This was a reading in the Liturgy of the Hours from a few days ago:
- …it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
- Let us then throw off the works of darkness (and) put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy.
- But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.
People in recovery can see in this Scripture passage their own awakening in sobriety. When we stop drinking and enter the sober life, we “awaken from sleep”, inasmuch as while we were drinking we were asleep to real living, caught in the nightmare of our own making. Having made the first forays into sobriety, we realized that life is worth living and starting to work out our salvation. Much time was lost, but regardless of how much time is left, our new day is dawning.
We cast aside our old, alcoholic and addictive ways, and don a new set of clothing, our new selves wrought by our program of recovery and also our Catholic Faith. We learn a new way of living, a new way of reacting to things, and proper conduct amongst other people. We now know (or are learning to) how to relate to others.
“…Not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness…”. I am using words from the passage directly now instead of in a rough paraphrase. One thing I’ve noticed amongst some (not a lot) in early recovery is a fast and loose regard for morals and the dignity of others. Halfway houses where people in early recovery live with other genders (a violation of Catholic teaching about living with the opposite sex outside of marriage), and Internet use by said residents visiting public libraries where their online activity is on lewd dating and soft-porn sites. This is why I put the “For those addicted to porn” links in the sidebar. As we begin to value our own new lives, we should also learn to value and appreciate other people as dignified children of God, and not as sexual objects, stripped not just of their clothing, but also of their value as unique human beings, with intellect and immortal souls.
The selfishness (“rivalry and jealousy”) we exhibited in our alcoholic state is past. Entering into our new sober living, we decide to make the best of our past. Instead of moaning about it, we seek to help others and with God’s assistance, establish mutual support. Either formally or informally we seek to help others regardless of who they are. We were wounded. We are still wounded. We heal our wounds in the healing of others.
We are drawn to Jesus Christ, and to His Church. We seek to become like Him, as Christians are obligated to do. We “make no provisions for the desires of the flesh”, meaning that as Christ, the Son of God died in His body, we as Christians, die to our flesh, we follow the spirit of Truth and not the morals and ways of the world. Truth liberates, the world enslaves and denigrates.
How awake are you?Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"