TUESDAY July 5, 2016
Hands in Prayer
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 16 THE FORGIVENESS OF ILLUSIONS
VIII. THE END OF ILLUSIONS

Equivalent of the Lord's Prayer
    
81 Forgive us our illusions, Father, and help us to accept our true relationship with You in which there are no illusions and where none can ever enter. Our holiness is Yours. What can there be in us that needs forgiveness when Yours is perfect? The sleep of forgetfulness is only the unwillingness to remember Your forgiveness and Your Love. Let us not wander into temptation, for the temptation of the Son of God is not Your Will. And let us receive only what you have given and accept but this into the minds which You created and which You love.  Amen.    
    
A COURSE IN MIRACLES 
WORKBOOK Part I 
INTRODUCTION to LESSONS 181-200
 
Introduction to Lesson 181-200
 
<AUDIO><VIDEO> 
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
WHAT IS IAMBIC PENTAMETER?

1
Our next few lessons make a special point of firming up your willingness to make your weak commitment strong, your scattered goals blend into one intent. You are not asked for total dedication all the time, as yet. But you are asked to practice now in order to attain the sense of peace such unified commitment will bestow, if only intermittently. It is experiencing this which makes it sure that you will give your total willingness to following the way the course sets forth.

2
Our lessons now are geared specifically to widening horizons and direct approaches to the special blocks which keep your vision narrow and too limited to let you see the value of our goal. We are attempting now to lift these blocks, however briefly. Words alone can not convey the sense of liberation which their lifting brings. But the experience of freedom and of peace that comes as you give up your tight control of what you see speaks for itself. Your motivation will be so intensified that words become of little consequence. You will be sure of what you want and what is valueless.

3
And so we start our journey beyond words by concentrating first on what impedes our progress still. Experience of what exists beyond defensiveness remains beyond achievement while it is denied. It may be there, but you cannot accept its presence. So we now attempt to go past all defenses for a little while each day. No more than this is asked because no more than this is needed. It will be enough to guarantee the rest will come.

  
CIRCLE OF ATONEMENT ~ COMMENTARY on INTRODUCTION
          
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DAILY LESSON
L e s s o n 186
Salvation of the world depends on me. 

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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
WHAT IS IAMBIC PENTAMETER?  

   Here is the statement that will one day take  
   all arrogance away from every mind.
   Here is a thought of true humility,
   which holds no function as your own but that
   which has been given you. It offers your
   acceptance of a part assigned to you,
   without insisting on another role.
   It does not judge your proper role. It but
   acknowledges the Will of God is done
   on earth as well as Heaven. It unites
   all wills on earth in Heaven's plan to save
   the world, restoring it to Heaven's peace.
 
   Let us not fight our function. We did not
   establish it. It is not our idea.
   The means are given us by which it will
   be perfectly accomplished. All that we
   are asked to do is to accept our parts
   in genuine humility, and not
   deny with self-deceiving arrogance
   that we are worthy. What is given us
   to do we have the strength to do. Our minds
   are suited perfectly to take our parts,
   assigned to us by One Who knows us well.
 
   Today's idea may seem quite sobering
   until you see its meaning. All it says
   is that your Father still remembers you,
   and offers you the perfect trust He holds
   in you who are His Son. It does not ask
   that you be different in any way
   from what you are. What could humility
   request but this? And what could arrogance
   deny but this? Today we will not shrink
   from our assignment on the specious grounds
   that modesty is outraged. It is pride
   that would deny the Call of God Himself.
 
   All false humility we lay aside
   today, that we may listen to His Voice
   reveal to us what He would have us do.
   We will not doubt our adequacy for
   the function He will offer us. We will
   be certain only that He knows our strength,
   our wisdom and our holiness. And if
   He deems us worthy, so we are. It is
   but arrogance that judges otherwise.
 
   There is one way, and only one, to be
   released from the imprisonment your plan
   to prove the false is true has brought to you.
   Accept the plan you did not make instead.
   Judge not your value to it. If God's Voice
   assures you that salvation needs your part,
   and that the whole depends on you, be sure
   that it is so. The arrogant must cling
   to words, afraid to go beyond them to
   experience which might affront their stance.
   Yet are the humble free to hear the Voice
   Which tells them what they are and what to do.
 
   Arrogance makes an image of yourself
   which is not real. It is this image which
   quails and retreats in terror as the Voice
   for God assures you that you have the strength,
   the wisdom and the holiness to go
   beyond all images. You are not weak,
   as is the image of yourself. You are
   not ignorant and helpless. Sin can not
   tarnish the truth in you, and misery
   can come not near the holy home of God.
 
   All this the Voice for God relates to you.
   And as He speaks the image trembles and
   seeks to attack the threat it does not know,
   sensing its basis crumble. Let it go.
   Salvation of the world depends on you,
   and not upon this little pile of dust.
   What can it tell the holy Son of God?
   Why need he be concerned with it at all?
 
   And so we find our peace. We will accept
   the function God has given us, for all
   illusions rest upon the weird belief
   that we can make another for ourselves.
   Our self-made roles are shifting, and they seem
   to change from mourner to ecstatic bliss
   of loved and loving. We can laugh or weep,
   and greet the day with welcome or with tears.
   Our very being seems to change as we
   experience a thousand shifts in mood,
   and our emotions raise us high indeed
   or dash us to the ground in hopelessness.
 
   Is this the Son of God? Could He create
   such instability and call it Son?
   He Who is changeless shares His attributes
   with His creation. All the images
   His Son appears to make have no effect
   on what he is. They blow across his mind
   like wind swept leaves that form a patterning
   an instant, break apart to group again,
   and scamper off. Or like mirages seen
   above a desert, rising from the dust.
 
   These unsubstantial images will go
   and leave your mind unclouded and serene
   when you accept the function given you.
   The images you make give rise to but
   conflicting goals, impermanent and vague,
   uncertain and ambiguous. Who could
   be constant in his efforts, or direct
   his energies and concentrated drive
   toward goals like these? The functions that the world
   esteems are so uncertain that they change
   ten times an hour at their most secure.
   What hope of gain can rest on goals like this?
 
   In lovely contrast, certain as the sun's
   return each morning to dispel the night,
   your truly given function stands out clear
   and wholly unambiguous. There is
   no doubt of its validity. It comes
   from One Who knows no error. And His Voice
   is certain in Its messages. They will
   not change nor be in conflict. All of them
   point to one goal, and one you can attain.
   Your plan may be impossible, but God's
   can never fail because He is its Source.
 
   Do as His Voice directs. And if It asks
   a thing of you that seems impossible,
   remember Who it is that asks, and who
   would make denial. Then consider this;
   which is more likely to be right? The Voice
   that speaks for the Creator of all things,
   Who knows all things exactly as they are,
   or a distorted image of yourself,
   confused, bewildered, inconsistent and
   unsure of everything? Let not its voice
   direct you. Hear instead a certain Voice
   Which tells you of a function given you
   by your Creator, Who remembers you
   and urges that you now remember Him.
 
   His gentle Voice is calling from the known
   to the unknowing. He would comfort you
   although He knows no sorrow. He would make
   a restitution though He is complete;
   a gift to you, although He knows that you
   have everything already. He has Thoughts
   that answer every need His Son perceives,
   although He sees them not. For Love must give,
   and what is given in Its Name takes on
   the form most useful in a world of form.
 
   These are the forms which never can deceive,
   although they come from Formlessness Itself.
   Forgiveness is an earthly form of love
   which as it is in Heaven has no form.
   Yet what is needed here is given here
   as it is needed. In this form you can
   fulfill your function even here, although
   what love will mean to you when formlessness
   has been restored to you is greater still.
   Salvation of the world depends on you
   who can forgive. Such is your function here.
 
       
~ Original Handscript of ACIM May 28, 1970      
 
 
          
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 186

Salvation of the world depends on me .

Sarah's Commentary: 
 
Clearly to our minds, the idea, ". . . salvation of the world depends on me," sounds more than a little arrogant. Yet Jesus says it is not a statement of arrogance at all. In fact, acceptance of this thought ". . . will one day take all arrogance away from every mind." (W.186.1.1) Why? Because acceptance of this statement undoes the thought of separation. We believe we have separated from God, but it is an arrogant belief we are holding in the mind, because it is not the truth. It is the belief we have made ourselves, and we are bodies living in the world in a state of separation from God. When we humbly accept we have been wrong about all of this, we become willing to learn our true reality. We learn what we are in truth, through the undoing of specialness. We can only know our holiness by forgiving our specialness. By being willing to look honestly at our roles and concepts of who we think we are and bringing them to the light of truth, we come to know the Self we are. Each healed mind saves the world because God's Son is One and the world is saved, as the separation that gave rise to it is undone.
 
We all share the same function of forgiveness, but the forms will be different for each of us. The people and events in our lives are part of our script, and they play a role in our lives, so we can learn to forgive. While the forms vary for each of us, the content of forgiveness is the same for all of us. We have been mistaken about ourselves and have identified with the ego. It can now be released through forgiveness. The ego, though it is nothing but a thought, seems powerful to us. We think it is almost impossible to set it aside. Jesus tells us, "The means are given us by which it [our function of forgiveness] will be perfectly accomplished." (W.186.2.4) Thus, while we think the challenge is too big for us, Jesus assures us we can learn what he is teaching us. Our arrogance prevents us from accepting this belief. Each of us who heals our minds through forgiveness, heals the Sonship because there is just one mind.
 
We resist our function. (W.186.2.1) Jesus says it is because "We did not establish it. It is not our idea." (W.186.2.2-3) It is an affront to the image of ourselves we think we. To surrender all of this to God requires ". . . genuine humility." (W.186.2.5) To deny we are worthy of undertaking what has been assigned to us is arrogance. It is not up to us to be the judge of our worthiness. This Lesson reminds us that the truth is already fully present in our minds, and we are worthy because of who we are as God's Son. Thus, "Our minds are suited perfectly to take the part assigned to us by One Who knows us well." (W.186.2.7)
 
In our arrogance, we try to deny this by thinking we are too small to undertake what is asked of us. We feel unworthy of the task, or alternatively, we believe the ego is too enormous and too difficult to set aside. This keeps us believing the Course is too difficult to learn. We may have a lot of fear and resistance to undoing our decision for the ego. "All false humility we lay aside today, that we may listen to God's Voice reveal to us what He would have us do." (W.186.4.1) When we listen to our own voice, we feel inadequate and unworthy. Through forgiveness, we learn the light of Christ is in us, so there is nothing to seek. The world is saved because there is no world. When the mind accepts the truth through the process of forgiveness, the world disappears. The world was established through our decision to separate, so when separation is undone, through the release of the ego thought system, the world is undone.
 
Yet now there is work to be done, as long as we still think we are here. We release our plans and accept the plan we did not make. Our plans all involve maintaining the ego by seeing guilt and sin in the world and seeing ourselves as innocent victims. Now we are asked to look at what we are thinking and believing and recognize it brings us pain. Jesus asks us to look honestly at our lives and assess our experience here. He asks us to recognize how miserable we are and reminds us we have another choice, which is to accept the Correction (Atonement) already in our minds. We do this by bringing our thoughts and perspectives to the Holy Spirit in our minds. It requires we look at what we have chosen without judging ourselves for the choice we have made. We are not the ones to fix ourselves, as we created the problem. Only willingness is required to give the problem over to the Holy Spirit. He is the healer in our minds. We cannot do it without the power of His Holiness.
 
We all struggle with feelings of unworthiness, but we are assured, again and again, of what we are. Jesus is not asking too much of us. When I am relying on my own strength, I do not feel up to what I have been guided to do, whether in writing these Course commentaries, facilitating the Course groups, or knowing how to respond to a difficult situation in any moment. I find myself fearful of judgment, and I will sometimes look for a way not to undertake what I am called to do. Inadequacy shows up in numerous ways. I compare myself as not as brilliant, not as enlightened, and not as insightful as others. Clearly, the ego is keeping me in fear of my function. It is a function given me by God, and now I am called to "Accept the plan I did not make instead" (W.186.5.2) of my own plan. Jesus tells us this is the only way we will be released from imprisonment. (W.186.5.1) He is showing us the only way out of our self-imposed imprisonment, where we are determined to prove the false is true. We insist on the reality of our experience here.
 
Our plan miscreated a world where we project our sin and guilt onto others and make them responsible for our pain. Now this can all be undone when we look without judgment on what we have made and choose to take responsibility for our decisions. The choice is always in front of us, in every situation---to choose Heaven or hell, the problem or the Answer. It requires we surrender our way, recognizing we have been wrong about everything we think and believe. It is to step into our greatness by fully undertaking our function. Yes, fear will arise when we do not feel up to our function and when we feel we are not what Jesus assures us we are. Jesus urges us not to take such thoughts seriously. Yes, doubts will come up and feelings of inadequacy, yet we can dismiss such foolish thoughts. "We do not doubt our adequacy for the function He will offer us. We will be certain only that He knows our strengths, our wisdom and our holiness. And if he deems us worthy, so we are." (W.186.4.2-4)
 
We each have a function in form based on our strengths and skills and talents, but again the content is always the same. The content is forgiveness and the recognition that we have a Teacher and Guide Who is outside of this dream we are dreaming. What we are given to do in this world ". . . takes on the form most useful in a world of form." (W.186.13.5) Whatever we are called to do in the world, the function we all share is still forgiveness. "Forgiveness is an earthly form of love, which as it is in Heaven has no form. Yet what is needed here is given here as it is needed. In this form you can fulfill your function even here, although what love will mean to you when formlessness has been restored to you is greater still." (W.186.14.2-4)
 
Forgiveness is what takes us beyond the words to the experience and to the undoing of the plan we established, which is to make others responsible for our condition and to prove the false is true. The ego tells us to hold grievances, attack others, serve our special needs, make others responsible for our pain, and see ourselves as the innocent victims of what others have done. The question is: do we continue to believe we are in control of our lives, or do we open to a new experience of truth and transcendence by letting go of the thoughts, the roles, and the self-concepts we have invested in as the truth? Jesus tells us we do have the strength. We are not weak and helpless. No matter what we think about ourselves, nothing can change the truth. Our Self is holy, and misery cannot touch this holy home where we abide. We will not know this until the work of undoing the false is complete, but we must be gentle with ourselves, as it is a process. Forgiveness does not require us to achieve healing any faster than we are prepared to go, and if we choose to delay, it is not a sin.
 
To accept the image of who we think we are is to accept instability. "Our self-made roles are shifting, and they seem to change from mourner to ecstatic bliss of love and loving. We can laugh or weep, and greet the day with welcome or with tears. Our very being seems to change as we experience a thousand shifts in mood, and our emotions raise us high indeed, or dash us to the ground in hopelessness." (W.186.8.3-5) Jesus assures us this instability is not who we are. We are indeed changeless. We are consistently loved and loving. How is this possible when I see myself being other than that much of the time? We are assured that since this world is just a dream, nothing we have done has had any real effects on anyone. These images ". . . blow across his mind like windswept leaves that form a patterning an instant, break apart to group again, and scamper off. Or like mirages seen above a desert, rising from the dust." (W.186.9.5-6) When we awaken from the dream, these images will seem no more real than when we awaken from our night-time dreams that seem so real when we are dreaming them.
 
Letting go of the images we have made allows the experience of truth to rush in. There is no room for this in the "I know" mind. We need to clear the slate for the Holy Spirit. The slate is now so crowded with thoughts and occupied with our plans that there is no place for silence. Only in the silence can truth enter. There is still attraction to misery, shame, secrets, and dramas of all kinds, in our lives. There is a reward the ego gets from its self-inflicted pain, for it reinforces our view of the world as victims. We would give it all up if there was no juice in our story, no victory for the conqueror nor the victim. Does such a thought arouse anger and defensiveness? This Lesson says, "And as He speaks, the image trembles and seeks to attack the threat it does not know, sensing its basis crumble." (W.186.7.2)
 
Yes, we are afraid if we let it go, we will be left in shambles. The part of the mind that identifies with the ego senses the threat and is terrified. Our thousand shifting moods tell us how unstable our foundation really is. This image of ourselves that we identify with is a pile of dust. It knows nothing of the Son of God. When we say we cannot undertake the function we have been given, we are speaking from the image, because the truth is we are perfectly suited to undertake whatever we are called to do. We are called to follow our prompts and step into our function fully. When we undertake it, our true Self breaks through the image and shows us a glimpse of our true nature.
 
It is appealing to think about exchanging our conflicting, uncertain, ambiguous, and changing goals for a new and fresh experience of constancy and certainty. In our ego identity, there is no constancy. We shift from one thing to another and our lives are filled with ambiguity, uncertainty, impermanence, and vagueness. There is nothing appealing about living in uncertainty and doubt. "The functions which the world esteems are so uncertain that they change ten times an hour at their most secure." (W.186.10.4) Can you see this in your own life, as you go from one thing to another, checking out the computer, planning dinner, watering the plants, paying bills, washing the car, and undertaking the business of the day? Ten times an hour, he considers secure! Chances are, if we monitored our activity in an hour, we are perhaps changing our functions as much as thirty times an hour! "What hope of gain can rest on goals like this?" (W.186.10.5) When we recognize we have been wrong and our Teacher is right, we can accept His plan and function, which reflects the perfect unity of the Self we are.
 
God gives us a purpose. Our lives are not to be just a list of shifting, playful, or work-focused activities the world esteems. We are being called to a purpose-driven life. What He assigns us ". . . stands out clear and wholly unambiguous," (W.186.11.1) unlike our own shifting functions. Jesus assures us, we can attain the function given us. We are literally given a command, "Do as God's Voice directs. And if It asks a thing of you which seems impossible, remember Who it is that asks, and who would make denial." (W.186.12.1-2) Who is likely to be right? God or me? What does this confused image of me really know? Can it ever get anything right? Can it ever know everything to ensure total success when it is indeed ". . . a distorted image of yourself, bewildered, inconsistent and unsure of everything?" (W.186.12.4) We have tried to take the power unto ourselves and claim ourselves to be God, manifesting what we think we want, but can this image manifest anything coming from this bewildered, uncertain state? Does it know what will bring it happiness? Would it not be better to attend to this Lesson, willingly admitting we do not know our own best interests and allowing ourselves to trust the One Who Knows? He wants to offer us our function, and He has provided the means for us to achieve it, assuring us we cannot fail.
 
Our particular, specific relationships in the world have been given us as our curriculum, so we can be restored to Heaven. As we practice forgiveness, we are surrendering our way of seeing and understanding. We demonstrate a willingness to be taught. As the image is being undone, we experience fear and feelings of inadequacy, but we rely not on our own adequacy. "It comes from One Who knows no error, and His Voice is certain of Its messages. They will not change, nor be in conflict. All of them point to one goal, and one you can attain." (W.186.11.3-5) There can be no failure with God. Thus, our single-minded purpose is what unifies our goals. We are called now to listen and to "Do as God's Voice directs." (W.186.12.1) We will be uncertain at times and wonder if we are up to what we are being called to, but Jesus asks us to "remember Who it is that asks, and who would make denial." (W.186.12.1-2)

Love and blessings, Sarah 
huemmert@shaw.ca

Printable Document
 
70 It is impossible to let the past go without relinquishing the special relationship. For the special relationship is an attempt to reenact the past and change it. Imagined slights, remembered pain, past disappointments, perceived injustices, and deprivations all enter into the special relationship, which becomes a way in which you seek to restore your wounded self-esteem. What basis would you have for choosing a special partner without the past? Every such choice is made because of something "evil" in the past to which you cling and for which must someone else atone.
 
71 The special relationship takes vengeance on the past. By seeking to remove suffering in the past, it overlooks the present in its preoccupation with the past and its total commitment to it. No special relationship is experienced in the present. Shades of the past envelop it and make it what it is. It has no meaning in the present, and if it means nothing now, it cannot have any real meaning at all. How can you change the past except in fantasy? And who can give you what you think the past deprived you of? The past is nothing. Do not seek to lay the blame for deprivation on it, for the past is gone. You cannot really not let go what has already gone. It must be, therefore, that you are maintaining the illusion that it has not gone because you think it serves some purpose that you want fulfilled. And it must also be that this purpose could not be fulfilled in the present, but only in the past.
 
72 Do not underestimate the intensity of the ego's drive for vengeance on the past. It is completely savage and completely insane. For the ego remembers everything that you have done which offended it and seeks retribution of you. The fantasies it brings to the special relationships it chooses in which to act out its hate are fantasies of your destruction. For the ego holds the past against you, and in your escape from the past, it sees itself deprived of the vengeance it believes that you so justly merit. Yet without your alliance in your own destruction, the ego could not hold you to the past.
 
73 In the special relationship, you are allowing your destruction to be. That this is insane is obvious. But what is less obvious to you is that the present is useless to you while you pursue the ego's goal as its ally. The past is gone; seek not to preserve it in the special relationship, which binds you to it and would teach you that salvation is past and that you must return to the past to find salvation. There is no fantasy which does not contain the dream of retribution for the past. Would you act out the dream or let it go?
 
74 In the special relationship, it does not seem to be an acting out of vengeance which you seek. And even when the hatred and the savagery break briefly through into awareness, the illusion of love is not profoundly shaken. Yet the one thing which the ego never allows to reach awareness is that the special relationship is the acting out of vengeance on yourself. But what else could it be? In seeking the special relationship, you look not for glory in yourself. You have denied that it is there, and the relationship becomes your substitute for it. And vengeance becomes your substitute for Atonement, and the escape from vengeance becomes your loss.
 
75 Against the ego's insane notion of salvation, the Holy Spirit gently lays the holy instant. We said before that the Holy Spirit must teach through comparisons and uses opposites to point to truth. The holy instant is the opposite of the ego's fixed belief in salvation through vengeance for the past. In the holy instant, it is accepted that the past is gone, and with its passing the drive for vengeance has been uprooted and has disappeared. The stillness and the peace of now enfolds you in perfect gentleness. Everything is gone except the truth.
 
76 For a time you may attempt to bring illusions into the holy instant to hinder your full awareness of the complete difference in all respects between your experience of truth and illusion. Yet you will not attempt this long. In the holy instant, the power of the Holy Spirit will prevail because you joined Him. The illusions you bring with you will weaken the experience of Him for a while and will prevent you from keeping the experience in your mind. Yet the holy instant is eternal, and your illusions of time will not prevent the timeless from being what it is nor you from experiencing it as it is.
 
77 What God has given you is truly given and will be truly received. For God's gifts have no reality apart from your receiving them. Your receiving completes His giving. You will receive because it is His Will to give. He gave the holy instant to be given you, and it is impossible that you receive it not, because He gave it. When He willed that His Son be free, His Son was free. In the holy instant is His reminder that His Son will always be exactly as he was created. And everything the Holy Spirit teaches you is to remind you that you have received what God has given you.
 
78 There is nothing you can hold against reality. All that must be forgiven are the illusions you have held against your brothers. Their reality has no past, and only illusions can be forgiven. God holds nothing against anyone, for He is incapable of illusions of any kind. Release your brothers from the slavery of their illusions by forgiving them for the illusions which you perceive in them. Thus will you learn that you have been forgiven, for it is you who offered them illusions. In the holy instant, this is done for you in time to bring to you the true condition of Heaven.
 
79 Remember that you always choose between truth and illusion-between the real Atonement which would heal and the ego's "atonement" which would destroy. The power of God and all His Love, without limit, will support you as you seek only your place in the plan of Atonement arising from His Love. Be an ally of God and not the ego in seeking how Atonement can come to you. His help suffices, for His Messenger understands how to restore the Kingdom to you and to place all your investment in salvation in your relationship with Him.
 
80 Seek and find his message in the holy instant, where all illusions are forgiven. From there the miracle extends to bless everyone and to resolve all problems, be they perceived as great or small, possible or impossible. There is nothing that will not give place to Him and to His majesty. To join in close relationship with Him is to accept relationships as real and through their reality to give over all illusions for the reality of your relationship with God. Praise be to your relationship with Him and to no other. The truth lies here and nowhere else. You choose this or nothing
 
  81 Forgive us our illusions, Father, and help us to accept our true relationship with You in which there are no illusions and where none can ever enter. Our holiness is Yours. What can there be in us that needs forgiveness when Yours is perfect? The sleep of forgetfulness is only the unwillingness to remember Your forgiveness and Your Love. Let us not wander into temptation, for the temptation of the Son of God is not Your Will. And let us receive only what you have given and accept but this into the minds which You created and which You love.  Amen.

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