In the Italian language the word influenza is not only the name of mortal mind's latest fad in the way of diseases, but is also the ordinary word for influence. In considering with a friend the "Rule for Motives and Acts," found in Article VIII, Section 1, of the Manual, it was remarked half in fun that the advice of our Leader against "influencing or being influenced erroneously" might mean not to catch or pass on this very erroneous influenza. Later the same thought was followed seriously, and the discoveries that ensued brought healing.

It will be recalled that it has been considered proper to use in connection with the word influenza the name of a large neutral nation, and neutrality toward the insidious encroachments of its pestiferous suggestions is just the state of mental receptivity that best suits the adversary. The Christian Scientist, however, is not neutral. He has enlisted in a very active campaign, and reflecting, as he does, the tireless activity of Principle, he is "never absent from" his "post, never off guard, never ill-humored, never unready to work for God" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 116). A beginner in the study of Christian Science was irritated and almost resentful at having had an attack of the popular malady. It was carefully explained that failure comes from surrendering, and not from being attacked. It was likewise shown that immunity from having to repeat an unpleasant experience follows the learning of all the lessons which that experience has to teach.

Gratitude and joy are antidotes for every ill. We may always be grateful that through the revelation of Christian Science the highway of the Lord, the road of salvation from humanity's ills has been discovered, charted, illuminated, and furnished with adequate guideposts. We may always rejoice that the seeming affliction is simply an opportunity to prove to a watching world, weary with the long night of cruel dreams, that the image and likeness of God, the real man, is free from all malign influences.

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God's Dear Love
August 9, 1919

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