My Brothers and Sisters Are Sinless

ACIM Workbook Lesson 181 – for Thursday, June 30, 2011

Affirmation:  “I trust my brothers, who are one with me.”

“Remove your focus on your brother’s sins, and you experience the peace that comes from faith in sinlessness.  This faith receives its only sure support from what you see in others past their sins.  For their mistakes, if focused on, are witnesses to sins in you.  And you will not transcend their sight and see the sinlessness that lies beyond.  (WB337)”

Reflections:

This passage identifies the “overlooking” that the Text asks us to do.  If we make our brother or sister’s “sins” real to ourselves by focusing on them, we will find it almost impossible to overlook them.  And by not overlooking, we make it even harder to forgive, which is necessary (a Text tenet).  How can we overlook what we have made real by dwelling on it?  Certainly our frame of mind will be calmer, and we will be more serene, if we don’t dwell on the shortcomings of others.  Our own shortcomings likewise need to be forgiven, but here there is a difference.  We must understand what we have done, and not just suppress it as of no importance because all is illusion anyway.  In this world, we do not recognize the misdeeds as illusions, often.  We (mistakenly) see these misdeeds as real, and what we have made real becomes real to ourselves.  We need to make amends when we have been the guilty party.  Even though guilt is described in the Text as hell, we will experience guilt when we have made mistakes, especially when those mistakes are serious.  We would do better, and if we commune with God, we will know how to right the wrongs that we have observed in ourselves.

Actually the sinlessness in ourselves and others is legitimate.  All is illusion, except the intangibles born of love.  We do not fully understand this.  But we are still as God created us.  The illusory detour into insanity of the ego has not actually changed anything about us.  Let us dwell on this important fact, and trust that sinlessness is actually our natural state.

Sinlessness is also the state of our brothers and sisters.  They have made mistakes, some of which have affected us, but they too are as God created them.  When we truly believe this truth, we will know peace in a way that we never have heretofore.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It is so reassuring to read that I have made mistakes (of course), but that “sin” as a concept is something best turned aside.  For reasons that I do not understand, a “sin” in enticing, and we want to repeat the “sin,” even when we suffer.  This is insanity, and I thank You for the words in ACIM that explain it to me.

Be with me today, as I go about my little world.  Help me to keep my temper in check with my brothers and sisters, and help me to avoid the suffering that comes when I do not turn everything about myself over to You.  I would belong to You completely today.

Amen.

There Is No Cruelty in God nor in Me

ACIM Workbook Lesson 180 – for Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  By grace I live.  By grace I am released.

“2.  There is no cruelty in God and none in me.  (WB335)”

Reflections:

We continue the theme of grace today.  We are justified in the sight of God.  This is basically what grace means.  May we accept this great blessing today.

We are not actually cruel people, even when we make bad mistakes.  We can always ask for forgiveness of ourselves and other people, and we can be reconciled with God.  No one does things that at the moment he/she perceives to be wrong, though he/ she may see the imperfection later on, and feel great remorse.  Then we ask to have the mistakes corrected, and God will change us.  An anecdote told by Norman Vincent Peale made this plain.  An individual did not like his temper, which he had in extreme measure until he was 40 years old.  One day, in great faith, he just asked God to release him from his and from that day, instead of flying into a great fit, he flew into a great calm.  God had reached him; his faith had assured him that when he asked in line with God’s wishes, he would be answered.  And he was.

Let us leave the illusion of cruelty behind today.  We do not need to attack ourselves or our brothers and sisters.  We do not have to seem cruel.  The Higher Self is not cruel in the least.  And that is what this sentence (“There is no cruelty in God and none in me”) really means.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the assurance that the mistakes that I have made, and continue to make, do not mean that I am being cruel.  Teach me how to immediately rectify the mistakes that I make.  Help me not to harm myself nor any of my brothers and sisters.  Let me be aware of Your presence today so that I do not falter in my resolution to be tolerant and loving.

Be with me today.  May I have that “felt presence of Being” that I have read about.  Be with me to feel You today.

Amen.

The Gift of God’s Grace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 179 – for Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  There is one life, and that I share with God.

“2.  Your grace is given me.  I claim it now.  (WB334)”

Reflections:

We are One with God, oft repeated in this blog.  This goes against some traditional Christian teaching that the earth and all in it are God’s handiwork, and that He stands apart from His handiwork.  But the latest revelations, including A Course in Miracles, does state that God is One with us.  Our life is His; He is experiencing Himself through us.  These ideas are developed at some length by Neale Donale Walsch in his Conversations with God series.

We need only ask for God’s grace to receive it.  He wants to give grace to us.  Grace is the truth of forgiveness, but God does not forgive, because He does not perceive that we have ever sinned (a Text tenet).  God does not need to forgive, but we do.  This is a principal tenet of A Course in Miracles.  When we have traveled far enough along the pathway, we will know that there is actually nothing to forgive, but most of us have not traveled that far yet.

Grace is a great boon that need only to be claimed to be our own.  We will know God’s love for us when we accept the grace that He so willingly holds out to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for Your grace today.  This is the mercy that You extend to us all the time, but our eyes are frequently blind to it.  I would not be blind today.  Help me to live always in Your presence.  Give me Your peace, along with the will to follow what You would have me say and do.  Help me to be kind to those whom I encounter.

Your grace is partially a mystery to me, but I know that You can open my eyes to all that You mean by “grace.”  Help me to comprehend more today, with my spirit as well as my mind.  I would not follow the ego’s raucous calls today.

Amen.

We Are Part of God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 178 – for Monday, June 27, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  Let not my mind deny the Thought of God.

“2.  I am entrusted with the gifts of God.  (WB334)”

Reflections:

What is the “Thought of God”?  I think that it is the ultimate awareness that we are not alone.  We have support.  We have love.  And we have joy.  God is there for us at all times, even when we feel nothing.  There is some evidence from mystical writings that He withdraws from time to time in a dark night of the soul (a phrase from St. John of the Cross).  But these are normally rare occurrences.  If we reach within, we know His Thought.  Let us accept His Thought as our own, for we are a part of Him.

We do have gifts of God.  In our less grateful moments, we sink into depression and do not feel His goodness, but these can be fairly infrequent occasions.  No one is happy all of the time.  We have our egoistic dramas.  But when we move ever closer to Awakening, we are ever closer to God at all times.  Let Him guide in everyday life.  Talk to God in plain language.  He understands it.

The gifts of God are many.  We frequently think of materialistic things as His gifts, but these are not His most important gifts.  His most important gifts are intangibles that we can give away and in the giving have multiplied for ourselves (a Text tenet).  We do have an inheritance from God that is joyous in the extreme.  Let us not forget to thank Him for these great blessings.  A grateful heart is a joyous heart, more often than not.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know the joy of communing with You today.  You make my day.  A day in which I feel Your presence throughout my busy activities has always, for me, been a day well spent.  I may forget You, but please, You do not forget me.

I am part of You.  You are my essence.  However much my insanity has made what seems to be a separation from You, it is all illusion.  You have never left Your creation, and for that I give thanks.

Amen.

There Is No Death

ACIM Workbook Lesson 177 – for Sunday, June 26, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  There is no death.  The Son of God is free.

“2.  Now are we one with Him Who is our Source.  (WB334)”

Reflections:

If we can believe that death is like walking through an open door (told by the Guides that Ruth Montgomery found in automatic writing), then we can have some peace about death.  We are eternal.  We do keep living.  And many psychic writings detail what life is like on the Other Side.  We are not usually changed a great deal just upon death; we carry our personalities with us (according to psychics, including Arthur Ford).  We can see in these ideas the fact that we remain free beings.  We are free when our will is not imprisoned (a Text tenet).  And our will is imprisoned only when we are living the ego.  We do know that there is another way to live, and we would find it today.

When we are One with God, our Source, then we know true joy and happiness.  God would have us happy; he is not pleased by long faces that simply seem pious.  God is a Friend, above all, but He is within (and without) us, and when we are quiet and go within, we find Him.  We do not have to wait long.  He has patiently waited for us to make the decision to go within.

Freedom is a great boon.  We are not puppets of the Holy Spirit, Who would merely guide our decisions along better lines than we can handle ourselves.  He knows the whole picture.  Let us look to Him today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for assurance that there is no death.  We live on, in what surroundings we know not, but need not doubt.  When I reflect on the fact that life is truly eternal, it takes the sting out of dying, and with that goes my fear.   I thank You that I no longer fear death.  I thank You that this partakes of my mind, of my intelligence, and I do not rely on blind faith in what others have told me.  You gave me this surety.

May my brothers and sisters reach a surety about life eternal as well.  Will You guide me to say or do the right thing to bring the ones in my circle to the assurance that I feel in my bones about life after death.  Truly our family who have crossed to the Other Side are in a better place.  May we not grieve so painfully once we accept this truth with our whole minds and hearts.

Amen.

Blessed by God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 176 – for Saturday, June 25, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.

“2.  I am as God created me.  (WB333)”

Reflections:

Ask today to be blessed by God.  He will do so.  Sometimes we must ask for what we want, before God will act toward us.  “Ask and ye shall receive” (a quotation from Jesus in the New Testament).  God’s blessing is a great boon, a way to have happiness even in the midst of a world in turmoil or chaos.  We can rise above the worst things in our lives if we have His blessing.  We can stay calm when all about us people are losing their composure.  We do not have to be so affected.  Ask for God’s blessing, and we will find that our way is smoothed, even though the world itself stays in conflict.

We are as God created us.  This refrain repeats often in the Workbook.  We have not been changed by a presumed separation from God.  We have only made a detour into the ways of the ego, and this detour can be straightened out by asking God for direction.  The ego would lead us into conflict, and we would not have this.  The ego is only a false way of thinking, a part of our belief about ourselves (a Text tenet).  The ego does not have to be overblown into something that is hard to relinquish.  Relinquishment is possible at any time, though frequently relinquishment happens over a fairly long period of time.  That is due to our own reluctance to believe that we have been so mistaken.  But we can get over this by petition of the Holy Spirit.

We would be all that God would have us be.  We would have the God within have a good day.  Often we treat ourselves worst than we would treat God.  But He is right here with us, within us, experiencing as we experience.  Let us give God a good day today.  Ask and we will receive.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a good day today, a happy day.  Thank You for leading me to understand that happiness is not an inferior goal, that You would have us happy.  Happiness and salvation go hand-in-hand, and I thank You for that.  I would do what I can to bring both happiness and salvation to my brothers and sisters.  Help me to do this today.

I do feel blessed by You in my life, past and present.  From my life today, I can look back, for years, and see how things were made different by my adherence to Your way.  When I feel down, I had gotten out of touch.  I would not get out of touch today.

Amen.

Give Miracles

ACIM Workbook Lesson 175 – for Friday, June 24, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  I give the miracles I have received.

“2.  I am at home.  Fear is the stranger here.  (WB333)”

Reflections:

1 – Receiving Miracles

We do receive miracles.  Jesus says in the Text that when miracles do not occur, something has gone wrong.  We would ask for miracles (also a tenet of A Course of Love), and we will receive.  Then we give the miracles when prompted to do so.  We do not want to make conscious choices about miracles to give, because these can be misguided (a Text tenet).  But when Jesus is at the helm, we will know which miracles to perform, to whom and when.   Unconsciously guided, we do our best.

2 – Our Lives Will Smooth Out

We would have the miracles that we would give.  Then we know what the result is going to be (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Ask to be guided to the miracles that we have received, and such will be granted.  Our lives will smooth out, because we are thinking about somebody other than ourselves all the time.

3 – Leave Fear Behind with the Ego Gone

We would leave fear behind when we leave the ego behind.  Sometimes physical aids in the form of pills are necessary, and Jesus does not condemn this.  He says in the Text that the last thing we need is to have fear increased, and if pills (a form of magic) work for us, then we need to use them as a temporary expedient.  We can also turn to others when in a fearful state of mind.  And, always, we can turn to the Holy Spirit and the calm that He gives.  We will know ever-greater calm when we listen to the guidance that He gives.  He will guide us to the pill, the individual, to Himself–whatever is needed to quell the fear.  Trust in Him, and know that all can be well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the miracles that I have received, especially for those miracles about which I have remained totally unaware.  And I ask to be shown which miracles I ought to give.  Giving and receiving are one, and I would share in both aspects of a miracle.

Help me not to try to run ahead of You and to “make” miracles.  I know that this is a false way to behave, and I would only do the miracles about which I have received guidance.  Miracles are under Jesus’s care, and I would turn to him today.

Amen.

I Would Enter God’s Presence Now

ACIM Workbook Lesson 174 – for Thursday, June 23, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  Into His Presence would I enter now.

“2.  Today I learn to give as I receive.  (WB333)”

Reflections:

In our meditations today, let us enter into the Presence of God.  Let us realize that we will never be happy until we let Him take over.  His Will is actually our real will (a Text tenet).  Until we believe this, we will all too often feel like Jonah of the Old Testament, who tries to escape God’s will for him, and metaphorically ends up in a whale’s belly for three days.

We do not have to identify with Jonah.  We are not victims of a God who would jerk us around like puppets.  We choose His way as the real way that we would proceed.  The Holy Spirit interprets our will for us; we are often too caught in the ego to do so ourselves.

Giving and receiving are one.  What we give, we receive; what we receive, we need to give–if it is of love and not the ego.  This means that we do not retaliate in attack or anger.  We know that these negative actions are actually calls for help, and we offer help in the best way that we know.  God is Love, and we are also.  We are a part of God, though we do not often realize this.  We commune with Him when we go to the depths of our being.  We know the quiet that helps us to reach within.  And when we are sincere, and quiet enough, we join with Him in our daily meditations.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I entertain Your presence throughout the day today.  Take my preoccupations with self away from the ego’s clutches, and help me to feel Your Being.  I need You today.  I need Your comfort.

Help me to be there for the others in my life.  Guide my prayers for the circle of brothers and sisters in this world who are outside my sphere.  Be with us all today.

Amen.

God = Love = I Also

ACIM Workbook Lesson 173 – for Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  I will step back and let Him lead the way.

“2.  I walk with God in perfect holiness.  (WB332)”

Reflections:

The “Him” in this passage is the Holy Spirit, who guides us so carefully in our walk through this world.  We need to depend on Him, because He knows all the factors–large and small–in our world that would be impinging upon us (a Manual tenet).  We ourselves ought to refrain from judgment, because we cannot know all of the factors.  We do not have such understanding.

If we follow the Holy Spirit, or if we are in Christ-consciousness, we will walk with God in perfect holiness.  Nothing else will satisfy us.  We want to be the perfect children of God.  We will not necessarily be perfect, but we can choose to remove those thoughts or behaviors that make us less than we want to be (a tenet of A Course of Love).   “I walk with God in perfect holiness.”  What a glorious promise!  We would do well to consider this message carefully in our daily meditations.

Let God lead the way.  He, along with the Holy Spirit (or Universal Inspiration, the mediator/communicator between God and us) will show us what to do.  And our lives will be immeasurably better for the experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I walk with God today.  The past few days have brought even more intense happiness than the dreams of the Holy Spirit usually bring to me.  Thank You.  Be with me as I seek to help the others in my circle enjoy such bliss.  I feel very blessed.

May I come to know what it means for You to be Love.  You are not an emotion, but I can only intuitively understand, and I wish to comprehend fully so that I do not backslide.

Amen.

Defenselessness = Safety

ACIM Workbook Lesson 172 – for Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  In my defenselessness my safety lies.

“2.  I am among the ministers of God.  (WB332)”

Reflections:

1 – Defense Makes What It Would Defend Against

The first sentence of the above is particularly important.  We will find that defense makes what it would defend against.  The undesired attack, or anger, or whatever, will actually increase if we try to defend ourselves.  Just be quiet, and we will note that the undesirable word or behavior will diminish.  This does not mean that we accept real abuse.  We are not asked to do that.  We must remove ourselves from the scene in such cases; we do no good when we teach another that he/she can wrong us in such a personal way.

2 – We Are Ministers of God

We are ministers of God.  How would He have us act?  How would Jesus have us act?  Jesus was totally without defense in his “trial” prior to his crucifixion.  He knew that the actions being taken were actually illusion, that in his innermost Self he was not being harmed.  So he did not try to respond to Pilate (as described in the New Testament).  We would do as well in less extreme situations.  Jesus is our example life (also a tenet of A Course of Love, viewed by some as a sequel to A Course in Miracles), but we are not called to live the life that he led.  We do not have to be crucified in any way.  We do not have to learn through pain (an ACIM tenet), which is a temporary learning experience at best.

3 – Higher Power Aids Us

In our defenselessness, we will see that a Higher Power will come to our aid.  We do not accept abuse, as noted, but we remove ourselves from the scene.  In less extreme ways, we can always choose defenselessness as the manner in which we conduct ourselves.  We do not always have to remove ourselves from the scene.  We can look within and ask for the right reaction.  It will always be one of love.  If this love is to leave, then so be it.  If this love is to stay and rectify the situation, then let us also do that.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be defenseless today, even when my ego calls to me to answer critical comments with a rejoinder of my own.  I know that defense makes what it would defend against; help me to remember this when, in the midst of attack or anger, it seems very difficult to remember.  Stop me before I say anything rash.

Be with me today, as always.  May I feel good walking the world today–Your world.  Even though You didn’t create what is temporal, still the real world, which I would walk, is Yours.  And it is the real world that I want to inhabit.

Amen.

Echoes of the Voice for God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 171 – for Monday, June 20, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  All things are echoes of the Voice for God.

“2.  The power of decision is my own.  (WB332)”

Reflections:

These two brief sentences (above) both have to do with guidance.  We are doing the choosing, but if we follow the tenets of  A Course in Miracles, we will make a choice informed by the Holy Spirit.    He may speak to us in many ways–intuition, an inner “knowing,” dreams, visions, the words of a friend or even a stranger, a chance word caught from a radio or television broadcast, a passage in a book, etc.  The whole world is the purview of the guidance of which we hear in these sentences.

We may not always have to feel that we are puppets on a string.  That is why we are told that the power of decision is our own.  We choose whether or not to get help in our decisions, in our choosing.  And the closer we come to Awakening, the more the help seems to be Self-chosen (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  This Self is the larger spirit of which we are a part, the part that is not on this earth (an interpretation, not specifically stated in ACIM).

We would carefully consider the messages that come to us, to be sure that our own ego has not intruded and is misleading us.  We can also make incorrect assumptions when under great stress or when emotionally ill.  None of this need concern most of us in everyday life, except for the fact that the ego will try to intrude.  Ask for help in discerning, and that help will be given us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would hear the Voice for You, the Holy Spirit, in my life today.  I would ask to make plain, through Him, what You would have me do, what decisions You would have me make.  I realize that the hearing becomes stronger the more consistently I listen.  Thank You.  Help my listening to be consistent today.

May this be a good day.  Spring is often a time of new beginnings, and I would recommit today to You and Your Way.

Amen.

Defense = Makes What It Defends Against

ACIM Workbook Lesson 170 – for Sunday, June 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is no cruelty in God and none in me.”

“How thoroughly insane is the idea that to defend from fear is to attack!  For here is fear begot and fed with blood, to make it grow and swell and rage.  And thus is fear protected, not escaped.  Today we learn a lesson which can save you more delay and needless misery than you can possibly imagine.  It is this:

“You make what you defend against, and by your own defense against it is it real and inescapable.  Lay down your arms, and only then do you perceive it false.  (WB326)”

Reflections:

This is one of the more important passage in A Course in Miracles.  It emphasizes that when we defend ourselves, we actually help to create that which we would defend against.  Who in their right mind would do such a thing?  But we are not in our right mind, and that is the point.  We are here to come into our right mind, to let the insanity go, and to go home.  When we have awakened, we will not understand how we could have been so deluded so long.  We will shake our heads in disbelief.

Defenses also cause delay, and the world has waited long enough to be saved.  It is worn and weary (ideas from the Text), and the world needs us badly.  Let us not fail to do our part to set things aright.  Jesus himself, God Himself, depends on us in league with the Holy Spirit, Who gives us our guidance of what to say or do next.

When we give up defenses, we understand what this passage is trying to say.  It is only in the doing that we will see the benefit of following its teaching.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have learned in my lifetime, since reading A Course in Miracles, that defense is a straw man, that it can only hurt and never help.  Help me to recall this truth to mind when a brother or sister attacks me, and I am tempted to try to defend myself.  Help me always to remember that attack is a call for help, and I do not have to defend myself at all–but to help the other as much as he or she is able to accept in that moment or later on.

Thank You for these truths.  I need to remember them in my daily life, and I ask you to call them to mind when temptation to return attack for attack arises in me.  I would not respond to this egoistic call, but instead use it as an instance to further let the ego wither away.

Amen.

We Must Take the Role Assigned to Us

ACIM Workbook Lesson 169 – for Saturday, June 18, 2011

Affirmation:  “By grace I live.  By grace I am released.”

“Suffice it, then, that you have work to do to play your part.  The ending must remain obscure to you until your part is done.  It does not matter.  For your part is still what all the rest depends on.  As you take the role assigned to you, salvation comes a little nearer each uncertain heart that does not beat as yet in tune with God.  (WB324)”

Reflections:

This passage is reminiscent of William Shakespeare, in that we are seen to have “parts” to play in the drama that is being carried out on earth.  We do not know how the ending will turn out, other than that it will be God’s way.  He does not bring tragedy to our world, if we see tragedies, but he does determine the ultimate outcome, which will be joyous.  This is  a promise of the Manual, in discussing the ending of our world.

We are responsible for the salvation of our brothers and sisters.  If we temporarily understand more, let us be thankful and then share, if they are willing, with others.  We are not called to proselytize.  Some are ready only for a smile or a prayer, sent on their behalf to God (an ACIM tenet).

Our hearts are indeed uncertain until they take their rest in God.  When we have recognized that the Holy Spirit makes decisions that are in our best interests, then we are well on the way to ultimate understanding.  We are never coerced, but who would fail to follow guidance when it is seen to be what we want most in all the world?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask to know my role.  Sometimes I have thought that I knew it, but I ask anew this day.  My real role is in accord with Your will.  Help me to carry it out with Your grace enabling me.

Be with me this day as I reflect on the role that You would have me play.  Help me not to take myself too seriously as I contemplate this, though it is a serious matter.  Help all of us to bring salvation a little nearer to this beleaguered world.

Amen.

The Awakening

ACIM Workbook Lesson 168 – for Friday, June 17, 2011

Affirmation:  “Your grace is given me.  I claim it now.”

“Today we ask of God the gift He has most carefully preserved within our hearts, waiting to be acknowledged.  This the gift by which God leans to us and lifts us up, taking salvation’s final step Himself.  All steps but this we learn, instructed by His Voice.  But finally He comes Himself, and takes us in His Arms and sweeps away the cobwebs of our sleep.  His gift of grace is more than just an answer.  It restores all memories the sleeping mind forgot; all certainty of what Love’s meaning is.  (WB321)”

Reflections:

This passage is the most beautiful rendition of what Awakening means in A Course in Miracles.  It makes clear that it is God Himself Who decides when our time is right, when we are ready for salvation’s ultimate blessing.

The steps to Awakening are learned by many through ACIM.  Here Jesus is explaining the means to us; revelation may occasionally reveal the end, and when it does, the experience is glorious indeed.  But not lasting.  Awakening, when it occurs genuinely and by God, is lasting.  Not many have on this earth experienced Awakening, but the numbers are growing.

May we pray today to have God act sooner rather than later.  May we study ACIM well, that we might be ready for that surprising and glorious moment, taken toward us by God Himself.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I adore this lovely message from You.  It is a glorious promise, for which all of us will be grateful.  May all of us experience the Awakening sooner rather than later, and may we thank You in advance for making us ready to receive this revelation as permanent.

Be with us today as we walk the pathway that You intend for us.  We will awaken, as You have promised, but we must be satisfied to walk the pathway with You until You deem that we are ready.  May we soon be ready.

Amen.

All Feelings that Are Not Happy = “Death”

ACIM Workbook Lesson 167 – for Thursday, June 16, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is one life, and that I share with God.”

“In this world, there appears to be a state that is life’s opposite.  You call it death.  Yet we have learned that the idea of death takes many forms.  It is the one idea which underlies all feelings that are not supremely happy.  It is the alarm to which you give response of any kind that is not perfect joy.  All sorrow, loss, anxiety and suffering and pain, even a little sign of weariness, a slight discomfort or the merest frown, acknowledge death.  And thus deny you live.  (WB318)”

Reflections:

This passage is quite metaphorical, but yet we can see its practical applications.  A Course in Miracles is always practical (a tenet).  If we view our little pains as “little deaths,” then we can see the wisdom in these words.  Anytime that we acknowledge suffering, rather than try to overlook it, we are exacerbating the suffering.  In practical terms, overlooking suffering can be hard to do.  But distraction has been found to lessen the perception of pain; therefore, the suffering is less.

We can even acknowledge pain without having it turn into suffering.  Echhart Tolle makes this point in A New Earth.  We could sometimes do ourselves no greater value than to fail to turn pain into suffering.  When we dwell on pain, it grows.  Overlooking, much as we overlook our brothers’ and sisters’ attacks upon us, does much to have us live in a joyous world.

Let us turn aside from death in all its forms today.  There are no “little deaths,” in an interpretation based on ACIM principles.  It is all or nothing.  Let our little deaths be nothing today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I appreciate that in my lifetime You have shown me enough that I no longer fear death.  I do not fear the end of my life, but I am not yet consistent in living each day to the fullest and avoiding the “little deaths” of joylessness.  Help me to live a joyous day today.  Help me to forget “death” in any form.

Be with me today, and most of all, help me to feel Your presence.  I thank You for the comfort that You have brought to me when I feel You especially keenly.  I would invite that feeling by consistently communing with You throughout the day.  Help me to do this.

Amen.

Your Ancient Fear Has Come upon You Now

ACIM Workbook Lesson 166 – for Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am entrusted with the gifts of God.”

“Your ancient fear has come upon you now, and justice has caught up with you at last.  Christ’s hand has touched your shoulder, and you feel that you are not alone.  You even think the miserable self you thought was you may not be your Identity.  Perhaps God’s Word is truer than your own.  Perhaps His gifts to you are real.  Perhaps He has not wholly been outwitted by your plan to keep His Son in deep oblivion, and go the way you chose without your Self.  (WB316)”

Reflections:

Our ancient fear is the fear that we have done away with God as a factor in our lives.  This is not true now and has never been true.  It will also not be true in the future.  The separation is an illusion, although very real to us in our illusory state of maya.   But we feel Christ’s hand upon our shoulder, and we are healed of this insane way of thinking.  We are not the miserable self that we once thought, but the glorious Self which we aspire to be.  That Self has never left us, however much we had thought ourselves lost.  We remember who we are, and we are safe, joyous, and complete in God’s eyes.

The plan of our ego was to keep the Self in deep oblivion, not knowing all the joy that can truly be ours.  Let us rid ourselves of this egoistic monster today.  May we come home to God.

Christ has gifts that he wants us to have.  May we accept them today.  His gifts include the blessing of safety, free of grievances; the love of ourselves, along with our brothers an sisters; and the free nature of joy that knows no bounds.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be rid of the cold fear that has been known to come upon me in the middle of the night.  I will reach inward, to You, and know that all is well–even when I feel that I am being cowardly in my fear.  I know that there is no more need for fear, that that was all a bad dream.  I would walk into the sunshine with You.

I feel the touch of Christ as a mystery that calms my emotions and gives me peace.  I ask for that peace at all times, for fear has no place in the real world.  I would live in the real world on a constant basis, and I know that this is the forerunner of Awakening.  Thank You for giving me this understanding.  Be with me as I try to live as You would have me live.

Amen.

The Thought of God Protects You

ACIM Workbook Lesson 165 – for Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let not my mind deny the Thought of God.”

“The Thought of God protects you, cares for you, makes soft your resting place and smooth your way, lighting your mind with happiness and love.  Eternity and everlasting life shine in your mind, because the Thought of God has left you not, and still abides with you.  (WB313)”

Reflections:

When we truly “think” of God, we are safe and nothing can hurt us.  Of course, the physical and emotional little self can be hurt, but we are concerned with the higher Self, which knows no hurt.  Our resting place is soft and our way is smooth.  What a glorious promise!

God has never forgotten His children, of which we are One with Him.  His Thought has not left us, though it may have been forgotten for awhile.  We would remember today.  We would let yesterday be the last day that we forgot the Thought of God.

Our minds are frequently trapped by egoistic thinking, and this denies the Thought of God.  May we ask today to be free of egoistic thinking.  And may we walk into the sunlight with Christ.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It is a bit hard for me to wrap my little mind around the large concept of the Thought of You.  Help me today, to understand more fully, and to live with Your Thought more fully–even when my little mind cannot comprehend all of Your glory.  The Thought of you does not dwell where my mind does, for my mind is frequently distracted, still, by thought generated by the ego.  Help me to reach beyond such petty distractions, and to come today into the presence of Your Thought.

Thank You for the unfolding of Your grace.  I feel Your guiding Hand in my better moments.  Thank You for not withdrawing for me; thank You for allowing me to feel Your presence in my innermost being.

Amen.

Christ’s Vision

ACIM Workbook Lesson 164  – for Monday, June 13, 2011

Affirmation:  “Now are we one with Him Who is our Source.”

“Open the curtain in your practicing by merely letting go all things you think you want.  Your trifling treasures put away, and leave a clean and open space within your mind where Christ can come, and offer you the treasure of salvation.  He has need of your most holy mind to save the world.  Is not this purpose worthy to be yours?  Is not Christ’s vision worthy to be sought above the world’s unsatisfying goals?  (WB312)”

Reflections:

The things we think we want are often materialistic, and they would keep us from the higher values that we need to embrace.  This passage summarizes this theme.  We would look to Christ’s vision for us, and as we do so, we are healed.  We become whole.  And we are happy–not the least benefit that we will receive.

Salvation is indeed a treasure.  Many of us have surrendered to God at an early point in our lives, but now Jesus would have us go deeper, into the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings, and then on to Awakening itself.  Let us not thrush aside this glorious future that can be ours for the asking.  Let us ask today.

The pain of this world is indeed fleeting, and this pain does not have to turn into suffering.  When we turn to God, He lifts us above the fray of this world, and we know for the first time what salvation really means.

There is nothing in this world that has ever satisfied us very long, if it was truly “of” this world.  Real love is, of course, an exception.  And the joy that we have from God’s intangibles is real.  Hugh Prather made this point in one of his last commentaries.  ‘Projection makes perception,” as ACIM says, but this projection can be for God’s Way as well as our own.  Then, when it is God’s Way, we are joyous.  We rise above the trials of this world, the limitations that we will not be without–but when we are bade to rise above.  May we make a better decision today so that these trials can cease, peacefully.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live the life You would have me live.  I would see with the vision of Christ.  If this is still beyond me, then I ask that today You bring this vision ever-closer.  I know that in asking this, I am asking only for what is already Your will for me.

Help me to be good to the people that I meet in my world.  Especially let me be good to those who are most significant to me.  If I cannot be good to my intimates, then there is little point in trying to follow the Your way.  It would be impossible, and I know that You have never ask me to do something that is impossible.  You know me better than I know myself.  Help me, today, to draw ever closer to You and Your will for me.  I know that Your will and my real will are identical.

Amen.

There Is No Death

ACIM Workbook Lesson 163 – for Sunday, June 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is no death.  The Son of God is free.”

“The idea of the death of God is so preposterous that even the insane have difficulty in believing it.  For it implies that God was once alive and somehow perished; killed, apparently, by those who did not want Him to survive.  Their stronger will could triumph over His, and so eternal life gave way to death.  And with the Father died the Son as well.  (WB310)”

Reflections:

“Death of God” theologians were a phenomenon, briefly, in the sixties, when A Course in Miracles was scribed.  It was considered in colleges and universities across the nations.  But it didn’t last long, and it never took hold even in congenial atmospheres.  It did not make intuitive sense.

But A Course in Miracles says that there is no death, not for God nor His children.  Death is like walking through an open door (a statement taken down by Ruth Montgomery in automatic writing from her Guides).

And we are free, if our will has not been imprisoned by failing to realize that the Will of God and our real will are actually the same.  If we are hurting, perhaps we need to realize that pain is not necessary.  We do not need to suffer for salvation.  We learn better through rewards, because these, Jesus says, are lasting.

It is sometimes difficult for those of us caught too often in the ego to believe that God’s Will and our real will are the same.  But we are trapped in illusions, the maya of this world, when we do not make an effort to understand.  And our way out of this maze will become clearer the farther along the pathway to God that we go.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would like to recognize myself as truly “free” today.  I know that this can only be when my will is not imprisoned, when I am not following the ego.  I thank you for the immediate way in which guidance is coming to me from the Holy Spirit.  I will to be a channel for Your grace.  Help me to flow through my days with You in charge.

May I revel in the thought that there is no death.  We live eternally, and while on this plane we cannot know how or what we will do in that eternity, we are assured that our future will be good.  Thank You for taking away my natural fear of death.

Amen.

I Am as God Created Me

ACIM Workbook Lesson 162 – for Saturday, June 11, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am as God created me.”

“Holy indeed is he who makes these words his own; arising with them in his mind, recalling them throughout the day, at night bringing them with him as he goes to sleep.  His dreams are happy and his rest secure, his safety certain and his body healed, because he sleeps and wakens with the truth before him always.  He will save the world, because he gives the wrold what he receives each time he practices the words of truth.  (WB307)”

Reflections:

The emphasis in our passage today is to repeat the affirmation, the lesson for today, as a refrain.  We have not changed:  “I am as God created me.”

What does this mean?  It means that nothing that has happened is truly real, except the intangibles of love and healing.  We have only taken a detour into insanity, and we can come out of it by turning to the Holy Spirit for healing.  May we do so today.

If we are as God created us, we are whole beings–children of God.  And He is with us always, in our innermost Self.  God is the All, and we would do well to remember that we are in no way apart from Him ever.

“I am as God created me.”  When things seem tough, let us repeat these words, and rejoice.  We are not creatures of sin, but only individuals who have made mistakes in a separation that in actuality never happened.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk in the this world today in safety, knowing that I have not changed except in illusions.  I am actually still as You created me.  I would sleep tonight, dream happy dreams, rest securely and safely, and know that I will arise tomorrow with You blessing on my body, mind, and heart.  Thank You.

I appreciate this surety that You are giving me.  Even when I fall down, I know that the fall is only temporary, and that my real Self has not been hurt.  Be with me now and forever, and may I feel Your Being.

Amen.

When Anger Is Gone = Fear Gone = Love Here

ACIM Workbook Lesson 161 – for Friday, June 10, 2011

Affirmation:  “Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.”

“Today we practice differently and take a stand against our anger, that our fears may disappear and offer room to love.  Here is salvation in the simple words in which we practice with today’s idea.  Here is the answer to temptation which can never fail to welcome in the Christ where fear and anger had prevailed before.  Here is Atonement made complete, the world passed safely by and Heaven now restored.  Here is the answer of the Voice for God.  (WB304)”

Reflections:

The Text says that there is never any excuse for anger nor attack.  All anger and attacks are calls for help on the part of our brothers and sisters, and we need to rush to their side with reassurances.  We will not actually make the physical effort if they are unreceptive, but we will stay calm and peaceful, and we will recognize the insanity of it all.

When our brothers and sisters will welcome our response, we are to give it.  We will let them know that we love them and that we do not hold the anger and attack against them.

Anger and attack on our part has the same solution.  We must realize that we are calling for help, and that we need only turn to God for our answers.  All things, ACIM suggests are expressions of love (or help) or calls for love (or help).  When we realize this, and when we know that our real Self has not been hurt, we will forgive.  This does not mean that we will stay in an abusive relationship.  ACIM does not ask this.  But it does mean that, from a distance, we will be able to forgive.  Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from the situation for self-protection.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May nothing today tempt me to respond in anger to any perceived attack, whether that attack originates from within or from without.  My brothers and sisters are asking for help when they attack; it is basically a call for love.  Help me to respond with the best gift that they are ready to accept.  I do not want to force my beliefs on them, but everyone will, sooner or later, respond to love demonstrated.

I wish to leave anger and attack behind.  There is not just anger.  Anger is a human quality, but it is an attribute of the ego, which still rules me more than I would wish to acknowledge.  Help me to allow the ego in me to dissolve in the light of Your compassion and love.

Amen.

I Am at Home

ACIM Workbook Lesson 160 – for Thursday, June 9, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am at home.  Fear is the stranger here.”

“Fear is a stranger to the ways of love.  Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself, and thus you are unknown to you.  What is your Self remains an alien to the part of you which thinks that it is real, but different from yourself.  Who could be sane in such a circumstance?  Who but a madman could believe he is what he is not, and judge against himself?  (WB302)”

Reflections:

It is a glorious blessing to be free of fear.  It may not happen immediately for those who read ACIM, but the promise is there.  If we fail to identify with the fear thoughts, we will go a long way toward dispersing them.

We are not meant to be afraid.  We may use pills to help us, because Jesus says that though these are forms of spells (an ACIM tenet), we do not want to do anything to exacerbate our fear.  Pills are a temporary expedient in our world, the world still ruled by the ego.  In Awakening, fear disappears entirely.  Eckhart Tolle has written extensively about this cessation of fear–this miracle.

We do not want to be ruled by madness.  And the ego is a form of madness.  Let us leave it behind today.  This is our goal, and the day will come when we see that withering away of the ego as a reality.  We have lived with the ego for a long time, and it is not always realistic to think that it will disappear immediately, upon asking.  But Jesus is in charge of time (an ACIM tenet), and turning to him is our best hope.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the assertion that I am at home.  I take this as evidence that I am at home now–not some distant time in the future when my fears will all have dissipated forever.  I would diminish fear in every situation in which I can realistically hope to do so.  I pray to You for the relinquishment of all fear as a manifestation of the ego which I no longer want.

I will enjoy being home today.  I often think about being home with You, and today’s lesson makes this clear in a way that helps me immensely.  Thank You.

Amen.

The Holy Spirit’s Single Gift = Miracles

ACIM Workbook Lesson 159 – for Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Affirmation:  “I give the miracles I have received.”

“This is the Holy Spirit’s single gift; the treasure house to which you can appeal with perfect certainty for all the things that can contribute to your happiness.  All are laid here already.  All can be received but for the asking.  Here the door is never locked, and no one is denied his least request or his most urgent need.  There is no sickness not already healed, no lack unsatisfied, no need unmet within this golden treasury of Christ.  (WB300-301)”

Reflections:

If we reach out to others, we will be healed.  This may sound simplistic, and it is not meant that a physical or emotional healing will make the symptoms disappear immediately (though the symptoms may disappear immediately).  Jesus says in the Manual that we ought not to doubt a healing because of the evidence of continuing symptoms.  He says that when we have asked a healing of the Holy Spirit, it has come, and when it will be received is not ours to ask.  Be certain that the healing will be received when the time is right.

But we have to reach out first.  A disposition turned inward on itself does no one any good (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

“[N]o one is denied his least request or his most urgent need.”  What a wonderful promise!  May we believe it today, and may we watch our problems disappear as mists before the sun shines the mists away.

A Course in Miracles is filled with promises of “certainty.”  We in this world are often so doubtful, but here in ACIM is something on which we can rest our faith.  We can know its promises intimately, and when we are feeling blue, we can dip into its pages and have our joy restored.  Experienced students/teachers know this truth well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I turn to A Course in Miracles today if I encountered obstacles in the way of my happy day.  I know that You intend happiness for me, and I know that this is not a little gift–nor is it too insignificant to be a good goal our in lives.  May we know that happiness sought may not be found, but when we put into practice Your rules of living, our lives straighten out and all is well.  I would live a neurosis-free day today.

Be with me, as I ask You so frequently.  Let me feel Your presence.  Only in Your presence am I capable of the highest good that You would have me take to my brothers and sisters today.

Amen.

We See the Journey from the Point at Which It Ended

ACIM Workbook Lesson 158 – for Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Affirmation:  “Today I learn to give as I receive.”

“Time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic.  Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change.  The script is written.  When experience will come to end your doubting has been set.  For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by.  (WB298)”

Reflections:

The passage is part of the mystical teaching of A Course in Miracles.  It says that we are actually living in the past, standing at the end of the journey, reviewing all that has already happened.  We may not be ready to accept this.  It does seem to partake of predestination, and predestination is a controversial theological concept that we would be wise to fail to take a stand upon.  (Reincarnation is another controversial theological belief that we need to step aside from, as ACIM counsels.)  Theology can only delay us; we would seek an experience only.  And ACIM is always practical in its advice.  We do not want anything that is separating to intrude on our experience, and on the experience of our brothers and sisters.

We know from the Theory of Relativity, Einstein’s theory, that time is an illusion.  Our physics has advanced that far.  So ACIM is not really so foreign to our science, even in this relatively non-advanced place in which we find ourselves.

“The script is written.”  But if we believe in probable realities (as Jane Roberts of the Seth books proclaimed), then we do have some effect upon the direction that our lives will take.  We can choose the short and easy route to salvation and Awakening, or we can disregard words such as given in ACIM, and walk the long and hazardous route back to our Home.  Let us today decide to follow the easy route, following the guidance that the Holy Spirit so gladly offers to all of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I welcome the mystery of being told that I stand at the end of a journey already completed.  If this be so, then the end is certain; I will find my way home.  You will guide me through the Holy Spirit, when I am flexible enough to turn on a dime, and when I am flexible enough to be willing to step aside and be led.  Let me be willing to step aside for You to lead the way today.

Thank You, as always, for being there for me.  I sometimes forget You.  But please, don’t You forget me.

Amen.

Touch of Heaven

ACIM Workbook Lesson 157 – for Monday, June 6, 2011

Affirmation:  “Into His presence would I enter now.”

“Today it will be given you to feel a touch of Heaven, though you will return to paths of learning.  Yet you have come far enough along the way to alter time sufficiently to rise above its laws, and walk into eternity a while.  This you will learn to do increasingly, as every lesson, faithfully rehearsed, brings you more swiftly to this holy place and leaves you,, for a moment, to your Self.  (WB296)”

Reflections:

1 – Day of Respite

Let us feel that touch of Heaven today.  If we have problems, let us pray (the Text says “commune”) to God, and He will see that the Holy Spirit, His communication link with us, will guide us.  Every now and then we need a day of respite.  Let today be that day for us.

2 – “Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings”

Our Self is the larger Self of which we are a part.  It is the part that has never come to earth (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  This larger Self guides and controls from a greater vantage point, and, if we live in close proximity to the Holy Spirit, we will soon come to understand what we need to say or do to have the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (an ACIM quotation).

3 -Walk into Eternity

Let us “walk into eternity” today.  We can invite the peace, joy, and aliveness that we are meant to have.  And these blessings do not have to come to us only one day.  We can live them continually, as God would have us to do,  In the passage above, we are bade to study ACIM thoroughly, as these magnificent volumes are “our” way, the way among many.  This course does work for those who work it.  May we do no less, and may the peace of God which transcends understanding, come into our lives on a constant basis.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would so live today that I am prepared to feel a touch of Heaven.  I know that I do not have to do much to prepare; that is the Holy Spirit’s role–to prepare me.  But may I be open to His guidance and direction, and not let the usual, normal stresses of the day take away my resolve to find Heaven in this world.

Thank You for giving me the direction that I feel now, and that You, more often than not, influence me to feel.  I need Your direction, whether directly or through Your Communicator, the Holy Spirit.  Help me to walk the true and good pathway today.

Amen.

You May Walk in Softness

ACIM Workbook Lesson 156 – for Sunday, June 5, 2011

Affirmation:  “I walk with God in perfect holiness.”

“There is a light in you which cannot die, whose presence is so holy that the world is sanctified because of you.  All things that live bring gifts to you, and offer them in gratitude and gladness at your feet.  The scent of flowers is their gift to you.  The waves bow down before you, and the trees extend their arms to shield you from the heat, and lay their leaves before you on the ground that you may walk in softness, while the wind sinks to a whisper round your holy head.  (WB294)”

Reflections:

A beautiful passage, it means to help us to understand how very much God loves us.  We are protected in our journey through life.  We may not always touch His blessings for us, we may feel alone and unprotected, but if we cling to promises such as this, we will know the true will of God.  His true will is that His children be loved and make a way of smoothness in this world.  Struggle does hone us, but struggle is not meant to defeat us.   We are shielded from the heat (see passage).

We do have this light within us.  It may not always be obvious, but it is here in all of us–not just those who are walking the way of God.  We are all brothers and sisters–all One with God.

When times are tough, it would be good to remember our protection (an ACIM tenet).  Jesus promises to walk with us, and he also promises that we have other Mighty Companions with us.  He says that if we knew who walked with us, we could never be afraid again.  Let us remember our protection today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I promise to You that I will remember Your protection of me today.  I will not cringe in fear about anything.  I will be confident in walking through this world.  All of this is possible if I stay close in mind and spirit with You.  Help me to do this today.

Thank You for offering beautiful words to me.  They are a great comfort, and I thank You for opening my mind and spirit to their beauty.

Amen.

A Way of Living in the World that Is Not Here

ACIM Workbook Lesson 155 – for Saturday, June 4, 2011

Affirmation:  “I will step back and let Him lead the way.”

“There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be.  You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently.  Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet.  And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own.  Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before.  (WB291)”

Reflections:

1 – A Benign Secret Society

A lovely passage and a favorite.  It suggests a kind of benign secret society of those who have found salvation.  And we find each other, those who, like us, have come to know God.  Yet we do not appear changed to people who are still struggling to find the Way.  We can take our place anonymously in the world.

2 – We Are Not “Special”

This can be turned into an egotistical playground, but God would not have to do so.  We are not “special” (or not any more special than anybody else).  We do not have anything that is not meant for everyone else; we just may have it sooner.  And we are meant to share, to the extent that our brothers and sisters are ready for us to share with them.

3 – Smile

“. . .[Y]ou smile more frequently.”  Yes!  In the Manual, Jesus asserts that some in our world are ready for only a smile.  This passage seems to echo that, but for ourselves this time.  We do smile in our world when we are walking in grace.  And if we are not walking in grace, then this boon can be ours, immediately, for the asking.

4 – The Solution is Always with the Problem

This immediacy of A Course in Miracles is repeated and implied throughout all three volumes.  We do not have to wait to receive God’s blessings.  And when we have a problem, the solution is always with that problem.  There does not have to be a time delay, and, if there is, we must, unfortunately, lay the blame at our own feet.  God wills for the good to come to us at the point of our asking.  But asking is imperative.  He means us well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk the world and be recognized by others who are also seekers of the Way–not in an egotistical way, but in a way that acknowledges that our leader is God Himself.  May this way of viewing the world and the people in it never be turned to a wrong mindset, for myself or for others.

Help me to have a good day as I walk this world, which so many times seems full of woe.  I would not share its woe, but I would pray for its recovery to the pristine state of innocence that once was its own.

Amen.

Our Appointed Role = Selected by the Voice for God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 154 – for Friday, June 3, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am among the ministers of God.”

“Whatever your appointed role may be, it was selected by the Voice for God, Whose function is to speak for you as well.  Seeing your strengths exactly as they are, and equally aware of where they can be best applied, for what, to whom and when, He chooses and accepts your part for you.  He does not work without your own consent.  But He is not deceived in what you are, and listens only to His Voice in you.  (WB288)”

Reflections:

This passage reflects the primacy of the Holy Spirit in the tenets of A Course in Miracles.  Later on, in A Course of Love, we will be told that we are emerging from the era of the Holy Spirit, and moving into the era of Christ-consciousness (Awakening, or Enlightenment).  But now we are still learning, and the Holy Spirit is our guide.  The Higher Self is informed by the Holy Spirit, deep from within ourselves.  We do have a part to play in this great drama of salvation, and the Holy Spirit will let us know what that part is.

All of us have given roles to play, without which our place would not be filled in the larger picture of salvation.

How do we listen to the Holy Spirit?  The most direct is through intuition.  This is not the only means, but it is the most common.  We must be careful in applying to our daily lives what we have perceived as guidance.  We can be misled by the ego, and what we say or do can be very far from true guidance.  We must be careful that we do nothing that is not informed by love (the greatest test of all).  The ego can mimic the guidance that truly does come from God, but in ways that would destroy rather than be edifying.  We are therefore encouraged to commune with God about the directions that we feel we are being led to take.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I take the role assigned to me in this world by the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit.  May I not doubt that I can do what He asks of me, but may I find no pride in doing what He asks.  We can legitimately get satisfaction from a job well done, but pride is something else, and it is always of the ego.

I would not listen to the ego today.  I would listen only to the guidance that will put me in the flow of life as it is meant to be lived.  That truly will lead to moments of Heaven on earth, and for that I grateful to You.  Thank You for my manifold blessings.

Amen.

Salvation = Game that Happy Children Play

ACIM Workbook Lesson 153 – for Thursday, June 2, 2011

Affirmation:  “In my defenselessness my safety lies.”

“Salvation can be thought of as a game that happy children play.  It was designed by One Who loves His children, and Who would replace their fearful toys with joyous games, which teach them that the game of fear is gone.  This game instructs in happiness because there is no loser.  Everyone who plays must win, and in his winning is the gain to everyone ensured.  The game of fear is gladly laid aside, when children come to see the benefits salvation brings.

“Your practicing will now begin to take the earnestness of love, to help you keep your mind from wandering from its intent.  (WB286-287)”

Reflections:

This is a favorite passage of long-time students/teachers of A Course in Miracles.  If we can see our life as a “game” played by “happy children,” then we are well on our way to seeing the way out of suffering.  And we see that our function of forgiveness (stated elsewhere as salvation) is joyous.  We do not have to feel burdened by our brothers and sisters who have not yet seen the light.  We can lead them gently, always gently, to a better way of living.

We do not, though, seek to offer more than can be received at any given time.  If we assertively (or aggressively) “market” ACIM, then we are doomed to failure.  If we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will know when to offer our gifts and when to make of those gifts something small indeed–maybe just a smile.  By our example, we live ACIM in daily life.  If we are truly changed by our encounter with ACIM, others will notice, and eventually some may ask why we live such charmed lives.  And our lives are charmed when we live the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings.”  We would not stay in dreams, but move on to Awakening, to reality, when God Himself reaches down (metaphorically), knowing that we are ready for this ultimate gift.

If we love deeply, we will come to know more about the nature of true reality.  We will live more and more of our hours in the real world.  We will overlook, though not without compassion, the difficulties of this world–including the suffering.  We will know that the suffering is not real, that we are living in an illusory world.  But we must not forget the plight of our brothers and sisters, for salvation comes to them through our mediation from God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I reach out to my brothers and sisters, forgetting at least for a moment, my own worries.  May I share this game that we are all playing.  May my sharing be a joyous event, with little of the day-to-day worries that afflict us all.  May I let the ego wither away today.

Be with us all today.  May my enjoyment of this day be genuine, and may my acceptance of any difficulties that oppress be complete.  Only in acceptance is overcoming possible.

Amen.