We Are Never Alone

1 – Day 22

“You are life, and you are also surrounded by living forces channeling to you constantly. (A Course of Love: Dialogues)”

2 – The Other Side

We are not alone, ever. Not only is God with us constantly, but we have channeled help from what many call the “Other Side.” The next time you are in need, think on this. And the day will brighten.

3 – Channels

Day Twenty Two makes clear that all of us are channels to the unknown. We choose that which we express. The channeling goes on all the time. What each person expresses is unique to that individual. Each person can bring forth only that which is expressly his or hers to bring forth.

4 – Choices

Every choice is a mean of channeling. This makes clear the closeness of our world to other worlds beyond us. We are not, however, simply intermediaries between our world and other worlds. The channeling which we express would come into being only by our own choice, our own means of expression.

5 – God

We can know God better in this unique way. We can, through channeling, through expression of the unknown as we come to see it, make known the love of God to individuals in this world. When we do this, we are making known love in its purest form.

6 – Union

“It is clear, when looked at in terms of process, that there is no intermediary function involved in channeling, but a function of union. This is the very function that you have waited to have revealed to you, the function you have known you are here to fulfill, the function of direct union with God. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

7 – Innermost Being

This quotation lets us know that God channels directly to us from our innermost being, our Being. He is One with us at all times. And we can call on this inner help when outer troubles threaten to overcome us. Do so now. Let the warmth of God’s love envelope you with a softness and a gentleness that maybe you have forgotten in the harshness of this world. Know that God cares, the innermost Being of yourself. You are never, never alone.

8 – Darkest Hours

So when we are in union with God, we channel His messages just all the time. We have to listen, though, for otherwise the personal self will engulf us and let us feel that we are all alone. Don’t let this egoic self rise again. The egoic self is over. But we can seem to flounder if we don’t turn within for assistance in our darkest hours.

9 – World

And these hours will come to us, still. We may mostly know happiness, but the world is still with us, and the world is a place of meanness and hostility, if we let it be that to us. The world can also be a place of loving care, especially when we reach out for help that is needed.

10 – Turn Within and Without

So: we turn within and we turn without. We know that there is no “other” self, that all of us are joined. Sometimes the Word of God comes to us in the message of another. Sometimes in a song heard on the radio. Sometimes in a song heard in our heads. It matters not from what Source we get God; but get Him we must, if we are to be happy.

11 – Let God Reach Us

We must be channels for God to reach us.

12 – Union

“You will feel as if you will burst if you cannot share the union that you touch when you fulfill your function of direct union with God. How do you let it pass through you to the world?

13 – Live Love

“The most simple, direct, and uncomplicated answer is that of living love. The simple answer is that you must express the unknown that you have touched, experienced, sensed, or felt with such intimacy that it is known to you because the knowing becomes real in the making known. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

14 – Happiness

This shows us that living love is the only way to have happiness in this world. Even when all the world seems bent against us—for that is a fallacy. The world will only seem as hostile as our own minds are seeming at the time. If we soften, the world will soften. And birds will sing again in our little world.

15 – Alexandra Stoddard

Alexandria Stoddard, the interior decorator, has a series of books that intimate how loving has been the relationship that she has shared with her husband Peter. The books are a great inspiration, for if one keeps mind and heart in the right place, the relationships with which one is blessed will also remain in the right place.

16 – God’s Presence

If we wish to be in direct union with God, we have only to invite His Presence into our minds and hearts. We will feel alienated when hurt or angry, and His Word will be impossible to hear.

17 – Attune to God

Let your minds and hearts attune now to God. Let Him speak to you in great simplicity. He is there, waiting to be asked. He will bring you home, in salvation to remain. He would have us sustain the elevated Self of form.

18 – Love

“You realize that you have known a place where nothing but love exists, where there is no suffering, no death, no pain nor sorrow, no separation or alienation. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

19 – Heaven

The quotation is apt. We do realize, however dimly, that there is a Heaven where there is no suffering, no death, no pain nor sorrow, no separation or alienation. And we can indeed have this Heaven on earth. It takes attentiveness to others, the direct manifestation of love in action. And when we have been inattentive, we know it and we suffer. But we can turn things aright by just the awesome power of our minds, which is God’s Source. We need to be in union with God to have a good life, to be separated (even in illusion) from Him no longer

20 – Heaven on Earth

We can create this Heaven on earth. We can use the power of our minds, in league with God, to do so. And prayers such as these are completely within His Will, and completely within His power to create.

21 – Time

Pay attention to the following quotation: “It is time to be a channel for the awareness of union with God that exists in every living thing. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

22 – Christ-consciousness

“The awareness is what we have been calling Christ-consciousness, but what you call it now matters not. All the words that have been expressed here, that say so many similar things in so many different ways, are words that are simply calling you to realization of your union with God and to the new world you can create once you accept and make real this union. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

23 – New World

Would we not want to create a new world? Would we all want Christ-consciousness, Awakening, enlightenment? Yes, of course. All of us.

24 – Awareness of Union

We need to realize that we are already one with God, and we need now to be aware of this union. That is the only thing standing between us and Christ-consciousness. Awareness of union.

24 – We Try

We try so hard. And we fall on our faces. But God sees our feeble attempts and our frantic attempts as well. And He smiles at us, and says, “Take it easy. There is nothing here that I can’t handle. All is well.” And if we relax in the goodness of His love, we feel a peace that is not of this world. We know joy in the midst of pain. And our moments of pain shrink as we stand watching them.

24 – Union

Union. Awareness of union. Keep that in the forefront of your mind. And you will create a new world, despite yourself.

25 – Feeling

“Remember only the feeling that a place of union exists in which you know God, in which you know love, in which you know of joy without sorrow, and life everlasting. This is the great unknown that you can make known. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

26 – Bliss

We can know such bliss when we are intimately connected to God. We don’t have to struggle anymore to “understand.” We just rest in awareness that He is present, and that He is handling everything that we don’t know how to handle.

27 – Cease Struggling

Cease struggling. Come into God’s Arms with certainty that there alone is where He would have you be.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to be aware, constantly, of the impact of an unseen world on my own personal surroundings as well as this world in general. Thank You for the clear statement of this great boon. We are never alone. Forces from beyond reach out to us and comfort us.

Thank You.

May I discern wisely the channeling that comes to me. A Course of Love does not say that we have to discern spirits, but through the years I have believed that. Be with me as I assimilate the new insight of ACOL, and if I must discern spirits, please guide me rightly in this endeavor.

Amen.

Advertisements

All Living Hearts Are Tranquil with a Stir of Deep Anticipation

1 – Everlasting Things

“All living hearts are tranquil with a stir of deep anticipation, for the time of everlasting things is now at hand. There is no death. The Son of God is free. And in his freedom is the end of fear. (M68)”

2 – Fear

Would that we could welcome the end of fear on a daily basis! But somehow we all fall back on anxieties and fears, falling short of accepting God’s grace in our daily lives. When fear comes, we must go within and contemplate what it would mean to end the fear. Get still. Commune with God. Simply ask Him for the blessing of His peace.

3 – God

In all likelihood, when we have done our part to quiet our troubled minds, He will step in and finish the work. We will know the peace of God.

4 – Medication

Sometimes He uses pills to effect this transformation. Jesus asserts that pills, medication, are not to be avoided, though pill are a form of magical solution. But, being in a fear-ridden state, if we tried to live without pills we might be worse off.

5 – Ask

Ask God what solution He would hand out to you. He will find a way to get through to you. He will show you a solution, and this solution may come swiftly. The main thing is to recognize the answer to prayer when it comes. Be alert. Be aware. And thank God when that solution comes.

6 – Song of Heaven

“And we, God’s children, rise up from the dust and look upon our perfect sinlessness. The song of Heaven sounds around the world, as it is lifted up and brought to truth. (M69)”

7 – Beautiful

These are very beautiful words that calm my soul as I write. We have not sinned, however much we think that we have. It is true that we have made mistakes, but these will be relinquished for resolution when we are sorry for them and make restitution. They will not be attracting again to us; we just want a solution, a remedy.

8 – “Sin”

Sin, on the other hand, when a thing is so labeled, has an attracting feature. I don’t know why this is, but Jesus recognizes this about our egos. We will want to do that sinful thing again, and then the ego has a field day.

9 – Holiness

“And we accept His holiness as ours; as it is. As God created us so will we be forever and forever, and we wish for nothing but His Will to be our own. Illusions of another will are lost, for unity of purpose has been found. (M69)”

10 – God’s Will = Our Will

God’s Will is our will; this we must recognize. The Holy Spirit chooses for us, only for us in every instance. It is the ego which has a separate will, and this will always leads us astray. There is no peace in the ego’s eyes. When we choose to effect God’s Will in our daily lives, we lose illusions that there is another will. We no longer think, like Jonah, that we know better. We know that God knows what will really make us happy, and we fall in line with that Will of His.

11 – Joy

“These things await us all, but we are not prepared as yet to welcome them with joy. As long as any mind remains possessed of evil dreams, the thought of hell is real. God’s teachers have the goal of wakening the minds of those asleep, and seeing there the vision of Christ’s face to take the place of what they dream. (M69)”

12 – Vision of Christ’s Face

This passage says some very important things to us. The passage equates evil dreams with the thought of hell. And the passage spells out what we are to do about that: waken the minds of those asleep. When we do so, the vision of Christ’s face takes the place of the evil dreams.

13 – Toward Awakening

This says that we have work to do, to bring Awakening to all minds. We can move toward Awakening for ourselves by studying the Course diligently. We will then not be unhealed healers, but those ready to take our part in the plan of salvation, the part that God has prepared just for us. Until we respond affirmatively to the call for salvation, our part is missing. Nor can it be taken by anybody else. We are unique in that sense.

14 – Christ in Our Brothers and Sisters

The vision of Christ’s face is mentioned several times in the Course. We will see Christ in our brothers and sisters when we are prepared. In large measure, that is what we are meant to see. In dreams, which are what we are caught in before we waken, we will not see Christ’s face, because our brothers and sisters sometimes elicit anger and attack in us. When we have let anger and attack fall away, we will be on our way to the salvation that we are bring to others, as well as accepting salvation for ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave aside thoughts of anger and attack, and take my place in Your plan for salvation. May I awaken the minds of those asleep. Until I have accepted the Awakening of my own mind, I will not be a completely healed healer.

Thank you for Your help. I need You more than ever today.

Amen.

Song of Prayer: Prayer Is the Greatest Gift with Which God Blessed His Son

A beautiful passage follows from A Song of Prayer:

“Faith in your goal will grow and hold you up as you ascend the shining stairway to the laws of Heaven and the gate of peace. (S-1.in.2)”

1 – Laws of Heaven

Note that we are to abide by the “laws” of Heaven. That means that the laws of this world are superseded. We do not have to follow the ego’s ways any longer; we are free, because our will has been set free. And we are at peace. We have inner peace. This blessing is one that we should not push away from ourselves, but welcome. The first obstacle that peace must flow across is our desire to get rid of it (from the Text of A Course in Miracles).

2 – Another Way

We are so restless in this world, in these days. We need to know that there is another way, the other way that Bill and Helen (co-scribes of ACIM) were led to discover. Bill reached that peace, though Helen never did—despite the truth that she understood A Course in Miracles very, very well. We need to give up our own restlessness.

3 – Restlessness

Giving up our restlessness is easy when we understand what blessings await us, even while still in this world. We need to get quiet within, to become perfectly calm and quiet. And often, to do so, we need to commune with God, to pray. He will not let us down.

4 – Our Need

“To you who are in time a little while, prayer takes the form that best will suit your need. S-1.in.2)”

We are the ones who are in time now. And we can even “use” prayer, in a practical sense, to get us where we want and need to go along God’s pathway home. It is not against grace to see the practicality of prayer. It is an exceedingly fruitful way to sense God’s presence in everyday life. And to see His blessings come raining down upon us.

5 – Don’t (Always) Ask

“The secret of true prayer is to forget the things you think you need. To ask for the specific is much the same as to look on sin and then forgive it. Also in the same way, in prayer you overlook your specific needs as you see them, and let them go into God’s hands. (S-1.I.4)”

This is a step beyond “asking.” We know that our needs will be met; it is only our wants that are at issue. And our wants are frequently things that do not serve us.

6 – Are You Ready?

Not everybody is ready for this next stage of prayer. I frequently am not, and I do not feel that this is a shortcoming. When my faith is strong (and strong faith vacillates among all of us), then I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that my practical needs will be satisfied without my asking. But when I am in anxiety, I am not so sure. This is when I have feet of clay. And I am convinced that God hears my prayers for the tiny things that I think I need. He answers me in tangibles, when they are called for—and in intangibles, when his comfort is all that I really need.

7 – Not Supplication

“Prayer is a stepping aside; a letting go, a quiet time of listening and loving. It should not be confused with supplication of any kind, because it is a way of remembering your holiness. (S-1.I.5)”

This is the highest form of prayer: to reach toward God, as in The Cloud of Unknowing (a medieval, anonymous treatise) with a dart of longing. We do not supplicate when in this frame of mind, for all that we want is God. He alone satisfies our every need.

8 – At Peace

And we are at peace. But we cannot always reach this height. Sometimes we do not reach this height at all:

9 – Can You Reach This Level of Prayer?

“This is not a level of prayer that everyone can attain as yet. (s-1.I.6)”

Do not be chagrined if you find that you still needs prayers of supplication. God hears all types of prayers. I think that his major wish is that we feel Him near, that we commune with Him, that we are friends. After all, ACIM says that God is lonely when His children do not communicate with Him. He recognizes that channels are closed, and He thinks that His children sleep and need to be awakened. (These are paraphrases from the Text of A Course in Miracles.)

10 – Sleep

May we seek today to rouse ourselves from sleep. In the highest sense, the words that I paraphrased were meant to be a precursor to Awakening, a step that God takes for us. But in another sense, we can rouse ourselves from the deepest sleep to feel the quiver of our eyelashes as we come into consciousness. We do this every morning, and then we see another dream, for this world is a dream, an illusion, maya.

11 – Prayer of Thanksgiving

We need to realize that God is with us, however we pray. We can recognize that our needs are already met, and then we will move easily to the prayer of thanksgiving. This is a higher form of prayer than supplication. It is the prayer of gratitude, which puts us on God’s wavelength immediately. When we are thankful, God moves to answer more and more of our needs and even some of our wants. Always He is a loving God who would not leave His children to drift apart in a world without escape.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me today. I seek to express my gratitude to You for the manifold blessings that You have bestowed on me, even when I did not take time for gratitude. Now I do take that time. From the bottom of my heart, thank You for my good life. And may I do what I can to lead my brothers and sisters to a good life. We are all in this together. And we will sink together or we will swim together in the waters of the unconscious, You.

May this day go well. May I be tolerant of everyone with whom I come in contact. May I be forgiving, always forgiving of those who have distress that rests on error. Help me to have the healing of my anxious emotions that I need, and this is a need. I can serve better when I am calm and relaxed. Help me to be easy and relaxed today.

Thank You for being there for me. Thank You for staying close to me so that I can feel You.

Amen.

Self-Actualization

Pierre-Auguste-Renoir-painting-ren05
“While the foundation of fear, like the ego, will have left you now, a pattern of behaving fearfully may still remain and as such be a deterrent to new ideas and to action. As long as these patterns of fear remain as deterrents to action, you will not experience the freedom of living from the new thought system. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.1)”

Affirmation: “I would be free of fear today.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear

I talk a great deal about fear in this blog, because it is the single most inhibiting characteristic of our lives when we are still dwelling with the personal self that has not been elevated to the Self of form. And that includes all of us, because Jesus says in A Course of Love that nobody has yet sustained the elevated Self of form. As time passes, perhaps a chosen few will sustain enlightenment and then the elevated Self of form will seem to be and will be a goal that all of us can visualize ourselves reaching. We do not make the decision of when, though. That is entirely out of our hands, though we can study to be ready when God calls. He makes the decision of when Awakening will come to each of us.

2 – New Life

We cannot live the new life to which we are called if we cling to vestiges of fear. The continuing pall that such vestiges will drop over our lives would make a better life for the personal self impossible. And we do not want to allow this better life to escape our hands. We need to know how to act, what to do, and what to even think.

3 – Prayer

The best way to prepare is communion with God (a personal interpretation, not stated in ACOL or A Course in Miracles). When we live with the shadow of the Almighty, we live on sacred ground indeed. We live safely, sure of our protection always, as He watches out for us. He does not always save us from pain, but He will always show us a way to prevent turning that pain into suffering. And we do not have to learn through pain (from the Text of ACIM). We can learn through rewards. And the rewards insure that the learning will be permanent. All too often what we learn through pain is temporary, and we forget as soon as the pain goes away.

4 – Christ-Consciousness

We need to live the new life that is held out to us. We catch glimpses of Christ-consciousness, and, even if this is not sustained, we return to level ground with more of ourselves realized. And we are intended to head toward the realization of our Self/Christ. We are meant to be self-actualized. The fact that we cannot snap our fingers and get God to respond should not be a deterrent to our slow and easy acquisition of His words. He will guide us surely to Christ-consciousness. And what He does will last, one day, of that we can be sure.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be self-actualized today. I realize that I may not have walked far enough along the path to reach this blessing. But I want to think, say, and do the things today that will advance my progress. Help me to do so.

Christ-consciousness is the blessing that we all seek. May I be patient as I catch glimpses, but do not sustain the epitome. I know that there is a reason for this. I am not yet ready, but I pray that I will be soon. I ask this prayer on behalf of my brothers and sisters as well.

Amen.

You Have Not Forgotten Thought System of the Christ-Self

“What we are doing now is much like translating the learned thought system of the ego into the thought system of the Christ-self that you but think you have forgotten. As you dwell in the house of truth, if you do not resist unlearning the ego thought system, the thought system of your true Self will quite simply return to your memory. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.4)”

Affirmation: “I would remember the thinking of my true Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Resist Unlearning of Ego

The passage for today is very reassuring, in that we learn that we can just not resist unlearning the thought system of the ego, and the forgotten memory of the thought system of the Christ-self will reemerge. We have just forgotten what has been buried in us all along. We do not have to struggle to learn something new. The truth has always been present, but the part of ourselves that was the ego just overshadowed our real thinking, the real thinking of our Self.

2 – The Self

Is there a difference between our Self and the Christ-self? No, there is not. I often just say “Self” because in many cases we think we are claiming something that does not belong to us when we say “Christ.” Our ego all too quickly gets involved again, and the ego tells us that we are being arrogant, that we cannot possibly share in the Christ that Jesus himself embodied.

3 – Share

But we can share in this Christ, and we can just gently turn aside from the egoistic thinking that rejects this thought as vainglorious. If we resist the ego, it will only become stronger. So do not resist, but just gently reply, when it “speaks,” with a “no.” This no will silence the ego, and we will be let ever so gently into the communion with God that will assure us that we are on the right track.

4 – Universal Christ

We do not become Jesus, of course. All too often we think that he is the only one who can be Christ. Yet it is not egotistical to claim a universal Christ of which we are a part. The ego will never be a part of this, but we in our Self will be, and this Self is found deep within, where God is. We project the world, but the point of Christ within is the essence of God Himself. And the same is true for all of our brothers and sisters, who are not illusion. Our brothers and sisters are as real as we are, and they too share the Christ that is within us. All is One in this non-dualistic universe(s), and God is One. Ask within if this interpretation can be accepted by you.

5 – Universal Experience

But do not let theology delay you. We are after a universal experience, which is necessary (from A Course in Miracles). The universal experience for today is to recognize that the Christ within is capable of transforming ourselves as well as the world that we perceive. We are on the cusp of a transforming experience when we take to heart the passage for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would gently turn aside from the thought system of the ego so that I would easily and peacefully unlearn that thought system. I would learn the thought system of the Christ Self, one that is gained in large part through my heart. Help me to reconcile myself to this twin resolve today.

I would share in the universal experience that is the transformation of all of us from the ego-mind to the Christ-mind. I would delay not. Help me to gently turn aside from all that was unfortunate in the past and to turn gently ahead to a glorious future.

Amen.

Uncertainty Is Now an Echo from the Past

sotter - pennsylvania impressionists“Uncertainty will not now come to teach you lessons you have already learned but will only visit you as an echo from the past. It is a habit, a pattern of the old thought system. All you must do is not listen to it. Its voice will not be gentle or full of love. Its voice will hold the unmistakable edge of fear. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.11)”

Affirmation: “I will avoid listening to any echoes from the past.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear

When we feel the unmistakable edge of fear, we know that we are thinking amiss, not listening to our heart. And uncertainly, Jesus seems to say here, is a symptom of fear. To be sure! That is what we want now. And that is what we can have.

2 – Personal Interpretation

We are leaving the old thought system behind. How can we do that? There are indications, though the ones that I mention now are not all spelled out in A Course of Love nor even in A Course in Miracles. First and foremost, we can learn to live with ourselves better. We no longer chastise ourselves for our mistakes, but we acknowledge those mistakes and seek to correct them, promptly. We pray a great deal, though this prayer may take the form of fragmentary prayers for others and ourselves. And we thank God for His many blessings, for gratefulness keeps His abundance flowing to us. We use affirmations, scriptural passages from the Bible, ACIM, or ACOL—words that help us to keep on the right path.

3 – Warm Hearts

With regimens like these in place, we walk a surer path. We are uncertain no longer, for our hearts are warmed by the experiences which we encounter. If we remember, from ACIM, that the solution is always with the problem, we will know that whatever uncertainty emerges is easily rectified. We do not have to wait for an answer most of the time, but we wait patiently when the answer does appear to be slow in coming. Probably our own mind is interfering with receiving God’s Answer.

4 – We Just Know

Listen to your heart. We do not need the proofs of God’s favor that the mind would ask to have. We do not need proof of God at all when we are listening to our heart. We just know, and we know in a way that is unmistakable.

5 – Uncertainty

Continuing to live in uncertainty is thus an echo from the past, an echo lodged in fear. And we would be free of fear. We need to walk into the future with confidence, and we can do so. The farther along we walk, the more confident, and the more certain, we become. Thank God for these blessings.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I stay close to You during the day, I walk a certain pathway. Things work out well. But when I let You drop from my mind, I walk a turbulent path. I would walk a smooth path today.

Help me to avoid uncertainty. Uncertainty brings on insomnia, and I would be free of that. May I take the steps toward living with myself well. And when I live with myself well, I am living with You well.

There is no better to spend a day than to spend it in fellowship with You. Let me remember this if anything goes awry today.

Amen.

What Would Mary Do?

van gogh - wheatfield with crows
“I repeat, and will do so again and again, that the ego self is gone from you. Whether you fully realize this or not matters not. This A Course of Love has accomplished. Now the choice is before you to do one of two things. . .to proceed toward love or fear. If you proceed with fear you will assemble a new ego-self, an ego-self that perhaps will seem superior to the old, but which will nonetheless still be an ego-self. If you proceed with love, you will come to know your Christ-self. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 4.8)”

Affirmation: “I would leave fear behind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear

Fear is our great enemy, but if we dwell on this fact too long and deeply, we will scare ourselves, making the ego strong. And the ego is strong when one is fearful. Let us leave behind this state of affairs today.

2 – When Baited

Let us proceed toward love. This means that we need to make a decision about how we will react when we are baited by those closest to us. We must determine what we will say and do, ahead of time, or we are likely to attack or otherwise react with anger.

3 – Personal Experience

I have found that the easiest way to handle a difficult conversation is to say a reminder, just the word “gentle,” followed by the question, “What would Mary do?” By “Mary,” I mean the mother of Jesus, a woman given great importance in A Course of Love (though not in A Course in Miracles). This immediately puts me in a conciliatory state of mind. I tried the phrase, “quiet control,” but I found that it tended to put me in an uptight attitude, just the reverse of what I wanted.

4 – Communion with God

You will find other words, or perhaps none, just a communion with God. Many of us do need words that help us in times of difficulty.

5 – Proceed toward Love

I would proceed toward love always with those closest to me. And this movement will take me into the Christ/Self, sooner rather than later. We need to move toward the Christ Self, because if the ego is gone, which Jesus says it is, we need to have a replacement in mind to whom we can turn.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for giving me the words, “What would Mary do?,” when I am stressed, in a difficult conversation, when I am being baited. There is no reason that I can’t keep my cool, except a lack of discipline. And You would have me be gentle with all those with whom I come in contact.

I would proceed toward love today, away from fear. I have tried this many times, but perhaps not strongly enough, because anxiety dogs my steps from time to time. I would make a determination today to slow down and relax, to meditate when I can.

I never get angry unless I am stressed. May I remember this today.

Amen.

The Definition of Prayer

pissarro003

“Thus prayer must be redefined as the act of consciously choosing union.  With this definition, you can see how your life can become a prayer.  This does not negate the fact that a prayer is also a constant dialogue of asking, being answered, and responding.  This is the aspect of prayer that makes of it an act of creation.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 6.3)”

Affirmation:  “I will choose union through prayer today.”

Reflections:

1 – Union

This passage for today emphasizes once again how important prayer is to our well-being in this life.  We are said to make of our whole life a prayer, when we follow what Jesus is saying in A Course of Love.  We consciously choose union with our Self/Christ and God within, with our brothers and sisters in this world and all worlds (even unseen), and we choose to embrace the universe(s).  Union is all-inclusive, and it is a big part of our way home.

2 – Prayer

The second sentence in this passage is important:  “This does not negate the fact that a prayer is also a constant dialogue of asking, being answered, and responding.”  Certainly!  This is the way that we have traditionally seen prayer at its most simple:  asking and being answered.  But here we also see that we are to respond.  And this is the new art of thought.  We learn through receiving and then responding, not only to God, Who has answered our prayer, but also to others who can benefit as well.

3 – Personal Experience

I have personally found that my answers to prayers have increased in very recent days.  What we believe does make a difference, and I have been expecting answers to come at the point of asking.  I have not had to wait long.  Recently I asked for a solution to a minor health problem, and immediately–yes, immediately–the answer to my problem came into my mind, not as a voice, but as an internal word that was my own thought, but yet a bit beyond me.  At first I thought that I had misheard, that another one-word answer was meant.  But as the afternoon wore on, I realized that the initial word had been accurate.  I acted on this precise directive, and my minor health problem cleared up.

4 –  Mind

The word that come into our minds are not always God speaking to us.  There is much left in our minds that alter His messages.  But as we walk further along the pathway to Awakening, the chaff tends to fall away, and our internal hearing does seem more on the beam with God.  We can ask silently, and receive an answer.  We can also journal our questions, and wait for an internal prompting of what to write by way of an answer.  This latter suggestion is championed by a writing expert, Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way).  And it works.  The fact that we capture on paper what is impressed upon our minds encourages us to reread and to respond in the future to what has been answered in our prayer.

5 – Listening in Prayer

So, pay attention to the internal, silent monologue of thoughts when asking in prayer.  I have been very, very pleasantly surprised that this type of listening increases as it is used.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the immediate answers to my prayers that I have been receiving.  I realize that this is the way that prayer is supposed to work, for our communion with You answers all problems.

May all of us have a good day.  May anxieties fall away, and may we walk into the sunlight with You.

Amen.

Choose Once Again

“The choice to change your belief is before you.  Are you ready to make it?  As you once pissarro_stage-coachchose separation you can now choose unity.  Not knowing that unity was a choice prevented you from making this choice before now.  Now I tell you clearly, the choice is yours.  Choose once again.  (A Course of Love, 29.18)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose unity today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Way to Christ-Consciousness

We need to change our beliefs, to believe no longer in the separation that never was, and to embrace the unity that always has been–which we are now ready to accept.  There is no other way to Christ-consciousness.  We must be aware that we are “as” relationship to all, “as” as well as “in.”  And it is in the “as” that we come to see that we cannot get along without communion with God, with our deepest Christ Self, and with other people, our brothers and sisters.

2 – Unity Our Greatest Need

When we recognize that unity with the All is our greatest need, we will be willing to cease this desire for meaningless independence, the isolation that so many of us feel deep in our minds and, perhaps, even, we think, in our hearts.  Our hearts do not really feel thus, though, for they do not have the intellectual doubts about God that stop or, at least, impede, so many of us.  Let us ask for the intellectual understanding that will quell our restless minds, but let us not get hung up about it.  We know in our hearts that God is real, and that He is the only real thing in a real world.  Everything else is illusion, for we ourselves, and everything, is a part of God.  Our brothers and sisters are, likewise, one with God and one with ourselves.

3 – God’s Blessing

It is time to choose again, to choose the blessing that God would bestow upon us.  Fear can fade away when we say the affirmations that come us to from A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, as well as the Bible.  These affirmations proclaim a truth that is above doubt, a truth that all is really well with us–regardless of outside circumstances.  Even pain is alleviated and kept from escalating into suffering when we live close to the deepest within ourselves, the deepest which is God.

4 – Join in Unity

May we join forces with all whom we see today, to join in unity with our brothers and sisters, and to pray for the Christ-consciousness which will mean that we will live in unity without any time constraints, permanently.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We need to get very clear about what we need–and that is a unity with all, You and All that exists.  May I reach the clarity that will tell me this in my deepest heart of hearts.  May I depend on You for the answers to my needs, knowing that needs are always answered.  My wants may not be realized, and that is as it should be.  I may want what would hurt me.

Thank You for helping me to realize that I must keep my mind clear to avoid attracting the wrong things.  I have some say in this, though You will guide me–always–when I let myself be open to guidance.  May I follow Your will and Your way today, all through the day.

Amen.

You Would Not Be Other than Who You Are

rusart - van gogh

“You would not be other than who you are.  You may know that this is true or you may dwell in fantasies, desiring what another has or some success, fame, or riches that seem impossible for you to attain.  And yet, whether you know it is true or not, it is true:  You would not be other than who you are.  (A Course of Love, 20.42)”

Affirmation:  “I would not be other than who I am.”

Reflections:

1 – Jealousy / Envy

When jealousy or envy rears its ugly head, we are likely to think, momentarily, that we would be so much better off to have or to be what the source of our jealousy or envy has.  This is illusion.  Worse still, it is a very demoralizing illusion.

2 – All Gifts Are Shared

Actually, all gifts are shared by everyone equally (a tenet of A Course in Miracles).  Not necessarily right now, but ultimately.  And knowing that we will one day share and share alike has to be comforting.  In the meantime, God answers our prayers by satisfying our needs.  Not necessarily our wants, but our needs.  No one goes without, however unlikely this statement may be in the face of the suffering that we see throughout our world.

3 – Closeness to God

We know that this is true, for there is little relationship between those who are in dire straits and those who have abundance.  Actually those in dire straits may be closer to God through their prayers than those of us who are better off.  And the closeness to God is everything.  When we wander away, we suffer.  When we come back home, we are reconciled in the best way possible–accepted by a loving Father who supplies our every need.

4 – Role Models

We would not choose to be another.  True, we can see role models in another, and seek to be like him or her.  But we would not change places with that other individual.

5 – We Want to Be Ourselves

The bottom line is that we want to be just ourselves.  And any thought other than this is illusory.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I am contented with who I am.  I recognize the truth of the main quotation in the passage for today.  Thank You that I am contented.  Help not envy or jealousy lead me to want what another has.  This would be a mistake.  We only do well when we accept ourselves, as we are, and seek only to compete with ourselves.  We can want self-improvement, but still basically we have to accept that we are OK as we are.  That does not mean that we won’t correct what imperfections we can.  It simply means that we have a decent self-image.

Thank You for drawing close to me in prayer.  I appreciate the knowledge of Your felt presence.  There is no better way to spend the day than to walk in close contact with You.  Thank You for staying close and not withdrawing, for me, in a dark night of the soul.  I realize that this could change tomorrow, and I accept that, but for now, all is good with our communion.  

Thank You.

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.

Safe Embrace

“You are the prodigal sons and daughters welcomed constantly to return home to your Father’s safe embrace.  (A Course of Love, 9.29)”

Affirmation:  “I am in my Father’s safe embrace.”

vincent-van-gogh-paintings-from-arles-1Reflections:

1 – In Trouble

The prodigal son or daughter is an image of an individual in trouble, an image with which we can all identify at one time or another.  We may not know “trouble” that is like that of our brother or sister, but we all know difficulties of one type or another.  And we need the prayers of ourselves and others to help us out of the mire.

2 – We Are Safe

We are told in today’s passage that God Himself offers a safe embrace to us, an embrace that, because it is “safe,” is also comforting and protective.  May we reach inward today for that embrace.  May we know that God, the Divine within, wishes us well.  We only need to turn inward to know that we are safe, that we do not have to fear anything that this world can do to us.  Regardless, there will be a happy ending–if not in this world, then in the next.  Normally, though, there is no need to spend our days on earth longing for the better world that is beyond this one.  That is a very demoralizing stance to take.  God wishes us well here, and He is always here to help.  May we take Him at his word and enjoy the safe embrace that awaits us when we stop trying to do it all alone.

3 – We Are Not Alone

We are not alone.  A nightmare in sleep is inconsequential, and we have nightmares in the sleep that we have for eight hours at night, and in the illusions that we have during the day.  When we awake in the morning, we simply go from one form of sleep to another (an ACIM tenet).  Knowing this, cannot we feel some comfort?  Our nightmares are not real, whether they come in the night or the day.

4 – The Promise

We long for God’s safe embrace today, and we can have it–even today.  That is the overwhelming promise of the passage for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would accept Your safe embrace today, ever mindful that when I turn to You, You are always there for me.  And You are there for me even when I am too upset and distracted to feel anything at all.  Your felt presence is a blessing that takes us out of our despair and gives a helping hand to the affairs of the day.  I would thank You for the felt presence, when it comes.  It is indeed blessed.

Be with me again today.  So often I ask for that.  And You always respond.  Thank You for the answers to recent prayers.  I see Your answers working out in my life.  And I pray that You will walk with me until the culmination of my prayers happen.  Be with me in the day and in the night, especially if the night does not bring sleep.  You are always awake, and I can use time awake to commune with You.  Help me to remember that just maybe You want some time with me that I don’t allow You during the day.

Be with me.  Help me.  Thank You for the many blessings that I have known throughout my life.  And thank You for learning at a young age that prayer is the secret to a good life.

Amen.

Dark Night of the Soul

“Child of God, you are alien here but need not be alien to your Self.  In your knowledge of your Self, all threat of time and space and place dissolves.  You may still walk an alien land, but not in a fog of amnesia that obscures what would be a brief adventure and replaces it with dreams of terror and confusion so rampant that no toehold of security is possible, and day turns endlessly into night in a long march toward death.  (A Course of Love, 4.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I know my Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Self

The Self (capitalized) is meant in A Course of Love to be the Christ who is in each of us.  Christ, as we know, is not limited to Jesus.  He paved the way, and is still leading the way, but he does not believe that he has anything that we cannot attain.  Even this sentiment is expressed in the New Testament, and certainly this sentiment finds a welcome home in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

2 – Terror and Confusion Begone

The passage for today is particularly vivid in its metaphors.  We are told that we can see our lives here as a brief adventure, and we do not need to have dreams of terror and confusion.  But most of us do, and most of us still do–despite study of ACIM and ACOL.  We are all equals in the journey that we take, the “journey without distance” (quotation from ACIM).

3 – Clear Our Minds

When we are lost in the emotions of fear–terror and confusion, as herein described–we are not in a good frame of mind even to study ACIM and ACOL.  We need, perhaps, to clear our minds in whatever ways we have determined work for us.  Possible avenues are prayer (communion with God), meditation (if we are led to do so, but long hours of “contemplation” are specified citing by Jesus in ACIM as being “tedious”), conversation with significant others in our lives, counseling, even listening to music.  (These are personal recommendations, most not cited in ACIM nor ACOL.)  When we are lost in terror and confusion, it is hard for the Holy Spirit and Christ-consciousness to reach us.  We have temporarily lost our way, lost it to the ego that has not died within us.

4 – Dark Nights of the Soul

Seek calm and quiet and stillness in whatever ways work for you.  Stay relaxed, sure of your eventual emergence from this dark night of the soul.  Dark nights of the soul come to all of us on the way back to God, and they do not mean that we are the less for having them.  It is part of the journey, and it is also a time not to give up on our religion.  We will know comfort again.  In the meantime, we stay the course.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a good day today and every day.  Even when hard times come, I do not have to feel abandoned.  I know intellectually that You are here, even when I don’t feel anything.  And I pray to sense Your Presence in my daily walk about this world.

May the fearful emotions, the terror and confusion, not veil my eyes from the light of the sun.  May I know that anytime I experience fear, there is a dawn coming that will be better.  May I choose to be tolerant of myself when I am torn by conflicting emotions.  They are evidence of the human condition, not that I have lost my way–though it may feel that way.

Be with me today and always.  Help me to turn aside from terror and confusion without adding to the fear by my own thinking.  Let my heart, which knows of comfort, speak to me today and every day.  Be with me, be with us, as we seek Your pathway through this sometimes tragic world.

Amen.

A Mistake Is Not a Sin

“You but mistake interpretation for the truth.  And you are wrong.  But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes.  God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world.  His Love remains the only thing there is.  Fear is illusion, for you are like Him.  (M-18.3)”

Affirmation:  “Love is the only thing there is.”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not Condemn Yourself

This is a reassuring passage, one that leads us to understand that God truly is Love, and that we have only made mistakes–nothing to condemn ourselves.

2 – When Afraid

When we are afraid, when fear has moved into our conscious minds, we need a remedy, and we need it now, not later.  The best remedy is to fill our minds with these reassurances that Jesus gives to us in A Course in Miracles.  The fear may make our heart beat rapidly, pounding in our chest, but we can still say to ourselves, “This is illusion.  I have no reason to fear.”

3 – Moving Away from the Abyss of Fear

And then we can distract ourselves from the abyss of fear in which we have fallen.  A Course in Miracles does not give specific practices, beyond affirmations in the Workbook, that can be called upon.  But most of us know that prayer, communion with God, helps tremendously.  And communion with God is emphasized in the opening pages of the Text.  We can also do something as mundane as listen to quiet, soothing music–praying as we listen.  We can talk to a significant other, if we have not called upon him or her so often that we have worn out our welcome.  And, of course, when fear comes, it is frequently in the middle of the night, when we do not want to awaken anyone.  Writing in a journal can help.  Some have found meditative yoga to be helpful.  I have found it useful to pray aloud, away from others in a quiet room.  Praying aloud seems to keep me on track.  If one is agitated, the best thing that we can do is simply to rest in that agitation, watching it subside gradually.  We will actually all get the amount of sleep that we need.  We need not fear insomnia, thereby making it worse.

4 – Is It Guilt?

If guilt is a major reason for our fear, then we can pray for forgiveness.  Remember that God does not forgive, because He has never condemned (an ACIM tenet).  But we need to forgive ourselves, and this we can do.  The ego may object, but then the ego does not wish us well.  We need to be gentle with ourselves; we need to wish ourselves well.

5 – Sin vs. Mistakes

Remember that the concept of “sin” and the concept of “mistakes” are very different.  Sin has an attracting nature, one that would have us repeat the same thought or action.  Mistakes, on the other hand, simply call for correction, something that we can do when our motivation is strong.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not be fearful today.  There is no reason that the daily activities need to make us afraid.  We can get excited, but better not to get fearful.  

You know that our emotions are often vacillating.  We feel one way one moment, and something entirely different just a moment away.  I would stop this merry-go-round of fear in its tracks by denying the ego its field day with my mind.

May You help me to turn to You repeatedly, anytime that the ego threatens to engulf me with fear.  Thank You.

Amen.

Commune with God = Immediately Feel Better

“Who can escape this self-condemnation?  Only through God’s Word could this be possible.  For self-condemnation is a decision about identity, and no one doubts what he believes he is.  He can doubt all things, but never this.  (M-13.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would foster self-acceptance.”

Reflections:

1 – Acceptance

We condemn ourselves when we fail to understand that God’s Word would give us freedom.  It is perhaps a paradox that we don’t understand, and it is born of the separation that only apparently happened.  The separation never actually happened in fact, but only in illusion, in the dreams in which we are caught.  And we condemn ourselves for supposedly rejecting God.  We recognize, however dimly, that it is our acceptance of God and His blessings that we are ever truly at peace and happy, joyous.

2 – Reject God?

We think that we have rejected our Maker, and to prove this rejection, we don’t communicate with Him.  We pray only when in dire straits, the foxhole prayers.  This is, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles, a most unnatural habit that we have taught ourselves.  We are meant to commune with our Maker, and it is God who made us, not we ourselves.  We tend to forget this when we are being especially egotistical, and therefore especially caught by the ego.  But we can learn a better means of living.  We can return to frequent communion with God and His Voice, the Holy Spirit, and as soon as we make the choice for this return, we will immediately, sooner rather than later, feel better.  Our lives will immediately smooth out, and we will feel love again.  We will reach out easily to our brothers and sisters, and we will accept ourselves as having made mistakes, but none that cannot be forgiven.  Note that God does not forgive (an ACIM tenet), because he has never condemned.  It is only with self-condemnation that we are concerned in today’s passage.

3 – Gentleness

Be kind to yourself today.  We need the strength of gentleness, for it is only with gentleness that ACIM becomes easy to accept, salvation become easy to experience.  Be rid of the insanity of self-condemnation, and all will be well again in our little worlds.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would stay close to You today.  I am certain that when days go awry, it is because I have not been close enough to You.  Perhaps my sense of guilt, because of the ego, has come alive, and so I think that I am not worthy.  But I am Your child, and You do love me.  I have ample evidence of this love in the blessings of my life.  And even if those blessings were withheld, I would know that You are there for me, carrying me.  Thank You for this parable of the way things really are, retold by Hugh Prather.

I would commune today with You, even when my mind is on other things.  You do not expect conscious constant contact.  You know that we have busy minds  (perhaps too busy), and that we have many things that we have to do in this world.  May we think of You just a little more often, and in the thinking may we understand that it is You Who created us, not we ourselves.

I know that I will feel better today if I follow these goals.  Be with me when I forget.  I may forget You, but please, don’t You forget me.

Amen.

Prayer

“Prayer is a way of asking for something.  It is the medium of miracles.  But the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness, because those who have been forgiven have everything.  (T45)”

Affirmation:  “the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness”

Reflections:

1 – Prayer Is Assumed

Prayer is not discussed a great deal in the Course, and this passage hints at why.  The Course recommends forgiveness of ourselves and our brother as the only basis for a good life.  If we forgive, we “have everything.”  Does this mean that all of our needs are automatically taken care of?  Not precisely.  But we move in that direction, and we do so as a whole.

2 – We Make Our Choices

It is hard to understand what this “everything” really is, but basically it is the recognition that we are not deprived in this life except by our own choice.  This is part of the theoretical construct of the Course.

3 – Pray for Forgiveness

Why would we choose to deprive ourselves of anything?  Maybe we are looking for the wrong things in life.  The Course is practical, but nowhere is materialism sanctioned.  We are simply asked in this passage to pray for forgiveness, and then the miracles that will transform our lives will be forthcoming.  This is the prayer of faith.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I ask forgiveness for all the ways in which I have failed.  May I ask that forgiveness be in my heart for those whom I feel have hurt me.  I realize that actually I cannot be hurt, but I can feel the pain of believing that I have been hurt.

May I forgive, as I have asked to be forgiven.  May all that I encounter feel the results of my prayer today.

Amen.

Perfect Love

“Know first that this is fear.
Fear arises from lack of love.
The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.
Perfect love is the Atonement.  (T30)”

Affirmation:  “The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.”

Reflections:

1 – A Poem

This is another beautiful blank verse poem from the Course.  It is also a syllogism, which Jesus seems to appreciate a great deal, for there are several in the Course.

2 – Fear and Love

It is unlikely that we will understand this poem completely without reading our way through the entire Course.  Basically, the poem refers to the fact that the only two emotions are fear and love, and that only lack of love makes fear.

3 – Do We Still Cling to Fears?

This passage can be very demoralizing if we are not patient with ourselves.  We know that we are not experiencing “perfect love,” because we still cling to fears.  And these fears, remnants of the ego, can have a strong foothold in our minds.

3 – To Ease Anxieties, Commune with God

We need to commune with God to allow our anxieties to ease.  I speak from personal experience.  Often if I awake deep in the night, I start to pray, and I quite literally feel such peace that the prayer itself puts me at ease enough to drift off into sleep again, without realizing what has happened until the next morning.  God does not mind that we pray to Him and then drift off to sleep.  The apostles slept at Gethsemane.  So there is a long history of slumber overcoming those who would watch and wait for God.

4 – Falling Asleep While Praying

I also do not think that falling asleep by praying shows a lack of love or even respect for God.  He is inside us, and we project the world outside.  When we commune with our depths, we are actually being true to our Self.

4 – Atonement = Shift in Perception

The Atonement is a shift in perception that allows us to see that we are actually innocent children of God.  Heretofore we have believed that we were guilty of black sins that will require retribution.  Through the Course, we learn that reaching perfect love is the ultimate end of our journey here.  Knowing only love, we will fear no longer.  This too is the Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I find the day hard-going, may I realize that my love is imperfect.  Imperfect love makes for a bad day.  May my day today, the part that remains, be perfect in Your sight.  This does not mean that I am above making mistakes, but it does mean that staying on Your pathway is my aim and my goal.  I would not allow useless and foolish fears to counterbalance the good day that You would send.  I would not allow minor lassitude to turn me from Your course.  Be with me as I seek to live am emotionally and physically healthy life.  I know that You are “for health” all the way, and I would not let any sense of vulnerability turn me from You.  I am not vulnerable, but in Your love, I am strong.  Be with me to give me enjoyment in this beautiful day that You have offered to me, free and clear, constant in the guidance that You send to me via the Holy Spirit.

I would have good energy today as I seek to feel perfect love.  I would disregard any fears that seem to arise, knowing that they are illusions, for only love is real.  May I live in the real world today, even if only in glimpses of reality–Your reality.

May I find the perfect love that You have promised all of your children.  May I leave fear behind as I find this perfect love.

Amen.

A Fearful Script

“Fear is a judgment never justified.  Its presence has no meaning but to show you wrote a fearful script, and are afraid accordingly.  But not because the thing you fear has fearful meaning in itself. (T641)”

 

Affirmation:  “I would not write a fearful script today.”

Reflections:

1 – Anxiety

Many of us are, almost by nature, anxious.  This is a manifestation of fear.  If we can remember that we are fearful only because of the “script” we wrote, we can often make some progress in talking ourselves out of this anxiety.

2 – Prayer

Prayer, or communion with God, is recommending relatively few times in A Course in Miracles, I think, because this practice is just assumed.  The opening pages of the Text do say more than the remainder about prayer and communion with God.  Spending time in this way, I have found, is enormously fear- and anxiety-reducing.  I can pray myself to sleep, even after a stressful day.  Surely many others do this as well.  Inspirational literature from the fifties recommended this practice (from Norman Vincent Peale’s anecdotes).

3 – Fear Is Never Justified

This passage says that fear is never justified.  To remember this, and to put it in practice, is not easy.  But it is possible.  And, the Course says that its tenets are simple.

4 – God Will Help Us

I think that we fear when we don’t trust God to get us out of a bind.  And it is certainly true that many, many distressing things happen in this illusory world.  But the faithful individual does not let the fear get inside him or her.  Of course, this is easier said than done.  But inspirational literature abounds with unfortunate people who have risen above their misfortune, emotionally, by trusting in God to help them cope with whatever might befall them.

5 – Be Patient

It takes a patient mind to learn how to live simply.  When we rush about and see the stress all around in our rushing, we ask for the anxiety that we would do well to live without.  Let us leave the fearful script behind!  We will still get to our goals, but with far less strain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not write a fearful script today.  You know that I have written many anxious scripts in my life, and I would be rid of that foolishness forever.  Perhaps my anxiety is like St. Paul’s “thorn in his side,” but I hope not.  I hope that I can, with Your ever-constant help, learn another way to live–just as did Bill and Helen.

Be with me as I walk through this day.  Thank you for the equanimity with which I have met most days recently.  I am finally finding, as spring approaches, that all is well.  The stress has lifted, and You are there.  Thank You.

Amen.

Complete Dependence on God

“‘Except ye become as little children’ means that unless you fully recognize your complete dependence on God, you cannot know the real power of the Son in his true relationship with the Father. (T12)”

Affirmation:  “May I become today a pliable child in God’s Hands.”

Reflections:

1 – Surrendering to God

Surrendering to God is a wondrous possibility that gives us everything.  We are dependent upon Him, but it is not a dependence that is wrong.  We are meant to depend on God, and our lack of communicating to Him is most unnatural (as A Course in Miracles says).  God knows when we are not communicating with Him, and He “thinks” that His children are asleep and must be wakened.  Everyone who follows ACIM agrees on this premise, even those who believe that God does not know about our daily lives, because we are caught in illusion and He is not so caught.  And those of us who do believe that God does know about us and the myriad details of our lives also recognize, when we study ACIM, that we are asleep and need the Awakening.  It could be argued that the whole purpose of A Course in Miracles is to lead us to Awakening through forgiveness of ourselves and our brothers and sisters.

2 – A Statement by Jesus

This passage explains a statement attributed to Jesus in the New Testament.  Little children are dependent upon their parents, as we see God as our Father (and Mother).  It is natural and right that we turn to Him in our daily pathway.  It is unnatural not to do so.  Those who believe that God does not know us do, nevertheless, believe that His Guide, the Holy Spirit, is the Universal Inspiration that tells us, in direct ways, how to negotiate through our world.  When we fail to listen, we are virtually certain, sometimes immediately, of getting into trouble.  When we do listen, our pathway smoothes out, and we are at peace once again.  May we walk an untroubled pathway today.

3 – Life Will Smooth Out

When we talk to God or we talk to the Holy Spirit, we are getting the answers for our lives that we are meant to know.  And, indeed, life smooths out, and we are at peace.

4 – Listen to the Holy Spirit’s Voice

Isn’t this what we have wanted all along?  God would have it so, and so it is.  When we listen to the Voice that speaks to us of God’s all-encompassing love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the comfort that I know from You.  I do not wish to get caught up in theology, about whether or not You do enter our dreams, our illusions.  I only know that from the universe I receive comfort.  And then all is well in my world.  Thank You for that.  You are my rock in this sometimes troubled environment of this world.

Be with us as we walk through the world.  Let us not let theology about You divide us.  May we learn of You however we best can.  May we feel Your presence in our minds and spirits and hearts.  May joy accompany us, as You would have.

I thank You specifically today for the lessening of stress in my immediate environment just now.  You have given me some tools to handle stress, intuitively, and they are working.  Thank You.

Amen.

This Holy Instant Would I Give to God

ACIM Workbook Lessons 361 – 365 for Tuesday – Saturday,
December 27 – December 31, 2011

Affirmation:  “This holy instant would I give to You.
        Be You in charge.  For I would follow You,
        Certain that Your direction gives me peace.”

“And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.  (WB486)”

Reflections:

1 – A Year with the Workbook of ACIM

So we end the year that we have given to God through studying the Workbook of A Course in Miracles.  But we are not through.  There is farther to walk along the pathway.  If we have not yet experienced Awakening, it is there waiting for us.

2 – Depend on the Holy Spirit

We need to do very little, but depend greatly upon the Holy Spirit.  His part is much larger than is ours, and we should not be disturbed by the disproportion of this.  We are asked very little in ACIM.  The books seem thick and complicated, but this is an illusion, and the more we study them, we more we realize how simple the truth really is.

3 – May We Commune with God

May we end this year in communion with God, Who is always there for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for the guidance that the Workbook for Students of A Course in Miracles gives to all of us.  We need that guidance, for without the practical counsel of the Workbook, we would in all likelihood not understand the message of ACIM.

Be with us in these final moments of the year that we have spent with the Workbook.  And if we feel prompted to go through the Workbook again, may we do so, beginning the next year with high resolve and a committed spirit.  If we do not feel so led, may we listen to that counsel as well.

Be with us, whatever our pathway to You may be in the future.  May we learn until the time of learning has ceased.  Thank You for Your patience with us.

Amen.

God Will Listen

ACIM Workbook Lesson 358 – for Saturday, December 24, 2011

Affirmation:  “No call to God can be unheard nor left
        Unanswered.  And of this I can be sure;
        His answer is the one I really want.”

“Let me not forget myself is no thing, but my Self is all.  (WB483)”

 

Reflections:

1 – The Christ Self

My Self is all, and that Self is the Christ Self.  Here we are coming into our own, the Self Whom God always intended us to be.  This is His answer to us in these final moments of the year.  We can come home to him as the Self we really are.

2 – Commune with God

Let us spend the rest of this reflection time in praying, in communing, with God for the glory that He means for us to have.  May we not say that we are unworthy, for this is the ego being arrogant.  God has prepared us.  It is only the ego that would say otherwise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would pray sincerely and with strong intent to know that You hear me.  I thank You for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but when I am deep in trouble, I want You.  And You are there.  You are within, and the Self that is part of You projects the world that I see outside myself.  This gets into mysteries that I do not pretend to understand, but I have hints from You.  My mind is too small to comprehend all of Your magnificence.

Be with me today.  I need to pray by writing, or by saying words aloud.  Sometimes when I speak internally, I regret that my mind wanders.  Be with me today, and with my thoughts, to keep my thoughts on track.  I would not neglect You by my own shortcomings in concentration.

Thank You for this year spent with the Workbook.  Thank You for what You and the Holy Spirit, not to mention Jesus, have taught me.  I would choose to put into effect in the New Year all that You have taught me.  I realize that I will not always succeed with my resolutions, but I trust that You will be there to keep me walking along the pathway to You.

Thank You for your comfort today.

Amen.

May Miracles Bless This World

ACIM Workbook Lesson 353 – for Monday, December 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “My eyes, my tongue, my hands, my feet today
Have but one purpose; to be given Christ
To use to bless the world with miracles.”

“Father, I give all that is mine today to Christ, to use in any way that best will serve the purpose that I share with Him.  Nothing is mine alone, for He and I have joined in purpose.  (WB481)”

Reflections:

1 – Rededicating to God

Today’s lesson is a dedication, or rededication, of our lives to God.  We share with Jesus our true Selfhood, the Christ that we really are.  And so we give our personal selves–our tongue, hands, feet–to the service of Christ, meaning more than just our elder brother, Jesus, but the Self that we all share.

2 – Sharing with Our World

We do not selfishly hold on to what we think “belongs” to us.  We share with Christ, and we use our gifts to save the world.  We do not cling to what we imagine to be “mine,” but we notice that we have joined with a larger purpose.

3 – We Do Not Need Many Words

As these final lessons come to us, we realize that we do not need many words to understand what is being said in A Course in Miracles.  We are finding our way home, and the best way to do that is to commune with God, in quietness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be quiet today, communing with You.  Thank You for this year of Workbook lessons.  Of course, they are invaluable to our growth in Your Spirit.  May I remain stress free during this holiday season, with so much activity in my daily life.  May I know what Christmas really means.  This is a prayer that we all pray, but may I make it my true prayer today.

Thank You for comforting me in times of stress.  Help me to know that You are the only cure.

Amen.

Today the Peace of God Envelops Me

ACIM Workbook Lesson 346 – for Monday, December 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “Today the peace of God envelops me,
        And I forget all things except His Love.”

“. . .I would find the peace which You created for Your Son, forgetting all the foolish toys I made as I behold Your glory and my own.  (WB476)”

Reflections:

1 – A Reality Check

This passage is a reality check.  What is really important to us?  If we say the “peace of God,” then we will forget those “foolish toys” that the ego inspired us to cherish (and probably to spend our hard-earned cash on, if they are material things).

2 – The Felt Presence of God

We are at peace when we are feeling the presence of God.   When we are still and quiet, that peace envelops us.  And we do not hanker for things beyond our sphere.

3 – Commune with God

Spend time today in communion with God.  He will not fail us.  And that communion will bring happier days, beginning immediately and going full force into the future.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I would see as a quiet day.  I would not make waves.  I would know peace.  And this will be the day that You give me if I commune with You on a continual basis.  I would pray often today.  Guide me throughout this day.

May this quietness enfold me and give me peace without anxiety.  I would not ask for a solace that I would not extend to others.  May my peace enfold the brothers and sisters whom I meet along my walk today.

Amen.