[acimlessons_list] Lesson 355 - December 21
Sue Carrier Roth
suelegal at gmail.com
Tue Dec 20 05:52:37 EST 2005
LESSON 355 * DECEMBER 21
"There is no end to all the peace and joy,
And all the miracles that I will give,
When I accept God's Word. Why not today?"
See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:
* Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
* Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
* Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind
* Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in
* Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea often within each hour.
* Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
* Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
"God's Word," to me, is speaking here of what Jesus, in the Course, is
telling me about my own Identity. It is the truth about what I am.
It is You I choose, and my Identity along with You.
Your Son would be Himself, and know You as his Father
and Creator, and his Love. (1:7-8)
A Christian lecturer who inspired me years ago, Major Ian Thomas, used to
say that man's purpose, my purpose as an individual, is to be "the human
vehicle of the divine content." That is what I am here for. Christ wants to
be Himself in me, in the form of me. I have no other reason for being here,
although the ego thinks I am here to forget God.
The Course teaches that the ego made the world and the body as an attack
against God. It wants to use the world to forget God. The Holy Spirit wants
to use it as a vehicle to remember God. There is no real purpose to anything
except one of those two.
I am here, today as always, to reflect God's Love. I am here to see
innocence. I am here to "look on everyone as brother, and perceive all
things as kindly and as good." (W-pII.14.3:4). I am here to bless my
brothers and to ask them to share my peace and joy.
"Why not today?" Why should I wait? These are the questions the lesson asks.
I am sure my treasure waits for me, and I need but
reach out my hand to find it. Even now my fingers
touch it. It is very close. I need not wait an
instant more to be at peace forever. (1:3-6)
There is no answer to why we wait, because there are no reasons to wait. Nor
has there ever been a reason. All there is to do in response is to let the
constriction in our hearts unknot, to quell the resistance to the flow of
love, and to open our hearts fully to every living thing. To let ourselves
be love; to let love be us. To desist from the belief that we are anything
else but love.
The resistance that feels so great, like a stone wall, is nothing more than
a cloud, unable to stop a feather. Only my belief in its impenetrability
makes it a barrier, like an elephant staked to a tiny peg in the ground,
believing it cannot move because it has been trained to think it is chained
to a tree. We think we are without love; we believe we are unloving. We
think the ego stands like a granite battlement between us and God, keeping
The ego is a cloud. It could not stop a ping-pong ball. It is totally
without strength to resist the Love of God, and it cannot and will not
resist. God's Love stands at the end of time, having already won. Oh, my
heart! Open to that Love today! Receive it; give it. Receive it by giving
it, and give it by receiving it. See it everywhere for it is everywhere, in
WHAT AM I?
Part 5: W-pII.14.3:1-4
What is "our function," spoken of at the end of paragraph 2? "We are the
bringers of salvation" (3:1). Have I really considered that this is my
function? Have I begun to realize that, each day as I live my life, this is
what I am really living for-to bring salvation to the world? We are not
talking here about rescuing people; we are talking about seeing them as God
created them, and seeing them that way so clearly and so strongly that our
vision of them begins to open their eyes to the same thing. We are talking
about holding such an unambiguous picture of their innocence that they can
see their own innocence reflected from us.
We accept our part as saviors of the world, which
through our joint forgiveness is redeemed. (3:2)
We save the world by forgiving it. And we exercise this forgiveness as joint
forgiveness, along with Jesus. We join with him in lifting guilt and blame
from each person we interact with. This is how the world is "redeemed,"
bought back from its slavery to guilt and fear.
And this, our gift, is therefore given us. (3:3)
Once again the oft-repeated theme: We receive forgiveness as we give it.
We look on everyone as brother, and perceive all things
as kindly and as good. (1:4)
This is the vision of a savior. This is how a savior sees things. To see
everyone as brother is to see them as our equal, sharing in the
guiltlessness of God's creation. To see all things as kindly is to realize
that even what appears to be attack does not make the "attacker" unkind;
behind the fear that drives the apparent attack is still a kind and gentle
heart. Some of us, perhaps, have begun to realize this about ourselves and
about others. We acknowledge that we have made mistakes, and that we have
acted unlovingly, and yet we know that underneath that mask of anger and
selfishness our hearts are kind. We do not want to hurt but we feel driven
to it by circumstance; it seems the only way we can survive. That is the
ego's lie to us, that attack is necessary for survival. The Course asks us:
Do you not think the world needs peace as much as
you do? Do you not want to give it to the world as
much as you want to receive it? For unless you do,
you will not receive it. If you want to have it of
me, you must give it. Healing does not come from
anyone else. (T-8.IV.4:1-5)
There is no living thing that does not share the
universal Will that it be whole. (T-31.I.9:1)
Our path to salvation lies in coming to realize that all living things share
the universal Will to be whole, that everyone wants peace just as we do, and
that, beneath all the masks we wear so faithfully, what we are, all of us,
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