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(Chapter one of The Prospering Power of Love by Catherine Ponder)

The Miracle of Love

Several years ago a businessman pointed out to me the success power of love. At the time, I was writing a series of prosperity articles for Good Business. Hearing of my project, this stockbroker asked, "What do you have in your series about love?" Startled, I replied: "About love? This series is on prosperity." "I know," he said. "But it won't be complete without an article on the prosperity law of love and good will. Love is the greatest success power there is."

Then he told me how he had developed his own private success formula for "straightening out" troublesome people. He stated that when he became quiet and blessed them with an affirmation on love, it was as though an electric force was generated, to which they became attuned. Usually they responded quickly with harmonious attitudes and behavior. If not, further affirmations on love invariably produced harmonious results.

In recent times, we have heard much about the success power of love. Dr. Smiley Blanton has stated in his book "Love or Perish" that the greatest human need is the need for love, and that none of us can survive without it. Man must have love in his life in some form or he will perish. Love is the greatest power on earth, he states.

There is nothing new about these ideas on the power of love. It: was the Master Psychologist of the ages who informed the lawyer that love was the greatest of all the commandments. Paul, one of the world's great intellectuals and a builder of early Christianity, also ascribed all power to love.

We are familiar with Henry Drummond's famous essay on love, in which he writes about Paul's epistle to the Corinthians. In his essay, Drummond describes love as "the supreme gift," "the supreme good." He says, "The final test of religion . . . is not religiousness, but love. . . . You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments that stand out, the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love."

Drummond then describes the various aspects of love in Paul's epistle as patience, kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, unselfishness, good temper, guilelessness, and sincerity. He tells of how a man read Paul's writings on love once a week for three months, and how this changed his whole life.

You and I might think of love in the terms Paul uses to describe it. We can express these qualities both as personal love and as impersonal love. Personal love could be expressed as kindness, tenderness, courtesy, affection, approval, consideration, appreciation, devotion to those in our family groups. Impersonal love is basically the ability to get along with people, without personal attachment or emotional involvement. "I love all people and all people love me, without attachment" is a fine statement to use often in developing a consciousness of impersonal love and good will toward our business associates and those in our workaday world.

I know of a group of persons who once experimented with the power of love in a prayer group and found it to be the greatest thing in the world to solve both personal and business problems. Once a week these persons met for an hour and affirmed statements of divine love. They brought to these meetings their private prayer lists of people and situations they wished to bless with the success power of love. No one else saw their prayer lists, nor did they talk about the people and problems their prayer lists represented.

Instead, they quietly placed their hands on their individual prayer lists while they affirmed together various statements on divine love. "Divine love is doing its perfect work in me and through me now" they affirmed for themselves, for their own health, wealth, and happiness; "Divine love is doing its perfect work in you and through you now" they affirmed for those on their prayer lists.

For a number of weeks they met and affirmed statements of love over and over. In a quiet way, amazing things began to happen to the various members of that group and to the people for whom they prayed. One business- woman was out of harmony with a number of her friends. As she began dwelling on affirmations of love, her friends began appearing unexpectedly at the prayer group meetings, and reconciliation quickly took place.

Another businesswoman had been troubled for some time because of a misunderstanding that had arisen months previously between her and some friends. She had made every effort to apologize and bring about harmony and understanding again, but she had been coldly rebuffed in spite of her letters, telephone calls, and personal contacts.

One night during the regular prayer time as the group was affirming divine love for the names on the prayer lists, this woman and one other woman in the group both heard a popping noise in the air. The other woman discounted it, thinking it to be only her imagination. But after the meeting had concluded, the businesswoman came to her and confidentially said: "Did you hear that popping sound in the air? That wasn't your imagination; it really happened! That was the hard thoughts that have existed between me and my friends. I'm convinced that tonight, through our spoken words, divine love dissolved the hard thoughts and the inharmony that has existed between us. That was the dissolving power of love that you heard healing that situation!''

From that night on she had a completely different feeling about the situation. She felt peaceful and harmonious. She quietly gave thanks that divine understanding had been established and that divine love had healed the previous misunderstanding and hostility.

Some weeks later, though no outer changen had come, she felt led to contact her friends again. This time, instead of rebuffing her, they reacted as though nothing had ever been wrong between them. The previous cordiality, understanding, and friendship were re-established and continue even now.

Perhaps you do not have access to such a prayer group. But you can still experience the success power of love. You have all the love you need for healing, prosperity, and happy human relationships right within yourself. Divine love is one of your mental and spiritual faculties. You do not have to search outside yourself for love. You can begin releasing it from within outward, through your thoughts, words, actions, and affirmative prayers. As you do, you will experience the success power of love in all its fullness as it works through people, situations, and conditions that concern you.

A world-renowned sociologist, Sorokin, has conducted research studies at Harvard University on the power of love. Under his direction, a staff of scientists studied the subject of love. Their findings were that love, like other good things, can be produced deliberately by human beings. They stated that there is no reason why we cannot learn to generate love as we do other natural forces.

Thus there is no reason for you to feel disillusioned or disappointed if love has seemingly let you down or passed you by. Those who bitterly declare that their lives are without love are mistakenly looking to someone or something outside themselves for love. Begin realizing now that love is first within you and can be released through your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. As you begin developing love from within outward, you are truly proving your method to be spiritual, scientific, and satisfying. You no longer feel at the mercy of people, situations, and conditions. You become master of your world and free from hurt, fear, disappointment, and disillusionment.

As the stockbroker said, it is like developing an electric force. Love will begin to radiate outwardly into every part of your world, to attract to you the right people, situations, and conditions that will add to your success and happiness. You will soon realize that instead of your being at the mercy of the world, the world responds to your own thoughts and feelings; and that when your thoughts and feelings generate love, the world about you will happily respond in a most wonderful way! This is the success power of love.

Many people are discovering this Power in all departments of life. In the realm of human relationships it is all-powerful. A housewife told of having quarreled with her husband, after which he stormed out of the house. Having learned that she could generate love from within outward, she decided to try it in this marital crisis. Quietly she began to say over and over: "I call on divine love to heal our marriage now. I call on divine love to straighten out and adjust this situation."

In a little while a sense of peace overwhelmed her, and she busily began preparing dinner for her husband in the faith that he would return to enjoy it. (After previous guarrels, it had not always been so.) Soon she heard the door open, and her husband entered, in a happy frame of mind, carrying a box of candy for her. Their quarrels became fewer and less severe, and in due time their marriage was entirely healed of inharmony.

A businesswoman related a similar experience concerning the power of love in her marriage, which had been unhappy for some time. There had been many quarrels -- much bickering, tension, inharmony. One night when there had been a prolonged and bitter quarrel, the woman thought: "We cannot go on. This inharmony is affecting our health, our business success, and our marriage. There must be a way out."

She began looking for something to read that might give her a sense of peace and hope, and she found these words: "Love melts situations that seem impossible." Over and over she said: "Yes, it is true. Love melts situations that seem impossible."

Formerly, reconciliation had come slowly and painstakingly after each quarrel. But as she continued dwelling on this statement of love, the inharmony and misunderstanding faded almost at once. That proved to be this couple's last bitter quarrel. Since that time whenever inharmony has seemed near, she has quickly affirmed, "Love melts situations that seem impossible"; always this has cleared the air and harmony has been re-established.

Do you doubt that your thoughts and words of divine love can have equal power in your own life and affairs? Several years ago, I had a simple family experience that convinced me that our thoughts of love do reach others more quickly and completely than we sometimes realise. One warm spring day I was in my study, trying to finish an article on love, when my teenage son came in. He had been playing golf all day, and was hungry and anxious to get home.

When I explained that I was trying to complete an article and would finish in a few minutes, he quietly left my study. Soon I thought I heard the study door open again, but since things at once became quiet again, I did not turn from my work to investigate. Some minutes later, when I had completed my work, I realized that my son had quietly returned and placed two red roses on my desk from the nearby rose garden. Without a word he had then left, to wait patiently for me. He had not known I was working on an article on love. Never before had he brought me flowers, but at that moment he seemed attuned to the very ideas I was dwelling on in the article, and he lovingly responded.

On still another occasion, he demonstrated to me the success power of love. One morning he left for school in an unhappy mood. All day I remembered it and felt badly that he had begun the day in such a state of mind. I felt that there was something I should have done or said to turn the tide of his thinking in the morning. All day as I remembered this incident I kept affirming, "Divine love is doing its perfect work in this situation now."

That afternoon when he arrived home from school, he came into the house, put aside his books, and greeted me with the words, "Hi, beautiful!" I cannot remember when he had greeted me in such a manner before, but truly, love had done its perfect work that day.

When you are inclined to wonder how thoughts and words of love can do much good in resolving various problems, remind yourself that loving words and loving thoughts seem supercharged with power to produce good. Indeed, it is the mission of love, both personally and impersonally, to produce eternal good in your life. Your part is not to wonder how love works, but just to dare to begin releasing it, from within yourself. When you do, you will always witness interesting and satisfying results.

Several years ago a doctor showed me a medical book on psychosomatic illness. In this book a group of doctors had compiled their analyses of various illnesses, and of the mental and emotional attitudes they felt caused these illnesses. I was amazed to see that in every analysis the need for love was listed.

For instance, in the case of stomach disorders of all types, one of the psychosomatic reasons given for such illness was "love needed." In the case of heart disarders, one of the reasons listed was "love needed." In the case of skin disorders, one of the reasons listed was "need for approval," which is a form of love. (A bookkeeper stated that while experiencing a skin disorder she began a daily practice of placing her hands on her face and affirming, "Divine love is healing you now," and the skin disorder soon faded.)

In the case of female disorders, one of the reasons listed was "need for love." In the case of chronic fatigue, one of the psychosomatic reasons listed was "depression, insecurity, and need for love."

In the case of the common headache and migraine, one of the reasons listed was "insecurity and need for love." In the case of excessive weight and overeating, one of the reasons listed was "a feeling of dissatisfaction with life and a need for love." In the case of alcoholism and other excesses, one of the reasons listed was "feelings of inferiority and need for love."

The wonderful thing to remember is that when there is a need for love, we can begin supplying it from within ourselves. A businessman told me that he was healed of a painful condition of long standing after he began releasing love from within himself, by speaking words of love to his body. He had tried various treatments to no avail, and then he heard of the healing power of love. He began placing his hand on the painful area of his body, saying over and over, "I love you." The pain subsided, and gradually faded away.

Cancer has been described as an "anxiety disease." The emotional histories of a large percentage of those who have cancer show that in some period of their lives they felt anxious, insecure, or unloved, and that they subconsciously retained that feeling, which had often turned to bitterness, a critical state of mind, and may have even generated hostility and hate.

One authority has stated that sixty-two percent of his cancer patients told stories of loss, intense grief, depression, and despair that led up to their physical condition. As long ago as 1925, an analyst declared that after studying hundreds of cancer patients, she found most of them had suffered some important emotional crisis prior to the development of the disease, and that they had been unable to find effective outlets for their deep feelings and emotions.

In the field of prosperity, love as impersonal good will is all-powerful too, it has been estimated that only fifteen percent of a person's financial success is due to his technical ability, while eighty-five percent is due to his ability to get along with people. Personnel managers agree that more than two thirds of the people who lose their jobs do so not because of incompetence, but because they cannot get along with others. Approximately ten percent are discharged because of inadequate preparation for the skills needed, whereas the other ninety percent are fired because of "personality problems."

A secretary once realized that in order to keep her job, which was interesting and well-paying, she would have to learn how to cope with her employer's unpleasant "morning disposition." She learned of the success power of love and began using one of Emmet Fox's statements: "All men expressions of divine love; therefore, I can meet with nothing but the expressions of divine love."

Beginning her day with this statement helped to establish a peaceful atmosphere in the office for her employer's arrival. By the time he called her in for dictation, divine love had done its perfect work on his disposition. In time, his morning grouchiness and moodiness were replaced with a consistent pleasant disposition. The secretary felt her work in this regard was highly worthwhile, since her boss' disposition had been the only unfavorable and worrisome aspect of her job.

Financially, an attitude of love is worthwhile, too. A traveling salesman who was heavily in debt attempted to get a loan from a bank to pay off his debts. Because he lacked collateral, he was not able to get the loan. He began to affirm, "God prospers me now." Within a few days he made a large sale and was able to pay off all his debts, with ample money left over.

A number of years ago during a financial recession, and in bitter cold weather, the firm for which I was working experienced financial difficulties. Members of the board of directors had become depressed because of the weather, which seemed to be delaying the firm's prosperity. They were also depressed about general economic conditions. It seemed a hopeless situation until several persons working for the firm agreed to begin affirming together, at specific times, statements on the prospering power of love. Each individual affirmed for himself and his own inspiration: "I am the love of God in expression. I let God's love guide, direct, and inspire me." The statement used for the firm's prosperity was: "God's love in us is drawing to us new ideas, new courage, and visible daily supply. God's love in you is drawing to you new ideas, new courage, and visible daily supply."

The atmosphere of depression and hopelessness concerning the business situation seemed to lift. Continued use of the prayers caused all those involved to experience an uplifted state of mind. New ideas and new courage attracted visible daily supply. Within a few weeks the financial crisis had passed, and that year proved to be one of the most prosperous the firm has ever known!

A chiropractor who was having similar financial challenges asked how this firm managed to make a financial comeback in the midst of bad weather and economic recession. The prayers were shared with him, and his financial results were so satisfying that he obtained a thousand printed copies of the prayers, which he distributed to his patients whenever they mentioned their own financial challenges. Thus the power of love proved its prospering power to many people that winter in our area alone.

Many years ago, Emma Curtis Hopkins gave some financial advice along this line when she wrote, "Take your business as it is, and praise divine love that there is a strong, wise way out of your dilemma." When there is such a need, affirm, "I praise divine love that there is a strong, wise way out of this dilemma."

In all phases of life, love is a success power. Many persons who are seeking a balanced life have found this prayer helpful: "Divine love expressing through me, now draws to me all that is needed to make me happy and my life complete."

Whatever your need in life may be, love is the answer. You do not have to look outside yourself for love. Begin releasing it from within your own thoughts and feelings, and you will attract to you whatever people, situations, and conditions are for your highest good. Truly, "You walk in the charmed circle of God's love, and you are divinely irresistible to your highest good now." This is the prospering power of love.

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The Prospering Power of Love
by Catherine Ponder

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