Rev. Tony Ponticello

Rev. Tony Ponticello

Rev. Tony Ponticello is CMC Minister #20. He was ordained on Oct. 17, 1997. He is Executive Minister of Community Miracles Center and serves on the CMC Board as President. He is the Master of Ceremonies for the CMC Sunday Gathering and teaches 2 other CMC classes.

Sunday, 22 August 2021 04:23

08.22.21 Video "The Mechanics of Healing"

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A Course in Miracles is an amazing manual, teaching us how to heal at the level of cause (the mind) and, thus, heal at all levels, since the body and the entire physical world is being projected by the mind. But, after 35 years of working with students, I find that people are still confused about how this is done, the mechanics of it. Underneath this seeming confusion is an active resistance to the process, which many students don’t want to look at. I addressed this issue in a recent workshop for Miracle Network the main ACIM organization in the United Kingdom. This Sunday I am going to share some of the highlights from that 3 hour workshop. 27 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

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Thursday, 19 August 2021 22:49

Receiving the Promise of ACIM

Dear Miracle Workers,

Being dedicated ACIM students takes dedication and discipline. While people can certainly use ACIM for random inspiration, I believe to truly receive the promise of the Course requires much more from a person. "You want salvation. You want to be happy. You want peace. You do not have them now because your mind is totally undisciplined" (OrEd.WkBk.20.2) The promise referred to in this passage would be salvation, happiness, and peace. So ask yourself, do you feel saved, happy, and peaceful? If your answer to any of that is not as much as you would like — then it’s time to look at you dedication and discipline.

How is your daily lesson practice? If you are doing the lessons in the yearly sequence, then Thursday’s lesson is number 231 “Father, I will but to remember you.” In this 2nd part of the Workbook we are supposed to read the special topic that precedes each group of 10 lessons every day before the day’s lessons for all 10 days. Today started “What is Salvation?” (OrEd.WkBk.SpTp231) Did you read it before reading the lesson? Will you do that for the next 10 days? How long are you spending in quiet meditation after reading both the special topic and the lesson? Try upping the time. I am currently doing 15 minutes. I know many think they do not have the time but think of the time we waste doing unimportant things. How much time do you waste on social media every day. "Time can waste as well as be wasted. The miracle-worker, therefore, accepts the time-control factor gladly" (OrEd.Tx.1.87)

I certainly don’t want to be wasted. I’m into waste management! (lol) Did you remember to think about the many thousands of other ACIM students doing the day’s lesson along with you. No? Do it now.

Send CMC a tax-deductible donation via PayPal or your Credit Card to support this work. "Thank you!"

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #299, Aug. 19 2021)

Tuesday, 10 August 2021 22:45

A High School Reunion When the Past Is Gone

Dear Miracle Workers,

Tomorrow, Wed. Aug. 11, I fly from San Francisco, CA to Syracuse NY. I was born and raised in a small town named Canastota near there. I went to Canastota High School there. Sat. Aug 14, I will be attending my high school reunion. The last reunion I attended was 15 years ago.

While I have been “Rev. Tony” for many years I have never gone home wearing a cleric shirt and collar before. I sought guidance on if I was indeed going to show up like this. Eventually got a clear “yes” – so here I go.

ACIM tells us many times, “The past is gone.” (OrEd.Tx.16.73) I did pull down my old high school yearbook and took a look through. I felt very disconnected from it all. It seemed remote and held little interest. In truth that past IS gone and it doesn’t interest me.

What does interest me are the relationships I have and can have with some of these people now in the present. There were 144 people in my senior class. I believe over 30 of them have already made their transition from earthly life with a couple passing this past month. I have felt a certain openness from some as they accumulate years and witness classmates pass. Perhaps I can bring a new perspective. I am interested in experiencing the Holy Encounters I can have with the ones who remain and who will be experiencing me for the first time as not only “Rev. Tony” in name but also in appearance. They have no past reference for that. "When you have learned to look upon everyone with no reference at all to the past, either his or yours as you perceived it, you will be able to learn from what you see now." (OrEd.Tx.12.46)

Send CMC a tax-deductible donation via PayPal or your Credit Card to support this work. "Thank you!"

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #299, Aug. 10 2021)

Tuesday, 03 August 2021 05:57

Now More than Ever

Dear Miracle Workers,

One thing the current pandemic has shown me is that a vast majority of people walk around with a huge amount of fear and rely almost exclusively on external guidance. The belief in sickness and death is very strong for most, and unfortunately the belief in healing through spiritual connection is very weak. Sickness, the fear of it, and the defense from it preoccupy the many minds which are still listening a majority of time to the ego. Alas this is exactly what ACIM teaches the ego wants to do. "Sickness is a way of demonstrating that you can be hurt. It is a witness to your frailty, your vulnerability, and your extreme need to depend on external guidance. The ego uses this as its best argument for your need for its guidance." (OrEd.Tx.8.76)

What this means for us ACIM people is that the world needs us now more than ever. The world needs us to be walking and living demonstrations of another way. The world needs us to be fearless. No wait – it is so much more than just being fearless. The world needs us to be walking, living demonstrations of people fully engaged and experiencing the joy and abundance of life. We need to be the embodiment of this ACIM message. "Very gently [God's teachers] call to their brothers to turn away from death. Behold, you Son of God, what life can offer you. Would you choose sickness in place of this?" (OrEd.Mn.5.9)

I do that every day and in every way I can. I know that I may need to improve a bit on the “very gently” part (lol), but I do see the results. I witness the others I connect with reflecting the joy of life too, especially when with me. We all heal each other.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #298, Aug. 3 2021)

Sunday, 25 July 2021 06:54

07.25.21 Video "As It Is in Heaven"

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Most people recognize this oft repeated phrase as from The Lord’s Prayer. Many ACIM students want to separate earth and Heaven with a gulf so great it can never be bridged. Yet that famous phrase from The Lord’s Prayer is in ACIM too, and not just in a reference to the Bible or even the Lord’s Prayer directly. "The Holy Spirit is the way in which God's Will can be done on earth as it is in Heaven." (OrEd.Tx.5.26) Actually ACIM talks several times about the separation between earth and Heaven disappearing. "'Heaven and earth shall pass away' simply means that they will not continue to exist as separate states." (OrEd.Tx.1.34) "It is His holiness that lights up Heaven and that brings to earth the pure reflection of the light above, wherein are earth and Heaven joined as one." (OrEd.WkBk.182.4) Join Rev. Tony Sunday as he brings earth and Heaven closer together for all of us. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Dear Miracle Workers,

As of Tuesday, July 20 we entered a section of the Workbook that said the minimum amount of quiet time after reading the lesson needs to be 15 minutes. It’s in the introduction to Review VI, "Besides the time you give morning and evening, which should not be less than 15 minutes …” (OrEd.WkBk.RvVI.1). I read that this morning and said, “Oh crap!” I have made a commitment this year to up my game and truly do the lessons to the best of my ability the way they are put forth. There is no reason why I could not give 15 minutes – so I did. It helped that I had a lesson partner keeping me accountable as well.

I have never been much of a meditator and was always glad that ACIM didn’t seem to have a focus on meditation. In fact – it seems to say it wasn’t necessary in a couple of places. "Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary." (OrEd.Tx.18.56) The rest of that passage talks about how tedious and time consuming these meditations could be. That was certainly my experience.

Still, I couldn’t get past today’s instruction and how clearly stated it was. I certainly don’t want to reinforce an idea that I do not have enough time by choosing to NOT do the 15 minutes asked. If my belief is that I do not have enough time then I will continue to manifest a life experience where I don’t have enough time. I’ve done enough of that in my life and I am willing to let it go. I do have enough time. I have an abundance of time. How are you all doing with your lesson practice?

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #296, Jul. 20 2021)

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I hear many ACIM students arguing for their limitations. They are quick to say how they are not “there” yet. (Never quite sure where “there” is since we are all always here and now.) Healing and salvation keep getting put off into an imagined future. In short, the students lack confidence because they don’t see that they have mastered miracle working yet. "Confidence cannot develop fully until mastery has been accomplished." (OrEd.Tx.2.104) These students keep waiting for outer manifestations, and they don’t find them – or not enough of them. Since the inner is the cause for the outer, healing manifestations and mastery have to begin at the level of cause – the mind. The mind is the kingdom we rule, so let’s start ruling! Let’s decry that we will start collecting and focusing on all the perceptions which show us our mastery of miracles, and not collect and focus on perceptions which reinforce a separate and weak ego self. "... however much I seem to be impelled by outside happenings. I choose to see what I would look upon, and this I see and only this.” (OrEd.WkBk.335.1) We can choose to see our mastery of miracles and thus we can be confident. 24 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Sunday, 11 July 2021 06:48

07.11.21 Video "Stay the Course"

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I (Rev.Tony) have been an ACIM student since 1980, and an extremely dedicated one since 1981. Many people talk about how they threw the book in the trash, or against the wall … but I never had those experiences. Once I accepted the Course as my spiritual path in 1981 I never rejected it or moved away from it. That is not to say that I didn’t have “bad” or fearful times. I DID!! But I never gave up the Course when those were happening. I used the Course to help me through them. "You will need [the Workbook lesson ideas] most in situations which appear to be upsetting, rather than in those which already seem to be calm and quiet." (OrEd.WkBk.Rv1.4) I stayed the Course – and that has made all the difference. 22 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Tuesday, 06 July 2021 20:13

Discernment — The Greatest Achievement

Dear Miracle Workers,

A difficult challenge of being a miracle worker is the lack of support one gets for thinking differently. The world can deal harshly with the innocent, guiltless, free thinking miracle workers, “… for is it not a well-known fact the world deals harshly with defenseless innocence?" (OrEd.Tx.31.46)

Often times the world does not support the guidance one receives. Sometimes the guidance is in direct opposition to what touted world authorities are advising. This can thrust miracle workers into conflict, opposition, and even embarrassment. "... what he hears [from Holy Spirit] may indeed be quite startling. It may also seem to be quite irrelevant to the presented problem as he perceives it, and may, in fact, confront him with a situation that appears to be very embarrassing." (OrEd.Mn.21.5) I find students read this teaching without truly taking it in. What is says is that guidance from the Holy Spirit might seem startling, irrelevant, and embarrassing! People who like to simplify ACIM with platitudes like “The guidance from the Holy Spirit will always feel peaceful” tend to dismiss this teaching from the Manual believing that it must have been meant for someone else – not them.

ACIM tells us that guidance from Holy Spirit may actually lead us to terror. "Yet God can bring you there if you are willing to follow the Holy Spirit through seeming terror, trusting Him not to abandon you and leave you there." (OrEd.Tx.18.87) “Seeming terror” certainly isn’t peaceful so to say Holy Spirit’s Voice can be discerned by the peace it gives you is misleading. Learning to distinguish the Holy Spirit’s Voice from the ego is an on-going challenge. Our traditional Christian friends call this “discernment.” If we are going to deal with the challenges of being a miracle worker then discernment will be our greatest achievement.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #294, Jul. 6 2021)

Dear Miracle Workers,

I shared these thoughts with my Healing Team this morning and I’ve received the guidance that they deserve a large audience. I want to talk about sparrows and eagles. ACIM has two references to sparrows and eagles that are books apart – literally. One is in the Text and the other is in the Manual. However, they both illuminate the same teaching

In the Text we have this, "Ask not the sparrow how the eagle soars, for those with little wings have not accepted for themselves the power to share with you." (OrEd.Tx.20.31) This is an actual metaphor!! No one really believes that anyone is going up to birds and asking them for flying instruction (lol). Don't ask sparrows, those who fly low to the ground and in short bursts, how the eagle soars so high in the sky in long extended glides. The sparrow doesn't know. The sparrow will not be able to give you any important information about this.

What’s the practical application? Don't ask healing advice from those who have not manifested any healing. They don't know! The second sparrow / eagle teaching in the Manual says, "Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?" (OrEd.Mn.4.4) Okay, so why be content with low to the ground short spurts of flying when you can ("Thank you" The Steve Miller Band) "Fly Like an Eagle?" (We need to sing that song at the Sunday Gathering!)

Healing is flying like an eagle. Accepting sickness and death as inevitable is flying like a sparrow. Really – is there truly any choice here?

"I want to fly like an eagle -
To the sea -
Fly like an eagle -
Let my spirit carry me."

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #292, Jun. 24 2021)

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For as long as I can remember there has been a discussion in the ACIM Community about how much, if any, we should involve the appearance of the body in our healing practice. For some any mention of the body, or any worldly form at all, brings up a “knee jerk” response about how ACIM isn’t being understood if the body or these forms enter in the discussion at all. Still we are left with many, many passages which actually do talk about body healing and to interpret all of these as literary metaphor doesn’t seem right either. Then there are passages like this too, "The happy dream about him (our brother) takes the form of the appearance of his perfect health, his perfect freedom from all forms of lack, and safety from disaster of all kinds." (OrEd.Tx.30.90) Manifesting the happy dream about our brothers, sisters, and others sure seems to mean that their bodies and the forms of their lives will appear to be healthy and abundant. If you complete the previous quotation the appearance of health and its association with a miracles is even more pronounced. "The miracle is proof he is not bound by loss or suffering in any form because it can so easily be changed." (OrEd.Tx.30.90) Are we denying miracles by moving our focus too far away from form? 31 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Sunday, 13 June 2021 06:42

06.13.21 Video "The Signs of Life"

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In the Workbook we are taught that miracles are like water that falls from Heaven transforming the dry and dusty world into a lush world of green vibrant life. "Now the world is green. And everywhere the signs of life spring up to show that what is born can never die, for what has life has immortality." (OrEd.WkBk.SpTp341.5) Signs of life are springing up in my home city of San Francisco too. Today I received a public service announcement saying that next Tuesday June 15 most of the pandemic restrictions on masks and social distancing will finally be lifted in San Francisco. "WooHoo!!" I am acknowledging this as miracle rain from Heaven bringing new life, energy, and abundance to the struggling hotel and restaurant business which employs so many. Maybe it’s finally time for the new Roaring 20’s! 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Tuesday, 08 June 2021 12:00

This Is the Day that WE Have Made

Dear Miracle Workers,

There is a popular Psalm passage that reads, “This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps.118.24) Psalms is a book in the Old Testament. The psalms are not merely spiritual poems. They are the lyrics to ancient Jewish songs that were sung at sacred religious rites. They date between the 9th and 5th centuries BC. They have been around a long time. Now, in the 21st century AD, the musical background has been lost but the words remain in the Biblical book of Psalms.

ACIM would not teach that the Lord, or God, made time. Saying that the Lord made the day is not absolutely ACIM consistent. However the Course also teaches that the Holy Spirit has a better use for everything the ego made, which includes time – so in spirit the lyric above from Psalm 118 is still a great thing to align with. Plus it gives a bridge to connect ACIM students with our more traditional Christian friends.

This is the day that the Holy Spirit will use us to heal and to bring joy and celebration to all our sisters, brothers, and others. ACIM encourages us to meet every day in a pure energy of rejoicing and celebration. "Why are you not rejoicing? You are free of pain and sickness, misery and loss, and all effects of hatred and attack. No more is pain your friend and guilt your god, and you should welcome the effects of love." (OrEd.Tx.29.12) In order to truly rejoice as the Psalm passage tells us to do, we must also embrace the guarantee of healing that ACIM gives us. I have done that. Is this the day that you will also? Healing is that effect of Divine love in this world.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #290, Jun. 8 2021)

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Sunday we will celebrate my physical birthday. Monday will be June 7 and the day that I (Rev. Tony) celebrate my birthday. It’s the date on my birth certificate! Have a piece of birthday cake ready (really) and we’ll all eat one together after the Gathering. A couple of years ago I stopped counting the years. I am an eternal, infinite creation of Spirit. At our wonderful live, virtual event last weekend I still heard some of our speakers talk about the inevitable debilitating aging and death process. I heard, "As I get older I find I can’t do what I used to be able to do anymore.” I heard, “Every body dies.” I reject these “mad" beliefs. I will not be “mad / crazy” this birthday. "Is it not madness to think of life as being born, aging, losing vitality, and dying in the end?" (OrEd.Mn.27.1) These are thoughts and thoughts can be changed. I like to say, “Every day I am getting younger, better looking and richer!” Get that piece of cake and join me. 26 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Dear Miracle Worker,

Last weekend 200 of us were together at the CMC’s first live virtual event Unblock! Unlock! & Rock! It was terrific. I believe most got a lot out of it. I was so glad to be standing (literally) in the middle of all that miracle energy. The new ability to reach people from all over the world was demonstrated.

Rev. Deb (my event co-chair) and I truly saw how much people appreciated the break-out groups when they got opportunities to share. People so want to participate. They like listening to the speakers but then they want to add their own thoughts too. People have important things to contribute. They don’t just want to be little sponges soaking up the miracle “juice.” They want to be giving back the juice as well. One never knows when what one shares is just what someone else needs to hear.

We are all in this together and we all have a part to play in the world’s salvation. I was especially moved by long time Course student and CMC Supporting Member Ron Zaleski (pictured below) when he shared about his work with vets who have PTSD. He walked across the country barefoot with a large sandwich board sign strapped to his shoulders to bring attention to the fact that, “18 Vets a Day Commit Suicide.” That is a message that only he can give and he gives it in such a unique way.

Today’s Workbook Lesson #154 says, ”The messages which they deliver are intended first for them. And it is only as they can accept them for themselves that they become able to bring them further and to give them everywhere that they were meant to be." (OrEd.WkBk.154.6) We all have something unique and wonderful to share and the message is intended first for ourselves.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #289, Jun. 3 2021)

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