I thank my Father for His gifts to me.
Lesson 123 invites us to a very specific form of gratitude – we offer gratitude to our Creator for the gifts we have been given in and through our practice of becoming responsible for projection and thus remembering Creation. As we make this shift from fear to love, love expands and increases, accelerating the shift.
Gratitude heals and its healing is generative.
In his book The Voice that Precedes All Thought, Tara Singh, who credited his personal relationship with Helen Schucman for his understanding of the role gratitude plays in A Course in Miracles, wrote that gratitude anchors us in nondual awareness of love.
Gratefulness does not know a lack.
It trusts in the Will of God
and leaves God’s things to God.
It knows that
for what you are grateful you will never be denied.
All else is duality, fear, and selfishness,
bound to the body and its sensations (11)
So gratitude is not ancillary to a meaningful spiritual practice. It is not merely a list that we make. It is integrated into the woof and weave of our learning. It is not an accident that the previous two lessons’ emphasis on forgiveness arrives here, asking us to adopt a posture of giving thanks in order to receive thanks.
In other words, to be grateful is to be forgiving in the specific way that A Course in Miracles understands and asks us to apply that concept.
Be glad today, in loving thankfulness, your Father has no left you to yourself, nor let you wander in the dark alone. Be grateful He has saved you from the self you though you made to take the place of Him and His creation (W-pI.123.2:2-3).
Forgiveness is both the light of understanding, and the end of self-imposed darkness. We no longer believe the lies of ego, and turn instead to the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit when we simply listen. When we listen to the Holy Spirit, which is to forgive, we see the real world and for that vision, we naturally give thanks. That thanks returns to us a thousandfold, creating a cycle of sharing that “fills the world with gladness and with gratitude” (W-pI.123.6:5).
ACIM students are messengers who carry the word of God forth to their brothers and sisters, not as a function of wordiness or intellectual insight, but rather in gentleness, happiness and kindness. We know one another as equals and that equality means we are given to cooperation and communication with one another. We are beyond competition and the suffering it begets.
We sing the song of thankfulness today, in honor of the Self that God has willed to be our true Identity in Him. Today we smile on everyone we see, and walk with lightened footsteps as we go to do what is appointed us to do (W-pI.123.4:2-3).
The time we set aside to give to gratitude is designed to remind us that the cause for gratitude never goes away. It is not merely a holy half hour but holiness itself. As we allow this holiness to inform our day – minute by minute, hour by hour – we find ourselves increasingly blessed by the sustainable awareness of God’s Love as the foundation of our shared existence.