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Spiritual Discovery and Improving Our World

Tom McElroy of Boston, Massachusetts, thinks helping the world is so important that he’s traveled across the globe to talk about it and to do it. But don’t expect to find McElroy with a hard hat on and a set of construction plans in hand. McElroy’s tools—and the tools he claims are everyone’s to use—are those of a spiritual practice which he says has helped him, and can help the most underserved areas in our own communities.

McElroy’s own life serves as a kind of sneak preview for the way prayer can have powerful results beyond the walls of our personal lives. After what he calls a “tough upbringing”, he dug deep into his spiritual practice looking for answers to everything from relationship problems to health issues. And he found what he calls “genuine healing”—fundamental shifts in perspective that transformed his life.

Such results might sound cliché, except that McElroy has seen them repeated in the lives of others he has been able to help through this same approach to spirituality. As a volunteer chaplain with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, McElroy talked and prayed with men, women and youth across a range of correctional facilities.

“Here I was striving to put into practice what had inspired me and seeing that it had effects that went far beyond the perimeters of my own life,” he said in a recent interview. “And I wanted to do more.”

That volunteer work eventually grew into a full-time career as a Christian Science practitioner, a role which McElroy describes as, “someone who helps others make the kind of spiritual discoveries that bring about a tangible difference in their lives—including their health, finances, relationships, anything.”

From there, McElroy began speaking to audiences worldwide about the Christian Science approach to prayer and healing.

“I was getting to do what I loved—meeting lots of different people and learning how this message about spiritual discovery and its unique role in our lives connected with them and their own spiritual framework,” he explains.

Best of all, he says, was getting to collectively consider some big questions. Does spirituality have anything to offer to the tough situations we’re facing worldwide? Can a fresh perspective of spirituality, God and prayer actually help us help others—offering something beyond just a coping mechanism or a placebo effect? Is it possible to say with any kind of scientific certainty that our spiritual practice could make a difference for people on the other side of the planet? If so, how does that work?

Tom McElroy will present a free talk, Spiritual Discovery: How You Can Better the World, on May 18 at 7:30pm at the Westport Woman’s Club in Westport. See ad, page 4.

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