1 – Spiritual Transformation
We seek transformation as in Awakening, a spiritual transformation but one that allows us to function even better in the secular than we did before. Secularism is not to be discounted. Many are ready to be reached only through the secular. Here is the full quotation:
“Prayer is a ladder reaching up to Heaven. At the top there is a transformation much like your own, for prayer is part of you. (S-1.II.7)”
2 – Reach Heaven
We see in this passage that prayer will allow us to reach Heaven, and nothing is said but that this is a Heaven on earth as well as beyond death. We do not have to wait for death; indeed, in A Course of Love, we are bade to allow the elevated Self of form to function unheeded in the world of form—this world. If prayer will get us to Heaven, why do we not pray more often? Is it because we didn’t know about the goal before? We didn’t know that prayer would get us to Heaven?
3 – Efficacy in Prayer
Perhaps. But maybe we don’t see evidence of efficacy in prayer, though prayer is its own reward. We shouldn’t be trying to “get” things in prayer. We simply ought to relaxed and be easy with God, our Source. He wants us to commune with Him; He is lonely without us (from ACIM Text).
4 – Forgiveness
Prayer guides us toward forgiveness:
“Prayer in its earlier forms is an illusion, because there is no need for a ladder to reach what one has never left. Yet prayer is part of forgiveness as long as forgiveness, itself an illusion, remains unattained. (S-1.II.8)”
We don’t attain forgiveness for ourselves and others because we don’t recognize that all is an illusion, and we don’t recognize that the things—attack and anger—that we hold against our brothers and sisters are “distress that rests on error” (from ACIM Text), and thus calls for help. Forgiveness is fully justified, because our brother is innocent in his heart of hearts. It is only in illusion that he has sought to harm us by word or deed. And we try to forget the misthought or misdeed, not holding it against him as undeserving of pardon. This continued “holding” is the way that the world forgives, thinking that the one pardoned is not worthy of being forgiven, that he does not deserve forgiveness.
5 – Deserve Forgiveness?
We doom ourselves when we think that one does not deserve forgiveness. This is the “forgiveness to destroy” that Jesus talks about in the supplement to A Course in Miracles on psychotherapy. What we offer another, we receive. Like attracts like in the law of attraction. What we give, we receive.
6 – Wholly Justified
Let us give forgiveness as wholly justified, for it is wholly justified. In actuality, our brother has only called for help by his misthought, bad word, or bad deed. And when one is calling for help, we are to respond where we see that need.
7 – Anger and Attack
It is not easy to see the wholly justified way of forgiveness when we are confronted with anger and attack. We want to retaliate. This is a very human response, and Jesus indicates that people will respond in kind when attacked. But we need to make a different choice, a better choice, another way. We need to recognize that all want love just as do we, and it is only ignorance of how to attain love that leads us down the wrong pathway (a concept addressed by Hugh Prather in The Little Book of Letting Go). Only very disturbed people would get up in the morning making plans to hurt us. Only ignorance of how to live can mean that the choice of attack is made. And would we denounce another for his/her ignorance? We too have been ignorant of the way, but now, at last, we are learning.
May this day go well. May I use the law of attraction, like attracts like, to offer to all my brothers and sisters the best of which I am capable. I would be calm and relaxed today, for it is only under stress that I lose my temper. I would remain tolerant and, above all, forgiving today.
Be with me throughout the day. Be with others. May I do what I can to give everyone that I see a good day. This is especially true for my significant others, for they are the most impacted by any moods that I might drop into.
Keep me settled in a generous good will to my fellow men and women. And thank You for being there last night, when I slept in Your peace.