Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola are online!

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola are online! You can find them here:

Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius

These are important for a host or reasons, one of which is that it has been said that the Twelve Steps were heavily influenced by them.

Having them online is useful for those who might not have the book, or who may wish to have online access to them, readily available on any device.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Get inspiration delivered to your mailbox! Click here for details: Lighthouse Catholic Media

My Eighth Year of Trudging this Road

Time for my annual self-congratulatory post, announcing yet another year completed in blogging here. I started this on January 5, 2007. “Happy Bloggaversary to me!” I don’t blog as often as I should, but then again, this isn’t a full-time paying job; something else has to pay the bills. Plus, I’m married and there’s a house and stuff. :-) Nevertheless, I hope whomever reads this blog appreciates it, and that you find it useful as you trudge your own sober Catholic road.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Get inspiration delivered to your mailbox! Click here for details: Lighthouse Catholic Media

Catholic, Alcoholic, Addict

I went and did it again. I created another online community for Catholics who are alcoholics and addicts. I know, I know, you’re asking me, “Why, Paulcoholic, have you done this thing which has proved so fruitless in the past? Don’t you remember your past attempts, all doomed by various financial, technical, and human follies? Why do you persist?” I don’t know. Maybe if I try it often enough it’ll eventually work out, some combination of time, talent, and place where finally people will come and take part and there will be a thriving online community of Catholics sharing their own experience, strength and hope with each other, in a safe Catholic setting.

I created it on the Awestruck Catholic Social Network. Please go here—–> Catholic, Alcoholic, Addict on Awestruck.tv.

I describe it as: “A Group for those Awestruckers who have suffered or still are suffering from alcoholism and other addictions. This is the place that while you’re here on Awestruck you can come to to talk about things important to you: your addiction, your story, struggles, and what gives you strength and hope. Whether you consider yourself “recovered” or “in recovery” is not important, nor is whatever recovery program that you belong to (or even if you belong to one). This is not a Twelve Step Group, but Step discussion is just fine. NO CRITICISM of anyone’s recovery program (or lack of) will be tolerated. Fidelity to the Church is required (same basic requirements for Awestruck membership). Feel free to discuss anything relevent to the Faith and addiction. If you get strength and hope from certain things like the lives of the Saints, post about it! If you wish to discuss Apparitions or locutions, THEY HAVE TO HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE CHURCH. No unapproved Apparitions, etc.”

Also, if you’re worried about privacy and anonymity, there’s this:

“The Group’s settings are “Private,” rather than “Public,” just in case anyone has problems re: anonymity.

‘This is a private group:

-Only users who request membership and are accepted can join the group.
-This group will be listed in the groups directory and in search results.
-Group content and activity will only be visible to members of the group.'”

So, join up and start sharing! I thoroughly love Awestruck, and now spend most of my social networking either there or on Facebook. As the “Catholic, Alcoholic, Addict Group” is hosted on someone else’s dime, and as I do spend considerable time there, I can almost guarantee that I will never terminate it, even should it prove unpopular or unproductive. In case you missed my recent “promotions” of Awestruck, here’s a link to my posts about it—–> Awestruck.tv posts on Sober Catholic.

I also made a change (maybe temporary, we’ll see how all eighteen mebers feel about it) to the “Matt Talbot Way of Recovery” Community on Google+, I renamed it “Catholic, Alcoholic, Addict” Why? To quote from my post in there: “Absolutely no disrespect intended to Matt Talbot, but calling it the “Matt Talbot Way of Recovery” presumes a particular approach to addiction recovery. What would be the “basic text” of this Way (the Philip Maynard book) is out-of-print and the publisher has no intention of bringing it back into print.

We can always add a category entitled “Matt Talbot,” for anyone wishing to post specific things re: him.” And I did create the latter thing, a forum category entitled “Matt Talbot,” where people can discuss him. You can find the Community here———> Catholic, Alcoholic, Addict Community on Google+.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Get inspiration delivered to your mailbox! Click here for details: Lighthouse Catholic Media

My 2015 Resolutions

I don’t make resolutions, namely because I’ll never keep them. Except for some fundamental basic convictions, I do not “resolve” to do anything just to start off the year. I also think that making resolutions on January 1st elevates the secular year above the Church’s Liturgical year, which began a month ago with Advent.

If I were to make any, I’d resolve to clean up “unresolved” projects I wanted to do for this blog. In no particular order: blog my way throught Paslm 119, blog my way through the Wisdom Books (a tall order, at least maybe I can make a beginning), finish up the Works of Mercy posts I started in (I think) 2012. If I remember correctly, I mentioned way back in 2007 when I began this blog that I’d write about connecting the Twelve Steps to the Liturgical year. I have notes on that somewhere. Also, some major posts on Confession as encompassing the Twelve Steps. Maybe, just maybe, one post a month on each of the Steps, perhaps “Catholicizing” each. Oh, and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatious of Loyola. I started something on those a few years ago, but like the rest, never finished as the Exercise are difficult to do on one’s own. I am going to try them again, solo, but based on how my life is currently organized, I may be able to complete them. It has been said that the Twelve Steps are rooted in the Exercises, if so, and if I can complete them, I can focus on them for the future rather than the actual Steps.

But all that is only if I did resolutions. ;-)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Get inspiration delivered to your mailbox! Click here for details: Lighthouse Catholic Media

Matt Talbot may be closer to sainthood!

Good news for devotees of the Venerable Matt Talbot! According to this article in the Irish Catholic, a new miracle may put him on road to sainthood.

Special thanks to the curator of the Matt Talbot Facebook Page for posting about this.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Get inspiration delivered to your mailbox! Click here for details: Lighthouse Catholic Media

St. John the Baptist and Recovery

I’ve just read a book on St. John the Baptist: (John the Baptist: Prophet and Disciple) and now is an appropriate time to have done that since it’s Advent. As John is the Precursor of Christ, foretelling of His first Coming, this book helped me to better prepare for Christmas.

One thing about my reading it is that I should have given St. John the Baptist a much larger role in this blog. I don’t think I’ve mentioned him too often. This is odd as I’ve kind of felt this blog to be in the spirit of his mission. He pointed the way to Christ, he was not the light, but merely reflected the light of Christ. He decreased, so that Christ would increase. Likewise, I’ve used this blog to not especially promote a plan of recovery (save for possibly a “Matt Talbot Way”), but rather to point the way to what resources the Church offers to alcoholics and addicts. Rather than illuminate a “Catholic Recovery Program” invented by me, I’ve sought to reflect the light of the Church with regard to the possible efficacy of the Mass and the Sacraments, prayers and devotions, the Saints and others, to those who might be searching for it, but do not see it. Don’t come looking to me, take a look at what I’m pointing out. I’ll get out-of-the-way, you spend more time in Church. ;-)

And so, I’ve had some attachment and self-identification with the “Voice crying out in the wilderness” tagline that St. John the Baptist used. In fact, if I recall back when I started this blog in January 2007, I considered that for a title for this blog. I probably rejected it as being too wordy and not properly descriptive.

So, this one sober Catholic “Voice crying out in the wilderness” of recovery, pointing the way to the healing power of the Church and Her resources, is going to spend a few posts writing about St. John the Baptist and how his message of prayer, fasting and repentance can be useful in recovery.

A brief review of the book linked to above: It’s a very good work, it should be in every Christian’s library. It very much helped me to better appreciate the role of John in salvation history and his place within Christianity. My only problem with it is I think it could have gone through one or two more rewrites. The author frequently brought up points as if it were the first time he mentioned them. A minor cosmetic or stylistic problem, but I got annoyed every time he brought up, for example, the issue of scholars regarding John as merely being a product of “Second Temple Judaism.” The multiple times he mentioned this is fine, it’s just that the way he brought it up was as if each time was the first. But don’t let that get in the way of getting the book, ordering information is in that link up above.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Get inspiration delivered to your mailbox! Click here for details: Lighthouse Catholic Media

Awestruck’s “Life on the Rock” appearance!

I watched on You Tube an episode of EWTN’s show, “Life on the Rock,” which featured the guys behind a new and growing Catholic Social Network, “Awestruck.”

A little bit about Awestruck (from the network’s “About” page):

“The main-stream media is not in the business of promoting the Church nor the message of the Gospel. Giant social networks like Facebook, because of their necessarily inclusive approach, often overstep the mark by tolerating and even promoting content radically opposed to the faith and to good morals. For example: Vimeo and Tumblr are infested with porn and repeated attempts to close a number of hate groups on Facebook have not been successful. This situation calls for a niche social network dedicated to celebrating the faith and promoting the Church. A trusted space where Catholics can feel “at home”, discover trusted Catholic content through our feeds, and have the tools to easily share this content to networks outside of Awestruck. That’s Awestruck in a nutshell.”

The place also has a lot of useful tools and functions for Catholic bloggers and organizations. I’ve written about that here: Awestruck for Catholic Bloggers

I highly recommend and strongly suggest that if you’re Catholic, join up! If you had before, but didn’t do much with it, try again! The place has evolved from what it looked like a few months ago, site functions and navigation are very good. It is a great place to meet and interact with Catholics from around the world! Right here: Awestruck.

The video is here:

And: My Profile.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Get inspiration delivered to your mailbox! Click here for details: Lighthouse Catholic Media

But I’m not drinking over it (UPDATED)

I live in western New York State, in the USA, and this past week we’ve been suffering through a near-Apocalyptic snowstorm. Depending upon the location, various areas have received at least three to seven feet of snow (that’s one to over two meters).

All over the area, people are coming together to offer assistance; neighbors helping neighbors, not waiting for the government to help (which is admittedly limited and strained due to the severe conditions). Facebook in particular has been extremely helpful in this grassroots mutual aid effort; there are several Groups formed with the express purpose of organizing and coordination offers of help with requests for aid.

I can’t do much, trapped in my house. All I am doing is posting and resharing links and the like.

But, the point of this post is that I am a sober alcoholic and I don’t want a drink.

Not at all.

And I have an 800 foot (250m) long driveway buried in 3-5+ feet of snow that’s probably too hard for our snowplow friend to plow with his pickup. And he drives plows for the town, and so he’s been working around the clock plowing township streets, so who knows if/when he’ll be available?

And I haven’t been to work in a week. And I may not get paid for this week unless I either use whatever vacation/personal time I have remaining, or otherwise hope we all qualify for FEMA funds (if/when they become available) and that covers lost wages or perhaps if the State Labor Dept has some form of Unemployment Insurance for the week. And there’s no guarantee I can get out of my driveway on Tuesday when I’m next scheduled to go to work. 

And I have to worry about our roof collapsing what with all the snow on it, getting heavier with the added rain expected today/tomorrow.

And I have to be concerned about water. We get ours from a well, but that tastes strange despite being fit for consumption. And so we get drinkable water in jugs, which are getting low. I’ve taken to collecting snow and boiling it to use for my own purposes (i.e. COFFEE) so that my wife can have the good water. We have been wanting to get one of those “Big Berkey Water Filter” contraptions to ease our dependence on this, but money is stretched.

And I have to worry about power outages; what with all the snow out there, and the expected rain, trees may collapse, pulling down power lines.

And I have no need for a drink, nor even want one.

I am not a martyr, so don’t interpret this to be, “See what a good ex-drunk I am.” Not a boast, just a statement of facts to perhaps inspire others who have issues and things and they reach for a drink to ease the suffering. this is what happens a lot in AA meetings; people discuss their issues, and declare “I didn’t have to take a drink over it.”

UPDATE: The snow is almost gone; almost right after the storm ended, temperatures started to rise and much of the snow melted. Although we had difficulty in getting out of the driveway, we managed. The friend of ours who I mentioned does our plowing isn’t able to for the time being as his pickup with the plow has something wrong with it. Hopefully this winter won’t be bad and weather cooperates and we can get out when we need to.

There was another “warm up” yesterday; you’ll never know that there was a major snowstorm a few weeks ago, although there are signs of it in fallen trees and tree limbs. Some areas were hit by heavy flooding, be we didn’t suffer that.

I should get paid for the week I lost at work; my boss said he will submit a request to use my available vacation or personal time (I was planning on asking him to do that, so it’s all good!)

And thus the appeal I had included in the original post isn’t needed, but I’ll remind you in case you’re encouraged to support the work of this blog that there’s a PayPal link up top, right below Matt Talbot’s picture, where you can donate money. I do wish to thank those who did donate, your contributions will be put to good use. Prayers are always appreciated, too!

Thank you!

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Get inspiration delivered to your mailbox! Click here for details: Lighthouse Catholic Media

Awestruck for Catholic Bloggers

If you are a Catholic blogger, the Awestruck Catholic Social Network offers some interesting tools. I mentioned ACSN before: Awestruck Network USA Tour 2014 Regarding these blogging tools, to quote from their site:

“We created Awestruck to serve the Catholic blogosphere as best we can. A useful feature is the creative freedom we offer catholic bloggers through our network, namely, full access to our blogging platform. Our Bloggers Dashboard allows users to run a WordPress blog directly on Awestruck.

For those communicators who use various platforms to produce content e.g. Pinterest Boards / Tumblr or Facebook Pages, WordPress or Blogger sites, Awestruck can be a powerful tool to aggregate their content. Activity on third party networks, upon request, can be automatically syndicated to an Awestruck user profile. Bloggers, tell us what your URL is and if you’re in sync with the Church we’ll sync your feed. Links to all aggregated content point directly to the source. With linked sites we display only a snippet of the source content, together with a thumbnail, in order to showcase the original site. In fact, Awestruck actively seeks out the best publicly syndicated feeds and aggregates them in an effort to promote the Catholic blogosphere and help consolidate its members (who are very often isolated and disconnected).

And for others who can benefit from Awestruck’s network: “No longer a single site, Awestruck consists of various sites networked together through a customizable social stream. One login gives you access to all sites on the network. Think of a site as a lens through which you choose to view the network. Choose one lens or flip between as many as you please. Each lens (site) has a unique menu, highlights specific groups and aggregates related feeds. Sites distinguish themselves regionally or thematically and new sites will be added to serve new interests and communities.

If you’re getting your news and opinions of the Church from predominantly secular sources the odds are that you are not following the international Catholic blogosphere – communicators who make it their mission through their blogs to provide a Catholic perspective on anything from politics to sport to beer to craft.”

Beer? Catholics blog about beer? What I can tell ya about beer… oh, nevermind ;-) So, if you’re a Catholic blogger, or want to be one, or you just love the entire holy lot of us, Awestruck can help you sort it all out!

Note: Both Sober Catholic and its sister blog, The Four Last Things, are aggregated on Awestruck and are a part of the “Scribes” site. I do not use their Blogger Dashboard as I prefer to self-host. Getting my stuff aggregated involves a simple message to Norm (the dude who heads the network) with your blog’s URL. I also included the URL for my blogs’ RSS feed, although he didn’t ask for it.

Check it out!

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Get inspiration delivered to your mailbox! Click here for details: Lighthouse Catholic Media

“Catholic Healing Prayers”

A good friend on Facebook posted about this site that contains numerous Catholic prayers for healing. There is also a list of healing Scripture verses. I thought I’d share it with you.

Catholic Healing Prayers – Overcoming Serious Illness.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Get inspiration delivered to your mailbox! Click here for details: Lighthouse Catholic Media