ACIM Reading for December 25
The Song of Prayer
3.- I. The Cause of Sickness1. Do not mistake effect for cause, nor think that sickness is apart and separate from what its cause must be. It is a sign, a shadow of an evil thought that seems to have reality and to be just, according to the usage of the world. It is external proof of inner “sins,” and witnesses to unforgiving thoughts that injure and would hurt the Son of God. Healing the body is impossible, and this is shown by the brief nature of the “cure.” The body yet must die, and so its healing but delays its turning back to dust, where it was born and will return.
2. The body’s cause is unforgiveness of the Son of God. It has not left its source, and in its
pain and aging and the mark of death upon it this is clearly shown. Fearful and frail it seems to be to those who think their life is tied to its command and linked to its unstable, tiny breath. Death stares at them as every moment goes irrevocably past their grasping hands, which cannot hold them back. And they feel fear as bodies change and sicken. For they sense the heavy scent of death upon their hearts.
3. The body can be healed as an effect of true forgiveness. Only that can give remembrance of immortality, which is the gift of holiness and love. Forgiveness must be given by a mind which understands that it must overlook all shadows on the holy face of Christ, among which sickness should be seen as one. Nothing but that; the sign of judgment made by brother upon brother, and the Son of God upon himself. For he has damned his body as his prison, and forgot that it is he who gave this role to it.
4. What he has done now must God’s Son undo. But not alone. For he has thrown away the prison’s key; his holy sinlessness and the remembrance of his Father’s Love. Yet help is given to him in the Voice his Father placed in him. The power to heal is now his Father’s gift, for through His Voice He still can reach His Son, reminding him the body may become his chosen home, but it will never be his home in truth.
5. Distinctions therefore must be made between true healing and its faulty counterpart. The world of opposites is healing’s place, for what in Heaven could there be to heal? As prayer within the world can ask amiss and seeming charity forgive to kill, so healing can be false as well as true; a witness to the power of the world or to the everlasting Love of God.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 25
I can give up but what was never real.
1. I sacrifice illusions; nothing more. And as illusions go I find the gifts illusions tried to hide, awaiting me in shining welcome, and in readiness to give God’s ancient messages to me. His memory abides in every gift that I receive of Him. And every dream serves only to conceal the Self which is God’s only Son, the likeness of Himself, the Holy One Who still abides in Him forever, as He still abides in me.
2. Father, to You all sacrifice remains forever inconceivable. And so I cannot sacrifice except in dreams. As You created me, I can give up nothing You gave me. What You did not give has no reality. What loss can I anticipate except the loss of fear, and the return of love into my mind?
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q) According to A Course in Miracles, how should children be reared?
A) As the Course states: “The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance” (manual, p. 67; M-29.2:6). Therefore, A Course in Miracles does not teach any specific behavior at all, including how to rear children. But what the Course does teach is that if you are a parent, or someone who works with children, it is incumbent on you to ask continuously for the help of the Holy Spirit. In that way, everything you think and do and say will be coming from your right mind, and not your ego.
Many students of A Course in Miracles have related to us that once they started studying the Course, they were reluctant to make judgments about their children’s behavior, or even to discipline them out of fear of making judgments about them and telling them they were wrong. This is a distortion of what Jesus is teaching. Primarily, one can understand that being a parent or working closely with children is a very intense classroom that we have chosen, precisely because of the constant judgments that need be made about what is in the child’s best interest — decisions a child is not capable of knowing — when the child will clearly choose something that will be hurtful to it. As Jesus states in the text:
Babies scream in rage if you take away a knife or scissors, although they may well harm themselves if you do not (T-4.11.5:2).
Secondly, learning how to get oneself out of the way in order to access the right mind, and perhaps disciplining a child by saying — without guilt or anger — “No, this behavior will not be tolerated,” can be very important landmarks in the process of one’s own growth.
Therefore, as with anything else, there is no right or wrong way of rearing children, no specific way according to A Course in Miracles. There is only the individual’s way of asking the Holy Spirit’s help in practicing forgiveness. His Love is always the same, and finds its particular expression through each particular individual in each particular circumstance. Our responsibility is to remove, with His help, our ego’s interferences so that we may be more directly guided by this Love — in all relationships, with children or adults.