Vulnerability to disease is not a condition of true existence. Understanding this spiritual fact, each of us can take effective action to keep ourselves safe during an epidemic and to help stop the contagion.
You and I seem vulnerable sometimes only because we consent, consciously or unconsciously, to the general human conviction that materiality is the essence of life. But in reality—as God has created man and the universe—life is spiritual and is governed solely by laws of God, Truth. Therefore disease has no validity—no true source. No disease? No. Man and the universe are God's self-expression. They reflect His goodness—Life's indestructibility, Soul's harmony and beauty, Mind's intelligent comprehension. This reflection, this self-expressive action of divine Mind, is the only communication that ever really occurs. God communicates all good to man, all joy, beauty, and health, thus causing man to manifest these qualities, to image forth the divine nature. Disease, decay, and fear are never communicated to or from man, because they don't exist in the allness of divine Principle, Life. They have neither starting point nor course of action. In short, all is God, good. There is nothing else. Mrs. Eddy writes, "From Love and from the light and harmony which are the abode of Spirit, only reflections of good can come." Science and Health, p. 280;
When we intelligently appeal to spiritual truth, it has irresistible authority in our experience. It immunizes us from the illusive rampages of human fear and at the same time neutralizes fear's supposed harmful action.
Christ Jesus fully understood and exemplified the uncontestable prerogative of Truth, Love, to govern the lives of men and women, and he gave those who would listen invaluable instructions. "When thou prayest," he said, "enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." Matt. 6:6; It is in the secret place of our faith and spiritual understanding that the unseen truth of Life, Spirit, is perceived and retained and the so-called laws of contagion are seen for what they are: misconceptions that have no validity. Deprived of its credibility, disease vanishes. A familiar psalm speaks of the protection derived from uplifted, prayer-inspired consciousness: "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. . . . There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." Ps. 91:1, 10;
But entering the closet of prayer and closing the door is not mindlessly ignoring or fearfully huddling from the currents of medical belief. Instead, it is wholeheartedly—sometimes vigorously—affirming that every individual, as God's eternal spiritual representative, is perfect and free right now. And it is just as wholeheartedly denying that there exists even a microbe of disease or fear anywhere. We may need at times to declare specifically that no phase of human, material belief, or animal magnetism, can cause spreading of disease, because Mind governs all that really exists and neither sends nor permits disease. Whatever the specifics of our prayer, it is our firmness and our fidelity to Truth that deny disease a foothold and eradicate it.
Scientific, inspired prayer has wide-ranging effects. It helps to cleanse general human thought, bringing the light of Truth to bear directly and specifically on the fears that feed contagion. It can stop the most fearsome epidemic.
To turn to the teachings of Christian Science for personal comfort and safety is a good start. But these teachings are far more than just a better system of healing. They elucidate the truth of being, the original and ultimate Science of Life. If we are presently comfortable with the mistaken view of ourselves as prayer-protected individuals surrounded by others who are unprotected and tormented, or if we have been lulled into thinking that by merely refusing medical inoculation we are safe from the effects of medical beliefs, then we have not yet gained the profound significance of what the Master, Christ Jesus, came to show us. And our mental fortress is not yet fully fortified.
Prayer in Christian Science is an earnest affirmation of God's allness and a recognition of divine reality. "The test of all prayer," writes Mrs. Eddy, "lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer?" Science and Health, p. 9;
Deeply Christian prayer is immensely powerful, bringing wonderful freedom. Right during an epidemic you and I can see proved in our lives the truth of Mrs. Eddy's timeless description: "The star that looked lovingly down on the manger of our Lord, lends its resplendent light to this hour: the light of Truth, to cheer, guide, and bless man as he reaches forth for the infant idea of divine perfection dawning upon human imperfection,—that calms man's fears, bears his burdens, beckons him on to Truth and Love and the sweet immunity these bring from sin, sickness, and death." Miscellaneous Writings, p. 320.
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