensiero) and in a Supreme Being; that was the only religion I had kept from my youth. But now I was looking for something higher. Surely, I thought, there must be some books in the world to tell of spiritual things, and I wished to find them. The following day a woman brought me a Bible, but I told her I wanted a scientific book. She said that the Bible was the best book in the world, and that all the sciences had been discovered from the Bible. It seemed as if it would take me too long a time to search the Bible and I was in a hurry to find God.

         I started at the first chapter of Genesis, but I could not go any farther. I felt that if I could not find God in this first chapter I could not find Him anywhere else, for when God created the world and everything in it, He also created man in His image and likeness; so God and I must be there too. The words seemed as if I had known them all my life, but I could not find any connection between me and God. I cried over it, I threw the Bible on the floor; I picked it up, kissed it, and was sorry; then I was waiting for a sign. To illustrate: it seemed as if I was down in a pit inclosed by four walls and at the top there was a little window in which a ray of light from the sun was penetrating, giving light to the pit, and I was looking up with hope to be taken out to the free land of the blessed.

         After a few days another lady came; she was selling some articles, and seeing me sick she asked me if I would like to read a nice book. My answer was, "I have the Bible and I want to try to find God." She said, "To mortals the Bible is a sealed book, but we get its spiritual interpretation through 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures' by Mary Baker Eddy." That was enough! The key, I thought; it will open the treasure! It reminded me of a legend of my childhood. It was told on the Alps that the key to the treasure was never found. The story had impressed me so much, and now the key was found.

         The book was obtained, and I pressed it to my heart. I felt the truth. Surely, I thought, who but God had sent this lady to tell me about this book with the "Key to the Scriptures." God had heard my prayer and my cry, and here I would find the truth I was seeking. Then I opened it and started to read. That lady came a few times to show me how to read the Lessons from the Quarterly, and I am grateful to her for bringing me this message of Truth. I could do very little reading in English, so I took an English-Italian dictionary, and also copied the Lessons so that I could understand the meaning, and kept on every day until I fell asleep. I drank and drank from that crystal river until my thirst was quenched. It took five weeks for the vessel to be filled.

         When I had arrived at the chapter called The Apocalypse, one morning after the time referred to above, I seemed to hear in my sleep a voice calling me by my name. It was seven o'clock. I got up from the bed and found that my husband was gone and my boy was still asleep. No one was there. I looked around and the world seemed to be transformed. As we read on page 468 of Science and Health, "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all." God created everything "very good." That was fully realized. I was living near an elevated train and the noise of it sounded to me like music. I felt so young, it seemed as if thousands of years had been rolled off from the plane on which I had lived before. I dressed myself, and later, when mortal mind started to tell me I was a sick woman the day before, I suddenly realized that I was healed. I went out of the house for the first time in six months, and all the neighbors came to watch me from the windows; they could not believe I was healed. I went to see my husband and the tears of joy were running down his cheeks when he saw me, and he came with open arms to help me, but I said smilingly, "I don't need it; I can walk." Then I took the car, went to see a friend, walked to the fourth floor, went home and walked to the fifth floor. All that day I felt light as a feather, and I had not, and never have had, any more pains.

         What a blessed day! How many times during these seven years, at some period of depression and discouragement, I have retired to my room in meditation, recollecting that glorious day of my healing; and in thanking God for Christian Science I would be healed again. This physical healing was, however, only an introduction to Christian Science. In Science and Health (Preface, p. vii) Mrs. Eddy says, "Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity;" and further she says, "It is the task of the sturdy pioneer to hew the tall oak and to cut the rough granite." To quote from the gospel of Luke, "Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth."

         I can say much healing has been accomplished in my consciousness. Sores and bruises of the heart of many years' standing have been healed; chronic opinions, and false beliefs about God and man have been destroyed, and many desires also have been fulfilled. What remains of error grows less and less as I gain more of the understanding of our Father-Mother God and reach up toward the full stature of Christ. No words can express my gratitude to God and to our dear Leader.

Celeste Julia Bartoglio
New York City, New York


"Testimonies of Healing"
Christian Science Sentinel, November 9, 1918

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