Monthly Archives: July 2011

What Would God Have Me Do?

ACIM Workbook Lesson 212 – for Sunday, July 31, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I have a function God would have me fill.  (WB393)”

Reflections:

A Course in Miracles usually identifies “forgiveness” as our function, but ACIM also lists other functions that work in conjunction with forgiveness:  happiness (which may seem not to be a lofty-enough goal, but it is) and salvation.  In the sense of the passage above, I think that the word “function” is meant to be an all-encompassing sense of what we are to do in this world.  Our role in the world is left unfilled until we fill it.  There is a place for each of us, and nobody can do what we can.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

We are not left adrift to fulfill our function in this world.  We have guidance, whether it is the Holy Spirit (as given in ACIM) or the inner direction of Christ-consciousness (as given in A Course of Love, viewed by some to be a sequel to ACIM).  If we turn inward in whatever way seems appropriate to us at whatever stage we presently occupy, we will find our way home, and we will say and do for our brothers and sisters what we are meant to fulfill.

The repetition of the affirmation, over several days, is unique in ACIM, and perhaps this repetition is meant to impress upon us that we are free individuals in spirit, still as we have eternally been.  The separation from God has been an illusion.  What joy to realize this!  And to know that we are never alone; God, the All, shadows us from within and without at every moment.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would fulfill Your function for me today.  I realize that this means that forgiveness must be paramount.  This world demands it, though it is an illusory need.  In this world illusions reign, and we must live in the illusion but not be thrown by it.  May happiness and salvation–also said by Jesus to be our function–follow me as I seek to do Your will today.

I would feel Your presence today.  I would walk peacefully among my brothers and sisters, and I would seek to fulfill the day in the best way possible.  Help me to do this.  Be there to guide me.  Keep me flexible enough to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit through whatever events happen.

Amen.

Advertisements

Holy

ACIM Workbook Lesson 211 – for Saturday, July 30, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I am the holy Son of God Himself.  (WB393)”

Reflections:

Our Selves have not changed, though our little self has known an illusory separation from God.  Our Selves are the holy Sons and Daughters of God.

Do not be afraid that such an assertion is arrogance.  Unless caught up by the ego, to believe such a wonderful promise from God is not arrogance, but the most supreme good sense.

If our personal image gets in the way, know that the Text asks us to decide that we do not know who we are.  This is the unknown identity that the Holy Spirit has been waiting for us to acknowledge.  Then we are really ready to go home–not to death, but to Heaven on earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know Heaven on earth today.  If I am not yet ready, today, then I ask that every step that I take today bring me closer to that glorious culmination.  I realize that this experience is borne of great joy, joy in Your love.  I do love You truly.

Help all of my brothers and sisters to take steps today that will bring them closer to You.  May I be an instrument in their progress, if You would have me be.  Lead me to know what to say and what to do in forwarding salvation, but only if the people who are in my circle are ready and want to learn from me.  I would reflect only Your words.  Teach me to follow the Holy Spirit in all my comings and goings.

Amen,

Joy

ACIM Workbook Lesson 210 – for Friday, July 29, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I choose the joy of God instead of pain.  (WB392)”

Reflections:

So much is up to us.  We can choose joy, even in the midst of sorrow.  We do not have to choose pain.  Jesus says that it is not necessary to learn through pain.  Many do, though, and Eckhart Tolle is one who did so.  Eckhart is an awakened teacher, who has quoted from A Course in Miracles in his writings (including The Power of Now).  But Jesus says that learning through rewards is more powerful, and more lasting (normally).

Bad things do happen to good people, as Harold Kushner has told us.  But we do not have to invite misery at such times.  We need to reach inwardly to God, to the personal experience of God’s inward joy.  Prayer and communion with God will do it for us.  Forgiveness of ourselves, as well as our brothers and sisters, will also give us joy.  Find today some of those experiences which have led to joy.

Our choice at such times is very important.  The Text says that we choose what we will experience.  We have just that much power.  We do not often want to believe this, because we are actually afraid of the power of our minds (an ACIM tenet).  But we will not respect what appears to be weak, and our minds are not weak.  We can experience the joy of God today despite outward evidence to the contrary.  And repeatedly choosing God’s joy will become a habit that will see us through any dark days ahead.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this be a good day.  May this not be a dark day.  I would choose joy, believing that with Your help I have this choice within my power.  Be with me throughout the day.  When I forget that You want happiness for me, that it is a laudable goal, help me to recall this truth anew.  

I choose to be joyous in my life, despite any trials that may come my way.  Help me to remember this choice even in the midst of the trial itself.  Ease my way, but do not make me soft.  I would be strong in Your service.

Amen.

The Felt Presence of God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 209 – for Thursday, July 28, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I feel the love of God within me now.  (WB392)”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Love Felt

This passage for today is my most frequent prayer.  When I feel the love of God within me as a felt experience (a state described by Eckhart Tolle), I have all that I need to make it through the day.  We all must do our part to bring about this felt experience.  We need our quiet times at the beginning and the end of each day, if at all possible.

2 – Does God Ever Withdraw?

It is sometimes said that God withdraws, and this is an experience of the dark night of the soul that was described so vividly by the medieval saints.  (St. John of the Cross coined the phrase.)  When God withdraws, we are not to lament in silence, discouraged.  Evolution, according to Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations with God) is not a “straight line,” and there will be times of greater and lesser experiences of God.  We need to continue walking the pathway.  The felt experience of God will return.

3 – Gratitude for the Felt Presence

On the days when we feel God’s love especially keenly, we need to express, at least inwardly, our gratitude.  God does not need our gratitude, but we do.  And we can have more and more blessings as we express more and more gratitude (from personal experience, not stated in ACIM).

4 – Feel God’s Love as We Walk through the Day

May we live a good day today.  May we feel God’s love as we walk through each hour of the day.  And may we not be heartbroken if some tragedy strikes.  God is not walking beside us, but is carrying us at such times (from an anecdote written by Hugh Prather).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I appreciate that You allow me to feel Your presence on most days.  I suspect that when I don’t feel Your presence, it is because I have distanced myself by being unconscious to my deeper being.  I pray for no dark night of the soul, though I recognize the value of such experiences.  I would not be “in extremis” in regard to living my life.  Having Your presence as an intimate part of my day ensures that all will be well.  Thank You.

Be with all of us today as we do the best that we know how for ourselves and our brothers and sisters.  May we return love for attack and anger, knowing that attack and anger are always calls for help.  May we give that help in the best way possible.

Amen.

The Great Rays / Little Edges of Light

ACIM Workbook Lesson 208 – for Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“The peace of God is shining in me now.  (WB391)”

Reflections:

The passage selected for today is a reason to pause and be thankful.  If we can feel the peace of God shining in us, we can walk a glorious pathway today.  Let us open our hearts to gratitude and accept all that God holds out for us.  We will not be disappointed.

There are a number of instances, early in the Text, in which Jesus explains “light” moments.  Notably these are the Great Rays and the tiny edges of light that surround objects when we have newly found the Way.  Why “light” experiences?  I think that the answer lies in the New Testament, where we are told that we are the light of the world.  The Great Rays beam down upon us when we have accepted the pathway of A Course in Miracles, and this experience, mystical that it is, can be frightening.  The little edges of light  around objects is a perceptual experience, a miracle, and will not last.  We ought not to be afraid of it.  It is simply a harbinger of better things to come.

Little more is said about light in A Course in Miracles about either the Great Rays or the edges of light around familiar objects.  Why not?  Likely it is because we are not to place great emphasis on this type of miracle.  Displays of miracles are not Jesus’s way.  He causes shifts in our perception, which are the real miracles.  When these shifts happen, we have an “aha” moment, but we do not dwell on it.  There are no coincidences in salvation (a Manual tenet), and we will find our way to home by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the time that I experienced the Great Rays.  Thank You also for the earlier time in which I experienced the little edges of light around familiar objects.  Neither of these experiences lasted, but I understand that the miracles that they were would not last, were not meant to last.  The experience, the memory of the experience, has stayed with me.  For that I thank You.

May I walk through this day attuned to the miracle readiness of my brothers and sisters.  May I perform a miracle, if Jesus would have it so.  I ask that he guide me in what I do in regard to the miracles that he wants performed.

Amen.

Blessings

ACIM Workbook Lesson 207 – for Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I bless the world because I bless myself.  (WB391)”

Reflections:

We need our own blessing.  So many of us slink through this world, quaking from the terrors in it, rather than to ask for the courage that we need to negotiate smoothly.  When we have blessed ourselves, we will naturally bless our brothers and sisters, because we can only love others to the extent that we have genuine, not egotistical, love for ourselves (paraphrased from the New Testament).

We will want to bless the world when we have accepted ourselves just as we are.  Jesus in ACIM assures us that we have not lost our innocence, that all that we thought we did through “sin” never happened in reality.  We have made mistakes, but these can be corrected, even when the person or persons involved are no longer at our side.  It is enough to ask for forgiveness for our wrongs, and to make amends when possible.  Then we walk freely and innocently in even this world.

How do we bless the world?  We take our part in salvation, a part dictated to us by the Holy Spirit.  This is the real meaning of guidance.  We do not have to “judge” what to do, because we would be wrong anyway, not seeing the whole picture.  We cannot know all the variables, but the Holy Spirit can.  So we give over our judgment to Him Who cannot fail.  And we are free.  (These previous sentences are paraphrases from the Manual.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to accept myself today and at the same time to feel free enough to feel my own blessing.  When I have blessed myself, I will be more ready to reach out to all the world.  I will love, in part, because when I bless the Self, I recognize that I have accepted myself and my Self.

Be with me today as I seek to follow Your guidance.  I would love all of those in my circle, and I would extend my blessing of them to the whole world.  May my thoughts and actions today reflect the blessings that You have given me so abundantly.

Amen.

I Can Save a Thousand Years

ACIM Workbook Lesson 206 – for Monday, July 25. 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“Salvation of the world depends on me.  (WB390)”

Reflections:

ACIM says that we each have a part to play that is unique in the world.  If we do not take this part, ordained from the beginning, our place is left vacant.  In that sense, salvation does depend on each one of us.  We are all One, of course, and this amplifies the meaning of the words, “Salvation of the world depends on me.”  It is not a grandiose theme.  It is not arrogant.  ACIM says that we do not expect enough of ourselves.  Only when driven by the ego would such an assertion be grandiose and arrogant.  Our minds are very powerful and never sleep (an ACIM tenet).  We can indeed take our part in the grand scheme of things, and we will do things that nobody else is able to do.

We are told in ACIM, in the Manual, that each of us has students who will find us as soon as we have answered the call from God.  They have been waiting on our agreement to do God’s will rather than our ego’s inferior word.  But the Manual also cautions that only time separates us, the teacher, from the students who have turned to us.  All of us will find our way home to God in the end.  But the end can be a long way off, millions of years before separation is healed, and the world is very weary.  (These previous words are paraphrases from ACIM.)  We are needed, and the sooner we turn to the Holy Spirit for the guidance of what to say and do, the sooner, the world will benefit.  Each one of us saves a thousand years (an ACIM tenet).  Jesus is in charge of time, and miracles can foster the collapse of time, substituting for learning that could have taken many, many years (an ACIM tenet).

Let us ask today what miracles we should perform.  We ought never to consciously select miracles, because these can be misguided.  Ask Jesus what he would have us do today.  He will respond.  We can imagine, as ACIM encourages us to do, that he holds our hand as we walk along.  Jesus assures us that this is no idle fantasy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would do my part today to save a thousand years in salvation’s timetable.  I do not understand this in all its fullness, but I believe that A Course in Miracles speaks truly.  Be with me today as I seek to fulfill my unique part in salvation.

Help me not to be arrogant, for arrogance is of the ego.  I would humbly ask for guidance, and then I would carry out the guidance that I “hear.”

Amen.