• in8spirit

Forgiveness is Still

The Illusion of Worldly Comfort and the Unreality of Sin Below are the affirmative statements from the Course's "What is Forgiveness?" from part II of the Workbook for students.

The page clarifies what forgiveness is, by emphasizing what it is not. Aware that students are coming with mixed motivation and very mixed beliefs from many different traditions Jesus once again aims at exposing our misunderstanding.

I was raised a Catholic and remember thinking when I was a very small child that in principle, the act of confession and the forgiveness of mistakes was a very powerful thing. To be given a clean slate. This was the teaching of Jesus I had heard read in the Gospels on Sunday. I was blown away by the Message of Love that came to redeem all by it's sheer Presence.

I used to sit; age 8 or 9 waiting my turn to expose "my sins." I watched the old people exit the confessional looking relieved, delighted to be saying a few "Hail Mary's." There was always a queue for the "kind" priests. I too was hooked on the "go and sin no more." A second chance to get it "right." To not "blot my copybook" that was all I wanted! But the guilt of the setup meant that my fallibility always got in the way of the unconditional Love. Something was amiss in the earthly construct and I made a decision to keep the forgiving God but to ignore the guilt by finding ways to minimize it while maintaining I didn't believe in it.

"God does not forgive because He has never condemned." —A Course in Miracles (W-pI.60.1)

The feather of forgiveness alighting on an upturned palm
The feather of Forgiveness ~ Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

Thankfully a decade later, A Course in Miracles came into my life and later became my path. A few years into my devotion to it's teaching I discovered how that short term compromise was still costing me peace of mind. This lingering belief when confronted with a Course in Miracles now meant there was no "personal" heaven waiting for "me" when "I" died. I felt robbed of a soothsaying from my youth. Like finding out there was no Santa Claus. I was in a tragic no mans land with a foot in both camps. What cost is that which seems to brings us comfort but which is not of God? I came to discover that seeking for comfort in this world is synonymous with "sin" which I also thought I didn't believe in. This was a radical insight for me because I hadn't yet seen just how deep my preferences ran or how they bound me to this "ever missing the mark" I was so determined to hit! I was in error, I was mistaken and in need of Correction. "And do I want to see what I denied because it is the truth?" (T-21.VII.5.14) I vowed to see clearly. The following passages floored me...

"It is essential that error be not confused with sin, and it is this distinction that makes salvation possible. For error can be corrected, and the wrong made right. But sin, were it possible, would be irreversible. The belief in sin is necessarily based on the firm conviction that minds, not bodies, can attack. And thus the mind is guilty, and will forever so remain unless a mind not part of it can give it absolution. Sin calls for punishment as error for correction, and the belief that punishment is correction is clearly insane." ACIM (T-19.II.1) "The children of God are entitled to the perfect comfort that comes from perfect trust. Until they achieve this, they waste themselves and their true creative powers on useless attempts to make themselves more comfortable by inappropriate means. But the real means are already provided, and do not involve any effort at all on their part." ACIM (T-2.III.5) "I am the means by which God's Son is saved, because salvation's purpose is to find the sinlessness that God has placed in me. I was created as the thing I seek. I am the goal the world is searching for. I am God's Son, His one eternal Love. I am salvation's means and end as well."ACIM (W-pII.318.1)

Means and end are together which explains why "Forgiveness offers everyth