Dying and Persevering

From the Second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy:

2 Timothy 2: 11-12;

If we have died with him we shall also live with him;
if we persevere we shall also reign with him.

By dying with Christ means, I think, to die to the world of sin, to reject the world’s morals and values, to become more like Jesus in following the will of God, as much as humanly possible. We accept all suffering as part of our working out our salvation, and if we persevere to the end of our lives, we will be rewarded eternally by living with Him and our loved ones in Heaven.

Twelve Step movements like AA usually regard do-it-yourself sobriety as an “easier, softer way”. This means that unless you undertake a program of recovery, usually 12-Step, it means that you are unwilling to do the necessary sacrifices and struggles to become and remain sober. You are unwilling to “do whatever it takes”. Clearly, Christianity is a tougher road to travel, and Catholic Christianity perhaps the toughest. It demands much from its adherents. But the rewards are eternal. The rewards of Twelve Step spirituality are merely sobriety. Relative to Christian spirituality, using solely the 12 Steps, and the comfortable design-it-yourself Higher Power is the easier, softer way.

It is a shame that Twelve Step spirituality has taken so many Catholics away from the Church. The vague “Higher Power” concept of God, which was originally meant to allow Catholics and devout practitioners of other faiths the freedom to pursue their religion, (without seemingly being forced to adopt religious beliefs contrary to their own) has devolved into a “doesn’t matter what you believe in, as long as you believe in something” type of spirituality. One denomination or religion is NOT as good as any other. They all differ in regards to the Truth.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). He is the same: yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). So is His Church, the Catholic Church.

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"