Leaven: relapsing before the event

From the Gospel according Mark 8:15
He enjoined them, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

This was from today’s Gospel reading.

Jesus was warning His disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod. Leaven is that substance, such as yeast, which starts the fermentation process by which bread is made.

Since he was specifically singling out dark and evil individuals that were opposed to His teachings, we can surmise that Jesus was warning against the influence of these people. The slightest suggestions, arguments or persuasions may set a person on a course away from Jesus and His Way. The smallest seed of doubt planted can grow into something that may be difficult to uproot.

Such as it is with us alcoholics and addicts. It is said that relapses just do not happen. They don’t suddenly occur. There is the idea that a person mentally relapses which sets up the later action of walking into a liquor store and walking out with a bottle of vodka. Something happened which placed inside the mind of the alcoholic that there was a need for a drink. It does not matter what. But the seed germinated and like a vine wrapped itself around the person’s desires and the relapse happened.

Going to meetings interrupts the thought processes which lead to relapse. As Catholics, we also have additional tools at our disposal.

I believe that the fertile ground for the leaven is isolation. We are alone. Our thoughts develop in separation from each other and also from God. With little positive external input, the darkness grows and your perception is warped and skewed and then after a while the idea of a drink is attractive. And so you drink.

We can end the isolation and dry up the fertile ground through contact with others. One way is found in the bloggings I’ve done under the “Service and Volunteering” labels. Another way is through prayer.

Prayer puts you back on the path to God and orients your mind in the proper way. It interrupts the dark thought processes by which you think that drinking is a nice idea. It cleanses you. It releases and frees you.

Grab your Catholic Bible, whether its the New American Bible used in the USA or another Catholic translation, get it and prayerfully read the Gospels. Meditate on them and slowly absorb and assimilate their wisdom.

Connect with Jesus.

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"