Facing down fear of E. coli

A Christian Science perspective.

By , News editor for the Christian Science magazines

The strain of E. coli that recently arose in Spain and Germany has been a special source of concern to health officials because of its unusual nature. Hundreds of people have become ill, and there have been some deaths as well. Fear has been spreading across Europe and to the United States, where three suspected cases of the disease are being investigated. There is a great need for specific and healing prayer from all people who believe in God’s ability to rescue humanity in a time of trouble.

Christ Jesus’ life and healing works – along with the healing done by his disciples after him – make clear that there is a power that can be called upon through prayer to God, or divine Mind. This power is Christ, the influence of divine Love coming to humanity and leading it to peace, purity, and healing.

This influence can be felt in many ways. For the people seeking the source of the outbreak, it can guide them to clear, unbiased analysis and action. It can also help consumers and those who sell potentially contaminated products to make good decisions about how to proceed.

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While these efforts are important so corrections can be made, perhaps a greater need is to halt the spread of fear. Here again, the voice of Christ can speak to governments and individuals, bringing peace and calm as everyone strives to move forward. Yet mastering fear has larger implications than simply helping people feel more peaceful.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and founded the Monitor, wrote, “Fear is the fountain of sickness, and you master fear through divine Mind; hence it is through divine Mind that you overcome disease” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” pp. 391-392).

Her work as a spiritual healer revealed that divine Mind is the source of all life and intelligence, and that it includes only good. Each of us, no matter where we live, is a spiritual idea in that Mind. Since Mind, or divine Spirit, is infinite, none of us can be outside of that Mind or absent from its care and protection.

Human conditions, such as the current outbreak, argue that each of us is a material being, that life has a material basis which leaves one vulnerable to disease, germs, bacteria, and related troubles. The difficulty with this premise is that a God who is intelligent Love wouldn’t have made a creation designed to make itself sick, bring suffering, or poison itself through disease.

The spiritual reality is that this material view of life is a false premise, and we can achieve healing by recognizing what is actually true and what Jesus and others have already proved. God is Love and He loves all of His creation – including you, me, people in other countries than the ones we are in. He has no desire to see any of us suffer.

Nor is God’s love partial, coming more to one than to another. It is well able to drive out fear for anyone who appeals to Him for help, and when fear is gone, the “fountain of disease” is dried up. As the Bible says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear” (I John 4:18).

Each of us can take some time – even if it is only a minute or two – to pray with this thought that divine Love is present everywhere and that all people are under its healing power. No one needs to accept fear’s influence or feel that disease is inevitable. Right now, divine Love is with each of us and will lead us to intelligent choices and wise actions. Even for those who are ill, divine Love is there as a present help, bringing to light the true spiritual nature that is exempt from disease. This conviction of each one’s spirituality lifts thought above material thinking – where fear resides – to a higher understanding of God’s love. And this change in thought heals.

As our prayers address the atmosphere of fear brought on by this outbreak, it’s possible that the wider fears in Europe, especially about economic conditions and political instability, will be eased. God’s love is without limits, and it is present to remove fear from all hearts, no matter what particular type of fear may be darkening thought.

Thinking of all Jesus accomplished during his short period of healing work, the many lives he saved and transformed, will give confidence to our prayers, calm to our thoughts, and peace to our hearts. And the healing influence of God’s love will be felt as “a very present help” to all who are in trouble (Ps. 46:1).

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