As Lisa and I approach another review section (Lessons 171-180), the lessons of The Course continue to get longer and deeper, and as mentioned in this post: “At the same time the lessons are repeating like an expanding fractal. This forces us to go deeper and deeper into our minds to clear out the layers upon layers of illusions and beliefs that cloud the true vision of our Inner Selves.” One of the greatest lessons that The Course is teaching is that forgiveness and gratitude are the way to peace and salvation. To this I’d like to add that forgiveness and gratitude go hand-in-hand.
From Lesson 169: Forgiveness is the central theme that runs throughout salvation. Firstly we need to understand that salvation can only come from within. Nobody outside of our True Self can free us from the sufferings, attachments, and grievances of our ego mind. We, the children of God or the extensions of Source, must do the freeing, and as The Course teaches, freedom from grievances and sufferings of the mind comes through forgiveness of not only others, but ourselves, and through gratitude for all the experiences of life, for they all are presented to us so that we can learn, grow, expand, and find peace.
As mentioned above, forgiveness and gratitude cannot exist isolated from one another. To forgive brings about the realization of what an experience brought to us, and hence gratitude for it, even if it seemed like something terrible before. To find gratitude for an experience means that we have forgiven ourselves or another and hold no grudges. Clinging to anger, resentment, fears, or regrets will inhibit both gratitude and forgiveness, and it will prevent us from knowing peace.
Lesson 169: By Grace I Live. By Grace I Am Released
Forgiveness and gratitude are the way to peace; they are the way to live by grace. The word “grace” comes from from Old French gracier, meaning to thank, pardon, and favor. This in turn came from the Latin gratia, meaning favor, esteem, a pleasing quality, good will, and gratitude. Grace is the way of forgiving/pardoning/favoring and having gratitude. May we all live by grace!