A powerful spiritual response to contagion

I was watching a live satellite TV broadcast of European news the other day, shortly after the first cases of bird flu had been discovered in Romania. In the broadcast, several people on the street were interviewed about their reactions. Responses ranged from "not worried," to some concern, to downright fear of a worldwide pandemic. Some said they would start to take precautions, such as not eating certain kinds of poultry and stocking up on flu medication. Others felt the dangers might be overblown, and took a wait-and-see attitude.

Most of us have had opportunities to observe how fear and contagion can go hand-in-hand—with the fear often spreading much faster than the actual disease. Sentinel founder, Mary Baker Eddy, put it this way: "Human fear of miasma would load with disease the air of Eden, and weigh down mankind with superimposed and conjectural evils. Mortal mind is the worst foe of the body, while divine Mind is its best friend" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 176).

So, like many of our readers, I've asked myself, What can our most helpful response be to news about a possible worldwide avian flu pandemic? Christian Science has shown me that beyond necessary precautions taken by health authorities, there is something so much more powerful that everyone can do right away—namely, seek help and refuge in God through our prayer. One writer in this issue, Bea Roegge, says it poignantly, when she suggests how important it is "to be grateful for being alerted to pray—to be urged to heed more the divine influence, and to dwell mentally on what it means that God is ever with us."

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November 14, 2005

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