“The Miracle Working Drive Within” with Rev. Marylou Palmer
Lovingkindness is the first principle of miracles. As we explore this wisdom from A Course in Miracles, ask yourself this question: “who do you think you are?”
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A revised transcript of this week’s talk is provided below for the deaf and hard of hearing, including prayers, readings, and songs.
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Open Our Minds and Our Hearts
We bless this time together. Spirit, we are grateful that you are here, that your love courses through and as us. We know that we are whole and healed even as we are. In this moment, we are open to awakening, to truth, to compassion, and to wholeness. Open our minds and open our hearts so that we may hear and know your truth – that we are beloved, that we are one, and that all is well. And so it is, and together we say Amen.Rev. Melanie Eyre
If by bathing daily God could be realized, sooner would I be a whale in the deep;
If by eating roots and fruits He could be known, gladly would I choose the form of a goat;
If the counting of rosaries uncovered Him, I would say my prayers on mammoth beads;
If bowing before stone images unveiled Him, a flinty mountain I would humbly worship;
If by drinking milk the Lord could be imbibed, many calves and children would know Him;
If abandoning one’s wife would summon God, would not thousands be eunuchs?
Mirabai knows that to find the Divine One, the only indispensable is Love.Mirabai, 16th century Hindu poet and mystic. From Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi (p. 39). Neeland Media LLC.
“The Miracle Working Drive Within” by Rev. Marylou Palmer
I’ve dedicated this year to God by studying A Course in Miracles, using the newly revised complete edition based on the work of my friend Robert Perry, Circle of Atonement. In this new compilation of the Course pulled from the original documents as well as other firsthand accounts of the lives of the scribes of the Course, the newly revised edition has doubled in length.
One of the most well-known quotes based on the Course is Our Greatest Fear by Marianne Williamson:
Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
Your playing small does not serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
Robert Perry founder, editor, and lead teacher in the Circle of Atonement, summarizes the First Chapter of A Course in Miracles, revising the 50 Miracle Working Principles in this way:
- Miracles as expressions of love and forgiveness. Miracles are “expressions of love,” [LOVING KINDNESS] in which one person communicates love to another. It is the love and forgiveness within the miracle that is the real healing agent. This love and forgiveness, once accepted into yourself, naturally wants to extend outward and shine away the darkness in others.
- The inner content vs. the outer form. What matters is not the behavior that expresses the love, or even the spectacular outer result that will sometimes take place. Miracles are not about performing feats of empty magic or dazzling onlookers into suddenly believing. They are about the love [LOVING KINDNESS] that passes from one person to another.
- A gift from those who are currently more in touch with love. A miracle worker has allowed into himself a deep well of love, the very thing the miracle receiver currently lacks. The miracle is a gift, then, that lets the receiver share in the inner abundance of the giver. As an example, this is precisely what parenting should be. It should be miracle working.
- Miracles as a natural expression of the love in you. The love that is the truth in you naturally wants to express through you. Your job is to let it do this so habitually and effortlessly that it becomes involuntary. In this involuntary expression, it is not your place to force the love to flow only to your favorite recipients.
- The right-mindedness that leads to miracle giving. You have a right to perform miracles, but first you must allow your thoughts to be purified. You must accept love from your Creator, so you can give it to others. You must become aware of the Christ within and open the spiritual eye in you, which sees the truth in others and sees that their errors are unreal.
- The perceptual content of the miracle. At the heart of the miracle is a loving perception of the receiver. This perception overlooks the receiver’s body completely, seeing only his wholeness and his inestimable value, along with your own. It sees the universal mark of God in him, recognizing him as your long-lost brother. This perception is what heals him.
- Honoring the holiness and perfection in the receiver. Because of the loving perception at its heart, the miracle involves a deep honoring of the receiver. It honors the holiness and perfection that God created in him. It thus implicitly praises the Creator of that perfection and at the same time releases the receiver from his “nightmares about himself” (T-1.33.2:2).
- The healing effect on the receiver. Because the miracle worker forgives the receiver, seeing only the spirit in him, it awakens this same awareness in the receiver. It raises him into the sphere of celestial order, in which he is already perfect. There, he comes face to face with his true holiness. He is released “from his misplaced sense of isolation, deprivation, and lack” (T-1.43.1:1). His body is healed. His past is wiped away. And he steps forward into a new future, in which he now becomes a miracle worker himself.
- Miracles as a power not of this world, which can overturn the laws of this world. Miracles carry the power of love, and love is not of this world. Its power is always maximal. Therefore, it can heal any problem, any sickness, and any misperception with equal ease. It can reverse the taxing laws of this world and thus can heal the sick and even raise the dead. It can heal these things because our thought made them and our thought can abolish them.
- Gain for the giver as well. Do not think that when you give a miracle, you have lost or sacrificed. A miracle defies physical laws in the sense that you, the giver, gain as well. You and the receiver experience a shared recognition of equality and mutual worth. This shortens your journey (and the receiver’s journey as well). It brings more love to you. It increases your reservoir of strength. And it allows you to perceive clearly, seeing “the truth as God created it” (T-1.36.2:2).
- The larger effects of miracles. Miracles have effects far beyond the immediate interaction of giver and receiver. They make cooperation possible, and with it, collective accomplishment. Each one releases multiple people, establishing “an interlocking chain of forgiveness” (T-1.24.1:1). They heal people at a distance, both when the miracle seemed wasted on the receiver and when the miracle was never expressed in the first place. They collapse time and thus bring closer the day when all minds will unite in Christ and time will be over.
- The miracle worker as a link in a greater plan. Your role may seem ineffectual and your expressions of love may appear insignificant. But by doing them, you serve the spirit. You become an essential link in a chain whose purpose is the liberation of all God’s creations.
- Making your day about miracle giving. You should devote each day to giving miracles [LOVING KINDNESS]. This is how you can learn the lessons that time was made to help you learn. To do this, though, you need to let Jesus guide you through the minutiae of your day, so that you can be there at the moment people need you.
- Revelation and miracles. Revelation is the direct experience of God. A miracle is an interpersonal act of love. Right now, the impulses for both—revelation and miracles—try to enter your mind but become blocked or distorted. Giving miracles heals this condition, allowing your mind to become a harmoniously functioning whole again. Miracles free your mind from fear and thus open you to the state that transcends all fear: revelation.
- The internal miracle. Miracles are not just something you give to others. They are also something that Jesus gives to your own mind. They act as catalysts that break up erroneous perception and heal it. They heal your level-confusion, putting body and spirit into their proper perspective for you. To avail yourself of them, you must be willing to compare your misperceptions to the one reality of perfect love.
Cost Benefit Analysis
This week I saw a billboard on the local Art Center that read:
“Kindness costs nothing to give but is PRICELESS to the Receiver!”
So really, what are the LIFE CHANGING BENEFITS to LOVING KINDNESS? Are they just benefits for the receiver? Helping others:
Feels GOOD and makes the world a happier place.
Reduces our sense of Isolation.
Helps us to keep things in perspective.
Boosts Immune system by increasing oxycontin levels.
Is Good for your Heart.
Reduces social anxiety by training us to become more interested in others (less self-conscious).
Builds your network and sphere of Influence.
Gives you a sense of control – a goal for the interaction.
Gives our Brains a break from overthinking.
What are the COSTS of LOVING KINDNESS?
Time, Talent and Treasure?
A willingness to be influenced by others?
A Story of Kindness
I want to share with you a story of kindness and the Miracle Working Drive …
Let me introduce to you a young girl, Ona Maria Judge, a house servant in 18th century America. She is well skilled in sewing, pleasant in appearance and demeanor, and attentively attends to her mistress’s daily needs. In 1790 the family she serves moves from rural Virginia to Philadelphia, the nation’s capital while DC is being built, so that the husband of her mistress can do his part in establishing the new Federal Government. During their time in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, Oney, as she calls herself, accompanies her mistress on daily tasks of shopping and entertaining. As such, she has her own room, wears fine clothes, has numerous changes of dresses as well as shoes – all reflecting her mistress’s position. Oney has been to the theater several times and even gotten to go to the circus! What a privilege that must have been to this 22-year young woman during this most exciting time in our nation’s history.
Yet, six years later, as the family are preparing to return to the countryside on a Saturday afternoon in May of 1796, Ona walked out of the house never to return. The family was distraught. Thinking she must have been abducted or worse, they posted several notices in the nation’s capital newspaper about her disappearance and offered a reward for her safe return.
The family heard from the senator of New Hampshire later that summer that his daughter happened to see Ona Maria down at the market in Portsmouth, NH. A lawyer was sent to the seaport to find Oney, only to discover that this young woman left by her own accord and declared herself a free woman, never to be a slave again.
You see, Ona Maria was a dowery slave owned by the first husband of Martha Washington, the daughter of an indentured servant and mixed-race slave. She was born and lived under the care of George and Martha Washington her entire life. Martha was deeply grieved that Ona wasn’t grateful for her preferable status in the First President’s household. In fact, they both were shocked and felt betrayed that this young woman, whom they regarded as a dependent child, could do this to them!
Didn’t she realize that her life was one of luxury and privilege with the best of clothes, food, and medical care of the First Family of our Great Nation?
A Thirst for Freedom
Certainly we can expect that Oney was cared for, treated according to the Golden Rule – they treated her as a valued member of their household, but they neglected to understand that Oney had a thirst for Freedom that could never be quenched as a dowery slave. George and Martha begged her to return, alluding to how difficult a position she had put them in, and how they wanted to avoid this becoming the political scandal it would be. The Abolitionists of the Northern states and the slaveowners of the Southern states were struggling to find ways to work together even then.
Oney was willing to return to their household under one condition, she petitioned to have her freedom after their deaths. President and First Lady Washington would not and could not agree.
The rest of the story that I’ve not told you is that at that time Ona Marie had been eligible to become a free woman after living in Philadelphia for 6 months, but during the six-year timeframe that Ona lived with them in the Nation’s Capital, the Washington’s had been careful to rotate their slaves back home to Mount Vernon before they reached that 6-month mark. Additionally, because Ona was a dowery slave, legally they would have had to repay Martha’s first husband’s estate for her value, and they decided that was just too high a price to pay and dropped the matter.
Ona Maria Judge lived out her life as a free woman, she married and had three children. Sadly her husband, a sailor and free born black man, died within five years, leaving her alone with three babies. Ona worked as a domestic and each of her children eventually became indentured servants and died well before Ona.
In the White House Historical Collection of newspaper articles published online, in 1845, near the end of her 75 years, Oney was asked if she regretted her decision to leave this life of luxury and privilege. Her answer was a resounding “no”:
I chose to worship God and marry as I saw fit!
I am free and I trust that I’ve been made a Child of God!
Look at that Miracle Drive within her!
The Miracle Drive
For this woman to live self-identified as a child of God is a Miracle in itself.
I believe that Martha and George also demonstrated the Miracle of Loving Kindness as well. They did search for her – demonstrating concern for her well-being, and yet in the end, their perception of her had to change; on some level I believe that they loved her enough to respect her determination to Live on her own terms.
What are you doing with that Miracle Drive within YOU?
In the deepest depths of you and me
In the deepest depths of we
Lies the most beautiful jewel
Shining forth eternally
Within that precious jewel
Within that priceless piece of we
Lies a time beyond all time
Lies a place beyond all space
Within that sacred source of radiance
Lies a love beyond all love
Ever so patiently
Waiting for you, waiting for me
Waiting patiently for all to see
The beauty that is you inside of me
The beauty that is me inside of thee
In the deepest depths of you and meFred Banks
In the deepest depths of we
Lies the love and wisdom
Of all Eternity
“Surrender” written by Michael Gott
“There Will Never Be Another You” written by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon
This service originally aired on February 28, 2021.