Yesterday's religious article discussed the underlying mental causes of the nuclear threat facing mankind. In today's article we'll look more deeply into the moral and spiritual solution to this threat, especially in terms of what the individual can do.
If we think merely in terms of human capabilities, we may feel there's little one person can accomplish. Yet an individual who changed the course of all history promised, ''If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.'' n1
n1 Matthew 17:20.
Christ Jesus' words challenge us to reassess what is possible to the individual. Apparently Jesus saw a power in enlightened faith, or spiritual understanding, that was a mountain mover. He expected his followers, then and now, to be able to cultivate that power-packed grain of faith and repeat his works.
He even indicated how the disciples might foster the mature faith needed to heal particularly difficult cases: by prayer and fasting. In Christian Science, prayer and fasting are more than mere pleading with God to save mankind, and penitent abstinence from food. They involve the purification of our thought and the putting on of that divine Mind ''which was also in Christ Jesus.'' n2
n2 Philippians 2:5.
Jesus could do the marvelous things he did because he was consciously at one with this divine Mind, his Father. Since Jesus is our Exemplar, his unity with God must also be a call to awake to our at-one-ment with the divine Mind - to have thoughts that are divine in origin, effect, and power. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, explains, ''To live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science.'' n3
n3 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 160.
Our concern here is nuclear war. What kind of prayer and fasting can help us ''individualize infinite power'' and move the mountains of fear, hatred, animality, lust, and so forth that would plunge mankind over the precipice?
It is a prayer, first of all, of deepest desire to know things spiritually, as God knows them. It is a spiritual fast grounded in heartfelt effort to abstain from material-mindedness and limited thinking in all its forms.
What empowers prayer is the absolute faith, fostered in Christian Science, that God, good, is All and includes within His infinitude only good. Evil, in its every form, must therefore be provably without real substance or power. Prayer must trust - and come to understand - that God is infinite Love and that He cares for and loves each of His offspring.
Our fast is abstinence from fear and limited, mortal thinking. Fear would make us doubt that God's righteous government can be made evident in practical protection. Limited, mortal thinking would have us accept that atomic energy is the ultimate power, rather than Spirit, the real creator of the universe.
If we will only have that mustard seed of faith in spiritual truth, we will fulfill Jesus' promise. We may start humbly, moving only ''foothills'' at first. But a cold cured, or an injury healed, or a relationship mended through the power of Christ, Truth, is a step on the way to greater proofs of the ever-availability of God's omnipotence.
The world needs our prayers and fasting, and if we love our family, friends, nation, and planet, we will pray unceasingly. Each day we can mentally deny, on the basis of God's supremacy, the threat of nuclear war and affirm the presence of God's righteous government. Inch by inch, the mountain will move. As the Bible assures, ''The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.'' n4
n4 James 5:16.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let us . . . be sober, putting on the brestplate of faith and love, and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. . . . Pray without ceasing. I Thessalonians 5:8, 17