The Prodigal’s Return, by Ivor Sowton

A Course of Love (ACOL) is a transmission from Jesus to Mari Perron, the “first receiver” of this new course, scribed in three years around the turn of this century. She published the work in three volumes during the years since. It is now in one combined volume in a beautiful, newly released edition by Take Heart Publications, available on their website and in all the major bookstores, including Amazon/Kindle.

Mari will have a table at the upcoming A Course in Miracles (ACIM) Conference, A Present Love, April 17th-20th in New York City. Also at the table will be her Take Heart publishers, Glenn and Muffy Hovemann. I know some of you will be there; please come to their table!

Mari and Take Heart Publications have also set up a wonderful Facebook Group called “A Course of Love USA,” centered on her new audio recordings of ACOL. Currently the group is listening to and commenting on chapter 9 of ACOL, The Prodigal’s Return.

Here’s a quote from that wonderful chapter that jumped out at me:

“It is the relationship inherent in meeting another’s need that makes the meeting of the need a thing of lasting value. It is your willingness to say, “Brother, you are not alone” that is the benefit of such situations, not only to your brother but also to you. It is in saying, Sister, you are not alone” that spiritual hunger and thirst is met with the fullness of unity. It is in realizing that you are not alone that you realize your unity with me and begin to turn from fear toward love.” (9.27)

To speak honestly now about my own experience of life right now, I do indeed feel like the prodigal son in this chapter. That is, in my deepest feelings I am aware of a tremendous loneliness and isolation, which I no longer want. I feel that Jesus is personally offering me a way out.

That way out is to realize, first in my mind–since I seem so trapped there so much of the time!–that actually all other people ALSO tend to feel deeply alone and isolated, at least in their ego natures.

Then I can be willing to reach out to them; and then my heart starts to open to them, and the artificial barriers between us begin to dissolve at last.

The nitty gritty of this joining with my brothers and sisters seems to involve overlooking outward differences. For instance, my brother might be thinking he needs “X”, and I might be thinking I need “Y,” but if I can risk taking Jesus at his word here, I may be able to realize that what my brother and I both ACTUALLY need is to feel the Love of God–the embrace spoken of so beautifully in chapter 20. In realizing that we are one in that need, my brother and I have joined in Christ.

This, then, is the return of the Prodigal Son/Daughter, who is us.

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2 thoughts on “The Prodigal’s Return, by Ivor Sowton

  1. Dear Celia,
    You are most definitely not alone, in many meanings of that phrase.
    Brene Brown said something a few years ago that I’ve thought of often in recent weeks: “It’s not losing hope that hurts, that’s just going numb. It’s the return of hope, when we allow ourselves to start feeling again, to be vulnerable … that’s when the pain comes.”
    Yes, as you write, we’ve all been so very lonely and believed ourselves isolated for so very long. We’ve run and hidden from this pain in every way we could think of, and nearly burned down our beautiful planet insisting that we don’t need one another. Like you, it was very helpful to me to remember one day that everyone is feeling their own personal version of this pain, and to know that anything I did to heal mine offered a grain of healing sand to the Whole. Thank you for being vulnerable here, and speaking your pain. Your courage gives me strength.
    My understanding is that the acute and poignant nature of the pain I’m feeling now is a sign that we’re growing closer to fully Re-membering our Unity, with ourSelves, with each other, with All-That-Is-Ever-Becoming.
    Can you imagine the last miles walked by the Prodigal Son? the feeling growing in him that his days of isolation and self-banishment from Home were finally, finally, finally drawing to a close. It was only then, I imagine, that he could begin to allow himself to feel the pain his self-isolation had brought him. And then, to be welcomed so, in the all-encompassing Love of his Father, and a feast set before him. Beautiful.
    You are not alone, dear Sister. Never, ever have we been alone. And now, at last, some of the prodigal children are in the final miles, our roads are meeting, and we’re beginning to see and call out to one another.
    Tears flow easily and fast, with joy and relief. May this joy and relief and courage quicken our steps, that we may know ourselves Home, and relax fully in what our hearts have always known to be true.
    Hugs!
    Bonnie

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