December 10, 2007

Christmas -- The End Of Sacrifice

Christmas takes on a new meaning. I find it in this prayer poem from the workbook of A Course In Miracles (Lesson 343). I do not need to be a body. I do not need to get old and sick and die in the end. In fact I cannot be a body, except in dreams that are all already over. A light has come into my dream, making this truth evident to my mind. I am free in the certainty that the Christ is within me, born in me, today. What peace, what joy to come to realize this.

I am not asked to make a sacrifice
To find the mercy and the peace of God.

"The end of suffering can not be loss.
The gift of everything can be but gain.
You only give. You never take away.
And You created me to be like You,
so sacrifice becomes impossible
for me as well as You. I, too, must give.
And so all things are given unto me
forever and forever. As I was
created I remain. Your Son can make
no sacrifice, for he must be complete,
having the function of completing You.
I am complete because I am Your Son.
I cannot lose, for I can only give,
and everything is mine eternally.

The mercy and the peace of God are free.
Salvation has no cost. It is a gift
that must be freely given and received.
And it is this that we would learn today."

I post this lesson in its poetic form which is the blanc verse, consisting of iambic pentameter. To help you learn to appreciate it, I direct you to Ray, who wrote a nice article about the wonderful poetic prose of A Course In Miracles.

Chistmas in Wisconsin?

Here are three paragraphs from the last section -- Christmas As The End Of Sacrifice -- in chapter 15 of A Course In Miracles , where Jesus talks about sacrifice, his mission, the impossibility to find love in a body identity, and how you overcome it in the holy instant. Merry Christmas to you...

"As long as you perceive the body as your reality, so long will you perceive yourself as lonely and deprived. And so long will you also perceive yourself as a victim of sacrifice, justified in sacrificing others. For who could thrust Heaven and its Creator aside without a sense of sacrifice and loss? And who could suffer sacrifice and loss without attempting to restore himself? Yet how could you accomplish this yourself, when the basis of your attempts is the belief in the reality of the deprivation? Deprivation breeds attack, being the belief that attack is justified. And as long as you would retain the deprivation, attack becomes salvation and sacrifice becomes love.

So is it that, in all your seeking for love, you seek for sacrifice and find it. Yet you find not love. It is impossible to deny what love is and still recognize it. The meaning of love lies in what you have cast outside yourself, and it has no meaning apart from you. It is what you prefer to keep that has no meaning, while all that you would keep away holds all the meaning of the universe, and holds the universe together in its meaning. Unless the universe were joined in you it would be apart from God, and to be without Him is to be without meaning.

In the holy instant the condition of love is met, for minds are joined without the body's interference, and where there is communication there is peace. The Prince of Peace was born to re-establish the condition of love by teaching that communication remains unbroken even if the body is destroyed, provided that you see not the body as the necessary means of communication. And if you understand this lesson, you will realize that to sacrifice the body is to sacrifice nothing, and communication, which must be of the mind, cannot be sacrificed. Where, then, is sacrifice? The lesson I was born to teach, and still would teach to all my brothers, is that sacrifice is nowhere and love is everywhere. For communication embraces everything, and in the peace it re-establishes, love comes of itself."

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