Don't let heredity define you

Live audio chat with Barbara Pettis, C.S.B.

“Heredity means what's passed along from our ancestors,” says Barbara Pettis, “so it includes not just DNA and genetics but social values, cultural issues, even our theology.” When we accept heredity as a factor in our lives, we also accept the limitations that come from thinking we are defined by material conditions or the circumstances of our birth. “The good news,” she says, “is Christian Science teaches us that our true heritage is very different. Through the law of Christ, we’re freed from material circumstances and the mortality that may seem to shape our lives.”

Site visitors ask about hereditary diseases and how prayer will help them overcome these conditions. They also discuss mental and social conditions within families and ask if these too are part of our heritage. If so, what can we do about them? Questions about pride over a good genetic inheritance (as opposed to a bad one) reveal the importance of not letting heredity define us. Concern about having children and so passing on a genetic disease, and how to ensure that such diseases do not get a foothold in one’s family are also explored.

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