Liberty to the Captives

The basic idea behind “Sober Catholic” is that you can use the religion and spirituality of Catholic Christianity to preserve and maintain your sobriety. Catholicism may not be your only tool, but should be the primary one.

The Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament of the Bible contains many of the Hebrew prophecies concerning the Messiah (the anointed One of God), whom Christians regard as Jesus Christ.

The following excerpt from the First Reading of today’s Mass (which celebrated the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua) is from Isaiah :

Isaiah 61:1-2 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, To announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God, to comfort all who mourn…

This is Jesus. He had come, and is still present among us in the form of the Eucharist, and still guides us through His Church. Following Jesus and participating in the sacramental life of the Church (living out your baptismal promises and receiving Holy Communion and going to Confession) liberates you from the false and empty promises and lies of alcohol and the other seductions that the world pollutes you with. You were once a captive of alcohol. It seduced you into thinking that it was your best and only friend and only through drinking could you discover your true self.

After a fashion you discovered that this wasn’t the case. In the end you hit bottom and ended up sitting in front of a computer reading about how Catholicism can keep you sober. But like everything else about the Catholic Church, it merely points the way to Jesus. Committing to Him, as you’ve presumably have done (or are thinking of doing) liberates you from the need to subscribe to the world’s values and the world’s solutions. Jesus is “The Way, the Truth and the Life” and is the only true counter-cultural force that endures. By “counter-cultural” I mean that in being a Christian one operates in contradiction to the the preferred manner of the world. Your master reigns in Heaven, and is not subject to this world’s demands. And by following Him, neither are you.

Alcohol and its abuse is an aberration used by people who have an unfortunate misperception of the world. Feeling rejected or at odds with it, they turn to alcohol and suddenly feel accepted. Alcohol makes you feel as though you finally “fit in”. It’s a lie, of course. In the end you are nearly destroyed by the lie.

Follow Jesus. You were once captive, and now you are free. Study the Gospels and get radical about living. Study the Catholic Church’s teachings, and be lifted up. They are not designed to chain you by listing a series of “do’s and don’ts”. Taken with the proper perspective, they liberate you from the limitations of being merely human.

Faith endures. Truth liberates.

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"


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