Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Facing the Fear of SARS ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Facing the Fear of SARS ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

The nightly newscast said that fear was spreading faster than the disease itself. Government and health officials all over the world are warning about SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and offering advice on how to fight it. "For SARS, fear is the central pathogen..." said Marc Siegel, associate professor of medicine at New York University (The Boston Globe, Apr. 5).

This echoes what I've been learning about the importance of getting rid of fear in my own life when facing physical ailments, no matter how large or small they may be. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, wrote: "The cause of all so-called disease is mental, a mortal fear, a mistaken belief or conviction of the necessity and power of ill-health..." ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 377).

I'm learning that eradicating fear is central to preventing or destroying disease. And I find that one way of getting rid of fear is to draw closer to God, Love, and admit that Love is always caring for me, protecting me.

In the Bible the Psalmist talked about the defense and protection that come from turning to God as our refuge: "Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence [disease] that walketh in darkness; ... There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways" (Ps. 91).

Mrs. Eddy pointed out the antidote for fear in an article she wrote called "Contagion": "A calm, Christian state of mind is a better preventive of contagion than a drug, or than any other possible sanative method; and the 'perfect Love' that 'casteth out fear' is a sure defense" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," pg. 229).

Fear is never God-given, and that's why we don't have to live with it. The Bible says: "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (II Tim. 1:7). We have been given power to rebel against fear, cast it out, be free.

Jesus never said that fear was legitimate. …

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