Lesson 354. We stand together, Christ and I, in peace and certainty of purpose. And in Him is His Creator, as He is in me.
My oneness with Christ establishes me as Your Son, beyond the reach of time, and wholly free of every law but Yours. I have no self except the Christ in me. I have no purpose but His Own. And He is like His Father. Thus must I be one with You as well as Him. For whom is Christ except Your Son as You created Him? And what am I except the Christ in me?
Yesterday as I was looking for a picture to illustrate the lesson, I learned that there is a debate about where Jesus was born. Was he born in a stable or was he born in somebody’s house? Was there no room at the inn, or was there was no room at the house of Joseph’s family? Why should we care when what matters here is simply that there was no room? The symbolism is hard to miss. We give Him no room.
When we make room for Christ, we make room for who and what we really are. Unlike the ego which would despise our Sonship, we find all that has meaning and purpose within the loving brotherhood of Christ. Without Jesus – we have many adventures; we make friends and we make enemies; we celebrate triumphs and we suffer sorrows; we do our blasted best at times; we do our dastardly worst at others – yet none of it matters. Like the body we abide in, it is a fleeting moment, over before it began.
We find our Self, then, only through the ideal Christ represents: God is our Father. He loves, accepts, and forgives us as we learn to love, accept and forgive each other. When we stand with Christ, we have peace and certainty of purpose. Only in Christ do we recognize what we are – at one with God and with each other. While we prepare our hearts and homes for the celebration of His birth, let’s remind ourselves to make room for Him, every day and in every way.
Have a blessed day!
 A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 354 We stand together, Christ…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 481.
Lesson 353. 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. Thus has learning come almost to its appointed end. A while I work with Him to serve His purpose. Then I lose myself in my Identity and recognize that Christ is but my Self.
The story of Jesus, His humble birth, the starry night, the angels, shepherds, and wise men holds the hope of the ages – deliverance from the dark world of fear and death. Even the youngest of children can appreciate and find great joy and meaning in the story with its message of eternal life and love.
This Christmas season, we give our all to the One Whose birthday we celebrate. We give our eyes to Christ. We give our ears to Him. We give our hands and feet. We give our thoughts to Him, our hearts and minds to Him. When we give our all to Christ, we are blessing the world with the eternal, the everlasting gift of life and love.
Whether we wish to see Jesus as our personal savior or an ideal in which to pattern our lives, the truth remains that the love that He exemplifies has and will save the world. What Christ is; what He signifies is our only hope. We learned through our study this year that Christ’s return takes place within us – as Christ becomes us, we become Him, unity is restored, the separation is no more. We shed our egos, the enemy to our very souls, and return to spirit, to God.
When we give all that we have to Christ, we lay down our ego identities to find our true Identity in Him, God’s Perfect Son. It is not about instantaneous perfection; it is about process. It is about choosing Christ day after day. It is about humbling our egos and saying, “Teach me, Lord. I want to know truth. I want to be Who You created me to be.”
It is in our Devotional Practice where the Second Coming occurs. God will never lose what He Himself created. As Christmas approaches, let us celebrate the birth of Christ as well as His Second Coming by giving our all. Let all that we have be used to bless the world with the miracle of His Love.
 A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 353 My eyes, my tongue…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 481.
Lesson 352 Judgment and love are opposites. From one come all the sorrows of the world. But from the other comes the peace of God Himself.
Forgiveness looks on sinlessness alone and judges not. Through this, I come to You. Judgment will bind my eyes and make me blind. Yet love, reflected in forgiveness here, reminds me You have given me a way to find Your peace again. I am redeemed when I elect to follow in this way. You have not left me comfortless. I have within me both the memory of You and One Who leads me to it. Father, I would hear Your Voice and find Your peace today. For I would love my own Identity and find in It the memory of You. 1
When I woke up this morning I thought of those to whom I have not been kind, I thought of the secret and not so secret grudges I hold toward others, I thought of the times I have lied or passed on rumors instead of squelching them on the spot. I thought of how quickly I drop people and connections when they overstep my boundaries or expect me to wave their banners and join their causes instead of being faithful to my own calling. I felt real pain and sorrow over the dear ones I have hurt, the Holy Spirit using one person in particular to represent all, and that one example alone broke the last bits of hardness around my heart.
A while back, a special relationship told me in a patronizing tone that, unlike me, he was not cursed with a bleeding heart. No need for God, no need to care for others outside his dwindling circle, no need for forgiveness, or to be forgiving, he was perfectly happy and satisfied with his life, who he was, and what he was. Content to identify with the body and die when his time was up, he denied any existential angst or hunger for God – embracing all aspects of his humanity with no shame or guilt. I would have been envious, dear brothers, and questioned my own sanity perhaps, except his loneliness and sorrow, the bitter brow, the body crippled by excess, the whining undertones made a lie of everything he said. I have thought of that conversation many times since then, asking the Holy Spirit to show me how to forgive and love a denier of the truth, because I don’t know how. How do we relate to the dishonest? What is there to relate to?
And yet today, the Holy Spirit showed me that it is not him or any other, whom I must forgive and therefore love, but it is myself. How this lesson was driven home is beyond my ability to string together in words. In fact, I was able to write but not publish what I wrote because it was so deeply personal and moving that I sat stunned and astounded, tears of joy and tears of sorrow streaming down my face together. Unable to bear it on my own, I called a study brother to discuss the implications of what was happening to me. Thank you, dear brother, because crying, laughing, and sharing together in such a profound way fulfilled our function.
We spoke of the judgment against ourselves in which we were raised. The condemnation for our humanity; the narrow little path to God which depends upon the insane idea that the clothing we wore, the version of the bible we read; the prayers we said; along with a myriad of other flesh and blood demands from a Super Bully who was ready to strike us with incurable diseases and wipe out our bloodlines when we were the least bit disobedient. We spoke of the holy books that promise love, peace, joy, and forgiveness while encouraging misogyny, genocide, favoritism, fear, sacrifice, bloodshed, war, and hierarchies of power. Plagued with hypersensitivity to one’s sinfulness and the sins of others, the teachings of judgment and condemnation lead to despair and disillusionment. Who wants to end up in a kingdom of shiny metal where the elect of fear sing obligatory praises throughout eternity while the rest of us burn in everlasting torment?
This madness has been carefully designed to keep us in blind bondage to an ego-made god who despises our eternal souls, rapes our little ones, and hoards our hard-earned cash to build stone fortresses and underground caverns to store its ill-gotten gains. Let us learn to question such madness and forgive ourselves for trading in a relationship with the Loving Father for the rites, rituals, and sacrifices of lunacy. Is it any wonder that we turn our backs on such a belief system, deny we need it, choose death and decay over living forever, worshiping an over-inflated ego?
Dare I say that the last vestiges of my armor, the stony places in my mind gave way? First, the Holy Spirit directed me to identify how I am still arming myself against forgiveness. Steeling myself against potential danger, hurts, and sorrow, waiting for others to make the first move toward forgiveness and healing, withholding miracles, disbelieving and untrusting of God, pretending not to care, refusing to communicate from fear of being misunderstood. The opportunities I miss to share miracles stem from judging others: questioning their ability to understand and distrusting my ability to see past their egos and truly love them.
Then the Holy Spirit directed me to forgive myself. To absolve myself from all of it, my guilt and shame over how I hurt others, disappoint them, cause them heartache and sorrow because of judging and condemning instead of loving and forgiving. To forgive myself for projecting my own shortcomings to the outside, where it only adds to the fray, rather than resolving it with God. While it is not necessarily easy to forgive others, without the Grace of God, it was impossible to forgive myself, once I realized what had been hiding from my awareness.
There was so much more that went on today. It was sobering, it was joyful; it was mind-numbing, it was mind-transforming; it was draining, it was invigorating. It was like work; it was like play. There are no words that adequately describe a holy encounter. There were times it was so intense that I distracted myself to avoid it, but distractions could not hold my attention. It was like labor, travail, yes, but also joy in getting to the real me, the core me, the me that is really and sincerely me, so wholly of God that nothing on earth would tempt me to delay myself in my return to Him.
Love and judgment are opposites. We can choose peace and harmony, or we can choose sorrow and loss. All of us belong to God, whether we think we do or not! We may appear to be lost, but only in time. He will never lose us, never turn His back upon us, never cast us out of His Kingdom because His Kingdom rests within and upon us, His Creation, His Sons. The body will not sustain us; it is only the symbol of separation. It is our spirit, our Sonship, which is our true Identity, calling us, and leading us to the reality of God.
1 A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 352 Judgment and love are…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 480.
My sinless brother is my guide to peace. My sinful brother is my guide to pain. And which I choose to see, I will behold.
Who is my brother but Your holy Son? And if I see him sinful, I proclaim myself a sinner, not a Son of God, alone and friendless in a fearful world. Yet this perception is a choice I made and can relinquish. I can also see my brother sinless, as Your holy Son. And with this choice, I see my sinlessness, my everlasting Comforter and Friend beside me, and my way secure and clear. Choose, then, for me, my Father, through Your Voice. For He alone gives judgment in Your Name.
Are we ready, brothers, to look past bodies and our thoughts of sin and condemnation and see the inner kingdom of God within each one of us? The place where no sin abides, where all is pure and innocent, lighthearted, gleeful, and kind – where no wrongdoing or fearful thought has a place to rest. Are we ready to deny the illusions’ power over our brother? The brother who stole made a mistake; he did not sin; he is not evil. Our brother is holy and pure because He belongs to God. It is not our job to judge him, only to love him and forgive him. And do we believe in what we have learned – that what we think about our brother will manifest itself in his life?
Are we Sons of God who choose to think with God’s Will, or are we going to judge and condemn, giving power to evil and sin, fearful of our projections and using our religion to condemn others to hell? Those who do us wrong give us perfect opportunities to practice the concepts of the Course we are studying. Jesus tells us today: See them as evil, and we proclaim ourselves sinners and not a Son of God. We are not on God’s side if we would condemn our brothers and choose to focus our attention on their wrongdoing instead of their Sonship.
People make mistakes; they choose hurtful behavior over loving behavior. Our bodies have drives and urges, compulsions and obsessions that seem to wreak havoc. When we identify with our bodies, anything can happen! Our power as Sons of God is often cast aside because we simply do not know how to correct situations. We go into battle mode. We go into defense. We rally sides and point fingers and make accusations. Then we dare to say we have God on our side, when sadly we have only condemned ourselves along with the wrongdoer.
Jesus calls us to be His messengers with the practice of forgiveness and using our divine power as Sons of God to correct. When someone steals, we refuse to call them a thief, we say our brother made a mistake for which he is sorry. We forgive our holy brother because he is a Son of God, and because in our forgiveness, he becomes our savior. When someone talks mean about us behind our backs, we do not go into attack and defense mode. We simply choose forgiveness. They didn’t know what they were talking about; they made a mistake. They must have been hurt and disappointed in us to say such things. Maybe they aren’t sorry now, but surely at some point in their return to God, they will feel remorse, so I am going to choose forgiveness now and hold my brother perfect in my mind simply because he belongs to God. God loves him and so must I. This doesn’t mean I have to bake a cake for his birthday, but it does mean that I let no thoughts in my mind that would steal his holiness or tempt me to focus on his wrongdoing.
Our return to God is impossible for the ego, with all its bluster, blame, and demand for repayment of some kind. Throughout my life I have been blessed by forgiveness from those whom I have hurt by unkind things I have said or done. “I have washed it from my mind,” a friend told me one time. “I will never bring it up again because it never happened.” I was so stunned! Nobody had ever offered me forgiveness without vain promises and grudging strings attached. It was an incredible lesson in forgiveness. My hurtful behavior washed from his mind, he refused to think of me in terms of the mistakes I had made. It was not only a beautiful feeling; it was a miracle. His forgiveness changed my perception of myself as a bad person who was beyond redemption to a person who was worthwhile, deserving of respect, love, and trust. This is the miracle we offer; the correction that God gives to us as a gift, which we keep only when we share it with our brothers!
So here is to all my brothers who have wronged me in any way – I forgive you even as Christ forgives you. It never happened. When the enemy tries to get me to ruminate upon the pain you caused me, I will say – So and so is a Son of God, part of the brotherhood of Christ. He is sinless and spotless and pure. He made a mistake, and I forgive him, even as Christ forgives me.
This is my salvation! You become my savior even as I become yours. This is how we enter the Kingdom of Heaven – not fighting and calling names and running to the Lord to fight our petty battles. Let you be sinless in my mind and guide me to peace! This is what I choose to see, and this is what I will behold.
I am God’s Son, complete and healed and whole, shining in the reflection of His Love. In me is His creation sanctified and guaranteed eternal life. In me is love perfected, fear impossible, and joy established without opposite. I am the holy home of God Himself. I am the Heaven where His Love resides. I am His holy sinlessness Itself, for in my purity abides His Own.
Our use for words is almost over now. Yet in the final days of this one year we gave to God together, you and I, we found a single purpose that we shared. And thus you joined with me, so what I am are you as well. The truth of what we are is not for words to speak of nor describe. Yet we can realize our function here, and words can speak of this and teach it, too, if we exemplify the words in us.
We are the bringers of salvation. We accept our part as saviors of the world, which through our joint forgiveness is redeemed. And this, our gift, is therefore given us. We look on everyone as brother and perceive all things as kindly and as good. We do not seek a function that is past the gate of Heaven. Knowledge will return when we have done our part. We are concerned only with giving welcome to the truth.
Ours are the eyes through which Christ’s vision sees a world redeemed from every thought of sin. Ours are the ears that hear the Voice for God proclaim the world as sinless. Ours the minds that join together as we bless the world. And from the oneness that we have attained we call to all our brothers, asking them to share our peace and consummate our joy.
We are the holy messengers of God who speak for Him and carrying His Word to everyone whom He has sent to us, we learn that it is written on our hearts. And thus our minds are changed about the aim for which we came, and which we seek to serve. We bring glad tidings to the Son of God, who thought he suffered. Now is he redeemed. And as he sees the gate of Heaven stand open before him, he will enter in and disappear into the Heart of God.
Dear brothers, we are nearing the end of our first year of study together. We have already accepted our place in the Sonship of God. Yet in today’s lesson, Jesus drives home the points in which we have been schooled in astounding clarity. First, Jesus tells us Who He is, in verse one. Then He assures us, that what He is, we are – God’s Son. This means:
We are complete and healed and whole.
We shine in the reflection of our Father’s Love.
Creation is blessed and eternal through our devotion.
In us, Love is perfected.
We have no fear.
We are so joyful that there is no room for what would be the opposite.
We are the holy home of God who abides in us and works through us.
We are the Heaven where His Love lives out through us.
We are sinless, for God, our Creator is sinless.
We are pure because God is pure.
Check, check, check. Our hearts are gratified. We always knew this was the truth. It is written upon our hearts, and under the shadow of our darkened, ego-besotted mind, we knew the Love of God. We knew our place in His Kingdom. Our hearts were sick over the separation; we lost our way in this tricky dick world, we thought we were damned for our sins, only to find that we made a mistake, a wrong turn, a detour into darkness – but could never be lost because we belong to Him who made us and calls us His own!
This has been an enlightening year for us, brothers. Sharing the single purpose, which turned our special relationships into holy brotherhood. We can say, along with Jesus: “What I am, you are. What you are, I am.” The truth of what we are can never be spoken of or described with words or human tongue. But words are needed to explain our function in the world. We need words to speak of it and teach it – but words are of no use at all if we are not able to demonstrate what we speak of and teach in our daily lives.
Let us be then what Christ calls us to be – harbingers and heralds, we! Choosing His vision and not our own, we become one with Christ; we are the Second Coming; we bring salvation to the world. Letting Christ alone become us, the world is forgiven and redeemed through His vision. His vision is the gift He gives to us – in that we see everyone as our brother; we perceive all things as gentle and kind. Our thirst for blood and bloodshed is over. Our craving for judgment and condemnation, sin, and guilt and shame has gone away. Blithely we suffer the cruelties of this world – trials of the body are over and done with, so far removed that we barely remember the sting, even as it appears to be happening. We are no longer flesh but spirit, no longer bound in time, but free.
We have no other real function than to welcome the truth, bring the Light, become the Second Coming. We go to the gate of Heaven together. Nobody gets in until all are standing there as one, Creation healed of sick substitutes, mistaken identities put down forever. There, in oneness, we will finally know God, Who is One with us. Dare we believe, dear brothers. Is this too good to be true? Would we instead trust sin, judgment, and eternal damnation? Would we make the ego’s fear our religion? Will we call our God bloodthirsty and cruel, calling for sacrifice and shame?
Let us give our eyes to Christ’s vision and see a world redeemed from every thought of sin. Let us bend our ears to the Voice for God, proclaiming the world as it was created, pure and innocent, and shining with the joy of love and light. Let us use our holy imaginations to join together and bless the world, lifting the curse of fear and corruption. Let us call Creation to share in our courage and boldness, to bring peace and consummate our joy.
What are we? We are holy messengers of God. We speak for Him and carry His word to those He sends to us. We remember what is written on our hearts, and when we remember, others remember. We have lived our life, we have learned our lessons, we have changed our minds – we thought we were here to prove our independence from God, but now we know we are here to remember Him and bring His memory to the minds of the splintered brotherhood. We bring the happy news of redemption. We return our hearts and minds to God and become One with Him Who made us His Son.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. 14. What am I…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 479.
Lesson 350 Miracles mirror God’s eternal Love. To offer them is to remember Him, and through His memory to save the world.
What we forgive becomes a part of us, as we perceive ourselves. The Son of God incorporates all things within himself as You created him. Your memory depends on his forgiveness. What he is, is unaffected by his thoughts. But what he looks upon is their direct results. Therefore, my Father, I would turn to You. Only Your memory will set me free. And only my forgiveness teaches me to let Your memory return to me and give it to the world in thankfulness.
And as we gather miracles from Him, we will indeed be grateful. For as we remember Him, His Son will be restored to us in the reality of Love.
Today’s lesson reminds us nothing can change our truth as Sons of God. We can say that God is dead, God never was; God has forgotten us. We can say we created ourselves, that we are bodies and not spirits, that we are better off on our own, and that Jesus is a mere historical figure that madly asserted our Sonship of God. We can choose to scoff at the resurrection. We may choose to seek our bliss in the pleasures of the flesh and our purpose in achievements of the temporal world.
However, truth is truth. We are Sons of God, and that will never change – the only thing that will seem to change is how we see ourselves and the world in which we live. What we see and experience here in the body and in ego world is a direct result of the thoughts and imaginings that we hold about it. This is where our God-born creative powers are put to the use of the ego, turning Creation against itself in a warped illusion of godless strife and separateness.
The memory of God that will free us from the nightmare we have authored. It is only our forgiveness extended without reserve throughout the nothingness of time that teaches us the memory of God. In recognition and forgiveness, our darkened, frightened minds are transformed by the certainty of God and His love for us. When we offer miracles, we are offering God’s eternal Love. Because we have remembered Him, we have remembered ourselves. And it is through remembering God that the world is saved.
As we remember God, the Sonship is restored to us in the reality of Love. We are no longer alone, separate, afraid, and doomed. Our troubled minds are a thing of the past. Our thoughts are now filled with peace and joy. We become a spiritual haven for one another, offering quietness, brotherhood, and the certainty of God. Our existential angst is put to rest; our eternal bliss is awakened. Miracles mirror God’s eternal Love, indeed!
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 350 Miracles mirror God’s eternal…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 478.
Lesson 349 Today I let Christ’s vision look upon all things for me and judge them not but give each one a miracle of love instead.
So would I liberate all things I see and give to them the freedom that I seek. For thus do I obey the law of love and give what I would find and make my own. It will be given me, because I have chosen it as the gift I want to give. Father, Your gifts are mine. Each one that I accept gives me a miracle to give. And giving as I would receive, I learn Your healing miracles belong to me.
Our Father knows our needs. He gives us grace to meet them all. And so we trust in Him to send us miracles to bless the world and heal our minds as we return to Him.
Practicing non-judgment, one day at a time, is beneficial to our mental makeup as well as our journey back to God! Psychological research in this avenue shows in study after study that those of us who practice non-judgment or even attempt to practice non-judgment, also score high on compassion for self and others, positive well-being, pleasantness, unselfishness, non-discrimination, and taking responsibility for one’s life choices. In other words, practicing non-judgment will not only pave the way for our return to our Father, but help us get over neurotic, unhealthy patterns of relating to ourselves and others as we go. Each week our study group brothers relate testimony, bearing witness that as we practice the mind-training lessons, we are recognizing, managing, and resolving our daily problems in a far more fruitful, loving and joyful way than we did before we started the Course!
A healthy mind is a mind on its way to salvation. Our Father asks us to look on all things and choose to judge them not! We are not here to judge ourselves or each other – we are called to offer a miracle of forgiveness and love. This is the function of all who would call Jesus our Lord and our Savior. This is how we free all things we see. This is how we experience, through our non-judgment, the freedom we crave from condemnation.
We learn through all our holy scriptures that our forgiveness depends upon the forgiveness we extend to others. When we accept the gift of God’s Love and tender mercies, we can only keep this for ourselves when we share it with all we know. Withholding love and tender mercy from one, is withholding it from all, our Course teaches us as well as our daily lives.
This has been a chore for me. I am quick to say how much I hate this one or that one. The other day in our study circle, during a side conversation, I loudly spouted off about how much I hate people who do not brush their teeth. Everyone looked at me with a bit of shock. Where this particular quirk came from, we will not get into, but you who were there will kindly remember how quickly I recovered my sense of love and forgiveness for those who did not acquire the habit of keeping their teeth brushed! Who am I to judge? Surely there are failings in personal hygiene for which we are all guilty. If I were drowning, would I take the helpful hand of my rescuer even if he had not brushed and flossed that morning? Of course, I would. I would not be the least bit concerned about his stinky breath or the broccoli stuck between his incisors. My heart would fill with love and gratitude to my rescuer for the rest of my days.
When we look upon all things through the eyes of Christ, we realize that we are all in the same boat and on the same journey. Some of us are patiently or anxiously awaiting our destination, others are diving in and out of the waters happily or unhappily partaking of the chaotic sea, while others are hanging over the rails expelling their lunch. In whatever state we find ourselves on our return, Christ is calling to us to give miracles of love. We overlook what the ego would present to us, we forgive it, and offer compassion and love instead of judgment. This is the miracle.
We are not going to arrive separately, but together, as one. As long as we are pointing our finger and finding reasons not to love one another, for whatever reason there may be, we are prolonging our time in the turbulence of separation. Today – we see Creation through Christ’s eyes and offer love instead of judgment. We love those who are our friends and brothers and we love those who would be our enemies. We forgive the murderers, rapists, and home invaders even as we forgive ourselves. We say – there are no levels of separation; we say – there are no levels of miracles. To judge one is to judge all. To withhold a miracle from one is to withhold from all.
We cannot do this without the grace of God! And so we trust in Him to share His grace to bless the world and heal our minds as we cruise the unsettled sea back to Him.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 349 Today I let Christ’s vision…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 478.
Lesson 348 I have no cause for anger or for fear, for You surround me. And in every need that I perceive, Your grace suffices.
Father, let me remember You are here, and I am not alone. Surrounding me is everlasting Love. I have no cause for anything except the perfect peace and joy I share with You. What need have I for anger or for fear? Surrounding me is perfect safety. Can I be afraid, when Your eternal promise goes with me? Surrounding me is perfect sinlessness. What can I fear, when You created me in holiness as perfect as Your Own?
God’s grace suffices us in everything that He would have us do. And only that we choose, to be our will, as well as His.
Many of us experience intense loneliness, anxiety, and a deep sense of meaningless in our lives. Last night Lover and I were watching, along with with thousands of others, the third season of The Crown. In this particular episode – # 307 – Moondust – the Duke of Edinburgh was experiencing a mid-life crisis. He scoffed at the spiritual seeking of his pastor. Although he conceded to the priest’s plans of turning one of their empty buildings and grounds into a spiritual retreat, the Duke was openly scornful. He advised the seekers to go outward and become active in the world rather than retreating inward. However, by the end of the program, the Duke had come face-to-face with the futility and triviality of his own pursuits and will. He became a devoted participant and supporter, providing many spiritual insights and strengthening his faith through St. George’s House retreat.
Like Prince Phillip, we lose our faith, or perhaps, when we look back over our lives, we think to ourselves, well, I never really had faith. In my own case, and in many of our brothers’ claims, our religions were forced upon us by our parents or grandparents – the family tradition. Instead of developing a real relationship with the quiet, inner voice of the Holy Spirit, we practiced meaningless rites, rituals, and experienced the dry, dead, dull substitute for God’s love. Is it no wonder that we get tired of attending church, listening to prepared speeches that offer little nourishment to our souls, and give us busywork to keep us engaged and paying our tithes and making our offerings? We are taught of a God who has temper-tantrums, picks on people who are much smaller and less powerful than He and holds eternal grudges – All things that we are cautioned not to do lest we lose our souls to fire and torment.
But we have no cause at all for fear or anger toward our Heavenly Father or toward any of this. He surrounds us and perceives our every need. His grace suffices us. No matter what the world would seem to throw at us – the terrible upheavals, losses, threats, and terror – God knows it is not real – it is a nightmare that we endure but for a season to satisfy our quest for something else besides His loving will.
We choose only that – His will – to be our will. And we can relax into the peace and calm and quiet of God. Nothing will tempt us to delay ourselves. Instead of going outward and engaging in pointless, never-ending activities designed to keep our minds and bodies involved in temporality, we are set free to remember and to do the Will of God.
Let us remind ourselves in our quiet moments that we devote to God each morning and each evening and as many times as anger and fear would try to steal our joy throughout the day, of these words:
We have no cause for anger or for fear.
God surrounds us!
For everything we think we need;
His grace suffices us.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 348 I have no cause…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 477.
Lesson 347 Anger must come from judgment. Judgment is the weapon I would use against myself, to keep the miracle away from me.
Father, I want what goes against my will, and do not want what is my will to have. Straighten my mind, my Father. It is sick. But You have offered freedom, and I choose to claim Your gift today. And so I give all judgment to the One You gave to me to judge for me. He sees what I behold, and yet He knows the truth. He looks on pain, and yet He understands it is not real, and in His understanding, it is healed. He gives the miracles my dreams would hide from my awareness. Let Him judge today. I do not know my will, but He is sure it is Your Own. And He will speak for me and call Your miracles to come to me.
Listen today. Be very still and hear the gentle Voice for God assuring you that He has judged you as the Son He loves.
Our lesson today speaks of total abandonment to God’s Will. We don’t want what we thought we wanted, Father! Our minds were sick, and we chased after things that trapped us in chains of pain. Let us accept Your freedom today and take Your gift today.
Today we lay aside all our own judgments and accept the view of Jesus. Jesus knows all about our struggles; He also knows they are not real, and because He knows, we receive in faith and are healed. Jesus gives us the healing, the correction, and the reality that the ego’s shadow would hide from our awareness. Let Jesus be our judge today. We have no idea what we should want, but our Savior knows what our hearts and minds genuinely desire – only what God has for us. Our Savior speaks for us and calls God’s healing and correction to us.
Today we listen. We still our minds and hearts and quiet our spirit’s ears to hear the kind and soothing Voice for God assuring us that we are judged as the Son He loves.
Today is our grandson’s 18th birthday, and we cannot be with him because of work obligations and travel. There were other meaningful birthdays this month in our family – a daughter in heaven, a beloved nephew, another grandson. Some birthdays we managed to commemorate together; others not. There were occasions to celebrate, occasions to grieve. A sense of gratitude; a sense of loss. Through it all, we felt the presence of our Savior, the comfort of the Holy Spirit. He sees what we go through, and yet He knows the truth. He looks at our pain and knows it is not real, and in His understanding, we are healed.
We don’t know how to fix what is broken. We don’t know how to forgive the wrongdoings, slights, and intentional harm that others inflict upon us. We can spend years in therapy trying to get over the adversity of our childhoods. The mean things we say when we are fed up with the misconduct and disrespect of others may cause rifts that we have no desire to bridge. We are here in this world of time to learn what is not love. Opportunities abound at every turn to learn our lessons of pain and separation, judgment and condemnation, anger and retribution, which would keep us evermore on the hellish go-round of fear.
But today we can put it aside because we know that what we see with our body’s eyes and what we experience in the shadow world is not the reality of Christ. When we get our ego out of the picture, we can see ourselves and others as God sees us. We can experience the miracle of love!
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 347 Anger must come from…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 477.
Lesson 346 Today the peace of God envelops me, and I forget all things except His Love.
Father, I wake today with miracles correcting my perception of all things. And so begins the day I share with You as I will share eternity for time has stepped aside today. I do not seek the things of time, and so I will not look upon them. What I seek today transcends all laws of time and things perceived in time. I would forget all things except Your Love. I would abide in You and know no laws except Your law of love. And 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.
And when the evening comes today, we will remember nothing but the peace of God. For we will learn today what peace is ours, when we forget all things except God’s Love.
When I sat down to do my lesson today, my heart was much more relaxed and at ease than it has been for the past several days. All this travel and excitement left me little time or place for my usual devotional set-up; it threw me off course, no pun intended! I practiced my devotions, managing to read my lessons and pray in the moments in between going here and there, but it did not feel like real communion. Then when I did find time for solitude, instead of doing my lessons, I did other things. Vacation mode settled in; I was weary of thinking of the deep things of God. I felt lost on how to apply the principles of the Course to my daily life, and frankly, all the urgency surrounding forgiveness was baffling me. If the world is an illusion and I made it all up, why even bother with it at all? What is to save if there is nothing out there, if I made it all up, if I only imagine the whole thing?
The last several lessons, I read but did not work too hard at applying. I simply posted the lesson asking the Holy Spirit, “Please don’t let me miss the truth. Do not let me drop the ball – if this is true, let me believe in it entirely. If it is false, let me let it go. Lead me not into lies and hallucinations, Lord. Protect me from emptiness, nothingness, despair. All I want is to know You. All I want is to return to You.”
This is a very safe and trusting prayer. It strips one of all concerns. We are taking our egos out of it. We are putting ourselves in the hands, the very capable hands of God. We are saying – “I have no way of knowing anything for sure here in the shadowy land of separation, so I throw all my faith and trust in You. Let me not drown in lies and illusion. Let me not search in vain for answers where there are none! Lead me not astray, my Loving Father. Let me not delay myself or fall into diversion.”
So today, we awaken with miracles. I share this day with God even as I share eternity with God – time steps aside today, and I will not seek anything that time has to offer. In fact, I won’t even look at the things of time, but only seek the peace of God. It’s a lovely thought, but when I try to put it into practice, this is what I get:
There is my coffee – so rich and good, and I am thankful for it. There is the thick, warm, fluffy comforter the hotel offers us this week, so lovely against the chill, and I am grateful for it. The sun calls me to come and take a walk, and I am thankful for fresh air, for a good stretch of my legs after being cooped up in the Jeep for travel and then all that excellent rest and relaxation yesterday regrouping from our adventures.
Yesterday I had a conversation with one of the brothers from the study group, and I said as much. I love the Course and believe in it, but I wish we were given explicit directions through parables and application on how to live in the world, knowing it is not real. I cannot forget the world like our lessons tell us to do. I can forget it for moments here and there. I know in my mind and in my heart that the world is an illusion, and I am going to leave it very soon, and all that happens here is in the past and will mean very little to me in the great beyond.
But still. This is where I am now. I have to eat. I have to exercise. I have to take care of my body, our house, our family, our pets, and our travel arrangements. I pay our taxes and make business calls and talk on the phone with my brothers. I rub my husband’s shoulders when he is tired and give his feet a massage. When he walks through the door at night, coming home from work, happiness courses through me. I thrill at seeing my grown children and grandchildren. I am excited about Christmas and bringing out the decorations and all the good dishes! While I am here, the world feels real. It is fun to bake cookies, make Christmas gumbo, and attend holiday parties. The carols, the nativity sets, the crackling fire against the cold fill me with cozy contentment. There is hot cocoa and walnut-studded, buttery sand tarts made over my mom’s recipe that link me to toothsome traditions from childhood. Holy friendships to celebrate Christ’s birth throughout the year sustain me.
How do I reconcile today’s lesson with the reality of my everyday life in the world? I put it into God’s capable hands. I call upon Him. Today the peace of God envelops me, and I forget everything but His Love. This is not meant to be a burden! I will not be chastised for cherishing my dream and enjoying its pleasures. God loves me and makes my dream part of His great love. There is no such thing as spiritual striving and forcing myself to pretend that nothing here matters to me. A great deal matters to me in time! But when I forget all that I have learned about God and only remember His Love, His peace fills my conflicted mind and transforms, even this time of separation, into bliss.
 A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students Lesson 346 Today the peace of God…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 476.