ACIM Reading for November 24
The Song of Prayer
3.- IV. The Holiness of Healing1. How holy are the healed! For in their sight their brothers share their healing and their love. Bringers of peace,–the Holy Spirit’s voice, through whom He speaks for God, Whose Voice He is,–such are God’s healers. They but speak for Him and never for themselves. They have no gifts but those they have from God. And these they share because they know that this is what He wills. They are not special. They are holy. They have chosen holiness, and given up all separate dreams of special attributes through which they can bestow unequal gifts on those less fortunate. Their healing has restored their wholeness so they can forgive, and join the song of prayer in which the healed sing of their union and their thanks to God.
2. As witness to forgiveness, aid to prayer, and the effect of mercy truly taught, healing is blessing. And the world responds in quickened chorus through the voice of prayer. Forgiveness shines its merciful reprieve upon each blade of grass and feathered wing and all the living things upon the earth. Fear has no haven here, for love has come in all its holy oneness. Time remains only to let the last embrace of prayer rest on the earth an instant, as the world is shined away. This instant is the goal of all true healers, whom the Christ has taught to see His likeness and to teach like Him.
3. Think what it means to help the Christ to heal! Can anything be holier than this? God thanks His healers, for He knows the Cause of healing is Himself, His Love, His Son, restored as
His completion and returned to share with Him creation’s holy joy. Do not ask partial healing, nor accept an idol for remembrance of Him Whose Love has never changed and never will. You are as dear to Him as is the whole of His creation, for it lies in you as His eternal gift. What need have you for shifting dreams within a sorry world? Do not forget the gratitude of God. Do not forget the holy grace of prayer. Do not forget forgiveness of God’s Son.
4. You first forgive, then pray, and you are healed. Your prayer has risen up and called to God, Who hears and answers. You have understood that you forgive and pray but for yourself. And in this understanding you are healed. In prayer you have united with your Source, and understood that you have never left. This level cannot be attained until there is no hatred in your heart, and no desire to attack the Son of God.
5. Never forget this; it is you who are God’s Son, and as you choose to be to him so are you to yourself, and God to you. Nor will your judgment fail to reach to God, for you will give the role to Him you see in His creation. Do not choose amiss, or you will think that it is you who are creator in His place, and He is then no longer Cause but only an effect. Now healing is impossible, for He is blamed for your deception and your guilt. He Who is Love becomes the source of fear, for only fear can now be justified. Vengeance is His. His great destroyer, death. And sickness, suffering and grievous loss become the lot of everyone on earth, which He abandoned to the devil’s care, swearing He will deliver it no more.
6. Come unto Me, My children, once again, without such twisted thoughts upon your hearts. You still are holy with the Holiness which fathered you in perfect sinlessness, and still surrounds you with the Arms of peace. Dream now of healing. Then arise and lay all dreaming down forever. You are he your Father loves, who never left his home, nor wandered in a savage world with feet that bleed, and with a heavy heart made hard against the love that is the truth in you. Give all your dreams to Christ and let Him be your Guide to healing, leading you in prayer beyond the sorry reaches of the world.
7. He comes for Me and speaks My Word to you. I would recall My weary Son to Me from dreams of malice to the sweet embrace of everlasting Love and perfect peace. My Arms are open to the Son I love, who does not understand that he is healed, and that his prayers have never ceased to sing his joyful thanks in unison with all creation, in the holiness of Love. Be still an instant. Underneath the sounds of harsh and bitter striving and defeat there is a Voice that speaks to you of Me. Hear this an instant and you will be healed. Hear this an instant and you have been saved.
8. Help Me to wake My children from the dream of retribution and a little life beset with fear, that ends so soon it might as well have never been. Let Me instead remind you of eternity, in which your joy grows greater as your love extends along with Mine beyond infinity, where time and distance have no meaning. While you wait in sorrow Heaven’s melody is incomplete, because your song is part of the eternal harmony of love. Without you is creation unfulfilled. Return to Me Who never left My Son. Listen, My child, your Father calls to you. Do not refuse to hear the Call for Love. Do not deny to Christ what is His Own. Heaven is here and Heaven is your home.
9. Creation leans across the bars of time to lift the heavy burden from the world. Lift up your hearts to greet its advent. See the shadows fade away in gentleness; the thorns fall softly from the bleeding brow of him who is the holy Son of God. How lovely are you, child of Holiness! How like to Me! How lovingly I hold you in My Heart and in My Arms. How dear is every gift to Me that you have made, who healed My Son and took him from the cross. Arise and let My thanks be given you. And with My gratitude will come the gift first of forgiveness, then eternal peace.
10. So now return your holy voice to Me. The song of prayer is silent without you. The universe is waiting your release because it is its own. Be kind to it and to yourself, and then be kind to Me. I ask but this; that you be comforted and live no more in terror and in pain. Do not abandon Love. Remember this; whatever you may think about yourself, whatever you may think about the world, your Father needs you and will call to you until you come to Him in peace at last.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for November 24
I choose the second place to gain the first.
What seems to be the second place is first, for all things we perceive are upside down until we listen to the Voice for God. It seems that we will gain autonomy but by our striving to be separate, and that our independence from the rest of God’s creation is the way in which salvation is obtained. Yet all we find is sickness, suffering and loss and death. This is not what our Father wills for us, nor is there any second to His Will. To join with His is but to find our own. And since our will is His, it is to Him that we must go to recognize our will.
There is no will but Yours. And I am glad that nothing I imagine contradicts what You would have me be. It is Your Will that I be wholly safe, eternally at peace. And happily I share that Will which You, my Father, gave as part of me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #79: The relationship I have with my 5 siblings is, for the most part, one of special hate. Our conflicts have been escalating around the care of my mom and the dispersal of her property. I find it easiest simply to disassociate myself from the family and the conflict. This does not give me peace but it does minimize the anxiety. I do know that this is my classroom but I feel like avoiding my family to the point of not attending my mom’s funeral when the time comes. My question is: can I work on forgiveness with my siblings while I am choosing to avoid them?
A: You are wise to recognize that avoiding your siblings does not give you peace or eliminate your anxiety, but only minimizes it. The ego is very clever at offering us ways that seem to reduce the guilt and conflict and fear, through denial or avoidance, so that we never address the problem, thereby assuring that the conflict remains and never is resolved. “Minimizing fear, but not its undoing, is the ego’s constant effort, and is indeed a skill at which it is very ingenious” (T.11.V.9:2).
So it may be becoming apparent to you already that there is no way you can really avoid the conflict, whether or not you are actually in contact or in the physical presence of your siblings. That is because all relationships exist only in the mind and, believe it or not, the real conflict has nothing to do with your siblings. But it has everything to do with what they symbolize for you, because the real conflict also is only within your own mind. And so any changes in your relationships will have to begin first within your mind.
Alluding to this process, Jesus observes, “Everyone makes an ego or a self for himself, which is subject to enormous variation because of its instability. He also makes an ego for everyone else he perceives, which is equally variable. Their interaction is a process that alters both, because they were not made by or with the Unalterable. It is important to realize that this alteration can and does occur as readily when the interaction takes place in the mind as when it involves physical proximity. Thinking about another ego is as effective in changing relative perception as is physical interaction. There could be no better example that the ego is only an idea and not a fact” (T.4.II:2; italics added).
So, yes, you can work on your forgiveness lessons with your siblings without being in contact or around them physically, provided you are not also determined to avoid looking within your own mind at the conflict they represent to you, projected out into the world. Your siblings are providing you with the opportunity to get in touch with the guilt that is buried deep within your own mind that you have not wanted to look at, but have preferred to see outside yourself in others, in this case, your siblings. So once you recognize where the real problem lies, your siblings move from the foreground to the background in the forgiveness process.
What then is the next step in the process? Jesus tells us that “there is a very simple way to find the door to true forgiveness, and perceive it open wide in welcome. When you feel that you are tempted to accuse someone of sin in any form, do not allow your mind to dwell on what you think he did, for that is self-deception. Ask instead, ‘Would I accuse myself of doing this?’” (W.pII.134.9).
To uncover the self-accusation, you simply need to identify, at the level of content rather than the specific form of what your siblings may be doing, what you are accusing them of. It will most likely be some aspect of putting their own self-interests above everyone else’s, wanting to control or manipulate the situation to make sure that their own needs are met, with no real concern for anyone else. And so you need then to be honest with yourself in acknowledging that you at times operate in exactly the same way, even if you may not be in this particular situation involving your mother.
It is then that self-accusation that you will want to bring to Jesus or the Holy Spirit to heal, for Their perception of you will be different from your own. Theirs is a nonjudgmental acceptance that always perceives fear and a call for love in place of attack and sin. When you can share Their perception of yourself, you will release the guilt in your own mind, simultaneously releasing your siblings from the chain of guilt you’ve been binding them with. Now this release is not likely to be total and complete, once and for all, in a single attempt, for our own fear is too great to accept total release for ourselves. When we let the guilt back in, we will need once again to project it. And siblings with whom we have a long history of grievances make easy targets. And so the forgiveness process with your siblings will be a process that will most likely take time. But at least now you know where the real problem lie.