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Chapter One – THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

PRINCIPLES 16-37

  1.  16.  Giving to James has always been a financial exchange.  He spent hours of his life, working hard to make money, and then would give these hours of his life to other people, sometimes for little to no return!  We discussed the giving of spiritual gifts, we thought of giving goodwill to our neighbors, some of whom we get along with very well and a few that we are not that fond of because of past conflict.  We discussed how we feel as if we are withholding something of worth from a neighbor when we snub them or do not respond in kind to their gestures of friendship.  While that may give us a temporary surge of justification and a feeling that we somehow “punished” them for their past shabbiness, at the same time we have learned how ignorant and destructive this kind of withholding is and how powerful it is to be kind, generous, and forgiving.  While we did not think of this in terms of a miracle, we now realize that every time we go beyond our human desire to get even or to withhold love from those who have been unholy and choose to forgive and be like God, the strength that we experience in our spiritual center, as well as the healed relationship – does demonstrate the mutuality in giving and receiving.  Nobody ends up being shorted when we extend the gifts that God bestows upon us.
  2. 17. Years ago James and I read a book called The Celestine Prophecy.  Today James reminded me of the concept of invisibility – the more spiritual we become the higher our frequency, making it impossible for those at a lower frequency to see those who have become Spirit.  We talked about reasons why this level heals, while the lower frequency or vibrating levels remain spiritually unaware and prone to illness, conflict, and death. Most sicknesses, James said, come down to the DNA level rather than go to the spiritual being.  Then we give it power by talking about and identifying with what ails us. 
  3. 18. When we lift up another in prayer and offer the miracle, the forgiveness and the realizing the worth of another is a service.  We are serving God, we are serving our neighbors, we are embracing unity and becoming one.
  4. 19.Miracles reflect God, eternity, and Oneness; what is not a miracle keeps us separate and bound to time.
  5. 20. A miracle is the shift in consciousness that gets us in touch with our reality in spirit and not the body.  When we start recognizing ourselves as something other than our bodies, we go beyond them and experience healing wherever it is necessary to complete our joy and peace.
  6. 21. Because of our studies, we have both come to realize that God does not withhold His mercy and forgiveness from us, but we cannot accept His mercy and forgiveness without extending it to others.  If we think of ourselves worthy of His mercy and would withhold it from anybody else for any reason whatsoever we are not accepting God’s mercy for it is all encompassing and is only received by those who extend. 
  7. 22. When we believe that what we see with our physical eyes is the only reality there is, we deny the Vision of Christ.  The things of God become fearful to us.  We are afraid of all that we cannot explain and are very prone to deny the spiritual insights and experiences of others because of our fear of that which we yearn for, and yet have forgotten.
  8. 23. When we confuse our body level with our spiritual level, we may pray for all kinds of things that are not of God’s Will.  We may pray for a certain person to love us, we may pray for wealth, fame, good fortune.  We may pray for a new husband or a new wife.  When we think with our flesh minds we do not know and cannot know what the best thing for us is – which is God’s Will.  Only our spirits are one with God and the miracle shifts our understanding to recognize this and pray only the prayers that reflect holiness, purity, and goodness in our lives and in the lives of all we know.  This then is the realm of miracles and the only place where healing takes place.    
  9. 24. Jesus tells us that we can do the same thing that He did while He was on earth.  Healing the sick and raising the dead are not the miracles; it is the miracle of our own holy Self which recognizes our likeness to our Creator which brings the healing and correction.  When we stop and deeply consider what this principle tells us in a tone of certainty and with no apology, is that we are choosing the zombie nightmare of what we made of ourselves.  When we come to know our Selves as God made us, we realize that sickness, death, and anything that is not the creation of light is simply an illusion.
  10. 25. Jesus speaks to us of Atonement here in the sense of reparation.  The miracle then is the repairing of time – it works in all tenses of time – the past, the present, the future.  While both James and I were raised to believe that Atonement meant the blood of Jesus, sacrificed on the cross, to somehow save people from their sins, Jesus tells us that Atonement is the forgiveness of all time and all things that happened in time.  We have come to believe that as we stand with Christ and offer forgiveness with Him on a personal level and on a universal level, we are extending miracles not bound by time or the things that happen in time.  For instance, we can offer forgiveness to those who have seemed to hurt us who have already died.  We can offer forgiveness for events that have not touched us personally, but which have shaken our trust in God and in others.  We can offer forgiveness to those who are ignorant of their damaging and destructive behavior.  Each time we get past our human resistance to forgiveness and extend God’s mercy, we offer a miracle to the ongoing chain of forgiveness necessary to free us from all which is not God, or in other words, all that is not Love.
  11. 26. For us, Atonement meant undoing in the form of releasing us from an unsavory past or a religious dogma that promoted fear of God.  As our fear of God was undone, we learned to love God.  When we lost our fear of God, we lost our fear to be like God, we lost our fear to express how much we love God.  Seeking God holds no sense of shame for us.  With fear undone, we are free to question, to make mistakes, to discard old belief systems that preach damnation, hellfire and specialness, or believe in a God which would ever require blood sacrifice, animal or otherwise. 
  12. 27. Gone are the days when I thought that forgiving someone was a favor that I bestowed upon them because I was more than and they were less than!  It is my privilege to forgive and to keep forgiving for this is how salvation works.
  13. 28. We offer miracles as a way of releasing ourselves from the fear that is inherent to our physical realm.  Miracles are a way to reach a state where there is absolutely no more fear.  There are no more worries about what we are going to eat or wear.  There are no more worries about sickness and death.  There are no more worries of strife, poverty, injustice of any kind.  These are all concerns of the physical level, and when we become a conduit of miracles, God is revealed to us, in us, and through us. 
  14. 29. We honor God’s creations when we see them worthy of forgiveness, when we extend to them respect, appreciation, and mercy.  We look past the distinctions that would keep us from honoring the least of our brothers or kissing up to the ones we deem special and better than everybody else.  The miracle works both ways – in that we no longer worship bodies and personalities, but rather we embrace our oneness with and our brotherhood in Christ.  This is the realm where healing takes place. 
  15. 30. Jesus tells that miracles adjust the way we see and hear and experience in the world.  As we recognize our true spiritual Selves, we align with that Self instead of the petty, conniving, body-centered self which is our human form.  Placing the real Self at the center, we begin to communicate directly with Spirit and in the Spirit.  We can trust in that spiritual center; we can go there to communicate with God, with each other.  Many times we will not need words because we communicate through peace, calm, and quiet. 
  16. 31. We took this to mean exactly what it says.  Extending God’s gifts of forgiveness which reflects God’s love is certainly our privilege, but it should a daily, common occurrence that is part of our holy habit.  We are miracles.  Each and every one of us and we thank God for what we really are, for we belong to Him, we are part of Him, we are one with Him.  When we come home to this, when our holiness comes to light, we are simply thankful.  Being awestruck is not proper nor fitting because it denotes specialness.  And Jesus teaches us that miracles are not special but are natural expressions of those who are awake in God.  This means when miracles occur, we do not brag about or make much of them.  Miracles are nothing more than fulfilling a need.
  17. 32. Jesus is the Source behind all miracles, whether He is given credit for them or not.  When we receive a miracle, our holiness has been recognized, our way of seeing has been lifted from physical level to the spiritual level.  With Christ’s vision, we no longer see ourselves as bodies, as failures, as doomed to die.  We see ourselves as God sees us, in the celestial order where our perfection is made apparent to us. 
  18. 33. Miracles are that shift in consciousness that is inspired by Christ.  We see ourselves as worthy and deserving of love.  We realize the light of God is in us.  All the mistakes we ever made are undone by the miracle.  We are freed of the nightmare world!  Our minds are freed of torment, sorrow, anguish and healed.  We live and walk in peace and our good sense is restored. 
  19. 34. With miracles, we restore minds, all parts that were hidden to our awareness are brought back to our memory.  We are safe from all intruders, from those who wish us harm, from all thoughts that bear ill will.  With our mind restored to fullness, we have no room in it for anything but that which is of God.
  20. 35. This is where we must trust God.  We offer forgiveness.  We do what God leads us to do.  We make that call.  We write that text.  We reach out and extend the gifts that God has bestows on us with love and with a mind free of personal motive or greed.  And yet we have no confirmation that the miracles was accepted or returned to us.  There is nothing we can do but trust that what God tells us to do does not go to waste.  We gave to receive and receive we will!  We forgave to be forgiven and forgiven we are!  We may never know the effects of any particular miracle, but we keep offering them anyway, because we do know that miracles never go to waste. 
  21. 36. When we think right, we offer miracles.  If we offer anything else it cannot be of God and will bring more harm than good.  When I treat my brother with anything less than the respect and appreciation he deserves as a fellow Son of God, I am not performing a miracle.  My mind is not aligned with the truth as God created it, but rather the “truth” as our human perceptions would interpret it.  When we think with God, we offer miracles.
  22. 37.[1] So there I am dwelling on some past conflict.  Justifying to myself how I ranted and raved about so-and-so for not respecting my boundaries, for being so envious that she did not pass on any good words that were being said about me, for not wishing me happiness, for begrudging my new coat.  And Jesus introduces a miracle into my false thinking.  Suddenly my mind is full of love for so-and-so.  All my anger and ill will melts away as I remember her kindness, her generosity, all the times she held my hand when I was sad, all the times she made me laugh, all those invigorating hikes we took together, all the trouble we got into when we were kids.  Jesus puts all my thoughts in order – the loving ones are brought to the fore; the unloving ones are undone through my forgiveness.  She forgot who she is; she forgot what she is; she forgot our love for one another and now I remember it for both of us, just as I sometimes forget and she must remember for me.  This is the way of miracles.  This is what brings healing.  We come to know God and His Divine Order only when we align ourselves with His Son and offer miracles with Him instead of standing against Him.

[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1:16-37, Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 4-5.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com  

How to use the worksheet: Download this worksheet by pressing the button below.  You may print out or save this worksheet on your computer.  As you come to your devotional practice, prayerfully clear the alter of your mind of all distractions and ask God to illuminate each miracle principle.  You are welcome to keep or erase the sample notes and personal applications.  Under each principle, using as many lines as necessary, record the understanding and personal application given to you. God bless!

Filed under: ACIM

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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