Be transformed by the renewal of your mind

The Second Reading for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time is one of my favorites. The part italicized used to be in the header of this blog, and was the first Bible verse I memorized.

Romans 12:1-2: “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.

(Via USCCB.)

I think that this is a verse that should be particularly inspiring and thus important to anyone in recovery. For in recovery we are transforming ourselves, we are coming out of addictive behavior and need to renew. In our drinking and drugging days we reacted to things by succumbing to our addictive crutch. It helped us to a point. But now that we are free of our addiction we need to retrain ourselves to react to things differently. We teach ourselves how to discover and follow God’s will.

We also do not, and should not, do things in conformity to the ways of the world. The world is addictive, it wants us to be hooked into its morals and its ways of doing things. It wants us to be drunk on its sensory addictions. To subscribe to its ways means we turn ourselves away from God. The world’s ways are not His. We are Christian, perhaps Catholic, and our ways should never be in conformity to the world’s. All those who think that the various traditional Christian denominations and the Catholic Church should “modernize” and become more “relevant” to the world’s ways have it backward. The world does not transform Christianity, Christianity is to transform the world.

And so it is with us. We seek, by the renewal of our minds through following Jesus Christ, to do things that are good and pleasing to God, realizing as Jeremiah did in today’s First Reading that it is not an easy path. It is one prone to hardship.

But it is something to be done if we are to be considered His followers and His adopted children.

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"