Distress Rests on Error

“If pardon were unjustified, you would be asked to sacrifice your rights when you return forgiveness for attack.  But you are merely asked to see forgiveness as the natural reaction to distress that rests on error, and thus calls for help.  Forgiveness is the only sane response.  It keeps your rights from being sacrificed. (T638)”

Affirmation:  “Distress rests on error.”

Reflections:

1 – Distress Rests on Error

The most memorable part of this passage is the phrase, “distress that rests on error.”  If this phrase is remembered, we will have a ready remark to call to mind if arguments happen in our environment.  We will then be more willing to take a timeout, and to begin the process of forgiving the lamentable encounter.

2 – Pardon Is Fully Justified

This passage notes that pardon is fully justified.  This, regardless of how many times we reread the Course, may still be a sticking point.  Yet the bottom line is the dream, the “maya.”  Our brother has merely made errors, mistakes, and he, like us, deserves forgiveness for the poorest choices.  We are said to have “sinned” in time, but we live in eternity, where we are innocent (ACIM tenets).  If this is not fully comprehended, it is our failure yet to adopt for ourselves the most basic of the tenets of A Course in Miracles.

3 – Forgive Insanity

“Forgiveness is the only sane response.”  Of course!  We need the sanity of the Course, because our brother’s poorest choices have come out of insanity.  No one will find insanity hard to forgive.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would rest in the thought that much that I observe that is negative is because my brother and sister are in distress.  And not only in distress, but actually living in an illusory world that is lost in insanity.  We who desire to share salvation need only to recognize that we and they are in pain.  A person who is insane is said to have diminished responsibility, and this characterization is true for the vast majority of our brothers and sisters in this world.  Nobody has to be locked up to be insane, in the interpretation of ACIM.

Be with me when I see insanity and fail to recognize the distress that prompted the poor behavior.  And may I forgive myself for my poor behavior over my lifetime.  May we all forgive not only our brothers and sisters, but also ourselves.

You have not condemned me when in eternity I have made mistakes.  Help me not to condemn myself.  May I just pick myself up and try to be a little kinder the next day.

Amen.

Anger Is Never Justified

“Anger is never justified.  Attack has no foundation.  It is here escape from fear begins, and will be made complete. (T638)”

 

Affirmation:  “I choose neither anger nor attack.”

Reflections:

1 – Attack and Anger Out of Bounds

Let’s just recognize the truth of these statements, even when the withered ego rebels.  Remembering that attack and anger are out of bounds is a great liberator.  It will help in the tough times that we go through with our loved ones.

2 – See the Relinquishment of Fear

There is a great boon here as well:  Leaving behind anger and attack leads to the relinquishment of fear.  Fear has dogged our every step, even when we have not been aware of this.  As the Course teaches, there are only fear and love, and, of the two, only love is real.

3 – Anger and Attack = Grievances

Anger and attack are usually present because we hold grievances.  And it is only when our grievances have been left behind that we know safety (from the Workbook).  It is said in ACIM that it is as though we held a dagger above our heads, and it will fall or be averted as we choose to forgive or to attack.  Our brother or sister attacks us because each is calling for help.  And it is our duty to rush to his/her side with assistance.  Doing so keeps our rights from being removed.  We recognize the truth of the situation, and we will find that we ourselves also get help when we need it.  As we give, we do receive (from the Treatises of A Course of Love).

4 – Our Innocent Brother

The underlying idea here is that our brother and sister are actually, in essence, innocent.  They have, like we all, been guilty of mistakes, but these can be overlooked–if we don’t at first make them real by thinking too much about them.

5 – Only Love Is Real

We are living a dream in which nothing except the love is real.   That is why anger and attack are never justified.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know that when I feel anger what I am involved in an interpretation which is not true.  If I am outraged, it is even more certain that I am misperceiving.  In this world, of course, we are very human, and, for most of us, our fallibility includes being embroiled from time to time in arguments.  I would not let this state of affairs continue in my life, in the life that You have given to me.  Help me to recognize when I am misperceiving, and help me to forgive–regardless of how great the error of my significant others actually is.

I would accept that I am seeing a bad scene because I do not want to see it.  Help me to understand this paradox from A Course in Miracles.  I would choose to see only those scenes that will honor You, and that will give me the peace that only You can offer to me.  Be with me today if attack and anger become temptations.  I would turn to my Guide at such times.  I would ask to see the real truth, which is that I live in an illusion, and only the real things of peace, joy, serenity, and the like, are true.  I would find truth today.

 Thank You for leading me in recent time to a more peaceful pace of living.  May stress not overwhelm me, because I never get angry unless I am stressed.

Amen.

Judge Not

“How can God’s Son awaken from the dream?  It is a dream of judgment.  So must he judge not, and he will waken. (T622)”

Affirmation:  “I will judge not, that I may awaken.”

Reflections:

1 – Challenge

This is a great challenge to those of us who have not yet awakened.  The advanced teacher of God does not see challenge, but it is there for the vast majority of us.  Perhaps the only thing, concretely, that we can do to hasten Awakening is to remember not to judge.  Judging is the prerogative of the Holy Spirit, and He makes one judgment only, “God’s Son is innocent.”  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

2 – We Are Innocent

Do we really believe that we are innocent?  Can we really see that we live in eternity, where we have not sinned, though we have “sinned” in time?  We live in an illusion, and we must not choose to do just anything at all, because everything is illusion.  This is a particular unfortunate interpretation of ACIM that perhaps few of us choose to make.  We still try to do the right thing; we do not choose what we perceive as wrong or “evil.”

3 – Cease Judging

We can choose to stop judgment at the point that we first notice it.  This takes practice, but it is not outside our will, with the help of the Holy Spirit.  It is God Himself, according to ACIM, Who takes the final step to awaken us.  The timing is His own.

4 – Judge Not = Awaken

There is a great promise in this passage.  “Se must he judge not, and he will waken.”  What a blessing it is!  And how easy does Jesus make it sound.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not evaluate my life and those who are a part of it today.  Evaluation is very close to judgment, and judging is not my prerogative.  You counsel against judgment.  I am not happy when I judge, when I have failed to forgive, and this in itself is enough to know that I have strayed from the pathway back to You.

I would be happy today.  Send me on busy doings, but in the doing keep me close to You.  I would feel Your presence as I carry out the sometimes difficult tasks that I am called on to fulfill.  May my day be busy and full, but blessed by the sense of Your presence.  May Your Guide keep me walking smoothly and serenely.

Amen.

The Secret of Salvation

“The secret of salvation is but this:  That you are doing this unto yourself.  No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true.  Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. (T587-T588)”

Affirmation:  “I am doing this unto myself.”

Reflections:

1 – Does Life Seem Hard?

If life seems very hard, we can think of these words.  They are not easy to understand, because they sound like a “blame the victim” scenario.  But A Course in Miracles never intends this.  We do not consciously bring bad things upon ourselves, at least most of the time.  And the evil that is in the world is not our own personal fault.

2 = ACIM and Victimhood

This aspect of the Course has been misinterpreted by many people.  And many have rejected it because of the “victim” problem.

3 – Happier Days

Do not reject any longer.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, we will see happier days.  We will ponder the happenings around us, and they will cause pain.  But suffering is our own choice, and we can choose to turn over to the Holy Spirit all things that hurt.  This includes for others as well as ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When my relationships that I pray have turned from “special” to “holy” not give me problems today.  May I listen to Your Guide, and may I be for my significant others all that they need today, all that they honestly need for me to provide.  May I not take over their problems as my own.  We are here to assist, but not to take away the lessons that our loved ones are here to learn.  Help me to remember this truth today.

Thank You for leading me to understand that A Course in Miracles never “blames the victim.”  I know that our Self may have plans that we do not see.  And You may have plans that we do not comprehend.  But You never wish bad fortune on anyone, and I know this well.  Help me not to question Your love in any situation or at any time.

I do love You, and I appreciate that You love me unconditionally, in every situation in which I find myself embroiled.  May I resign from attack and anger, and reach inwardly to Your Being within me.  May my projections bring lovely perceptions today.

Thank You for carrying me when I am too weak to do anything helpful for myself.

Amen.

An Ancient Truth

“The world but demonstrates an ancient truth; you will believe that others do to you exactly what you think you did to them.  But once deluded into blaming them you will not see the cause of what they do, because you want the guilt to rest on them. (T587)”

Affirmation:  “I think that others do to me what I think I did to them.”

 

Reflections:

1 – Blaming

This passage sounds hard to understand at first glance.  Do we, we ask ourselves, really want the guilt to rest on others?  If we reflect a moment, we will realize that we do.  This is what “blaming” is all about.

2 – Projections Makes Perception

The philosophical basis of the Course is hinted at in this passage.  Our perceptions determine what we see, because what we see is a projected dream.

3 – The World Prompts Us

We believe that others do not always wish kindness upon us, and therefore we see that.  And we think that we have been guilty of unkindness.  The “we” comes first.  We project the dream that we are bad people, guilty of much “sin,” and then we see others doing bad things to us.  This is the way that we learn.  This is a reason for the world’s existence in its present form.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see only kindness today.  I would not blame another if, during the day, I am feeling down.  This is just a continuation of the dream, the illusion.  I would escape from fantasies of attack by not attacking myself, not attacking myself or others at all.

Guide me today to the way of right living in this world.  I long to be at home in You, hour by hour and even minute by minute.

Amen.

Dream of Your Brother’s Kindnesses

“Dream of your brother’s kindnesses instead of dwelling in your dreams on his mistakes.  Select his thoughtfulness to dream about instead of counting up the hurts he gave.  Forgive him his illusions, and give thanks to him for all the helpfulness he gave.  And do not brush aside his many gifts because he is not perfect in your dreams.  He represents his Father, Whom you see as offering both life and death to you. (T585)”

Affirmation:  “I dream of kindnesses.”

Reflections:

1 – How We See God

The final sentence in the above passage is pivotal; we see God as offering both life and death to us, and we think that it is our brother (or sister).   In other words, as long as we are caught in the ego, we will see our brother as offering both life and death to us, because we see God the same way.  We see God in our brother, though we are not usually aware of this.  When we progress, we gradually realize that God offers only life, and then our brother’s significance to us becomes clearer and more benign.

2 – Intimate Relationships

The earlier portions of this passage help a good deal in our intimate relationships.  We can choose what to fantasize, what to think, about our loved ones.  We can think of the times that we have been disappointed or hurt, or we can dwell on those times of happiness, when our brother has been all that we might wish in a loved one.  The obvious choice, for happiness, is to choose to focus on the good aspects of our relationships.

3 – Overlook Mistakes

Note that the more negative times with our brother have signified his mistakes, not his real self.  We may also see that we contributed to the situation by our own mistakes.  But the Course stresses that mistakes, once recognized, will be corrected, because we will desire to correct them.  We will dream of happiness rather than sadness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I forgive totally all that I have not yet forgiven of my brothers and sisters who, I think in my weaker moments, have mistreated me.  I realize that there is no other way to You.  And there is not value in clinging to grievances.  I will know that I am safe when I have given up all grievances.  I would know that I am safe today.

May I dream, in my illusory world, of all that my brothers and sisters have done that is right.  May I recall to mind the good times, the times when we were very close and all was well.  May I never dip into negative thoughts that I do not immediately forgive myself for this irrationality.  There is no better way to approach You than through my holy relationships to my brothers and sisters.  It is the way to You, the salvation that A Course in Miracles counsels.  May I never forget this.

I am not so advanced that I am free of dipping into negative thoughts about my loved ones, my closest relationships.  But help me to realize that this is my most important task, to let go the negativity and turn to You for the guidance of what to do next.  And You will always counsel forgiveness, because nothing has gone wrong in the real world.  It has all been illusion, my dream.

Amen.

Idle Dream

“Nothing more fearful than an idle dream has terrified God’s Son, and made him think that he has lost his innocence, denied his Father, and made war upon himself. (T584)”

Affirmation:  “An idle dream has terrified me.”

Reflections:

1 – What Does the “Idle Dream” Mean?

The world we view is seen by the A Course in Miracles as an “idle dream.”  But ACIM also says that there are no idle thoughts.  Form happens.  This tiny instant from the distant past caused the nightmare in which we are caught.  It all seems to be happening now, but Jesus  places time in the distant past, being relived now.  This is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles, and we probably will not fully understand, regardless of how often we revisit these passages.  That does not matter.  Jesus said that theology can delay us, and that it is an experience that he wants us to find.  A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is possible, and it is the latter that we should seek.

2 – Millions of Years to Escape

This is, nevertheless, a reassuring passage.  If it truly was an idle dream that caused what we see today, then the way out cannot be difficult (though the return for everyone may take millions of years, another concept of ACIM).

3 – We Are the Lucky Ones

We are the lucky ones, the ones who have ACIM to show us a simple pathway out.  We have not actually denied our Father.  That is part of the dream.  We are not terrible individuals; we have not lost our innocence.  All of our attack and anger take place in the dream.  And we think that we have made war on ourselves.  Again, the dream.

4 – We Are the Dreamer of the Dream

And we are the dreamer of the dream.  We can change the nature of the dream, with the help of the Holy Spirit, once we know that we are merely dreaming.  He will guide out steps out of the nightmare into the sunshine.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would remember today that my dreams are personally directed by me.  I can choose the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings,” or I can get lost in dreams of revenge and unhappiness.  What will give me more peace today?  Your way is obvious, and it is obviously the way I plan to go.

May I not be daunted by the prospect of millions of years for all to return.  We are here to shorten that time, and Jesus says that each of us will shorten the wait by one thousand years.  Thank You for this reassurance.  And may I do my part today to chip away at that one thousand years.

Amen.

Sleeping Death or Happy Wakening

“The choice is yours to make between a sleeping death and dreams of evil or a happy wakening and joy of life. (T583)”

Affirmation:  “I choose a happy wakening.”

Reflections:

1 – Our Real Goal

This is the choice that is placed before us in the A Course in Miracles:  dreams of evil or joy of life.  The contrast could not be more stark.  If we learn ACIM, we will dismiss our sleeping death and instead, eventually, know a happy wakening.  Surely this is a goal that all of us would choose.

2 – How Do We Choose the Goal?

Perhaps the goal seems too hard.  How do we make this choice?  We may indeed make it a long time before the Awakening happens to us.  Elsewhere we are told that if the way seems long, to be content.  We are on the pathway.  What more could we want?  It is said in the Text that the separation seemed to occur over millions of years, and that the return of all of us will take a similarly long period of time, maybe even longer.  These statement seem disheartening.  But Jesus does not leave us in dejection.  He knows that we have turned the corner now; we have chosen to walk the pathway back home.  If the way seems long, at least we know that the joyous ending is assured.

3 – The “Sleeping Death”

It is hard to hear,  and perhaps we think we have wasted our lives, when we hear of a “sleeping death.”  Yet this is exactly what the ego has brought us to.  We have had our moments of joy, but they were bought at a grave price when brought to us by the ego.

4 – The Joy of Life

The joy of life comes when we let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit.  We must listen to the promptings of our spirit, and let the guidance from deep within lead us forward.  Then, we can hope, the happy wakening will not be far behind.  And life gets better as we approach the happy wakening, because we are dreaming soothing dreams, the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  We would not be awakened without this preparation, because we would be afraid of it.  Jesus guides us the gentle way, when wakening is welcomed, not feared.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me today to find a joyous life and to turn aside from what is called a “sleeping death.”  Be with me throughout the day as I make the choice that will bring Awakening to me on a sustainable basis, not simply in snatches.  Thank You for Your promise that You will rescue me as soon as I am ready, that You will “reach down” and “lift me up” to Awakening.  Help me to wait for You patiently.

All of us here need You, and perhaps those of us who recognize our need are at an advantage.  But help us to help all of our brothers and sisters who have not learned that our real need is at home in You.  May we let the ego wither away.  May we let drama in our lives just disappear.  I would not live drama today, but I would ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit at all points that I remember.  Help me to remember today.

Amen.

“I Need Do Nothing”

“When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation and fight against the giving in to sin; when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization; ‘I need do nothing.’  (T389)”

Affirmation:  “I need do nothing.”

Reflections:

1 – Difficult to Believe?

Perhaps we find this a difficult passage to believe.  And perhaps it is difficult to believe.

2 – Heaven

The passage is saying that we don’t have to achieve our way into heaven.  “I need do nothing.”  What a comforting thought!  How consoling to believe that we will believe and even understand this passage when the Awakening has happened to us.

3 – Forgiveness

There are various ways to achieve Awakening.  But the A Course in Miracles says that our brother is our way–forgiveness of our brother (and sister).  That is the way that we reach the goal.  And then we know that we need do nothing.

4 – Effortlessness

The way to Heaven on earth is meant to be effortless.  This does not mean that we will never “achieve.”  It only means that we do not have to achieve to merit Heaven.  God will send us on many errands for our brothers and sisters, but they will not seem a burden, for they are chosen for us by the One who knows us inside and out.

5 – Guidance

We need to let the Holy Spirit guide our days.  They may be busy days, but there will be an effortlessness about them that will prove the point of the chosen passage for today.  We do not have to struggle.  We are not without help from unseen companions.  Let God speak the truth of such musings to your heart today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to glimpse the full meaning of this passage and this important sentence, “I need do nothing.”  I realize that this does not mean that I will do nothing, because we are often send on busy errands.  But my salvation is not dependent on good works.  We forgive our brothers and sisters, and then we, gradually, come to understand more.  And Awakening stands at the end, once we have lived through the means to that end.

Be with me today.  I would not lead anybody astray, because this passage is not a prescription for laziness.  But it is a prescription for effortlessness, for all comes easy to us when we have come to understand how to follow You.  Be with me as I seek to listen and to discern accurately what the Holy Spirit is telling me.  I need You today.

Amen.

Calm and Quiet

“Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?  Yet that is what time is for; to learn just that and nothing more. (T301)”

Affirmation:  “perfectly calm and quiet all the time”

 

Reflections:

1 – Calm and Quiet Is Ahead for Us

How different we will be when we have awakened!  “Perfectly calm and quiet all the time.”  This description is hardly what we feel now.

2 – Drama Turns Negative

Perhaps all of us would not wish “calm and quiet” as a universal experience.  We are so used to busyness, with its attendant drama.  Yet drama turns negative all too often, and peace, the peace of God, is found in calm and quiet.

3 – Are Calm and Quiet Desirable?

Perhaps we do not now think that to live in calm and quiet all the time would be desirable.  Perhaps we still think that drama will make us feel more “alive.”  If so, we would do well to test out this recommended calm and quiet.  Spend moments with God that are calm and quiet, and see if these new emotions don’t create a desire for a more frequent calm and quiet in daily life.  We will live better when we are not scurrying about, filled with adrenalin rushes.  We will accomplish more and accomplish better.

4 – Blessings of God

We must try to see for ourselves what the blessings of God would bring to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me for a long time, long enough for me to know that being perfectly calm and quiet is desirable.  I do not always seek Your peace, but I do know that Your peace is a better choice than any other I have ever found.  

Help me not to escalate the difficulties that come with living in this world.  May I turn aside from self-created drama, and may I turn aside from the drama that my brothers and sisters try to engage me in.  I would not seek drama for any reason, knowing that to do so is to give up the peace that only You can give.

Be with me in the upcoming 24 hours.  Help me to be guided to the decisions that will bring calm and quiet to my significant others, all those who read this blog, any other people whom I encounter today, as well as myself.  Thank You for the love that You show to all of us irrespective of our own choice to seek You.  You seek us, whether or not we recognize Your seeking.

Thank You for being there for all of us.

Amen.

Fear Is a Call for Love

“If only attack produces fear, and if you see attack as the call for help that it is, the unreality of fear must dawn on you.  For fear is a call for love, in unconscious recognition of what has been denied. (T217)”

Affirmation:  “Fear is a call for love.”

Reflections:

1 – Improving Our Relationships

This passage will go a long way toward smoothing our relationships with each other.  If another attacks us, it is best if we can see it solely as a call for help.  If the attack unnerves us or makes us angry, we are only being fearful.  And, the passage says, we are calling for love.

2 – Love in ACIM

A Course in Miracles sees everything in our world as either an expression of love or a call for love.  If we can believe this, we will be led to forgive our brother, regardless of the form of attack that he might use.  (Note:  This includes our “sister.”)

3 – Fear = Feeling Unloved?

When we feel fear, we have felt unloved.   But this passage speaks of the “unreality of fear,” and this is an important point.  The overarching thought is that the world itself and all that happens in it, outside of love, is an illusion.  This is part of the worldview of ACIM.  When we can truly believe, and let ourselves be comforted by the passages that we read, we will turn loose our hold upon fear.

4 – Choosing Fear

Many of us have chosen fear because we knew no better.  Something went awry in our world, and this threatens us, and before we know it, we are consumed by anxiety.  Jesus would not have it thus.  He asks us to pray for help in the conditions that have brought the fear about (a Text tenet).  He indicates that he cannot resolve the fear, because cause and effect are real, our minds are real, and we have brought fear upon ourselves by not watching our minds closely enough.   Jesus believes that he would be tampering with a most basic law of the universe if he came between our minds and the fear that our minds have made.  Fear is not real, but it seems real to us.  Sometimes fear has a sufficient hold upon the mind that we must turn to magical means for solace.  These magical means are our physical medications, which Jesus does not deny us.  We should not try to heal with the mind if the mind is particularly vulnerable to the results of attack.  A temporary expedient may be needed, if the hold of fear on the mind is particularly tenacious.  (These are all paraphrases from the Text.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose to express love today, knowing that this is what You want.  You have no other advice, actually.  If we feel love and express that love, we will let fear fall away, and, with it, the ego.  The ego, a part of my belief about myself, has given me many anxious days and nights with troubled dreams.  I would leave aside all this nonsense immediately.  I give my all to You.

Be with me as I seek to follow Love’s pathway only.  When I slip back into old ego-oriented, anxious ways, help me to know that the best way, the only sane response, is to forego fear.  Why would I cling to something that has made me so unhappy?  It is only because I did not understand Your way well enough.  Help me to understand and to live Your way today.

Amen.

Your Worth Is Not Established by Teaching or Learning

“Your worth is not established by teaching or learning.  Your worth is established by God. . . .Again,–nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth.  This point is not debatable except in delusions  Your ego is never at stake because God did not create it.  Your spirit is never at stake because He did. (T54)”

Affirmation:  “My worth is established by God alone.”

Reflections:

1 – Conditional Love

This is a passage for those of us who were reared in conditional love, particularly achievement in the eyes of the world.  This achievement may have been good grades, more money, “success.”  It really doesn’t matter what form the conditional love took.

2 – An Insane World

This is an insane world, and so it stands to reason that we were reared with many errors being made.  Because we were young and vulnerable, we believed that we had to play by the rules that our elders made up.  And, of course, they too had been victims of faulty upbringing.

3 – Jesus’s Healing

The good news of ACIM is that Jesus can heal a neurotic.  We do not have to look back with lament to our past, thinking that there is no better for us because our childhood was so flawed by faulty reasoning.  We can overcome, with God’s help and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

4 – We Are Acceptable to God

In this passage, Jesus tells us that our worth is not established by teaching or learning.  And he goes on to repeat the idea in the same paragraph.  Indeed, we are acceptable to God just as we are.  Of course, the point of A Course in Miracles is to bring us closer to God and to happiness.  And forgiveness of our brother, in the context of a relationship to him, is the way.

5 – God Loves Us Just as We Are

Keep in mind that our achievements will never be good enough, but they are not needed.
We may feel a great sense of reassurance at this point.  God loves me just as I am!  What a blessed thought, but have we ever believed it before?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

You know that I was reared in conditional love, though I always tried to please my family, and I knew that they were happy with me.  They wanted me to achieve so that they could be proud of me.  But none of them had the joy of studying A Course in Miracles, and so the mistakes are easily forgiven.  I would not love anyone with conditional love.  Help me to reach out, always, with unconditional love.

May I be for my closest family what they do need in me.  May I eliminate the stress that gives me difficult times, and may I reach out with the love that You have shown me.  May I always remember to thank You.

Amen.

The First Obstacle that Peace Must Flow Across

“The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get ride of it.  For it cannot extend unless you keep it. (T407)”

Affirmation:  “I would seek peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Our Stressful Days

How often we multitask in our days!  How can we ever hope to have peace in such an environment of stress and frenzy?

2 – We Are Busy

Of course, we are busy.  Our days are filled with a myriad of activities, some chosen, some not.  Many have families as well as jobs outside the home.  Our obligations are many:  parents, children, friends.  There seems to be no end to the aspects of life that are tearing at us.

3 – Spend Time with God

In the midst of life such as this, we may have to recall that God wants part of our lives.  A Course in Miracles, in the Manual, recommends a few minutes of time spent with God at the beginning and ending of the day.  If these times need adjustment, we can make the choice as soon as our busy lives clear.  But we need to recall that moments with God do not have to take long.  The Manual makes this point precisely.  We do not have to spend an hour, with eyes closed, and maybe accomplish nothing.  We can spend only an instant and join with God completely.  (These are Manual paraphrases.)

4 – We Can Choose Peace

A Course in Miracles seems to say in this passage that we have some choice in how much peace we will enjoy.  As one ACIM teacher (Marianne Williamson) has said, we are addicted to our frantic lives, the adrenalin rush.  But if we are very certain that we want more peace of God in our lives, we can have it for the taking.  We just must be consistent in seeking it.  Even a few moments a day will make a difference.  Read A Course in Miracles, or other writing that calls you, every day.  Pray.  Life will get better, even if no outer changes occur.  The inner change will make the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I stare at my “to do” list at the beginning of the day, I am sometimes overwhelmed with all that I intend to get done.  This is probably a bad habit, for the “to do” list crowds out in my mind the few moments I have given to You, and I become stressed just thinking about that list.

May I start anew tomorrow morning.  Regardless of how much I think I need to do, probably some of it unnecessary and self-generated.  I would get my priorities in order.  Not only would I put You first at the beginning of my day, but I would wish to keep You the center of my life at all times during the day.  I know that this practice will not make me less able to be productive, but instead, more able to be productive.  You will teach me how to work the peaceful, easy, and relaxed way.

May I spend time as You intended it today.  Surely this frantic world has gone far adrift from Your intentions for us.  May we drop our busyness and turn to You today to grant us the serene peace that will make of this a joyous day in Your love.

Amen.

Love Cannot Be Afraid

“Love is attracted only to love.  Overlooking guilt completely, it sees no fear.  Being wholly without attack, it could not be afraid.  (T410)”

Affirmation:  “I walk to love.”

Reflections:

1 – Leave Anxiety Behind

To walk away from anxiety (a form of fear), turn to love.  This solution, though not always easy, does always work.  When we are stressed, we are more likely to get angry, and with anger, attack is frequently not far behind.  And anger and attack are forbidden by A Course in Miracles.  Of course, we cannot always live up to the ideals that we read.  We are human.  So, when we stumble, we get up and try again.  As time wears on, and we study ACIM, the way does become easier.

2 – Attack Is a Call for Help

When we are beginning to get angry, we sooner rather than later recognize that there is no reason for our anger.  If a brother or sister is present and a part of that anger, we try immediately to click into ACIM‘s tenet that attack is a call for help.  And so our only sane response is to give that help.  We may not be able to give help overtly, if feelings are running high.  We may have to withdraw, temporarily, from the situation to give other people time to regain control.  We may need to reread passages from ACIM to calm us down.  We need never deny the emotions that we are feeling, but we do not have to drown in those emotions either.

3 – The Link between Anger and Stress

It is a hopeful sign to recognize that, for many of us, we never get angry unless we are stressed.  “Being wholly without attack” does mean that we must learn to recognize and abort this behavioral tendency as it arises in ourselves.  Take a time out, and contemplate the love that you really have for your brother.  Think of his good deeds, and choose not to focus on any deeds that disturb.  Not only will this move you from stress to love, but this type of reaction will also eliminate the guilt that always arises when we either mentally or verbally attack our brother.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk in love today.  I welcome the thought that fear is left behind when I love.  And I know that attack is a call for help.  And that stress and anger, at least in me, is linked.  May I walk through this day in peace, having understood these truths, at least as I live them.

Be with me today as I seek to find You in tranquility.  May I enjoy a happy day.  May my patience grow today, for You have been perfect patience with me.  Thank You for the gift of A Course in Miracles.  May I live out its truths today.

Amen.

Striving Can Hurt You

“Anything in this world that you believe is good and valuable and worth striving for can hurt you, and will do so.  Not because it has the power to hurt, but just because you have denied it is but an illusion, and made it real. (T553)”

Affirmation:  “We live in illusion and would not make it real.”

 

Reflections:

1 – Striving = of the Ego?

This passage is very close to saying that our striving is nearly always of the ego, which will inevitably hurt us.  A Course in Miracles is very clear that the world that we know is an illusion, but we do not usually recognize this, and so we make it real to ourselves.  If we stare at a misdeed, we cannot overlook it, because we have made it real by the fact of thinking about it seriously.

2 – Avoid Meaningless Striving

ACIM would not say that no deeds are worthy.  Our function of salvation is worthy indeed, to name the central function that we have.  But we ought never to engage in meaningless striving from the standpoint of the ego.  The ego always lets us down.  The world is set up that way, and Jesus in ACIM makes this point repeatedly.  The ego is constantly being undone, and as long as our investment is there, we will be hurt when the ego is undone.

3 – Salvation = Effortless Way of Living

Living in the way that forwards salvation is meant to be an effortless way of living.  Of course, in this world we are not often ready to accept this.  We think that there is more that we have to do.  But ACIM notes that the contribution of the Holy Spirit is much greater than our own.  We need to display only a “little willingness,” and we will be on the pathway home–for ourselves as well as our brothers and sisters.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would appreciate this passage today, in that it reminds that much of the striving that I have done, much that has weighted me down, was actually of the ego and not a fit way for Your child to function.  Help me to let the ego wither away, doing nothing to reinforce it today.  May I, instead, seek to know how to live Your way, which gets things accomplished effortlessly.  To my personal self, this seems to be a paradoxical way to live, but I know that You do not mislead us, and so it is a true way to live.

Be with me today as I seek to carry out the tasks for the day.  I know that the tasks change each day, for we get a new start.  May I lean upon Your Guide as my leader in what to say and do.  May I come ever closer to the Self that You would have me be.

Thank You for the direction that You provide almost constantly to me.  Help me not to be mislead into thinking that I always choose the right, but help me to discern when my still present ego is falsifying all my dealings.  I would walk Your way today and every day.

Amen.

Seeking Heaven’s Gate

“Think not the way to Heaven’s gate is difficult at all.  Nothing you undertake with certain purpose and high resolve and happy confidence, holding your brother’s hand and keeping step to Heaven’s song, is difficult to do.  (T550)”

Affirmation:  “I walk to Heaven’s gate with my brother.”

Reflections:

1 – Optimism

What an optimistic passage!  So reassuring!

2 – A Passage for Affirmation

This is one of those passages that can be held in memory and recounted when the way gets tough on any given day.  It shows the tone of the A Course in Miracles, reassuring in the extreme.  When studied throughout, page by page, fear need not arise.  “Nothing you undertake” is “difficult to do” when studying ACIM.

3 – Co-Scribes Helen and Bill

Jesus says that the A Course in Miracles is simple, but that does not mean that it is easy.  Yet, when we study diligently, we find life going better.  This is the “another way (Preface, vii)” that its scribe, Helen Schucman, and her associate, William (Bill) Thetford, asked for, and this other way, set down in the Course, came about through their endeavors in cooperation with Jesus.  Helen took her version of shorthand, as she listened to an interior impression of words, and Bill typed up each day’s dictation in his office the next morning.  All was kept very secretive, for both Helen and Bill had great investment in their academic careers.

4 – Learn through Relationships

We need to realize that we are here with our brothers and sisters for mutual support.  We never have to feel alone, as we turn our special relationships into holy ones.  This fact of relationship to our brother (and sister) is a cornerstone of ACIM.  We learn through relationship, and thereby we enter Heaven’s gate.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this beautiful passage!  May I recall it to mind whenever the way gets even the least bit difficult.  I know that there is no challenge when I am following guidance, when I perceive clearly without the interference of my ego.  I would take the hand of my brother and sister, and walk to You.  Guide me so that the direct way is actually the shortest route to You.

May I carry a smile on my face and a song in my heart.  May I enjoy the blessing of the day that You have given me.  May I enjoy a little bit of Heaven presaged on earth today.

There is no reason to be downhearted, even when problems persist.  I know that You have placed the solution to a problem with that problem.  I know that the solution and the problem are not separated in time, though it is eternal time that I am trying to comprehend.  You do not leave me guessing about how to solve any issue that confronts me.  Your Answer will come into my mind, and Your love will warm my heart–and then, the glorious solution will appear.  Thank You for this Heavenly way to a better life while still living in this world.

Amen.

Walk into the Garden

“You have reached the end of an ancient journey, not realizing yet that it is over.  You are still worn and tired, and the desert’s dust still seems to cloud your eyes and keep you sightless. . . .Only a little wall of dust still stands between you and your brother.  Blow on it lightly and with happy laughter, and it will fall away.  And walk into the garden love has prepared for both of you.  (T393)”

Affirmation:  “I would walk in the garden today.”

Reflections:

1 – Succinct ACIM

A beautiful passage, this paragraph incorporates the whole of A Course in Miracles in succinct form.  We are meant to learn through our relationship to our brother (and sister), and through this relationship to be brought to Awakening.  Long periods of contemplation are not “our” way, though many ACIM students incorporate meditation as part of the workbook exercises.  (Indeed, the workbook exercises seem to encourage meditation, especially at the close of the year.)

2 – Special Relationships Turned Holy

This passage encourages the way of salvation for ACIM students/teachers.  This way lies in our transition from special relationships to holy relationships with our brothers and sisters.  We are “still worn and tired,” and it is in our forgiveness of others that our safety lies.  When we have let our grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe (from the Workbook).  We may become somewhat disjoined in our relationships as they move from specialness to holiness.  The purpose is different, when the holy relationship is seen as part of our salvation.  We are reassured that the Holy Spirit will not thrust our special relationships apart from us, but will be there for us as we transform them to what is truly beatific.  And when we are surrounded by holy relationships, what is this but Heaven on earth?

2 – Heaven on Earth

Jesus is very gentle with us, understanding that our way in this world is frequently hard, and indicating that he understands our pain.  The image of the “garden” perhaps indicates that Heaven on earth can yet be ours.  Certainly that is a hope in line with the teachings of ACIM.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this beautiful passage, so comforting and encouraging so much peace in me.  I am drawn to its beauty over and over, and the promises that it makes are profound.  May I spend part of this day in repeating these profound words over and over to myself, as affirmations.

May all of my special relationships, one-by-one, turn holy.  I realize that this is why we are here in this world.  May I say and do my part in making this come about.  But may I lean on You in making the decisions that I need to make to effect these changes in my relationships.

Be with us today as we seek to live peaceably with one another.  It is not right to try to isolate ourselves behind a computer or a print book.  Help me to reach out to others when You lead me to extend a helping hand.  But never let me overreach to those who are not ready or who are uninterested in what I might say or do.

Amen.

Nailed to the Cross

“The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross.  Perhaps it seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real.  And what is that but hell?  (WB374)”

Affirmation:  “I would love God rather than cringe in fear.”

Reflections:

1 – Hell

We often wonder about “hell.”  This passage indicates where it is to be found in the fear of God.

2 – Interpretations of the Word “Fear”

This concept goes against traditional Christianity.  But I think that the difference is in an interpretation of the word “fear.”  A Course in Miracles would suggest that it is a lamentable way to approach our Creator, but traditional thinking merely wants us to honor God by such “fear.”  In traditional thinking, it is a humble way to approach our Creator.  In A Course in Miracles, the fear of God is linked to that which is keeping us from salvation.  The two emotions, fear and love, are said to be the only emotions; all  others are linked in some way to these two.  We are encouraged to love God, but not to “fear” him in the sense that we are afraid.  Traditional Christianity does not use fear in that sense of being afraid either.  The fear of God is seen in an awesome sense, and this type of awe is seen as perfectly appropriate toward our Creator, both in traditional Christianity and as stated in ACIM.

3 – God Is Our Friend

ACIM would always see God as our Friend.  We dishonor that relationship when we attack others, in part because we always attack ourselves first (another concept from ACIM).  The image of being “nailed to the cross” is especially important, because elsewhere Jesus asks us to look beyond the crucifixion to the resurrection (T36).  When we look to the resurrection, we are seeing A Course in Miracles in its true light.

4 – Look to the Resurrection

A Course in Miracles differs from traditional Christianity in that it does not see a suffering savior as the best way to view Jesus’s crucifixion.  ACIM would have us look to the resurrection, which it does not deny as a plausible occurrence (but, of course, one that we cannot fully understand, given our belief in the laws of this world).  Jesus did not defend himself in his trial, just as he encourages us avoid defense as a way of life.  ACIM sees the crucifixion as a benign concept, and would not have us cling to this historical occurrence as our route to salvation.  In that sense, ACIM and traditional Christianity are at odds.

5 – The Scriptures

It would be especially good, I believe, if we did not attack the beliefs of others as we feel led to encourage reading of ACIM.  There is a progression from the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), the New Testament, A Course in Miracles, and A Course of Love.  In all cases, we would be advised that theology and theological concepts would only prolong our pathway to salvation.  Jesus calls for a universal experience in ACIM, saying that theology will only delay us.  A universal theology is impossible.  But a universal experience is not only encouraged, but is felt to be necessary (from the Text).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not speak my beliefs in any kind of strident way.  Not all are ready to believe that A Course in Miracles (and, of course, even more so A Course of Love) are the latest manifestations of Christian belief.  Those of traditional Christianity would be particular hostile to this idea.

So help me, dear God, to share only with those who feel inclined to study Christian experience differently.  I do understand that theology divides, but that a universal experience will transform all of us who seek You.  Help me to speak my truth in a way that is accessible to my readers.  Help me to share what I have learned of You in a benign way, non-threatening way.  And may I always look to the resurrection, which of course none of us fully understand, as my beacon in a sometimes difficult world.

Thank You for allow me to sense Your felt presence today.

Amen.

A Way of Living in the World that Is Not Here

“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)”

Affirmation  “There is a way of living in the world that is not here.”

Reflections:

1 – Avoid the Ego with the Passage for Today

This is an especially sweet passage.  Beware, however, of letting the ego in.  This statement is not saying that we are “special.”  We can say that nobody is “special,” or that all are “special”; either way works.  We are not alone, and we have no gifts that will not one day be shared by everyone (a Text tenet).

2 – Others Believe Also

It is comforting to know that we can find others with similar persuasions about in the world.  This does not necessarily mean that these others will be students of A Course in Miracles; there are many ways of learning the perennial philosophy.  We can walk happily, as we incorporate the tenets of ACIM in our lives.  Certainly already each of us has had moments of recognition that someone in our world is walking the way that we choose to walk.  Sometimes we see Christ in their eyes, an especially sweet miracle when it occurs.

3 – Of Like Mind

We become aware of these others of like mind when we are looking for it.  Mostly, perhaps, it is a matter of eye contact.  It is like a secret society.  But especially know that we cannot let specialness enter in, or we lose the concept entirely.  All will come to walk the world this way, eventually, and it is our function to bring that day closer.

4 – Ask God

If we have not experienced this way of living in the world that is not “here,” then let us pray together for this blessing to come upon us.  God will not delay, for we are asking in His Will.  He wants this way of walking the world to become the way of all.

5 – Do Not See “Specialness”

The only error that we could make, and it would be a large error, is to see specialness in this miracle.  Then we will look down upon those who are simply not yet ready for this miracle.  And time is an illusion, the only thing that separates perceived miracles from coming to all of us.  There are no gifts that one day will not belong to everyone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk through the world today with a serene expression on my face.  I would know that all of us, excepting nobody, has troubles, but I would also know that the solution is always found with the problem.  Ask for help, and You grant it.

I thank You that there is a way to find others of like mind.  And I would do so today.

Amen.

Lessons

ACIM Workbook Lesson 213 – for Monday, August 1, 2011

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

“All things are lessons God would have me learn.  (WB394)”

Reflections:

In ACIM, we are viewed still as learners.  (In A Course of Love, we are seen to have completed our learning.)  If we find our greatest affinity for ACIM, then the passage for today will make the ways of this world most understandable for us.  We are in a schoolhouse here, after all, which most New Age thinking says.  (Neale Donald Walsch in his Conversations with God is a notable exception.)

Turning to our day, as we awaken each morning, as a learning experience will make the day more manageable.  We will realize that life, however difficult it can sometimes seem, is teaching us something, and these lessons (according to the Manual) differ from day to day.  There is a learning goal each day, though the lessons also change each day (a Manual paraphrase).

We can also pray for the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a quotation from the Workbook).  This in itself will lighten our perceived “load” of difficulties.  And the Holy Spirit will respond.  If He does not change the conditions, He will alter our perception of them.  We will find ourselves better able to cope.  Turn to the pages of ACIM for inspiration.  We will not be disappointed.  Even a quick opening of the book may provide just the Word that we need at the time that we need it.  This is not magic.  Any page will do; ACIM is just that powerful.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would still perfect the lessons that You would have me learn.  I look ahead to the time when I will no longer be a learner, but I am not consistently in that frame of mind and spirit.  Lead me to progress to the level that You would have me find.  

Thank you for A Course in Miracles.  The solution is always with the problem, as ACIM says, and I have found many solutions to my various problems within the pages of Your inspired writing.  Be with me today as I seek to have a good day, a day I seek to spent in league with you to help in some small way to bring a better way of living to this sometimes difficult world.

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 Want the Peace of God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 205 – for Sunday, July 24, 2011

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

“I want the peace of God.  (WB390)”

Reflections:

ACIM says that to say these words can be meaningless, but to mean these words, “I want the peace of God,” is everything.  If we truly want the peace of God, we need to meet the conditions, which is a true, lasting commitment to seek and therefore to find.  Neale Donald Walsch, in his Conversations with God series, cautions us against using the word “want,” because the very use of this word will make the “wanting” all that we get.  ACIM does not seem to take this caution to heart.  God knows what we mean by “want,” although other writers also, especially Shakti Gawain, have encouraged us to state affirmations in the here and now–as though we already had that for which we are asking.

Perhaps we do not have to see inconsistency in these two positions.  We can move from “want” to “be” to “have” (similar to Shakti’s writing) in one easy stroke.  God will move mountains to help us, once we are expressing the desire that He move into a central place in our lives.  Indeed, He is here even when we have not asked for His presence.  God does not leave His children.  We need, though, to open to Him in order to be aware of His presence.

The peace of God will give us everything that is for our highest good.  It does not dwell on material things, for these are illusion.  But if we have peace, we can live calmly, regardless of what life may deal us.  We will be at home in God, and nobody is ever homeless with such a Haven.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me today as I seek to follow Your way ever more closely.  I would be happy in this world, and to do that I must overlook the attack that another may make upon me.  I need to forgive.  Then I will know the peace that only You can give.  And I will heal my brother or sister who attacked me.  They do know forgiveness when it is offered, even when nothing is said.

Be with me today.  It is all that I ask.

Amen.

The Name of God = My Inheritance II

ACIM Workbook Lesson 204 – for Saturday, July 23, 2011

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

“The Name of God is my inheritance.  (WB389)”

Reflections:

Who among us does not sometimes wonder, if we have wealth in the family, what our inheritance, monetarily, will somewhat be?  On a higher note, we may think about what we have received from our parents and grandparents that has made us what we are, our genetic and environmental gifts.

Here, though, we are seeing what our greatest inheritance really is:  the Name of God.  What does this mean?  The Name of God means (in an interpretation of ACIM, not stated therein) that we are One with God.  When our parents gave us our surname, we were, in a sense, one with them–at least in our younger years.  Now God Himself is claiming us, and we need not fret about any other kind of inheritance when we are in His corner.  He will take care of us.

It has been said many times, “Do what you love, and the money will follow.”  While surely this maxim is not always true, it is true far more often than we anticipate.  Many of us choose the sure pathway to security.  The Name of God gives us, though, the safety that we have longed to have.  He is there for us in every situation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose You in every circumstance.  You are the only security that I need.  I do not need monetary security, in any real sense, though in our society nearly everyone would disagree with this.  We need the sureness of the inheritance that only You give us.  We need Your support.  Help us not to turn to egoistic means of security.  Help us to depend on You totally.

We do have obligations to provide for our families and our brothers and sisters who do not have their basic security needs met.  We need to reach out, for we are all One, and we must take our place in the great panorama of human living in this world.  But we will never live a happy life, regardless of how much money we have, if we fail to put You first.  I would claim your inheritance today, and this is all that I need.  Thank You for being here for me.

Amen.

Sickness = A Form of External Searching

ACIM Workbook Lesson 203 – for Friday, July 22, 2011

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

“I call upon God’s name and on my own.  (WB389)”

Reflections:

1 – We Are Not Bodies

We are not bodies; we are the spirit that inhabits the body, and the body itself is illusion (ACIM tenets).  The physical shell that we define, all too often, as ourselves, is not eternal, and therefore it is not “real.”  It is a shell only.  And would we dress up fancily a mere shell of the eternal spirit that is waiting for our attention inside?

2 – Madness Is Ego-Driven

Frequently in A Course in Miracles, we are led to equate God’s thinking with our own minds (when sane).  When driven by the ego, ACIM says that we are mad, and that this madness is the basis for the many insane drives that the world seems to hold for us.  We seek outside ourselves for God’s mercy, and we not find Him outside ourselves.  But we make ourselves sick, but all illness, we are told in ACIM, is a form of external searching.

3 – Don’t Demand Too Much of the Body

Let us keep our illusory bodies well and strong by not demanding too much of them (ACIM tenets).  When we reach within, we will be far more likely to keep a healthy body, because ACIM is quite factual in saying that the source of sickness is external searching.  May we look inward for our healing, inward where God resides.  This does not preclude pills, for to do so might increase fear, and Jesus tells us in ACIM that the last thing that the sick need is an increase in fear, because they are already in a fear-weakened state.  May we ask today to  be free of fear in all its insidious forms, and may we call on the name of God to heal us of any and all afflictions.  The physical may not know healing, though, but its debilitating effects will diminish as our investment in fear is lessened.  Our minds will rise above, and with this change, often the physical can be healed as well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be well today, physically and emotionally.  So I would not seek external to myself and You by trying to find solutions in a world that does not hold solutions.  Let me turn inward and find peace.  Let me find You.

Even if physical manifestations of illness remain, may I know that my true Self has not been hurt.  A healing is quite possible, though in this world sometimes it is the mind that is healed rather than the body.  May my spirit know wholeness which knows no sickness.  Be with me today as I seek to rise above any physical or emotional trouble that may seem to beset me.  I know that the real I is completely protected from harm by You.  Thank You for carrying me when trials seem to beset me on all sides.

Amen.

I Will Be Still An Instant and Go Home

ACIM Workbook Lesson 202 – for Thursday, July 21, 2011

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

“I will be still an instant and go home.  (WB388)”

Reflections:

How do we go home?  We just get “still.”  What a revelation to many of us who have spent years running on adrenaline!  This home is not the Other Side, where we “go” when we die.  That is not what is meant at all.  This home is a form of Heaven on earth, a moment when we let ourselves be “stilled,” and we experience the peace of mind that we all crave.  This craving is not a negative, as so many cravings in this world are.  It is the best of experiences, a time when we know that we are safe and that God protects us even in the midst of what might, at times, seem to be terrible tragedies.  We are still and quiet in His love.

Until we learn how to be still in the midst of a busy world, we probably will find that ultimate salvation will elude us (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We cannot rush about and hurry constantly and find the still, small Voice that encourages us to be filled with God and His love.

This passage emphasizes that only an “instant” is needed.  It is reminiscent of the “holy instant” in which we come to know God, according to A Course in Miracles.  These moments do not have to be infrequent, though they sometimes are.  We can invite holy instants by our demeanor.  We can ask God to fill us with His love at any time.  He waits on our invitation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be still today, especially when conflict seems to exist all about me.  I would seek quiet and calm, two happenings that are sometimes difficult to find in our very busy world.  May we all take a moment and invite God early in the day, invite Him to take us by the hand and guide us as we walk in today’s world.

I would like to go home today.  This does not mean that I want to die, but that I want to awaken to the most glorious thoughts and actions in this world.  All are mine to have.  I know that You will this for me, and so I know that I am asking aright.  Thank You.

Amen.

I Am Free

ACIM Workbook Lesson 201 – for Wednesday, July 20, 2011

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

“I trust my brothers, who are one with me.  (WB388)”

Reflections:

We are free when we realize that our real will and God’s will for us are actually identical (a Text tenet).  Until that day, we live with an imprisoned will, one that brings us pain as well as suffering.  But Jesus says in the Text that we do not have to learn through pain, that this type of learning is at best only temporary, and that learning through rewards is lasting.  We need to adopt the attitudes that will lead us to learn through rewards, if we are to have any lasting peace.

We are free when we follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance (a frequent assertion in this blog).  He chooses for us (a Text tenet).  He would see that our real will is in the ascendant.  He would lead us home.  We do not know the way ourselves, and if left to our own devices, we would be destroyed by the pain and suffering that is all around us in this world.  When we experience the truths of A Course in Miracles, we can rise above the pain of this world.  We will still see illusion, and it is a particularly bad interpretation of ACIM to say that there is no pain or suffering.   We will still see it, but we will recognize that it is illusion, or (in the Eastern sense) maya, and we will know that it is not real.  This does not mean that we will fail to be supportive of our brothers and sisters who are suffering.  We will ask for healing, and we will know that it has come–because it always comes.  If there are continuing symptoms, we will not lose our faith.  The healing will be accepted at a time and place that is right for the recipient.  (All of the above are paraphrases from the Manual.)  Healing that has been offered in good faith is always granted.

We do not need to doubt that our healing has not worked.  Jesus directs our miracles, and we should not attempt to do so ourselves (a Text tenet).  Ask in full belief that we will be heard, and we will be heard.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose healing today for my intimates.  I would also choose healing for my brothers and sisters in my circle.  And help me to choose healing for myself.  You have done much over the last few months to straighten out the kinks that sometimes develop in my life.  I would choose to walk the smooth pathway, the harmonious way.  Help me to do that consistently.

As so often, I ask to feel Your presence today.  May my errors of judgment fall aside as I seek to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit today.  May I turn on a dime when I get the indication that You would have me make a new and different choice, as the events of the day unfold.

Amen.

The Peace of God II

ACIM Workbook Lesson 200 – for Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is no peace except the peace of God.”

“Peace is the bridge that everyone will cross, to leave this world behind.  But peace begins within the world perceived as different, and leading from this fresh perception to the gate of Heaven and the way beyond.  Peace is the answer to conflicting goals, to senseless journeys, frantic, vain pursuits, and meaningless endeavors.  Now the way is easy, sloping gently toward the bridge where freedom lies within the peace of God.  (WB 385)”

Reflections:

The passage quoted above is especially beautiful as well as meaningful.  We can have an easy pathway home, and we do not have to die to this world to go home.  We do need to die to the egocentric way of viewing life, and when we do so, the real world comes before our eyes–at first in snatches, and then, ultimately, to be experienced on a continual basis once God has “reached down” and lifted us up to Awakening.

So often we have been led by the ego and by egotistical thinking to pathways that were bad for us.  We chose vain pursuits and hard pathways, thinking that the harder the way, the more likely that it was God’s will for us.  What a mistake!  Jesus assures us in ACIM that the way is easy, and that very little is asked of us–because the Holy Spirit contributes the greater part of our transformation.

It is said in the Text that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is the desire to get rid of it.  Why would we try to get rid of peace, because peace is a great boon for those who experience it daily?  We are addicted to the adrenaline rush (a belief of Marianne Williamson), and many of us think that when we are peaceful, we are really “depressed.”  Nothing could  be farther from the truth.  We are just unaccustomed to being peaceful, and the perfect calm and quiet that ACIM promises are not always welcomed by us.  We still like drama.  Give peace time to work its way with us.  When we slow down and reach for the Holy Spirit and His way in this world, we will live a quiet life that will surpass all the time spent previously in frantic pursuits.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know the peace of God today.  Guide my decisions so that I do not ever feel that I am doing something amiss.  Help me to be good to all of my brothers and sisters, especially those who are intimates.  May all of us together have a good day.

Peace is a great boon.  So often we have chosen drama, even the drama of anger and attack, when there is a much better way to live.  When we live in peace with our intimates, we know joy that knows no bounds.  And You, God, surely smile upon us.

Amen.

The Peace of God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 185 – for Monday, July 4, 2011

Affirmation:  “I want the peace of God.”

“To say these words is nothing.  But to mean these words is everything.  If you could but mean them for just an instant, there would be no further sorrow possible for you in any form; in any place or time.  Heaven would be completely given back to full awareness, memory of God entirely restored,,,, the resurrection of all creation fully recognized.  (WB348)”

Reflections:

This is another favorite quotation of students/teachers of A Course in Miracles.  In an early cassette tape of necessarily limited quotations from ACIM, this passage was one of those selected.

If we can actually mean these words, we will be well on our way to the right pathway.  Heaven will be restored to our awareness, even while we live in this world.  We will remember God, i.e., we will know Awakening.

So often when we are peaceful, we think that we are depressed, and we rush about trying to “do” something.  We create adrenaline coursing through our arteries, and we are ever farther from peace.  How foolish we really are at such times!  If we would only remain still and quiet, the memory of God would return (however briefly).  Which of us would not desire this memory to return?  But it is up to us to create the conditions that can invite the experience.  That much, at least, is in our power.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do so want the peace of God, and this prayer is as genuine as I know how to make it.  If I pray amiss, correct my prayer.  If I do or say amiss, correct those things as well.  I know that neither my brothers and sisters, nor I, will be happy until we have Your peace.

Be with me today.  I pray that if the day is stressful or peaceful, I will still feel Your peace in the midst of it.

Amen.

The Name of God = My Inheritance

ACIM Workbook Lesson 184 – for Sunday, July 3, 2011

Affirmation:  “The Name of God is my inheritance.”

“Father, our Name is Yours.  In It we are united with all living things, and You Who are their one Creator.  What we made and call by many different names is but a shadow we have tried to cast across Your Own Reality.  And we are glad and thankful we were wrong.  All our mistakes we give to You, that we may be absolved from all effects our errors seemed to have.  And we accept the truth You give, in place of every one of them.  Your Name is our salvation and escape from what we made.  Your Name unites us in the oneness which is our inheritance and peace.  Amen.  (WB347)”

Reflections:

Some teachers of A Course in Miracles believe that this is ACIM‘s version of the Lord’s Prayer from the New Testament.  Helen Schucman, the co-scribe, herself thought this.  Certainly it is a prayer that has much in common with the Lord’s Prayer.  God’s “Name” is seen as the unifying Force, keeping us all as One.

The Name of God has always been seen as a mystery.  It earlier was not said, but merely alluded to.  Yahweh was an early rendition, from the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible).  And this was a spelling that only rendered letters easier to pronounce.

This prayer lets us understand that all our mistakes can be made as nothing in God’s sight.  We will be absolved of the effects that they have seemed to cause.  (In actuality, because they have been illusions, there have been no effects at all.)

If we dwell on the mystery of God’s Name, we will come farther along the pathway to understanding this lesson.  We will be at home when we have taken unto ourselves the Name of God, our inheritance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would like to understand more about what is meant by Your Name.  I am humbled that I share that Name with You.  Be with me today as I ponder these mysteries.

Thank You for giving me Your support through all the years of my life.  Even when times seemed difficult, I know that You were in my mind, comforting me.  I know that I was not always aware of that comfort, but I would be aware today.  May I give You a good day.

Amen.

Escape All Bondage of the World

ACIM Workbook Lesson 183 – for Saturday, July 2, 2011

Affirmation:  “I call upon God’s Name and on my own.”

“Today you can achieve a state in which you will experience the gift of grace.  You can escape all bondage of the world, and give the world the same release you found.  You can remember what the world forgot, and offer it your own remembering.  You can accept today the part you play in its salvation, and your own as well.  And both can be accomplished perfectly.  (WB343)”

Reflections:

If we read the passage carefully, we will know that today can be a very important day for us.  We accept grace, we are reconciled to God in every detail, and we offer salvation to the brothers and sisters who people our little world.  And we can, according to this passage, accomplish this perfectly!  What a promise we have in store for the encounters that we will have today.

Make today a special commitment to God.  Turn to the God within, and then turn outwardly.  Know that only each of us can accomplish the very task that God gave to us alone.

We would be released today.  If we have felt in bondage at any time in the past, let us know that this bondage is now definitely in the past.  We have remembered God.  He has led us to a new and better life.  Let us share what we have learned with those we meet today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be mindful today of the truth that I can escape all the bondage that seems to hold me to this world.  You are with me; You have never left me.  We are One.  I would enjoy grace today, Your grace.  And I would be happy in experiencing You with no veils separating us.

Thank You for Your assurance that You are One with me.  Be with me today.  May I feel Your presence when the day turns stressful, which it may.  Help me to eliminate all sources of negative stress in my life today.  With Your help, this seemingly impossible task will be done.

Amen.

This World Is Not Home

ACIM Workbook Lesson 182 – for Friday, July 1, 2011

Affirmation:  “I will be still an instant and go home.”

“This world you seem to live in is not home to you.  And somewhere in your mind you know that this is true.  A memory of home keeps haunting you, as if there were a place that called you to return, although you do not recognize the voice, nor what it is the voice reminds you of.  Yet still you feel an alien here, from somewhere all unknown.  Nothing so definite that you could say with certainty you are an exile here  Just a persistent feeling, sometimes not more than a tiny throb, at other times hardly remembered, actively dismissed, but surely to return to mind again.  (WB339)”

Reflections:

1 – What is Home?

This passage is a favorite quotation from the Workbook.  We know of what it describes, though perhaps we do not often think of home in this way.  We are so caught by this world that memories of a world before are normally forgotten.  But we can invite these memories back in.  And we will be the better for it.

2 – In Exile

We are in exile in this world, though we have learned to love this world and all its drama.  Jesus says in the Text that the world has nothing that we want.  But do we believe this?  When he says this, he is thinking of the egoistic world that we have built, because elsewhere he also describes the happiness that can be ours, the heaven on earth, that we can experience.  Edgar Cayce described Jesus as saying that “heaven on earth” is anywhere that we are in the company of our friends, when all is at peace and we are joyous.  (Edgar was a psychic of the Twentieth Century.)

3 – Heaven on Earth

We long for the heaven that we have left behind.  We are here to bring salvation to ourselves and our brothers and sisters, and we cannot accomplish this from another world as well as from this one (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  May we create a heaven on earth today in our everyday lives.  Communing with God first will make this more probable.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When days seem long and troubled, we are very prone to realize that this world is not our real home.  When days seem easy, we can listen to the ego’s voice that tries to tell us that we are where we belong.  But we know the truth, and I would live the truth today.

Be with us all as we walk through the day together.  May our love be genuine and our joy, complete.

Amen.

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.