I Would Reach the Peace God Wills for Me

ACIM Workbook Lesson 257 – for Wednesday, September 14

Affirmation:  “Let me remember what my purpose is.”

“Father, forgiveness is Your chosen means for our salvation.  Let us not forget today that we can have no will but Yours.  And thus our purpose must be Yours as well, if we would reach the peace You will for us.  (WB423)”


Our function on earth is salvation’s pathway of forgiveness, according to A Course in Miracles.  Though we truly do not have anything to forgive, because the negative things that happen to us happen from the ego’s dream, we need the discipline of forgiveness because we are not saintly enough to recognize, like God, never to condemn.  It is said in ACIM that God doesn’t forgive because He has never condemned.  There is no need for God to forgive us; he knows that we are innocent, and that we are exactly, still, as He created us (an ACIM tenet).

We need to forgive for our own mental health and our own sense of felt Oneness with God.  If we carry around anger and attack thoughts, our peace of mind will be naught.  There is never any need for anger and attack, but as long as we are fallible (which we will be on earth), we are very, very likely to succumb to these emotions–perhaps even after Awakening.  The Dalai Lama has admitted to being angry at times, but he said this in a lecture with a kindly demeanor.  (He also denies being awakened.)

Forgiveness, then, will give us peace.  And peace of mind is our great need, and the great need of the world.  So we forgive almost more for ourselves than for our brothers and sisters, though their receipt of our forgiveness heals the holy relationships that we are meant to sustain.  We will not walk this world long without making mistakes.  We will get angry, and we will attack, feeling “justified” in our wrath when the ego is temporarily in control.  The best way to combat our tendency to drop into these emotions may have been identified by Norman Vincent Peale.  He tells an anecdote in which a man of 40, besieged by negative emotions, asked God to change him, and believed that He had.  His simple belief that a prayer in line with God’s blessing would be honored led him to “fly into a great calm” instead of expressing his temper.  His son reported, in this anecdote, that after this great prayer, he never saw his father in an angry outburst again.  Surely a miracle, and one that we might all ask to have in our own lives.


Dear Father/Mother,

I asked about ten days ago to eliminate attack entirely from my cluster of ego-oriented misdeeds, and I have had a placid ten days.  Perhaps I have not been tested yet.  But perhaps also I am seeing my own small miracle.  After all, I live in close proximity with my most significant relationship to a “brother,” and we have lived normally for these ten days.

I would continue my prayer that attack be eliminated for me.  I never get angry unless I am stressed, and I never attack unless I am angry.  I thank You for these understandings.  Help me not to get cocky, for surely then the start of a new record of peaceful interactions will be disrupted.  

Be with me today, as always.  I cannot keep a resolution myself.  I am not strong nor saintly enough.  But You can walk the whole pathway with me, giving me (for me) the supernatural grace to walk as You would have me walk.  And You would not countenance attack, of that I am sure.  Be with me daily as I seek to walk Your way, only Your way.


Today God Is My Only Goal

ACIM Workbook Lesson 256 – for Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is the only goal I have today.”

“And so, our Father, would we come to You in Your appointed way.  We have no goal except to hear Your Voice, and find the way Your sacred Word has pointed out to us.  (WB422)”


This affirmation and prayer, in a capsule, are most precisely how I view A Course in Miracles.

We must follow guidance, because we do not have the prescience to know all past, present, and future factors that affect our reality (a paraphrase from the Manual).  When I follow guidance, my day goes well.  When I get off the track, being willful, then my day goes downhill (and fast).  We must be flexible enough, as I have said previously in this blog, to turn on a dime.  We must start the day over again, metaphorically, when we have gotten off track.

This is the only sane way to live.  It gives the blessings which ACIM promises to us.  It is the greatest piece of wisdom, in my estimation, that ACIM offers.

The means of following guidance is through our relationships, especially a particular relationship to a “brother” who, once in our life, stays in it.  There may be more than one of these relationships in a lifetime, but generally they are few (a Manual tenet).

Finding God (who was never lost, but we turned away) is our greatest need.  Until we do this, we flounder, though He has never abandoned us, and He can help even when we think He is hiding from us.

Some of our brothers and sisters go throughout life without a spiritual experience.  I once had a close friend who said, “I didn’t choose not to believe.”  And she was on a constant search.  Finally, just before her death, after counseling, she found the peace that she had sought.

Surely there are many in our circle who are in similar straits.  We would reach out to them to the extent that they are ready.  They probably would not welcome proselytizing.  We would turn them off.  The most we can offer is to live our lives so that our friends who are searching can wonder, and ask, in their own way, for what we have found.  Then we are freed to talk.  What we say will find a receptive audience.


Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for allowing me to find a sense of being “saved” at an early age.  I did not know then how much would be offered me in this lifetime.  Thank You for the many blessings that knowing You has brought to me.  Forgive me in the moments–past, present, and possibly future–when I turn away.  I know that You have never abandoned me.  It is I who is fallible.

Help me not to judge, not to attack, and not to make plans against contingencies to come.  Jesus has given these three facets of our lives as the danger points.  May I bypass danger today.  And may I know that life can only be lived one day at a time, and tomorrow must I pray the same prayer.

When You are not my sole goal, then let me realize that I am thinking amiss.  When my goal is solely for You, then all lesser desires and loves fall into place easily.  You would not leave me alone, but You do want me to reach inwardly to You above all else.  Then and only then is my welfare assured.  Thank You.


How to Handle the Future

ACIM Workbook Lesson 214 – for Tuesday, August 2, 2011

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

“I place the future in the Hands of God.  (WB394)”


This passage emphasizes one of the three actions that are cautions:  don’t attack; don’t judge; and don’t make plans against contingencies to come (a Text tenet).  The latter is the important one when we place the future in the Hands of God.  We do not need to make plans, in most cases, but we don’t often realize this.  It seems to our minds that the prohibitions about attacks and judgment are somehow different from the planning that we all do as a matter of course.  Of course, realistically, some day-to-day, and even long-range plans are needed to keep us on course.  This is just common sense.  But Jesus is talking here about the many plans that we make that try to protect us from the acts in the future over which we have little or no control, and from which we are trying to protect ourselves.

We do not need to protect ourselves inordinately.  We do wear warm clothing in the winter, and we try to eat well, but most of our planning is not about this.  It is about the attempt to predict what our brothers and sisters might do that would harm us.  Alternately, it is about what we ourselves might do if we don’t remember all the mistakes that we have made in the past, mistakes that we don’t want to repeat because they brought hurt.

We do not need such mental gyrations.  God is our protector, and the Holy Spirit as our Communicator from God is here to give us the guidance that we need as we need it.  This latter point, “as we need it,” is important.  The Holy Spirit does not run ahead to tomorrow.  He is like Jesus’s words in the New Testament, “Take no thought for the morrow.”  So A Course in Miracles shows itself once again to be a continuation of Jesus’s earlier message (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

So, to live well, it is best to leave the future to God.  We will be guided very specifically (a Manual tenet).  We will be told all that we need to do (also a tenet).  We need, therefore, to be careful for nothing.


Dear Father/Mother,

I would place the future in Your hands.  I would not run about today trying to make everything suited to my little personal needs.  This is such a petty way to live, and, moreover, it contradicts Your indication that we are to let the Holy Spirit guide us.

May today be a good day.  May I not make plans against contingencies to come, meaning those pesky problems that I anticipate but rarely see to fruition.  May I also not attack nor judge.  These three tendencies separate me from You, which is the last thing that I want.


Anger and Attack

“Anger is never justified.  Attack has no foundation.  (A Course in Miracles, T638)”

Affirmation:  “no anger and no attack”


A Course in Miracles counsels firmly against anger and attack.  Neither have any foundation in truth.  This, we are told, is because all anger and attack are really calls for help, or, if we will, calls for love.  Jesus was a peaceful man, and he is still urging us to be the same.

Perhaps we can also live peaceably in even hard times that we experience.  Surely we can try.  And in the trying, we will often succeed.  Perhaps we will even surprise ourselves.  In the living of a peaceful existence, we can live without guilt, in that we are not accusing ourselves of attacking our brothers and sisters.  Surely the “peace that passeth understanding” can be ours even if outer circumstances work against us.  We need the inner peace that God only can and does give.


Dear Father/Mother,

I confess that I still feel anger upon occasion, and when I feel anger, I am susceptible to attacking, mostly the ones that I love the most.  Take this bad character trait from me now.  I know that I never attack unless I am stressed; help me to remain on a calm and serene basis now and forever.

But I will ask Your blessing day-by-day.  I will ask to remain calm and serene for today only, knowing that tomorrow morning I will repeat the prayer.  Life is lived one day at a time.  Give me the grace to live today well.


ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 150:

My mind holds only what I think with God.

I will accept Atonement for myself.

Only salvation can be said to cure.


“God’s gifts can rarely be received directly.  Even the most advanced of God’s teachers will give way to temptation in this world.  (M58)”

Affirmation:  “May I not give way to temptation today.”


Even the most advanced of God’s teachers is still fallible.  We won’t get it right all the time.  We will succumb to temptations in this world, and that includes especially the tendency to feel anger and then to attack.  In addition, we will judge ourselves and others.  And we will make contingency plans against uncertainties to come.  These three actions are all ways in which temptations take us away from God.  And we will fall on our face in our dealings with our brothers and sisters.

Leaving temptation behind is an ongoing pathway.  We will never, perhaps, be free of temptations in this world, but the times that they intrude upon our lives will lessen as we live closer to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

God gives us gifts, though we may not recognize them when they come.  One might not recognize a miracle at high noon, if our thoughts are solely on our own desires and wishes.  We may study the Course, and as we do, we will do better in this world.  Our power will come to us as we let guidance lead the Way.


Dear Father/Mother,

May I not give way to temptation, though You say that I will be likely to do so from time to time.  May I not give way to temptation today.

Thank You for your support always.  May I avoid anger and attack today.  May I be good to my brothers and sisters.  When I hear guidance, let me be steadfast to hold it close to me.


Magic III

“All through his training, every day and every hour, and even every minute and second, must God’s teachers learn to recognize the forms of magic and perceive their meaninglessness.  Fear is withdrawn from them, and so they go.  And thus the gate of Heaven is reopened, and its light can shine again on an untroubled mind.  (M43)”

Affirmation:  “Let Heaven’s light shine again on an untroubled mind.”


What a blessing is an untroubled mind!  And to have this boon, we have only to learn how to recognize the various forms of magic, and learn to avoid them in all their manifestations.  We need not fear magic, because ultimately it is meaningless.  But magic can cause great havoc in our lives in the meantime, until we have recognized its meaninglessness.

There is an indication in this passage that we must be vigilant against magic (“every day and every hour, and even every minute and second”).  Surely, we tell ourselves, we will fail.  And we will.  But as we practice, the failure rate goes down, surely and steadily.  This assurance is motivation to practice well.

If the gate of Heaven is reopened, we are indeed Home.  And Home can be while still on earth.  There is even a well-known passage in the New Testament in which Jesus asserts this while he is in fellowship with his disciples.  Surely it is no different for us now.  Recognizing this is a blessing that will quiet our days and give us hope.


Dear Father/Mother,

Magic is usually some form of attack or anger, or grievance, or even superstition.  It is some form of fear, not love.   May I recognize magic when I see it today.  May You be with me to turn aside from engaging in such fruitlessness.

Thank you for assisting me always.  I know that You are there.  I can often feel Your presence, and I invite this feeling of Your presence today in all my goings about.