Psalm 103: "Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name."
This morning, I didn't start my prayer time with much hope but ended it with deep love for Jesus and a total feeling of trusting intimacy, like I have for my elbow doctor (what could be more intimate and trusting than allowing someone to tear open your skin, chip and hack and drill; while you are asleep?).
Jesus was talking through ACIM. He said, "The dynamics of the ego will be our lesson for awhile, for we must look first at this to see beyond it, since you have made it real. We will undo this error quietly together, and then look beyond it to truth." Imagine that you have a wise doctor who comes to see you each day (maybe someone who brought you back from the brink of suicide). You have had such a long relationship that you love him. Today he shows up and says, "We are going to start going through your crap. I want you to see your source of fear. Your fear is not real; but you must look at it before you can look beyond it into the face of God. I will come and talk to you everyday about this for awhile. Honesty is intimacy. I know how your ego feels about this. But intimacy is also love and by now, you know how much I love you and you love me."
Jesus listed the type of thoughts the ego gives me. If I take my inventory and learn to recognize the ego's thoughts, I can give them to Jesus: wishful thinking...idle wishes...attacks (resentments against others)...feeling supercilious, unbelieving, emotionally shallow, callous, uninvolved, lighthearted, distant, desperate. Whatever seems to separate you from God is only fear. The ego doesn't really want you to understand your fear because you would find your fear is not real. So you listen to your ego and waste your time with idle wishes instead.
So, with an inner excitement and giddy trembling, I look forward to Jesus joining me for my daily and deep inventory "for awhile." He will talk to me about my idle wishes and quietly we will approach my fear and undo it.
While I was in the monastery, one of the priests from the men's abbey befriended me by becoming my regular confessor. Once a week, he listened to my resentments, hatreds, shame and fears; then applied the healing balm of Reconciliation. Then, a mad man came into their abbey one day and started shooting any monk he saw. My confessor was shot but not killed. I was devestated. About three weeks later, my confessor was in the infirmary at his abbey and I had visited him a couple of times. He loved being a priest and he loved his priestly duties, but being tied to a sucking machine in the infirmary, he couldn't celebrate sacraments; which he very much wanted to do. He invited me to come back a week later and we would celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation together. It felt like Jesus Himself had invited me to come and surrender to His love. I felt that Jesus was joyfully happy that I would show him my stuff and let him heal it. That is how I feel now today. Jesus has invited me to come into his heart and he is in mine.
If you are a recovering alcoholic with many years of sobriety, the number one threat to your sobriety is your ego. I urge you to take your inventory at deeper and more subtle levels. This will ensure not only not drinking, but the development of conscious contact and living sobriety as an art form.