13. What Is a Miracle?
Miracle, what a beautiful word, derived from the Latin word miraculum, meaning “object of wonder,” which grew from mirari, “to wonder,” forming its root from, mirus, meaning “wonderful.” Over the years its Latin roots have come to form our Old English definition of Miracle, for example in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary the following meanings are given:
An extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.
An extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment.
Christian Science : a divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law
“Extraordinary…manifesting divine intervention…extremely outstanding…fulfillment of spiritual law…,” all appropriate words to describe the wonder of miracles. Yet something within those words still breathes of human effort and still sounds more human than wonder. As we have seen in our walk together, miracles take no human effort but flourish in the lack of. The Course has taught us that miracles are simple and natural. If we do not see them around us, it is because they lack our attention, not because we lack their presence.
The real essence of a miracle is beautifully stated in Chapter 1 of the Text, The Meaning of Miracles, where the first section is dedicated to the Principles of Miracles. If you have not read this section, I high recommend it. Second to the simplicity of the Course’s Introduction, it highlights the purpose, presence, and frequency of the wonder we walk in daily.
“Each day should be devoted to miracles” (ACIM T-1.I.15).
A miracle is nothing more than a shift in perception. It is vision restored, bringing the awareness of the all-encompassing love that surrounds us. Miracles are the vehicle for Real Change, extending the hand of forgiveness and bringing reconciliation to a once confused mind that never really left its Source. They highlight The Way but need our presence, the presence of God, as We are the divinity that brings the fulfillment to spiritual law.
“A miracle is a correction. It does not create, nor really change at all. It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false. It undoes error, but does not attempt to go beyond perception, nor exceed the function of forgiveness. Thus it stays within time’s limits. Yet it paves the way for the return of timelessness and love’s awakening, for fear must step away under the gentle remedy it brings” (ACIM Part II, 13. What Is a Miracle? 1:1-6).
Miracles shine light on the “strange distortions” (ACIM Part II, 13. What Is a Miracle? 2:3) that we invented with our powerful, creative minds. They show us that there is nothing to fear and that where there is creation, there is always Love. Miracles are the crack in the door and the subtle flame still burning, showing us there is always a way Home and that way is always open, as long as we are open to it. They take us past time and space, returning us to our perfection and our limitless Nature. In essence, miracles show us We are the miracle.
“A miracle inverts perception which was upside down before, and thus it ends the strange distortions that were manifest. Now is perception open to the truth. Now is forgiveness seen as justified” (ACIM Part II, 13. What Is a Miracle? 2:3-5).
Our walk together has been purely about experiencing the portal of miracles. Each lesson has guided us deeper and deeper into trusting what we cannot see but what we know to be True. It has been courage that has led us beyond the mind to the One Mind, creating the space for us to witness how God shows up consistently and constantly to each moment and breath.
“The miracle is taken first on faith, because to ask for it implies the mind has been made ready to conceive of what it cannot see and does not understand. Yet faith will bring its witness to show what it rested on is really there. And thus the miracle will justify your faith in it, and show it rested on a world more real than what you saw before; a world redeemed from art you thought was there” (ACIM Part II, 13. What Is a Miracle? 4:1-3).
As we walk forward, we dwindle down any definition of miracles, as in the end any limitation of language must be released so as to leave only Presence…Knowing…Isness. This holy spaciousness is what we will come to abide in more and more. Miracles have shown us our true nature by our willingness to experience theirs. One need but show up and the miracle will appear because You Are The Miracle, the One True Wonder. Namaste.