Tag Archives: Catherine Marshall

Who Needs Prayers? Who Needs a Smile?

1 – Giving What Is Needed

“Who would profit more from prayers alone? Who needs but a smile, being as yet unready for more? (M70)”

2 – Interactions

Our interactions with our brothers and sisters always must be attuned to what they are ready to accept. Perhaps a vocal witness is the wrong tactic. Then we will be let to pray for them, or, as this passage says, to give only a smile. We do not want to turn off others by unwelcome proselytizing.

3 – Catherine Marshall

Catherine Marshall, a spiritual writer of earlier times, counseled putting a “golden zipper” upon our lips when around unbelievers who are not actively seeking our help. This is Mrs. Marshall’s advice particularly where significant others are concerned. Those closest to us do not want to be inundated by unsought advice about their salvation.

4 – Questions

If we are lucky, when they see that we have changed, they will begin to ask questions. Then is the time to take off the “golden zipper” from our lips, and to witness to them. May this day come soon for all of us, especially with those closest to us.

5 – The Curriculum

“The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance. Ask and He will answer. The responsibility is His, and he alone is fit to assume it. To do so is His function. To refer the question to Him is yours. Would you want to be responsible for decisions about which you understand so little? (M70)”

6 – Individualized

The phrase, “the curriculum is highly individualized,” means, I think, that we all have, tailor-made for us, the pathway that serves best. We learn what we are ready to learn, and we run across the guidance, in the form of reading (often), or words, or intuition, the particular reactions that we are prompted to have. We are not left to our own devices. We are led every step of the way.

7 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration, is chosen by God for this task. We can appeal to Him, and, without exception, be answered. We may not recognize this Answer immediately, but if we are attuned at all (not overwrought), we will come to understand sooner rather than later.

8 – Guidance

We are to ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. That is our function, to refer to Him in all things. To defer to Him in all things. Let us proceed cautiously, sometimes, through our days, especially when the way seems confusing and we don’t know what to do.

9 – Be with Us

Be with us as we seek this guidance on a constant basis. This guidance will lead us back to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be a good witness for You. May I not let my own troubles interfere with helping those who surround me. May I choose rightly what they are ready to accept by way of salvation.

Help me today. I need Your help. I am hesitant to choose what my brothers and sisters can best accept from me now.

Amen.

Choice to End Suffering

4_Boating_Realism_Impressionism_Edouard_Manet“While I can tell you suffering is illusion, you cannot still your fear of it nor tear your eyes away from it or remove from it the feelings of your heart.  While I came to reveal the choice of Love to you, the choice that you each must make to end such suffering, the illusion of suffering has continued and in its continuation made the choice of Love seem all but impossible.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 5.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would end any personal suffering today.”

Reflections:

1 – Maya

It is not enough to say that we live in a world of maya, illusion, or dreams.  As long as we suffer, we will find it impossible to be satisfied that we do not blame God because all except the real world is illusion.  This attitude, expressed by Jesus in this passage, is electrifying and very practical.  He knows our limitations.  And he knows that we will continue to see God as less than loving when we have not yet given up suffering.

2 – Eckhart Tolle

Pain does not have to turn into suffering!  That is the secret.  Eckhart Tolle says much about this in The Power of Now and A New Earth.  His understanding of the “pain body” is described in great detail in both books, but especially in A New Earth.

3 – Pain into Suffering

How do we accomplish feeling pain that does not lead to suffering?  Ah, that is the rub.  And the truth may be that we cannot overcome the tendency to turn pain into suffering without divine help.  But we do need to end suffering in order to experience all the blessings that the elevated Self of form has been promised (from the Dialogues of A Course of Love).  We do need to pray for help, to commune with God, when challenged by pain.  He will find a way to get through to us when we are at our lowest point.  Indeed, individuals often turn to God at their lowest when they do not do so at any other time.  When human resources are exhausted, we relinquish our own attempts to solve our problems, and we turn them over for divine solutions.

4 – Prayer of Relinquishment

Catherine Marshall, an inspirational writer of the last century, said much about the “prayer of relinquishment.”  We would do well to pray that prayer often.  We do not give up, but we do surrender the problem to a higher solution, that of God’s solution.  We wait to be told what to do to make things better, and we do not have to wait long, because A Course in Miracles promises that the solution is with the problem.

5 – Jesus

Let us turn today to consideration of how to end suffering in our lives.  This may seem a pipe dream, but I trust that if Jesus channeled A Course of Love (and I think he did), and he says that giving up suffering, seeing an end to suffering, is possible for us, I believe that it is.  Let us seek within for the guidance that will tell us what and how to proceed.  Everyone’s answer will be different, but the end is sure, and the end is the same for all of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would release suffering today.  Any little aspect of suffering needs to be gone.  And with Your help it will be.  Pain does not have to turn to suffering.  There are remedies.  May my brothers and sisters know freedom from suffering today.

Guide me to any and all remedies that I need to feel totally well in all respects.  I sense that You will do this today for me.  Thank You for that intuition.

Help others whom I encounter in any way.  We need to be there for each other in this sometimes difficult world.  Help us to have good days in Your care.

Amen.

Prayer Works!

“A mind that can conceive of a creator combined with a heart that yearns for knowledge of, and union with, that creator, can bypass the need for the separate thoughts of the separated one’s thought system.  But you must be trained to do this.  Thus your training begins.  And begins with prayer.

“As was said in the beginning, praying is asking.  (A Course of Love, 19.17 – 19.18)”

Affirmation:  “May I remember to pray often today.”

Reflections:

1 – Creator/God

The passage for today is packed with meaning, very dense with meaning.  When we can understand that we did not create ourselves, we then realize that believing in a Creator is not intellectually dishonest.  Then when we allow our heart to speak, and we know what our heart wants most is union with that Creator, we are well on the way home.  We do not have to “think” with “separate thoughts of the separated one’s thought system”–in other words, with the mind and its egoic tendencies.

2 – Need Help

We cannot effect this change ourselves, though.  We need help, and so our help begins with prayer.  Prayer is actually emphasized more in A Course of Love than in A Course in Miracles.  In the latter, prayer is simply assumed (and is often called “communion with God”).  We first ask for the miracle to reach us.  Prayer at its most elemental is asking, a point made by Catherine Marshall, an inspirational writer of the last century.

3 – Personal Experience

I know from personal experience that prayer brings results, and brings results quickly.  We are not left dangling.  We are led home, step-by-step.

4 – We Are Not Alone

And we are the better for recognizing that we are not all alone in the universe.  God is both within and we project the world without.  God is in all of us, and we and the world, even in illusion, is a part of Him.  But do not be delayed by this theology.  If this reasoning does not find a place in your heart, bypass the reasoning entirely.

5 – The Heart

And listen to your heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would follow guidance consistently today.  A puzzling situation just arose, and against my “judgment,” I followed guidance, and all is well!  This type of experience does reinforce what we have been studying in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

Thank You.

Amen.

In Fearlessness and Love I Spend Today

ACIM Workbook Lesson 310 – for Sunday, November 6, 2011

Affirmation:  “In fearlessness and love I spend today.”

“There is no room in us for fear today, for we have welcomed love into our hearts.  (WB454)”

Reflections:

1 – Love and Fear

This is an important composite of much that the Text tells us.  Love and fear are the only emotions, and everything else that we feel are components of these two.  We need to leave fear behind and to turn, always, to love.

2 – Fear is Persistent

Of course, it is easy to say to leave fear and turn to love.  It is not something that we should ever attempt without divine intervention.  Even when we have studied A Course in Miracles for years, fear will rear its ugly head from time to time.  And we will not always have it within our power to listen to the Holy Spirit when in the throes of an anxiety attack.  Then we need to realize that there is a reason that we are not in this world alone.  We reach outward to our brothers and sisters, sometimes to professional help or pastoral guidance, and we learn more.  Temporarily there may be others who know more than we do (a Manual tenet).

3 – Today’s Lesson as an Affirmation

Used as an affirmation, the lesson for the day is very helpful.  If our fear is only low-grade, the affirmation may help us quite a bit.

4 – Catherine Marshall’s Solution to Fear

Catherine Marshall, though, says that in her experience, affirmations are not powerful enough when she is very fearful.  Walking right up to the fear and staring it in the face seem to work better.  Of course, she and we do not walk alone; we are, indeed, being “carried” by God (from an anecdote told by Hugh Prather).

5 – Welcome Love

When we welcome love into our hearts, we will naturally encounter fewer actions in the outside world that will arouse fear in us.  We will project love, peace, calm to the outer world of our perceptions, because projection makes perception (an ACIM tenet).  The world that we will make at such times will stand us in good stead, in memory, when we are less careful to fill our minds with the Thoughts of God.  The Thoughts of God will always save us.  And this is what we really seek as we try to live, consistently, in love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not be fearful nor anxious today.  I would welcome love, which is the only permanent cure to fearful and anxious thoughts and emotions.  Let me rid myself of fear in whatever way seems to help me the most.  I realize that different techniques work at different times and for different people, but Jesus says that the only permanent solution is a return to love.

May I return to love today.  May You join me in this endeavor.  May I turn inward whenever I am beset by worry, and may my assurance that Your Guide is with me be the best means of knowing that all is truly well.  Thank You for being there within me, and may I touch that inner core more and more often.

Amen.

Offer Peace = Peace Returns to Us

ACIM Workbook Lesson 108 – for Monday, April 18, 2011

Affirmation:  “To give and to receive are one in truth.”

Selected Passage:

“To give is to receive.  Today we will attempt to offer peace to everyone, and see how quickly peace returns to us.  Light is tranquility, and in that peace is vision given us, and we can see.  (WB196)”

Reflections:

The exact nature of giving and receiving, being one, is built upon biblical concepts.  This precise echoing of the New Testament does say quite a lot about the continuity of A Course in Miracles and older traditions.  Jesus was primary in both, and he has not changed his message in many particulars.

The primary message today is to offer peace to everyone, and in so doing, we will find that peace becomes a part of our immediate experience today.  The emphasis upon “light” is metaphorical, and it says that vision will be ours when we have let the light become one with us.  Light emphasizes the best way to travel along our pathway.  Light means to follow the path set out for us in ACIM.  Vision is the better contrast to perception.  Perception partakes of the ego, and vision partakes of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity.  In the opening pages of the Text, the Holy Spirit is identified as the Universal Inspiration.

We need to ask for this peace that we all want.  Biblical concepts are frequently grounded on the simple prayer of “asking,” as an inspirational writer of the Twentieth Century, Catherine Marshall, made clear in many of her books.  She had much to say about prayer, and she defined the various types of prayers which she prayed and which she recommended to others.  In A Course in Miracles, prayer is defined as “communing” with God, and much of this form of communication is simply assumed.  We will commune with God, ACIM seems to say, because we are seeking greater understanding, our own Awakening.

Awakening is ACIM‘s term for enlightenment, and much has been said about enlightenment in Eastern religions.  ACIM would have us to know that there is a new earth for us (as Eckhart Tolle says in a book by the same title), and we would be wish to seek it out.  Life will never be the same once we have experienced revelations of Awakening.  Sometimes the moments are brief, but they show us the end.  Jesus says in the Text that to get there the means are needed, and the means are being carefully explained to us in ACIM.  Most importantly, we leave fear behind, and with this is the ego gone as well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I offer peace today to everyone that I encounter, and I realize that by so doing, peace will be returned to me.  It may even be multiplied!  Knowing this rule of the universe is a great blessing, and I thank You for simplifying the concept for me.

Be with me today as I walk ever closer to Awakening.

Amen.

Who Needs Prayers or Just a Smile?

“Who would profit more from prayers alone?  Who needs but a smile, being as yet unready for more?  (M70)”

Affirmation:  “Who needs but a smile?”

Reflections:

Our interactions with our brothers and sisters always must be attuned to what they are ready to accept.  Perhaps a vocal witness is the wrong tactic.  Then we will be let to pray for them, or, as this passage says, to give only a smile.  We do not want to turn off others by unwelcome proselytizing.

Catherine Marshall, a spiritual writer of earlier times, counseled putting a “golden zipper” upon our lips when around unbelievers who are not actively seeking our help.  This is Mrs. Marshall’s advice particularly where significant others are concerned.  Those closest to us do not want to be inundated by unsought advice about their salvation.

If we are lucky, when they see that we have changed, they will begin to ask questions.  Then is the time to take off the “golden zipper” from our lips, and to witness to them.  May this day come soon for all of us, especially with those closest to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be a good witness for You.  May I not let my own troubles interfere with helping those who surround me.  May I choose rightly what they are ready to accept by way of salvation.

Help me today.  I need Your help.  I am hesitant to choose what my brothers and sisters can best accept from me now.

Amen.