Bruised reeds…

Isaiah 42:3

A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench…

This excerpt from The Book of Isaiah from yesterday’s Mass (Monday of Holy Week) speaks of the mercy of Christ.

This passage is an important one for anyone to remember, but particularly for us alcoholics.

For we were bruised reeds and we were smoldering wicks. Caught in the grips of alcoholism and perhaps at the depths of despair, we were on the verge of breaking or winking out.

And yet we did not break; our light, however dim, was not quenched. How we managed to grab onto whatever lifeline that pulled us out of our misery may be a mystery. It might have been a family member calling the local AA hotline, or a clergy rescuing a lost soul, or some other seemingly coincidental or improbable event, but whatever it was, we had enough hope left in us to grab onto that lifeline.

Some of us pulled on that lifeline and entered AA. A lot stayed there, content to remain with the comfortable and easygoing spirituality and friendships it offered. Some of us were not satisfied and kept on searching. We needed something deeper and more sustainable and somehow entered the Catholic Church.

Perhaps our hurt was not fully healed by the 12 Steps of AA, and we responded well to the Church’s teachings on God’s mercy and forgiveness. That despite whatever our past, God still loves us and desires us to be close to Him. We heeded the sacramental call and drank of the deep waters of the Eucharist and Penance. And we were satiated like alcohol never could do for us.

There was a “hole in our soul” that we thought could be filled by our addiction, and we were eventually disappointed and wounded. But upon entering the Church, we became whole again, healed by the sacraments and an invigorated, deeper prayer life.

Rest in God’s mercy.

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"