Lesson 77 • March-18

I am entitled to miracles.


Practice Instructions

Purpose: To claim the miracles that belong to you, to claim the assurance that they really are yours, and to refuse to be content with anything less.

Longer: Two times, for ten to fifteen minutes.

  • Repeat the idea as a confident request for the miracles that God has promised you. Close your eyes and remind yourself 1) that you are requesting what belongs to you, and 2) that by accepting miracles you uphold everyone's right to miracles.
  • For the remainder of the practice period, wait in silent expectancy for the Holy Spirit to assure you that your request is granted, that you really are entitled to miracles. This, in other words, is yet another exercise in waiting for something from the Holy Spirit. In previous lessons (71, 72, 75, 76), you waited for guidance, understanding, or an experience of vision. Here you are waiting for the assurance that the storehouse of miracles really is open to you, really is yours. The same things apply here as in the previous lessons:
  1. Wait in mental silence and expectancy.
  2. Wait in confidence. Since you are asking for the assurance of something that is already true, you can ask without any doubt or uncertainty.
  3. Periodically renew your request and your confidence by repeating the idea.

Frequent reminders: Frequent.

Repeat the idea. Throughout the day, be on the lookout for situations in which miracles are called for. "You will recognize these situations" (7:5). Then ask confidently for a miracle by repeating the idea.

Response to temptation: Whenever you are tempted to hold a grievance.

Say quickly, "I will not trade miracles for grievances. I want only what belongs to me. God has established miracles as my right." Refuse to be satisfied with anything less than miracles.

Commentary

What we celebrate today is our true Identity as beings who are one with God (1:3, 5, 6). The key to what the Course calls "salvation" is simply remembering what we are. I like the threefold summary that opens the lesson. Just rearranging the words a little, the three items are:

  • What we are entitles us to miracles.
  • What God is guarantees we will receive miracles.
  • Our oneness with God means we will offer miracles to others.

Nothing we think about ourselves, no special powers we believe we have, and no rituals we observe bring us miracles. They come to us because of what we are, because of something inherent in our being. The qualifications for miracles are given in creation; we don't have to earn them.

[The Holy Spirit] will never ask what you have done to make you worthy of the gift of God. Ask it not therefore of yourself. Instead, accept His answer, for He knows that you are worthy of everything God wills for you. Do not try to escape the gift of God He so freely and so gladly offers you. He offers you but what God gave Him for you. You need not decide whether or not you are deserving of it. God knows you are. (T-14.III.11:4-10)

The lesson affirms that we have been "promised full release from the world [we] made" (3:2), from all the darkness, pain, suffering and death resulting from our attempts at separateness. Beyond that we have been "assured that the Kingdom of God is within you, and can never be lost" (3:3). Today we are deciding not to question those premises, but to accept them as given facts. The darkness can be escaped, and the light has never been lost. And so, today, we set our minds in determination "that we will not content ourselves with less" (3:5).

The longer practice periods begin with a brief time of affirmation, reminding ourselves that we have a right to miracles, and that miracles are never given to one at the expense of another. In asking for myself, I am asking for everyone. After that brief reminder, the time of practice is to be spent in quiet, waiting for an inner sense of assurance that the miracles we have asked for have been given. Since we are asking exactly what God's Will is, for the salvation of the world, there is every reason to believe that He will respond favorably to our requests.

Actually, asking for miracles isn't really asking for anything. It is an affirmation of what is always already true. The Holy Spirit can't help assuring us our request is granted! (6:1-3). How can He possibly respond differently? He cannot deny our prayer without denying the truth, and He speaks only for the truth. "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists" (T-In.2:2-3). That is what this kind of prayer affirms.

In the description of the short practice periods, we are told to ask for miracles "whenever a situation arises in which they are called for" (7:4). Then it says, "You will recognize these situations" (7:5). There is no question here, not even a need to explain how we'll know. "You will recognize these situations." Something in us simply knows when to ask for a miracle. Notice too that we do not try to generate the miracle ourselves, out of our own resources; we ask the Holy Spirit. We are turning with our need to the Source of miracles; we are not trying to take the place of the Source. We do depend on what we are as our entitlement to miracles, but we are not relying on ourselves to find them (7:6).

Let's remember that a "miracle" as the Course understands it does not necessarily mean any kind of visible changes. "Miracles are thoughts" (T-1.I.12:1). They are shifts away from the bodily level, a way in which we recognize our own worth and our brother's at the same time (T-1.I.17:2; 18:4). A miracle is a correction of false thinking (T-1.I.37:1). Miracles are always expressions of love, "but they may not always have observable effects" (T-1.I.35:1).

Let's remember, also, that "may not always" does not mean "will never." If I say, "I often eat Wheaties for breakfast but I may not always eat them," the implication is that a lot of the time I do eat Wheaties. So when the Course says that miracles may not always have observable effects, it clearly implies that most of the time they do have observable effects. We should not mistakenly think a miracle has not happened if there are no observable effects, but neither should we mistakenly set aside any expectation of observable effects. The essential ingredient, however, is not anything in the material world, but the freeing of our minds from illusions.

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