Today’s ACIM lesson #327 I need but call and You will answer me from last year’s writing is the perfect lesson for Thanksgiving. It was written in early December because last year at this time I was about eleven days behind, yet somehow (and the Course is amazing this way) this post is exactly what is needed on a day when we gather with those we think we know and forget to see our brothers through the eyes of innocence. “The Holy Spirit teaches that you always meet yourself, and the encounter is holy because you are. The ego teaches that you always encounter your past, and because your dreams were not holy, the future cannot be, and the present is without meaning.”
The lesson itself is about recognizing how prayers are answered. All prayers are answered. The joke is on us though because we think that we have to think of specific words as prayers when, in actuality, we are always praying. Every word is a prayer. And the “problem” is not that God hasn’t answered our prayers it’s that we are inadvertently praying for things we don’t want. When we search for guilt instead of innocence, we will find it. “Remember always that you see what you seek, for what you seek you will find. The ego finds what it seeks, and only that. It does not find love, for that is not what it is seeking.”
So on this Thanksgiving Day, I wish you peace and love and guidance from the Holy Spirit. May you remember that God hears all prayers and answers them all, and may your words reflect love so that love is reflected back to you.
From last year’s writing:
As a child, I prayed nightly before being tucked it to go to bed. We had two prayers that my grandmother had embroidered that hung on my wall and these were the jumping off point, after which it was acceptable to add “And God bless Mommy and Daddy” and whatever else was deemed important. What we were not allowed to do was treat God like some giant Santa Claus. This was NOT the place for asking for “stuff.” Still, there was a hint of beseeching involved. There was definitely a barter flavor involved. I’ll be a good girl and You take care of these things for me.
It wasn’t until later when I learned affirmative prayer that I came to understand that in reality, we are always praying. God doesn’t go to lunch so every word we say is a prayer. Plus, God, being absolute doesn’t “do” negatives, so it’s like trying not to think of a pink elephant, once the thought is expressed, good luck erasing it.
(Plus remember, thoughts are sifted through the Holy Spirit, “We said before that the Holy Spirit is evaluative, and must be. He sorts out the true from the false in your mind, and teaches you to judge every thought you allow to enter it in the light of what God put there. Whatever is in accord with this light He retains, to strengthen the Kingdom in you. What is partly in accord with it He accepts and purifies. But what is out of accord entirely He rejects by judging against. This is how He keeps the Kingdom perfectly consistent and perfectly unified.”)
I don’t know how many people understand how literally prayers are answered, and that we are praying constantly via the power of our words. I went through a time during my thirties where I prayed fiercely to be saved from my financial difficulties, and although I had certainly had times in my life when (from my perspective) God had answered my prayers, sometimes it seemed like they weren’t. It is easy to become disheartened and lose faith when one is praying one’s ass off to no avail. I didn’t understand that saying, “please don’t let me fail,” is like saying “please let me fail.”
So today’s A Course in Miracles lesson is one that causes me to think back on all those experiences. “Father, I thank You that Your promises will never fail in my experience, if I but test them out.” This is where I am grateful for my Science of Mind training and my intellectual understanding of how the Law works (as in Spiritual Law – like physical laws that govern our world, there are spiritual laws that govern how things work). One of them is that it works according to our beliefs.
“It must and will respond to everyone, because It is Law and law is no respecter of persons. We are surrounded by an intelligent force and substance, from which all things come—the ultimate Essence, in the invisible and subjective world, of all visible and objective forms and conditions. It is around us in its original state, ready and willing to take form through the impulse of our creative belief. It works for us by flowing through us. This law we did not create; this law we cannot change. We can use It correctly only as we understand and use It according to Its nature.
Hence, it follows that if we believe that It will not work, It really works by appearing to “not work.” When we believe that It cannot and will not, then, according to the principle, It DOES NOT. But when It does not, It still does —only It does according to our belief that It will not.” (The Science of Mind, p. 52)
This is why, in my estimation, faith in the goodness of the Divine is so crucial; it is why I love the Course so; for it makes me know how loved I am.
“4 You who identify with your ego cannot believe God loves you.” That’s the “problem,” of course. Whenever we identify with our egos, we do not recognize who we really are.
“Unless you hurt yourself you could never suffer in any way, for that is not God’s Will for His Son. Pain is not of Him, for He knows no attack and His peace surrounds you silently. God is very quiet, for there is no conflict in Him. Conflict is the root of all evil, for being blind it does not see whom it attacks. Yet it always attacks the Son of God, and the Son of God is you.”
The Son of God is us. It’s you. It’s me.
“3 O my child, if you knew what God wills for you, your joy would be complete! And what He wills has happened, for it was always true. When the light comes and you have said, “God’s Will is mine,” you will see such beauty that you will know it is not of you. Out of your joy you will create beauty in His Name, for your joy could no more be contained than His. The bleak little world will vanish into nothingness, and your heart will be so filled with joy that it will leap into Heaven, and into the Presence of God. I cannot tell you what this will be like, for your heart is not ready. Yet I can tell you, and remind you often, that what God wills for Himself He wills for you, and what He wills for you is yours.”
It is only when we recognize how loved we are that we begin to trust that God can be trusted.
“Let us ask the Father in my name to keep you mindful of His Love for you and yours for Him. He has never failed to answer this request, because it asks only for what He has already willed. Those who call truly are always answered. Thou shalt have no other gods before Him because there are none.”
So, I do these lessons daily because it makes it easier to let go of those erroneous ideas I held as a child and to know that God hears me and answers me. I am never alone. “5 God hides nothing from His Son, even though His Son would hide himself. Yet the Son of God cannot hide his glory, for God wills him to be glorious, and gave him the light that shines in him. You will never lose your way, for God leads you. When you wander, you but undertake a journey that is not real. “
I need but call and You will answer me.
I am not asked to take salvation on the basis of an unsupported faith. For God has promised He will hear my call, and answer me Himself. Let me but learn from my experience that this is true, and faith in Him must surely come to me. This is the faith that will endure, and take me farther and still farther on the road that leads to Him. For thus I will be sure that He has not abandoned me and loves me still, awaiting but my call to give me all the help I need to come to Him.
Father, I thank You that Your promises will never fail in my experience, if I but test them out. Let me attempt therefore to try them, and to judge them not. Your Word is one with You. You give the means whereby conviction comes, and surety of Your abiding Love is gained at last.
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“He has not abandoned me and loves me still.” But it helps I think to understand how it is that God works. God does not operate in delusions. “Yours is the way of pain, of which God knows nothing.” Perfect Peace and Joy cannot comprehend our illusions. They are stories we made up that are not real. “Only what God creates is irreversible and unchangeable. What you made can always be changed because, when you do not think like God, you are not really thinking at all. Delusional ideas are not real thoughts, although you can believe in them. But you are wrong. The function of thought comes from God and is in God. As part of His Thought, you cannot think apart from Him.”
This is now innocence is found. This is how forgiveness can be embraced. In letting go of thinking that the stuff of the ego has any reality at all, we put ourselves in the position to allow Love to enter and shine away the darkness.
“5 “Now” has no meaning to the ego. The present merely reminds it of past hurts, and it reacts to the present as if it were the past. The ego cannot tolerate release from the past, and although the past is over, the ego tries to preserve its image by responding as if it were present. It dictates your reactions to those you meet in the present from a past reference point, obscuring their present reality. In effect, if you follow the ego’s dictates you will react to your brother as though he were someone else, and this will surely prevent you from recognizing him as he is. And you will receive messages from him out of your own past because, by making it real in the present, you are forbidding yourself to let it go. You thus deny yourself the message of release that every brother offers you now.
6 The shadowy figures from the past are precisely what you must escape. They are not real, and have no hold over you unless you bring them with you. They carry the spots of pain in your mind, directing you to attack in the present in retaliation for a past that is no more. And this decision is one of future pain. Unless you learn that past pain is an illusion, you are choosing a future of illusions and losing the many opportunities you could find for release in the present. The ego would preserve your nightmares, and prevent you from awakening and understanding they are past. Would you recognize a holy encounter if you are merely perceiving it as a meeting with your own past? For you would be meeting no one, and the sharing of salvation, which makes the encounter holy, would be excluded from your sight. The Holy Spirit teaches that you always meet yourself, and the encounter is holy because you are. The ego teaches that you always encounter your past, and because your dreams were not holy, the future cannot be, and the present is without meaning.”
How beautiful to know that God provides the way out. “Turn toward the light, for the little spark in you is part of a Light so great that it can sweep you out of all darkness forever. For your Father is your Creator, and you are like Him.
But here’s the rub. We are all in this together. God has One Son. “You cannot enter God’s Presence with the dark companions beside you, but you also cannot enter alone. All your brothers must enter with you, for until you have accepted them you cannot enter. For you cannot understand wholeness unless you are whole, and no part of the Son can be excluded if he would know the Wholeness of his Father.”
“I need but call and You will answer.” My prayer is to know myself as you know me, Father. My prayer is to remember that my Father is my Creator and I am like Him.
And so are you, my friend, so are you.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.
- Here Comes (U.S.) Thanksgiving: The Unbreakable Link between Gratitude and Joy(challies.com)
- “It’s not you, its me”: a Spiritual Badass gets Schooled in Love.(elephantjournal.com)
- WPC – Mirror(spiritofdragonflies.wordpress.com)
- How to Battle Writer’s Block(business2community.com)