Tag Archives: Pat Rodeway

Gladden Ourselves–for Jesus Is with Us

“I offer far more than partial guidance, although you do not ask for more. The uneven quality of your skill in both asking and following my direction is due to the alternations you experience between ego- and miracle-oriented perception. This is a strain, but fortunately one which can be overcome along with the rest. There will never be a time when I do not will to try again. You might be gladdened by remembering that.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IX.10:1-5)

Jesus is once again speaking just to Helen (and maybe Bill) in this reassurance that he offers continual guidance. But if we ask, he will do the same for us. In these early words, he has not yet solidified the Holy Spirit in A Course in Miracles. Soon he will ask that all of us turn immediately to the Holy Spirit when confronted with a dilemma. The Holy Spirit connects us to God, but not in a threatened way. At this point in our progress, we are still too fearful of God to approach Him directly.

Jesus points out the strain that we under. He seems particularly aware of this strain, as we seek to mediate between hell and heaven, the ego and love. Heaven and love are the only things that we truly can want, once we have let the magnitude of our mistakes sink in. Our attempt to create unlike God, something that is actually “making” rather than “creating,” has produced all of the chaos in which we live. We need to get beyond this. We need to recognize that our attempt to create something beyond God has just failed miserably. There IS nothing beyond Him except illusion.

Jesus constantly looks for reasons that we might gladden ourselves, for he knows that we are usually morose when caught in the vines of the ego. We need just to kick those vines away from ourselves, away from our feet (as Pat Rodeway’s Emmanuel says), and be on about our business. Jesus will untangle any egoic vines that won’t automatically disengage from our toes.

Suffering

“One of the more horrible examples of inverted or upside-down thinking (and history is full of horrible examples of this) was the Nazis’ ‘Final Solution.’ I shed many tears over this, but it is by no means the only time I said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.43.8:1-2)

In this passage from the complete edition of A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us personally what type of reaction he has had and continues to have over the terrible deeds of humankind and the suffering these deeds have wrought for ordinary people. He specifically refers to unspeakable crimes against Jewish people during World War II. Jesus responds with an appeal to the Father, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

His reaction is to be our own when we consider awful occurrences of human against human in this world. Jesus says that he has repeated his prayer with many incidents. We must do the same.

In this world, we cannot ever understand the “why” of suffering that innocent human beings undergo. Pat Rodegast’s Emmanuel says this. Perhaps an incomplete answer would be that it is enough for us to recognize in our own suffering that, when it is passed, we comprehend more; we may never understand, but we can realize that through it all, God was with us, and we have grown. I do not mean to say that the end justifies the means. We simply can’t with our little minds wrap around the awful things that people go through. It is a mystery.

But God does not “cause” our suffering. And it is never right, Jesus tells us in A Course of Love, to blame the victim. Jesus indicates that we are to have compassion, not heartlessness. Love is the healer of suffering, the end in sight. Jesus indicates this also elsewhere in A Course of Love. In “The Way of the Heart” (from The Way of Mastery), Jesus even affirms, “There is no suffering.” Of course we can’t know fully what he means.

If we believe that God is living through us, then He is experiencing right along with us. His Presence makes all the difference when we are confronted with eternal questions that seem to have no answer. Especially when that eternal question is the “why” of suffering.