Archive for the ‘contagion’ Category

Stay Close To God, Safe In Love   Leave a comment

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What does love have to do with ending a pandemic?   Leave a comment

Photo by cottonbro

In the context of the current pandemic, I’ve been asking myself if it’s not only our love for God and a deeper appreciation of His love for us that hold the key to ridding the world of this disease, but also a more consistent commitment to love one another—that is, to be sure that our thoughts of others reflect God’s thought of us. Jesus said: “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ ” (Matthew 22:37–39, New Living Translation).

Of course, conventional wisdom would argue that it’s going to take a lot more than a group hug, no matter how heartfelt, to rid ourselves of something as challenging as a pandemic. I would agree. But conventional wisdom is also reluctant to recognize the mental nature of disease—to acknowledge the significance of Jesus’ practical demonstration and Mrs. Eddy’s explanation of that Christly love that strives to see only the goodness that God, good, sees. After all, if “unselfed love” heals disease, then it stands to reason that any opposite state of mind, such as fear, anger, hostility, and so on, would tend to precipitate disease—or rather, present itself physically as disease, as Christian Science teaches. Conventional wisdom also refuses outright to admit the all-power of God, divine Love, to heal disease. 

What’s required of us, then, is to not only acknowledge Love’s allness as the ultimate antidote to disease but also to see others and ourselves as Love’s essential expression, naturally and inevitably inclined to love. As it says in the Bible, “We love because [God] first loved us” (I John 4:19, New Revised Standard Version).

This doesn’t mean that loving others is always easy. For instance, there are times when we find ourselves falling for the devilish lie that someone or some circumstance—our neighbors, our coworkers, our politicians, a pandemic—has somehow managed to deprive us of God’s goodness; that there’s some legitimate reason for our being unable to express all that God has given us to express, to enjoy all that He has given us to enjoy. When this happens, we face a crucial choice between accepting or rejecting the notion of a power opposed to God.

Ironically, it’s at moments like this that we are perhaps most receptive to Truth, a synonym for God that Mary Baker Eddy in her writings often couples with Christ. It’s this ever-present Christ, “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness,” as Science and Health describes it (p. 332), that reveals God, divine Love, as the only true power. We especially need to know this in regard to the powerlessness of hatred, a state of thought that Mrs. Eddy associates with the virulent nature of contagious disease. Her Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896 emphatically states, “… Hate no one; for hatred is a plague-spot that spreads its virus and kills at last. If indulged, it masters us; brings suffering upon suffering to its possessor, throughout time and beyond the grave” (p. 12). 

Whether we feel a temptation to hate other people or are seeing hatred in others, this claim of a power apart from God needs to be met head on……

The conviction of God’s love for us is often what motivates our love for one another. And on the flip side, it’s our love for one another that opens the door more widely to feeling God’s love for us. This ceaseless cycle of Love—“Love is reflected in love,” as Mrs. Eddy puts it (Science and Health, p. 17)—inevitably lessens fear, dissolves hatred, and enables us to do our part in bringing an end to this pandemic.

Eric D. Nelson also shares a personal healing in this article from the Christian Science Sentinel which you can read or listen to in its entirety when you click here: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/pe971zapv8?s=e

“You have no power over me”   2 comments

a photography of a man standing on a tree
Photo by Lukas Rodriguez 

 Like everyone, I have faced fears of the coronavirus. But whenever they pop up, I have a prayerful response inspired by words of defense spoken by Christ Jesus as he was being questioned by Pilate before the crucifixion. My prayer is, “You have no power over me!”

Pilate, governor of the Roman province of Judaea, had demanded of Jesus, “Why don’t you talk to me?” and continued, “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above” (John 19:10, 11, New Living Translation).

Jesus was not afraid of Pilate. He understood that his life was spiritual, in the hands of God, and that there wasn’t anything Pilate could do to stop him from succeeding in his mission. The merit of his faith was proved a few days later when he walked out of the tomb as he had predicted, having overcome death. He had proved that God was the only power over him.

Today, reports of contagion, infection, and death fill the airwaves and blanket the internet. Rather than being afraid, we can respond from the same basis of spiritual authority and dominion that Jesus did, when he told Pilate that he could have no power over him unless it were from God. We can follow Jesus’ example of unwavering faith in God and neutralize threats to our health with a clear understanding of God’s omnipotence. We can find safety in knowing that God is bigger and more powerful than any fears of a virus!

A few months ago, while traveling, I got very sick with flu-like symptoms that implied I was going to suffer a long time. I prayed diligently for relief, but felt I was losing the battle as symptoms worsened. As I groped for what to pray about, a glimpse of God’s almighty power suddenly lit my thought. The battle was not mine, I saw—it was God’s! God was the power that would defeat the disease, reverse its symptoms, and restore my health.

My feeling of helplessness vanished as I accepted God’s might at work on my behalf. I could trust God to work out spiritually what I was not able to do humanly. I felt a peace that signaled a turnaround, and soon fell into a sound sleep. When I awoke in the morning, all symptoms were gone. I was free. The suggestion that disease could displace God’s harmonious control over my being was proven false.

We are not helpless in the face of the coronavirus.

We can apply the same truths to the fears we might currently feel. The Christian Science textbook includes a “scientific statement of being,” which explains in its first sentence, “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 468). A virus, as matter, does not possess intelligence. It cannot plot, plan, or execute. It is mindless. Any effect associated with it is not coming from the virus itself but from fears and false beliefs about it built up in the public consciousness. The good news is that these fears and false beliefs can be reversed through an understanding of God and God’s all-power. As Mrs. Eddy wrote, “At a time of contagious disease, Christian Scientists endeavor to rise in consciousness to the true sense of the omnipotence of Life, Truth, and Love, and this great fact in Christian Science realized will stop a contagion” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 116). 

A consciousness that God—divine Life, Truth, and Love—has all power stops a contagion by dissolving the fears and false beliefs that spread disease. This is what happened during my night of suffering. I saw the omnipotence of God and lost my fear. Once my fear was conquered, the disease went away.

Jesus consistently illustrated the ability of God’s might to reverse the symptoms of disease. In one case, he healed the mother-in-law of his close follower, Peter. The Bible records, “When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him” (Matthew 8:14, 15, New Living Translation). Jesus knew that there is no power apart from God, and this understanding enabled him to heal and bless others, including this woman. Her fever vanished, and health was restored.

We are not helpless in the face of the coronavirus. When fears surface about its spread, we can speak to those fears with the authority of spiritual understanding and declare, “You have no power over me!” When we see fearful images of the disease depicted in the media and those images want to linger in our thoughts, we can keep them out of our consciousness by accepting the truth of these words: “You have no power over me!” If symptoms appear on the body indicating the disease, we can vehemently protest, “You have no power over me!” backed up with an understanding of God’s omnipresence. It is this spiritual apprehension which dissolves those symptoms and restores health.

As Jesus understood, God is the only power over us. This is a demonstrable truth that we too can understand and prove.

Contagion   Leave a comment

beach coast island landscape
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok

Whatever man sees, feels, or in any way takes cognizance of, must be caught through mind; inasmuch as perception, sensation, and consciousness belong to mind and not to matter. Floating with the popular current of mortal thought without questioning the reliability of its conclusions, we do what others do, believe what others believe, and say what others say. Common consent is contagious, and it makes disease catching. 

People believe in infectious and contagious diseases, and that any one is liable to have them under certain predisposing or exciting causes. This mental state prepares one to have any disease whenever there appear the circumstances which he believes produce it. If he believed as sincerely that health is catching when exposed to contact with healthy people, he would catch their state of feeling quite as surely and with better effect than he does the sick man’s.

If only the people would believe that good is more contagious than evil, since God is omnipresence, how much more certain would be the doctor’s success, and the clergyman’s conversion of sinners. And if only the pulpit would encourage faith in God in this direction, and faith in Mind over all other influences governing the receptivity of the body, theology would teach man as David taught: “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”

The confidence of mankind in contagious disease would thus become beautifully less; and in the same proportion would faith in the power of God to heal and to save mankind increase, until the whole human race would become healthier, holier, happier, and longer lived. calm, Christian state of mind is a better preventive of contagion than a drug, or than any other possible sanative method; and the “perfect Love” that “casteth out fear” is a sure defense.

This article is by Mary Baker Eddy from Miscellaneous Writings

Posted April 2, 2020 by cscanberra in contagion

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Beating the Winter Blues   Leave a comment

DSCN0134Here in Canberra winter is now upon us. The yellow and gold trees have given way to bare branches and we have already had our first frosty mornings.

Many of us who have lived in Canberra for a while have come to love this climate and its four distinct seasons. With each there are certain expectations: the regenerating bloom of the spring heralded by the brilliance of the wattle; the long dry heat of the summer and trips to the coast; the vivid colours of the autumn and the swirling brown leaves.

The crispness of winter, the clear blue skies and trips to the snow are often accompanied by calls to be wary of colds and flu. TV commercials remind us of the available remedies and we are sometimes tempted to wonder whether we will ‘go down’ with something this year, or will we be lucky?

Nowadays there is a strong body of evidence that attests to the influence of one’s thought on health. For over 100 years now we have been aware of the placebo effect: the apparent strong positive effect of sugar pills and non-medicated treatments on patients who believed them to be remedial agents. These experiments alone must ask us to question the nature of the effect of thought on the body. To question how the quality of our consciousness and our belief systems can affect our wellbeing? There is also growing evidence to suggest that spirituality, our natural attraction to the good and the true, has a positive impact on physical resilience and recuperation.

About 150 years ago Mary Baker Eddy investigated this link between spirituality and health. Her experiments and study culminated in her textbook: Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In it she states (p208): Mind, not matter, is causation. A material body only expresses a material and mortal mind. … You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness.

New SH (2)She goes on to say (p392): The physical affirmation of disease should always be met with the mental negation. Whatever benefit is produced on the body, must be expressed mentally, and thought should be held fast to this ideal. If you believe in inflamed and weak nerves, you are liable to an attack from that source. … If you decide that climate or atmosphere is unhealthy, it will be so to you. Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take.

Reverse the case. Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears. Exclude from mortal mind the offending errors; then the body cannot suffer from them. The issues of pain or pleasure must come through mind, and like a watchman forsaking his post, we admit the intruding belief, forgetting that through divine help we can forbid this entrance.

Let’s determine this winter to hold thought to the higher qualities of Truth and Love, of wholeness and harmony and turn away from contemplation of disease, and so build our spiritual immunity.

This article was contributed by Deborah Packer of Canberra.

To purchase a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy click here.

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