Division

You are embarking upon a new way of life. You are sober and have left the bars or solitary drinking behind you, and are also living (or learning to live) a Catholic life.

Some people aren’t going to like that.

A lot of people have this New Age-ish 1960’s or 1970’s touchy-feely view of Jesus as just this swell long-haired freaky hippie dude who just wants people to get along and be nice.

Not quite.

From the Gospel of the Mass on the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C):

Luke 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Like I said, not quite the peace-and-love flower handing out “Can’t we all just get along”, acoustic guitar strumming, (OK, Paulcoholic, we get the idea.) guy of pop culture derivation.

Jesus was a radical who knew that commitment to His teachings and living them out would be a sacrifice. Not everyone would go along with your conversion or reversion to the Catholic Christian life. Any convert or revert will attest to the fact that acceptance of Catholic Christian living will be met with less-than-enthusiastic embracing by other members of their family, friends and acquaintances.

Some people will reject you for your new way of life. As is heard quite often in the meeting rooms of 12-Step groups, sometimes people may need to be left behind if they are a hindrance or obstacle to your survival.

Even if they accept your sobriety, they may draw the line at your Catholicism. So you may feel compelled to quit you new-found Catholic Faith and instead pick a less radical way. Just keep to 12-Step meetings or a less demanding Christian denomination.

OK, fine, do that. But the risk to your soul is not worth the gamble of picking the easier, softer way of 12-Step meetings or a different denomination. Only the Catholic Church contains the fullness of the Gospel and Apostolic teachings from Sacred Scripture. Pick pretty much any post in the “Church” label in the sidebar and there will be something written about that.

Do not expect the easy path. It will be difficult and you will lose people. But consider the probability that the people who oppose your new way of living are looking out for their own self-interest. They may resent your change simply because it reminds them they may have to, as well. Or you commitment to a radical new way of living is incomprehensible to them.

Be that as it may, pray for them, and if needed, let them go.

For an explanation as to why you’re reading this on a post date of “Thursday” instead of the expected “Sunday”, read this post .

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"

One Comment

  1. Very good post about the reactions of our loved ones to both sobriety and a reversion to the Church. When I experienced the first my wife at that time hit the highway. Seemed she could take anything but admitting she’d married another drunk (I was her second).When I experienced the second my present wife was much more understanding. She later confided she had prayed I’d have a spiritual awakening that would lead me to stronger religious beliefs. Naturally she’s gotten the, “be careful what you pray for..” routine. However she does support me and I count myself lucky there. And I try to practice both the first and second one day at a time. Seems to work better that way.

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