On this day of the novena, we petition for the gift of counsel.
Like before, we start with the prayer:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and rekindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created and you shall renew the face of the Earth.
Counsel is the enlightening of the mind by the Holy Spirit so as to better discern God‘s will in choosing between right and wrong. (I usually get counsel confused with knowledge.)
We alcoholics are experts at choosing between right and wrong. Unfortunately we almost always picked the wrong choice while drinking. The first major right choice we made was when we arrived at the “jumping off” point, that moment when we hit bottom and decided between life and death. Life, meaning not drinking may be actually better than drinking. “If I continue to drink, I will die. If I stop drinking, I may only want to die.”
After sobriety sets in, we face countless right-or-wrong choices. As alcoholics, these decisions go deeper than “normal” people (those who can drink safely). As alcoholics, we need to learn how ourselves to handle sobriety. We need to retrain ourselves in how we react to situations and events that “normal” people take in stride without a thought. My favorite personal example are intersections and grocery stores. I need to think in advance while stopped at a red light that sometimes people may actually take 5 or more seconds to hit the accelerator after the light turns green. By think I mean ponder and remind myself. Most people are probably just on automatic and go on green after a habit-formed period of time passes, allowing for traffic conditions. No, not me. I have to meditate because I am convinced that after waiting at the red light for however long it’s on, people forget that green means “go”. For grocery stores is similar. I have to remind myself that people are not intentionally moving their shopping carts slowly down the middle of the aisle just to inconvenience me, or that the checker is intentionally driving me insane by slowly running the items over the scanner and bagging them.
Those two personal examples are moments when I need the gift of counsel, this inner light of reason as to which path to take (in my examples the path of patient waiting or impatient burning).
Counsel is like the Holy Spirit is your personal Twelve Step sponsor.
Oh, Holy Spirit, give me the gift of counsel so that I may always choose right over wrong. I ask this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.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"