I know someone who used to schedule his sick days in advance because he expected to catch some type of illness every year about the same time. Then he learned about Christian Science, and his experience completely changed. He soon noticed that he didn’t need to take sick days with regularity anymore. And on the rare occasions that he did fall ill, he returned to work in good shape much more quickly than in the past. What made the difference?
Christian Science brings out what Jesus taught of the intersection between one’s spirituality—or one’s relation to the Divine—and practical daily experience, bringing health and healing. Jesus’ understanding of the nature of God and God’s children as good and pure empowered him to not only safely come into contact with those suffering from highly contagious conditions, but actually heal them. And he taught that each of us could follow in the path he pointed out, too.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science and a consecrated follower of Jesus’ teachings, explained that contagion is fundamentally mental in nature rather than physical, and is engendered by fear. “Many a hopeless case of disease,” she wrote, “is induced by a single post mortem examination,—not from infection nor from contact with material virus, but from the fear of the disease and from the image brought before the mind; it is a mental state, which is afterwards outlined on the body” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 196).
Prayer that leads to a better understanding of the divine Love that governs us brings out the tangible expression of that Love in daily experience.
This is key. Prayer that leads to a better understanding of the divine Love that governs us brings out the tangible expression of that Love in daily experience. Mrs. Eddy illustrated this, healing highly contagious cases of diphtheria, tuberculosis, and membranous croup, and experiencing complete immunity in her contacts with these cases.
A number of years ago while working in a care home, I contracted a contagious skin condition that had rapidly spread among the patients and caregivers. We, along with most other care homes across the region, were required by the public health authority to quarantine those affected and follow a strict regimen of medical treatment. I requested and received permission to forgo the medication in order to practice Christian Science prayer for healing, with my agreement that I would remain quarantined until the healing was complete.
My prayer didn’t ask God to come heal the condition. Rather, in prayer, I sought to deepen my understanding of what it meant that God is Love and is “of purer eyes than to behold evil” (Habakkuk 1:13). Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Christian Science erases from the minds of invalids their mistaken belief that they live in or because of matter, or that a so-called material organism controls the health or existence of mankind, and induces rest in God, divine Love, as caring for all the conditions requisite for the well-being of man” (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 12).
My prayers affirmed that God is the ever-present divine Principle, Love, and that God’s creation, including each of us, is made in God’s spiritual likeness, fully reflecting His attributes. This includes health and immunity from evil in any form, which is utterly devoid of legitimate power in the face of God’s supremacy.
Following a brief period of prayer lasting but one day, I was healed quickly and permanently.
These ideas helped me to realize that health is not controlled by a material organism, and to trust in Love’s care for me and for all. I found that letting perfect Love, or God, into our hearts truly does lift fear (see I John 4:18).
Following a brief period of prayer lasting but one day, I was healed quickly and permanently. I was authorized to return to work and care for others with the same condition, and I did so with complete immunity. And within a shorter than expected time, everyone in the home was also free of the condition.
Each of us can turn to the Divine and experience the healing power of divine Love. Prayer that brings to the fore of thought God’s true nature as the source and maintainer of good, and our true nature as reflecting or including all the elements of divine good, destroys fear. And it brings to light the healing and protecting power of divine Love, and the good that flows ceaselessly from God to us.