We await a vaccine. It is a complicated process to identify the steps that cause infection and damage and how to intervene and make a virus harmless. The history is fascinating and at times quite disgusting – messing about with scabs, sores and blisters. We can only feel sorry for the victims throughout history that had diseases and then had strange tests and cures inflicted upon them as well.
China and India have ancient discoveries dating back hundreds of years but the records are hard to find. Western scientists developed their own methods whilst gaining hints from older traditions. In the late 1700s Edward Jenner found that fluids from cowpox infections gave immunity from the killer disease smallpox. His methods are good examples of “disgusting” but also followed careful scientific controls. It took another few decades before people believed and accepted vaccinations against smallpox and another century before it was eradicated. Louis Pasteur discovered that bacteria were specific particles in the air but heat could protect from them. We now know that bacteria and viruses act in many different ways, attacking our cells and that the body can respond in many ways to fight them. Researchers have found techniques to improve the human immune system, to recognise and fight infections. The basics still hold, keep distant and keep clean.
Our spiritual health is not very different. We can keep distant from things that can infect us and, we can clean ourselves spiritually. The common disciplines of prayer and meditation enable us to find a distance away from the pressures of life, to find a focus on what occupies thinking and how lifestyles have got stuck. Keeping distant from negative influences needs space to reflect and examine our lives. Cleansing requires us then to address worries and face fears. That might need someone experienced to help. It can be like being cured of a disease.
It takes a great deal of effort to examine a virus, the way it acts and then to find ways to kill it. It is no less an effort to cleanse the soul. It is why many people attend places of worship, it is why the language and culture of churches is so important and something is missing when churches diminish. In the end, it is the presence of God that is most important, in church, at home and in our daily lives. This is the hope that cures evil and even death.
As St. Paul wrote in Romans ch. 8 vs.35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I wish you success in your spiritual detox.