~ From MiraclesOne Center for ACIM
I love to learn. In fact, I am always looking for opportunities to learn something new. I suppose that’s why A Course in Miracles attracted me a couple of decades ago for this very reason. It gave me a chance to learn about myself continually.
If you grew up as I did in the Catholic Church or another Christian church then Lent had many connotations, mostly “sacrifice,” “crucifixion,” and “death.” Lent, if we recall, is the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Did you know Sundays are not considered part of the Lenten fast? And even more complicated is that the “40 days of Fasting” before Easter is not even 40 days. Sigh. Confusing, right?
Recently I came across information about “Lent” that I did not know. What I found was the origin of the word. “Lent” is short for “Lenten” which is “the forty days of fasting before Easter” in the Christian calendar. It also comes from Old English “lencten” which means “springtime, spring.” Then we have from West Germanic “langitinaz” or “long-days” or “lengthening of the day.” Also from Old Saxon, Old High German, Middle Dutch, Gothic and Old Church Slavonic, Lithuanian and Latin. Whew, I’ll spare you the details on those. This all leads us to a simple meaning: increasing daylight in spring.
“Increasing daylight in spring” I was mesmerized by those words in thinking about Lent and Easter and meditated on my meditation cushion and candlelight for some time. In my meditative experience, it was certainly the approach of light. Not light as we know it in the world, but the Light of God. The Light of our Divine Nature and Oneness.And, so much more than I cannot even begin to describe what I experienced! Hence, I decided to call this series “40 Days of Light.”
In A Course in Miracles, we are asked to think of sacrifice differently as is demonstrated in this quote: Kneel not before the altars to sacrifice, and seek not what you will surely lose. and Suffering and sacrifice are the gifts with which the ego would “bless” all unions. and again, Your confusion of sacrifice and love is so profound that you cannot conceive of love without sacrifice. And it is this that you must look upon; sacrifice is attack, not love.
The ego tells us its plan is through sacrifice. Sacrifice leads us away from God and into the darkness. Quite the difference than what we learned in our religion of origin where we were told the value of sacrifice so we can appease God. God loves us unconditionally, and there is no need for sacrifice to Him. I know many people, especially newer ACIM students feel confused at this time of year just before Easter with the old beliefs in Lent and the crucifixion rising to the surface of the mind. Those ask “What does ACIM speak of about Lent and Easter?”
And so I was guided by Spirit to welcome the reminder of the Light we are in these days of Lent or shall I say, these days of approaching Light, by creating this series starting on March 1st (Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent). These messages will be short daily reminders on the Light. On Lenten Sundays during our livestreaming session (and 2nd Sunday in-person session in Madison, Wisconsin) we will focus on releasing the idea of sacrifice and embracing the Light we are and as we near Easter, the readings from ACIM highlighting Holy Week and Easter. I will also be sharing similarly in the podcasts. The daily messages will be very short, an image with a reminder on it, repeated in text with a few sentences underneath. It shall be a natural touchstone for you to use throughout the day. If you go to your calendar and count more than 40 days, remember that with Lent, the Sundays are not counted. It’s 40 days plus a handful of Sundays.
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Let’s Embrace the Light together!
– From 2017