One of the things that I have seriously overlooked on Sober Catholic is talking about the lives of the Saints. I think I mentioned that in my introductory post, or in some other “About this Blog” post that I would do that. As this blog concerns itself with using the Catholic Faith and spirituality in maintaining one’s sobriety, talking about the saints is a crucial aspect in this regard. After all, saints Made It. They’re in Heaven, and they were once Down Here, like us. So, they did something right, against whatever odds and personal failings they struggled with.
So, I will attempt to be more attentive to the saints as the appear on the Church calendar. I may even discuss saints not on the calendar, along with probable future saints.
Anyway, today, August 4th, is the feast of St. John Mary Vianney. He is as good a saint as any to start with. He was known as the “Cure of Ars” and you can read more about him here. Ars is the small town in France where he was assigned as priest. “Cure” (pronounced kyoo-ray) means “Pastor”. So, he was the pastor of a church in a small town in France.
One day, or so the story goes, St. Vianney saw a little French farmer visit his chapel daily, about noon. The Cure was curious as to what the farmer was doing in there, as he was alone. Not worried, I guess, just concerned. Anyway, one day he decided to ask him. And so he did. The little farmer said that he comes in to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (The Eucharist reposed in the Tabernacle).
The little farmer’s style of prayer was simple. He told the future saint, “I just look at Him, and He looks back at me.”
A simple, yet profound declaration. Take a look at this passage from St. Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians:
2 Corinthians 3:18;
All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit.
This is what the little French guy was doing, gazing upon the Lord and being transformed. We are no longer the same person when we partake of the Eucharist, whether it is receiving it at Mass, or gazing upon it in an Adoration chapel. This is what Jesus, in His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, does for us. And if this is focused on our efforts to remain sober and clean, how successful we will become! Ask Jesus, in faith, next time you receive Him in Communion, or pray before the Tabernacle to help you strengthen your sobriety. No matter how long you’ve been sober. Ask Him to help you. Ask Him for what you need to know to accomplish this.
Read from the Gospel of Matthew 7:7-8;
- “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
- For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”