“What is the peace of God? No more than this; the simple understanding that His Will is wholly without opposite. There is no thought that contradicts His Will, yet can be true. The contrast between His Will and yours but seemed to be reality. In truth there was no conflict for His Will is yours. (M52)”
Affirmation: “God Will is my own as well.”
This passage is a sticking point for many. How can we have free will in this world? We think of Job in the Old Testament, and the ego tells us that what God wants for us not what we “will.” But it is. There is actually no conflict between our real will and the will of God. The farther we progress in our study of the Course, the more certain of this tenet we will become.
When we accept that our real will and that of God’s is the same, we will have the peace that heretofore has eluded us. Take this tenet to heart, and see what a difference in our lives it does make.
The Holy Spirit will guide us to God’s will. His whispers are true; the feelings that we have to do or say certain things can, unless we are very confused, be trusted. The Course elsewhere says quite a bit about how to follow this guidance. The Course assures us that our own judgment is flawed, and we are encouraged, even bade, to leave our judgment behind and turn to the Holy Spirit. He alone knows all circumstances and can guide us surely. We then will truly know the peace of God. And anything else is counterfeit.
May I recognize the truth that Your Will is mine as well. May I be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this matter of following Your Will. May I not doubt, but rest in surety when I am prompted to think or act in certain directions.
Thank you for delivering me from the question of Job in the Old Testament. May I rest in this knowledge and be happy.
“How is the peace of God retained, once it is found? Returning anger, in whatever form, will drop the heavy curtain once again, and the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return. (M51)”
Affirmation: “Returning anger will drop the heavy curtain that keeps peace from me.”
The main point that this passage makes is best understood if we realize that elsewhere we learn that all is either help or a call for help. We get angry when we think that we have not been appreciated, or someone has done us wrong, or a million varieties of these two examples. If we reinterpret this attack from another brother or sister as a call for help, then we can see that they are innocent, and we truly have nothing to be angry about.
It is important to note that this passage says “returning anger, in whatever form”–a pertinent point. We often feel upset without fully realizing that what we are feeling is anger. Suppressing or repressing the anger is not helpful, and this is a mistake that many Course students make. Our right and proper reaction is forgiveness of the attack, because our brothers and sisters are as innocent as are we. We have made mistakes, and they have also, but we are not “sinners.” Calling an attack a “sin” only reinforces it in our minds. We need to overlook the attack, not make it real by dwelling on it (a Course tenet).
Peace can be with us all the time, but this achievement (and it is an achievement, but not of the ego) may not come to any of us soon. More and more time can be spent in peace, though, if we keep the tenets of the Course in mind. The above paragraph summarizes a good bit of the basic psychology of the Course about attack and anger. For us to be peaceful, we have to have a peaceful psychology, and A Course in Miracles offers this.
May I retain peace in my life. I know that I cannot retain peace if I allow anger to return to me over and over. I must forgive the mistakes that I make and those that my brothers and sisters make. Then I may retain peace.
Please help me to go about a peaceful day today. I know that Your help is at my right hand always.
“Who sees anger as justified in any way or any circumstance proclaims that peace is meaningless, and must believe that it cannot exist. (M51)”
Affirmation: “Anger is never justified.”
Anger, it is said elsewhere in the Course, is actually a call for help. It may also be viewed as a call for love. Our task is to run to our brother or sister’s side, and to offer solace–that help or love that is really wanted. We may not do this overtly if the other person is not receptive. We may only pray for our brother or sister, or smile at them, or even just make small talk. Ask for guidance in the thought or action that is needed. We must be sensitive to the plight of our brother or sister, and overt action may not be desirable.
So we see that anger is never justified. Peace is not meaningless. God’s way is right, and peace can exist. These are wonderful concepts to take to heart.
As long as the ego is in charge, we will be tempted to return attack for attack, but responding in this way is always wrong. Attacks is what Jesus calls a “magic thought,” and anger is thus not justified. We need to the inner quiet and calm that ensures that we will respond to magic thoughts of others (and ourselves) with compassion.
May I immediately recognize anger on my own part and that of others to be a call for help, meriting compassion rather than anger. May I offer the help and love that is needed. May I be gentle to myself, and may I be gentle to others.
Peace is what I want above all else. I do not want to do anything that renders peace meaningless. Please help me in this.