Hope is the Lord and His Church

From the First Reading of the Mass for the Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (11 Feb 2007)

Jeremiah 17:5-8

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
but stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
it fears not the heat when it comes;
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.

The first two sentences can be thought to describe how we were during our drinking careers. Although we didn’t necessarily trust in human beings while we were drinking, we wanted to. And because we were untrustworthy, we were shunned, and we turned farther away from the Lord, to stand in a lava waste, a salty and empty earth.

After hitting bottom, we turned back to the Lord, by whatever means we had. We eventually ended up learning how to stay sober in AA, and thus were introduced to the concept of a Higher Power as an aid in keeping us sober.

By our own understanding, we came to believe that Jesus is that Higher Power, and by our own willingness were guided by the Holy Spirit in seeking out the Church. Many people in AA are suggested they seek out the Church of their youth as a possible source for spiritual growth and succor. Many Catholics return to the Faith. Many grow in it, but are arrested in their development by accepting too greatly the “Higher Power” concept and regard the Catholic Church as just one of another of Christian denominations. (It isn’t, and I’ll be starting a series of irregular postings on the subject of “Why the Church?” sometime soon.)

But as a seed to that end, re-read the last two sentences of the Scripture quote above. They can be describing us, after we’ve discovered how to handle sobriety, and especially how we are after we’ve accepted Jesus and His Church as the wellspring of our new life. Our “leaves stay green” and in times of drought we “show no distress.”

The Catholic Church is the Church that Jesus established, and it is the guardian of the fullness of the Gospel and Apostolic teachings.

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"