Breaking the pull of contagion

A Christian Science perspective.

Imagine this: A lethal virus breaks out and sweeps around the globe at almost lightning speed. A worldwide team of experts swings into action to chase it down, find a cure, or at least slow the spread of the disease. Panic explodes across the scene and spreads even faster than the epidemic. All the while, people struggle to get by while the world around them crumbles and collapses before their eyes.

Does this onslaught of one harrowing chapter after another almost sound more like Hollywood than like real life? No surprise there. That’s what it is. The action-thriller movie “Contagion,” recently released in the United States, tells the story.

Along the way, it may unintentionally raise a few questions for the thoughtful observer. An A-list movie star, especially one in peril on the big screen, has a pull, sometimes almost hypnotic, on fans. Pictures of contagion often have a similar pull. Ditto for pictures of panic on the rise. So, in real life, is it contagion that triggers the fear? Or is it the other way around? Is it the fear that triggers the contagion? And does breaking the hypnotic star-power pull of one – either one – help to break the grip of the other?

One thing’s for sure: Gaining control over your own consciousness is invaluable. To do so means you become a kind of mental gatekeeper. You decide which images, which thoughts, and which mental pulls come in – and which ones are banned. It also means you become keenly aware of the divine power, the one Truth, the one God. This Truth equips you mentally and spiritually to be an effective monitor of thought, and to grow ever more discerning at it. Ultimately, the aim is to consistently entertain thoughts emanating from immortal Truth, and to consistently exclude erroneous thoughts coming from a supposititious and Godless mentality. Consider an episode from Christ Jesus’ ministry. The Bible tells of the Master healing a man afflicted with leprosy, a disease considered to be highly contagious. The accepted standard of the time held that this made the man not only unclean, but also untouchable. However, look at what Jesus did: “And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed” (Mark 1:40–42).

What moved society to establish its ban on lepers was the mental pull of fear. What moved Jesus to cancel out that pull was compassion. The compassion of the Christ – the message of the Father’s love for humanity – couldn’t help but reach the patient, silence any mortally mental alarms, and reveal health, harmony, and well-being as native to every one of the Father’s loved offspring. In other words, to all of us.

Three accounts of this healing appear in the Scriptures. At the close of each account Jesus charges the man to tell no one of the healing. Why? Could it have been that Jesus, having established fearless health in the patient’s thought – and therefore on the patient’s body – didn’t want mental chatter and speculation and mortal opinion to overrun the healing? Whatever the reason, it is the touch of the Christ – not the hypnotic pull of panic – that brings the healing power of Truth to the scene today, just as it did then.

The ever-present Truth causes only that which is consistent with Truth’s nature. Anything foreign to the divine nature, such as disease, is handled – eliminated – by the assuring fact that Truth’s ever presence leaves no room for an opposite presence. Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy, in her primary work on spiritual healing, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” puts it this way: “Truth handles the most malignant contagion with perfect assurance” (p. 176).

To slightly rephrase the questions from earlier in this editorial: Which gets eliminated first, the contagion or the fear of it? In the final analysis, neither fear nor illness is God-ordained, or God-maintained. Neither one has a future in the realm of Truth. Ultimately, we’ll glimpse that neither of them has a present either. Like a never-to-be-replayed movie now reaching its final credits, fear and contagion can come to an immediate and permanent end. Life without fear, but with uninvadable health, is the Father’s design for you. It is a gift from God, from the Truth that makes you free (see John 8:32).

Adapted from an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.

For a Spanish translation of this article, see The Herald of Christian Science.

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