Why Should I Care About Prisoners by Joe Wolfe

“I was in prison and you came to me.”

Why would or should I lend any sort of compassion for a prisoner? Why care about them? Aren’t they guilty of some infraction of the world’s rules and are they not where they should be, suffering the judgment they so rightfully deserve?

There are many outreach programs designed to help prisoners in one way or another. We applaud their efforts; they’re doing the best that they can. Jesus once remarked,

I was in prison and you came to me.”

So any way that a helping hand is extended is good and charitable.

But real Forgiveness and real compassion does not place the giver on a higher plane. It does not share with the unworthy, a “gift” of forgiveness while reserving judgment, only temporarily withheld, for a future reminder that justifiable repayment for sins committed remains ever looming in the background, like a trump card waiting to be played.

All that I give is given to myself.” [ACIM lesson 126]

The science of quantum mechanics has proven beyond all doubt that everything and everyone is connected at the sub-atomic level. If we took a crowd of people (prisoners included) and placed them under a very large microscope, we couldn’t tell where one begins and where one ends. The phrase, “We are all One,” is no longer just a flowery new age concept, but the Truth in every respect, verified even by worldly science.

We receive what we give, and do unto others as you would have done unto you takes on a deeper more profound understanding when viewed in the Light of Truth.

A Course in Miracles teaches us that only in the belief that we are separated from our Source, our “God” (however one defines it) can we believe in “others.” The world teaches that there are individuals apart from you, with their own behavior patterns and unique notions which have no bearing on your own. The world will verify with widespread convincing support that there are others out there who deserve to be restricted or confined to areas where their potential threat to you is minimized. The world would edify right versus wrong, good versus bad, proper versus improper and everything these characteristics produce. The world substantiates separation, and enhances all condemnation.

Yeah but, what about the bad things prisoners have done that landed them where they are? Doesn’t the idea of justice come into play? Shouldn’t they be held accountable and forced to endure all of the wrath their evil deeds warrant? Shouldn’t they suffer punishment for what they did? What compassion do they really deserve?

What if, as quantum physics suggests, there were no they? What if there were only One mind here, one ’being’ and only the appearance of many separated. What if in this separation there exists a predominate notion that every single individual is perceived as a lone island, independent and remote in its own “life” and therefore, unconnected. What if we individuals simply forgot our Oneness and became identified and lost in our artificial individual notions. Think of the possibilities if we could accept the idea that there really is no they, no other people, nothing ‘out there.’

We are not children of the world; we are children of God 
 (quote from Marrianne Williamson)

We have is an “authorship” problem. Not recognizing our divine source, we express ourselves as creations of the world rather than as creations of spirit. The world has imprinted upon our psyches its brokenness and pain. And there is no point in trying to heal that pain until we heal our misplaced sense of heritage. We are not children of the world; we are children of God. We don’t have to allow the false input of a weary world to affect us as it does.

While seemingly guilty of some infraction of the world’s rules, there is no order of importance or degree of lesser or greater. Crimes or full blown wars, mild irritation or murderous rage are equal in their contribution to the validly of the world we created whose constantly changing characteristics keep us blind and imprisoned in little self conception.

So why care about prisoners? Why extend compassion to them? Why lend a helping hand to those whose personal crashes are still burning? Why? Because they seem to find themselves in the hell within the hell.

They are in the very best ‘place’ they can possibly be to be open to help. They skidded on their knees and faces and came full speed into an unmovable stone wall where only apathy, guilt, blame, fear and misery make their home. They are at the threshold of Heaven itself.

All that I give is given to myself,” is a statement of reminder that just as all judgment and condemnation find their ways back to their source, so also does compassion, kindness, generosity and an authentic belief in the Truth that We Are All One come back to us and brings with it the Grace of God, unlimited in Its endless flow of Love.

Joe Wolfe
Spirit Light Outreach SpiritLightOutreach.org
6833 Stanley Avenue
Berwyn, Illinois 60402

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Awakenings ~ ACIM Gather

Awakenings (New Audios)

Awakenings” is a 30 minute Teaching from ACIM Gather on PalTalk.

Regina teaches Wednesdays at 10 a.m. ET.

The following audio recordings are recent teachings from A Course in Miracles (ACIM) and related material. Click on the blue arrow to listen to an audio recording or click on the date to download the MP3 audio file.

If you would like to help support The Foundation for the Holy Spirit by making a donation, please click here.

5/19/10 Regina reads from Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” and shares from her recent experiences at a 5-day silent retreat. Regina talks about the rewards of being present and shares a few ideas about how to bring stillness and presence into a busy everyday life.

http://www.forholyspirit.org/ntisales.html

Remembrance

 

 

 

Course in Miracles Society
In Loving Remembrance
 

  
by Rev Tony Ponticello 
 
 
 Rev. Larry Bedini made his transition on Monday May 10, 2010 in his home at about 9:30 p.m. He had spent the day surrounded by loving friends
who were his extended family.
 
Rev. Larry is especially known for his prominent presence at three large international ACIM conferences held in San Francisco (2000, 2007 & 2009). He is also known for being the voice of  a distinctive recording of the A Course In Miracles Original Edition. Locally he is known for hosted holiday parties in his home that was so elaborately decorated that it defies description here.
 
Rev. Larry has lived for years with his partner Tom Elliott. (pictured below) Tom is to be commended for his truly heroic and dedicated care for Rev. Larry during these last seven months of his body’s illness. It is an inspiration to all of us as to what is possible
when there is true love and devotion.
 
Myself (Rev. Tony) will always remember a 27 year relationship with a dedicated partner and outstanding friend. We were both Italians and related to each as Italians will. We teased each other a lot and we sometimes fought, but we never felt once, in those 27 years,
that we didn’t deeply love each other.
 
So I give my partner a kiss good-bye. I will not say that I will miss him because life is full and I try not to miss people. I WILL say that I will always think of him very, very, fondly in my heart and mind. “Good-bye” to Rev. Larry’s body.
“Hello” to his eternal spirit.
  
I told him recently I knew that he would soon be helping us
from the other side.
 

 

 

 

      Community Miracles Center*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *(415) 621-2556
      2269 Market Street *  *  *  *  *  * (Toll Free)(888) 621-2556
      San Francisco, CA 94114, USA*  *  *  *  * (Fax)(415) 255-9322

          E-MAIL: miracles@earthlink.net
               “Become MIRACULOUS in the new millennium.”
            WEB: http://www.miracles-course.

 

 

 

 

Course in Miracles Society
 
We offer this poem from Helen Schucman
[scribe of A Course in Miracles]
in Loving Remembrance
of
Larry Bedini
 
I did not die. In rising up I did
But stay the same. Eternity had come
To claim its own from the embrace of time
And bitter kiss of death. I but came home
After a journey so diminutive
That Heaven never noticed it began
Nor ended. Unencumbered, changelessly,
The Christ united with the Son of man,
And what belonged to God returned to Him.
Think not the Holy Spirit waits for death
To offer you the gifts God gave to Him,
Or Heaven rests upon a failing breath.
 
I did not die. Appearance of hate
Enveloped Me. Illusions veiled My eyes
And stopped My heart. Earth’s dream closed over Me,
And that was all. The Son of God must rise
Above all dreams of fear. Would God allow
The Son who is like Him to separate
From life that is Himself? His Comforter
Came down to lift Me up with His great
And silent wings. The peace of God unbound
My hands and feet. For who can stop the Heart
of God Himself, or veil the eyes that watch
His Son in mercy, or make Him depart
From what is but Himself?
 
 
 

 

 
   
Course in Miracles Society | 7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200 | Omaha | NE | 68114

The Peace Center ~ ACIM Study Group

Sundays from 9-10 a.m.

Participants in the ACIM study group will receive a free copy of

A Course In Miracles textbook, a $30 value.

Please be prompt.

A Course in Miracles Study Group

Chicagoland’s longest running ACIM study group meets at The Peace Center every Sunday from 9:00-10:00 am. Facilitated by Joe Wolfe, the group follows the daily lessons as set forth in the Course.

Format:

Meditation

Daily Lesson

Discussion

Closing Prayers

Join the ACIM Live Meet-up Group to stay informed of all ongoing  events, networking, and daily support.  

 The Peace Center recently published the authorized full text version of Gary Renard’s The End of Reincarnation. Get your copy here. 

From the back cover:

Gary Renard, best-selling author of The Disappearance of the Universe, and Your Immortal Reality has gained international recognition and popularity as a wisdom teacher of Course in Miracles. The End of Reincarnation, was originally a 2-CD learning set based on his sold-out workshops. The Peace Center is delighted to offer this material in printed form, making Gary Renard’s insights and inspiration available to audiences that still operate in the printed word. With the permission of Gary Renard and Sounds True Audio Books, this full text version of The End of Reincarnation as transcribed by Joe Wolfe is the only authorized transcription of the exclusive workshop material in the marketplace.

Joe Wolfe is founder of Spirit Light Outreach, a ministry devoted to bringing the printed word of A Course in Miracles to prisoners, persons in twelve step recovery programs, and those confined with physical disabilities. Joe facilitates Chicagoland’s longest-running discussion group on A Course in Miracles, now meeting at The Peace Center in Berwyn. The Five Signs, Joe Wolfe’s essay on his mystical experiences leading to A Course in Miracles, is also included in this volume.

Readers will appreciate how well the messages of Gary Renard and Joe Wolfe complement each other and catalyze our experience of oneness with all of creation. Both messages illuminate the truth that peace is available when we awaken from the dream of separation.

Reprinted from: http://www.thepeacecenter.info/A-Course-in-Miracles-Study-Group.html

GET DIRECTIONS

Location:

6833 Stanley Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402

Phone: 708-749-8888 
Fax: 708-749-8892

Email: peacemaker@thepeacecenter.info

Sheryl Valentine

 

Let Peace be Your Umpire
By Sheryl Valentine*
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
[as it appeared in the May 2010 Newsletter]

 

Several years ago I came across this passage in the Bible and it really spoke to me: 

Let the peace of God rule your heart,
acting as an umpire;
deciding and settling with finality
all questions that arise in your mind.
 
(Collisions 3:15 Amplified Bible)

                I love the idea of thinking of peace as an umpire.  What does an umpire do?  An umpire at a sporting event decides and settles with finality any question that arises in the game.  An umpire decides if a player is in or out of the game.  Basically, the umpire rules.

            It works the same with peace of mind.  Whenever I have a question about what to do in a situation, the absence or presence of peace supplies the answer.  Peace comes from a mind aligned with God, who is the author of peace.

            Most of us have had the experience of feeling the absence of peace about something, and then going ahead and doing it anyway.  Afterward we thought something along the lines of:  I knew I shouldn’t have done that, said that, gone there, or whatever. 

            When I think back on some of these times, I now realize that I was being guided but just didn’t know it.  Of course, back then the word “peace” was not even in my vocabulary!  Nevertheless, we’ve all had those gut feelings about things and learned to trust them.  Anxiety or ill feelings in the gut are physical symptoms of the absence of peace.

            Spirit guides and leads us with peace, and so it behooves each one of us to learn to be aware of the absence or presence of peace within our mind.  NTI, The Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament says this about it:

Peace is the guiding light that you must follow
as you learn to look within the mind.
For it is peace that leads you to recognition of truth,
and it is lack of peace that reminds you
that you are not following your way.

(NTI: 1 Thessalonians, 2:7-9)

            I had an experience that at first glance seems like a silly example, but it has proved to be very instructive as to how we’re led by peace. 

            One night I was traveling to my office to give a talk on the Course and it was pouring down rain, consequently there was loads of traffic.  I don’t know if you know this or not, but southern Californians cannot drive in the rain! Ha!  I began to feel somewhat agitated because I was concerned about being late.  I didn’t want to arrive to the meeting feeling that way because I’ve learned over the years that I cannot let Spirit come through me in a powerful way if I am irritated or angry.  And so I gave the situation to Holy Spirit and felt an immediate sense of peace.  A moment later I heard, “Take the 2”.  The “2” is an offshoot of the freeway I was on.  I had never taken that freeway to my office and wasn’t sure how to get there that way, nevertheless, being just moments away from the exit, I took the 2.  To my surprise there wasn’t any traffic and I was able to get to my office in plenty of time.

            I learned a great lesson from the experience: I was feeling anxious; I stopped in the moment and chose peace, and from this state of peace I heard guidance, I acted on the guidance, and consequently, I was led in a new direction.

            We must come to understand that worry and fear cannot lead us in new directions.  So what to do?  Again, I defer to NTI:  

 

“Lack of peace in any measure is an opportunity to be healed.
To look at the intrusion and to focus on it as a failure
is to continue to hold onto error. 
Do not judge your own lack of peace.
Rejoice that the Holy Spirit has brought you
to another moment of healing.
Let Me change your mind about what you experience,
so you may use your experience to heal without delay
.” 

(NTI: 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5)

            So often, especially as people who want to grow in Love, we beat up on ourselves when we feel angry, guilty, and judgmental, etc.  But here we are told that lack of peace is simply an opportunity to choose again.

            The reason we aren’t healed overnight is because we are mesmerized by this world of form.  For most of us, it takes many years to get to the point where we recognize a lack of peace for what it is, and then more time to grow into the desire to let Holy Spirit change our mind.  As we are told in A Course in Miracles, the first obstacle to the flow of peace is the desire to get rid of it. 

            We can be an effective force for healing in this world when we let peace guide and lead our lives.  Fear, worry and anxiety cannot lead us in new directions as these emotions only serve to keep the future continuous with the past.  All healing occurs in the present.  In the present we have the opportunity to choose peace.

            See, when our mind is filled with thoughts of worry, anxiety and fear, we are unavailable to hear Spirit’s guidance, and thus we cannot be led in new directions.  So often when going through difficult times, we let them be distractions to peace, and in fact, excuses to not even choose it. 

            “How can you expect me to be peaceful when I’m going through this!”

            It is not the world that disrupts our peace; it’s a fearful interpretation of the world that disrupts our peace. A Course in Miracles says this:

How is peace possible in this world? 
It seems impossible here! The world is but a fact.
You cannot choose what this would be.
But you can choose how you would see it.
Indeed, you must choose this. 
God’s word assures you that He loves the world;
it is your judgment that says it is unlovable.  Who is right?

In your judgment peace is not possible,
but the reflection of God’s love through you,
makes peace possible here. 
It is not the world that makes peace seem impossible,
it is the world you see that is impossible. 
Peace is impossible to those who look on war. 
Peace is inevitable to those who offer peace. 
A Thought of God can turn hell to Heaven merely by being what it is. 
The question is no longer, “Can peace be possible in this world?”
But instead, “Is it not impossible that peace be absent here
.” 

(ACIM. M-11. paraphrased)

            I believe with every fiber of my being that we live in a benevolent universe governed by a benevolent God.  And yes, you may watch the news and wonder how this could be so.  I am not privy to the big picture; there is much going on that I do not understand, nevertheless, I trust God, and in that trust I find that peace is here and now. 

            Trust in God has caused me to feel comfortable with not knowing what the future holds because placing my future in the hands of God now, facilitates peace now. Peace of mind helps me to let go of my plan for my life and be willing to be led into God’s plan.

 

Today, Let Peace be your Umpire

    

~*~

Dr. Valentine has studied in the field of spirituality for many years and has been lecturing regularly on spiritual principles since 1993. You will find her book entitled, “Oh My God It’s Me” on our favorite books list.

‘Requiem’ ~ Helen’s Poem ~ A Gift Today to Our Mothers Who Have Passed

 

You came but for a while. When Jesus called
You were content to go. For who would stay
to watch the dreary cycle of the nights
Turn coldly gray with each return of day?

This world was not your home. Would God allow
His child to wander long without a home
Which He Himself makes bright? Your tired eyes
Closed gratefully when He at last said, “Come.”

You have forgot all this. All thoughts that hurt,
All sorrow, all regret, have ceased to be
In your remembrance. He Who called to you
Has loosened all your chains and set you free.

Because I love you I would have you go.
Because I love Him I can scarcely weep.
Because He loves you glory goes with you,
And in that glory you but seem to sleep.

He came in mercy. Let me give Him thanks
You stayed with us until you saw Him smile
And tell you it is finished. He will come
For me that way in just a little while.

It is for this I wait, in certainty
That He Who made the stars will not forget.
I will be glad to see Him smile at me,
Or if He choose, to wait a little yet.

Posted in ACIM ARTICLES, ACIM*Poetry. Tags: , , , , , , . Comments Off on ‘Requiem’ ~ Helen’s Poem ~ A Gift Today to Our Mothers Who Have Passed

Love after Love

Swan in the Mirror

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

Shared by Gina Angell

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