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A word about this blog

Daily News and Prayer is inspired by The Christian Science Monitor, one of the most important (and most underappreciated) newspapers in the world. Posts are usually (but not always) responses to articles in the Monitor about events and trends that call for prayer.

The blog's aim is to help strengthen humanity's collective confidence that we can triumph over even the most deeply entrenched evils, in ourselves and in the world.

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Note on submissions: If you would like to contribute to this blog, I would be happy to consider your submission. It should be 500 words or less, well written and fit the topic. Read several postings to get an idea of the subject matter and tone. It should also fit the audience, which is general, international and non-denominational.

Please email your submission to me at kscollins@gmail.com. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Please be aware that, while I appreciate the interest and efforts of anyone who wishes to write for the blog, publication is not guaranteed. If I feel your piece is promising but needs revision, I will let you know. Nothing will be published without your seeing the final copy.

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Wednesday
Jun172015

The Christian Science Monitor

One way to judge the state of the world is by its appreciation of The Christian Science Monitor.

I don’t work for the paper, and I never have formally, except for a short time as a copykid (errand boy, basically) after college. Later, I edited the Christian Science Perspective column for a few years (it’s actually produced by a different department in the church that publishes the paper), and I’ve written for the Monitor as a free-lancer. But I’ve never been a staff reporter or editor. Neither the Monitor nor the church has anything to do with this blog.

So what I say about the paper comes from nowhere except my own conclusions.

I’ve always thought the Monitor was something special. It’s the kid you see at school out of the corner of your eye, eating a snack, alone or with a couple of geeky friends, never trying to compete with the cool kids for attention, but never flustered, always ready with a kind word or a helpful idea, if you care to ask. Nobody would accuse the kid of maneuvering for power or glory, but you can’t quite dismiss her either, because she watches, and she’s smart.

The world goes through its days in crassness and alarm, and we turn to leaders and ideologies to save us from the harm we inflict on ourselves.  Sometimes it seems enough just to get through each day still breathing. But why should we stagger from one hope to another and one fad to another, searching for the wisdom that will make all things clear, when there really is a kid over there, chewing neatly on a cracker, making notes and willing to talk.

You can’t read the Monitor as you would any other paper. It will sound a little behind the times, a little naïve, a little uncool. But when you look around, and everyone has wandered off toward the music and teleprompted speeches, and then you pay attention to the Monitor, you find that not just one but a bunch of people have been watching, and what comes out of their mouth makes sense, in the way a sunrise or a gentle wind makes sense.

The Monitor seems like just a newspaper. It has articles about politicians and cooking and disasters and books. That’s the snack. The kid will gladly share it with anyone who stops by. But that’s not what she’s there for, and she knows it. What she has for you is far more valuable than food. It’s forgiveness.

Stupid and juvenile, we get ourselves in trouble every day. The kid, though, is always there to give us a hand, put us back on our feet and send us on our way, a little calmer and a little wiser.  

Reader Comments (3)

I get what you're saying Keith, but I also get something much bolder...more forceful...even frightening to mortal mind...from what MBE said/published in the first issue of the Monitor (see below). Notice she talks about "thunder" and "lightning" and feels the need to reassure Mr. Bell, that even though she wants the Monitor to throw a few bolts and crash a few cymbals, it is not to "injure" but to "bless." Sorta like the friend who isn't "good to you" but "good for you" ;-)

Something In A Name
By MARY BAKER G. EDDY

The gentleman, Mr. Frank Bell, has caught my thunder; therefore he will not object to the lightning which accompanies it.

I have given the name to all the Christian Science periodicals....the next I named MONITOR, to spread undivided the Science that operates unspent. The object of THE MONITOR is to injure no man, but to bless all mankind.

HARRISBURG, PA., Nov. 2, 1908
Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy, Brookline, Mass.

Dear Leader—As a newspaper man I thank you for THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR in prospect, and I feel sure that such will be the sentiment of hundreds of newspaper workers all over the land when THE MONITOR in fact shall have demonstrated the feasibility of clean journalism.

A definition of "monitor" is, "One who advises," and I foresee that when this CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR shall have proved that there is such a thing as newspaper success along non-sensational lines, there will follow a widespread readjustment of news policies, for which I am sure none will be more truly thankful than an army of honest, conscientious toliers in the ranks of newspaperdom.

Gratefully yours,
FRANK BELL,
Managing Editor Harrisburg Telegraph

From the February 2005 issue of The Christian Science Journal

June 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRob Braun

I think you have to have a certain level of boldness and world view to really appreciate what the Monitor brings to the world. In many circles spirituality is viewed as a weakness, especially spirituality married with journalism. It's always a fight to have to live in a world with people who don't have the maturity and emotional intelligence to embrace the benefits and need for this voice. I think the Monitor will always appeal to the minority as a result, and it's a shame. But at least the good fight can be fought.

June 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterVictor Bourdain

With the recent completion of the sixth year of Monitor Weekly production, I would note that it is relevant, forward thinking, progress oriented and energetic as much, if not more so, as ever. The newsroom remains a balanced and trustworthy gimbal as we navigate the complex world all around us, increasing our alertness and understanding of so many complicated matters. With so much afoot in the World, the Monitor is, in a way, wrestling with lions, but we all can have confidence in the ultimate good results. As you write, we are indeed made a little calmer and a little wiser by having the Monitor in our lives.

June 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDavid McClurkin

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