Our Lady of the Rosary: year in review reflection

Today was the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. That link is a post I wrote last year.

It has been quite a year for me since that post. In that year I relocated to a new city to be closer to my then-girlfriend (after commuting weekly 360 miles/580 km round-trip for nearly 2 months), took a low-paying part-time job just to be near her, got a new job a few months later – just before the actual wedding, and endured a lot of change and trials on that job these past 8 months on it. I proposed to her 10 months ago today on the Vigil of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Rose said “Yes” but made me propose again the next day as she felt it was more proper to do so on the day of the feast instead. Women… (!!!). ) All in all, a new life, and a year that most people would have taken several years to live out. No boasting, just a lot of life development and such all packed in to one year, that others would have experienced over a longer period.

A strong faith and strong sobriety was key in my surviving this past year. There was much that could have undermined my sobriety, ask any long-term member of a 12 Step group and they would have said something about too much change too soon. Change, or big change and a lot of it, isn’t good for any recovered/recovering alcoholic. Having something worthwhile to achieve (like a great lady) helps.

From Romans 12:12: “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.”

(Via USCCB.)

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"


  1. The 12 STEPS come from Satan (via Bill Wilson), who is the master deceiver (Revelation 12:9). Remember, SATAN. used Scripture to tempt Christ (Matthew 4:6), and Balaam spoke much truth (Numbers 23-24); but he was a false prophet (2 Peter 2:15-16/Numbers 22). In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus warned, Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Jesus likewise warned in Luke 13:24, Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.Peace Be With YouDavid

  2. Thank you for your opinion, but the 12 Steps do not come from Satan. Fr. Ed Dowling, SJ, and early supporter of AA and a Jesuit priest, saw that the 12 Steps were essentially a reflection of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. That being said, I can see where abuse of the 12 Steps can be considered an influence of Satan, namely the vague “Higher Power” concept and the “God of our understanding.” Although these were introduced to enable Catholics and other sincere members of various faiths to continue to practice their beliefs freely without pressure or fear to conform to beliefs different from their own, indeed these have been morphed into the sin of indifferentism, i.e. the false notion that all religions are equal and that it doesn’t matter what you believe in as long as you believe in something. Indifferentism was not the original intent of the 12 Steps idea of a “Higher Power”. Unfortunately, that is what they have become in some parts of AA.Under a properly well-formed Catholic conscience and adherence to Catholic teaching, there is nothing in the 12 Steps that violates Catholicism. The “Higher Power” is the Triune God and our understanding of Him is formed and guided by Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

  3. Paulcoholic said……there is nothing in the 12 Steps that violates Catholicism.Dear PaulAA denies CHRIST & the STEPPERS who claim to be Christian are participating in it…. AA too is participating in the doctrine of the anti -Christ.2John 7-117 There are many deceivers at large in the world, refusing to acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in human nature. They are the Deceiver; they are the Antichrist.8 Watch yourselves, or all our work will be lost and you will forfeit your full reward.9 If anybody does not remain in the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he does not have God with him: only those who remain in what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them.10 If anyone comes to you bringing a different doctrine, you must not receive him into your house or even give him a greeting.11 Whoever greets him has a share in his wicked activities.Peace Be With YouDavid

  4. AA does not deny Christ. AA has “no opinion on outside issues” and does not “ally with any sect or denomination.” That does not mean that Christ is denied, just that religion is a personal matter for AA members. Each is free to subscribe to whatever religious faith they wish to, and that was the original intent of the “Higher Power” concept, each can believe in God in whatever manner they feel. This is better than AA imposing a theology on people. All members are free to follow their Catholic beliefs or whatever other beliefs they possess. Granted, some worship falsely, but that is the person’s responsibility, not AA’s fault.AA is about keeping sober, period. It is not about a path to God, it is merely teaching people how to handle sobriety, that is why AA steers clear of endorsing any religion. Your biblical quotes are irrelevant, AA is not a religion, does not propose any “doctrine”, does not purport to be Christian, anti-Christian or anything other than a program of maintaining one’s sobriety. Admittedly, as I have already written, people misuse AA’s “Higher Power’ notion, but that is the result of their lack of proper faith formation, not any direct fault of AA.

  5. Paulcoholic said…Each is free to subscribe to whatever religious faith they wish to, and that was the original intent of the “Higher Power” concept…Dear Paul,The original founders tended to classify alcoholism as a “sin disease”. This is not possible. For one the philosophy of a “sin disease” is not possible in a free society. This is not a country run on religion. Therefore again proving AA to be religious. By slapping the idea of alcoholism being a sin on it’s members it again gains the upper hand and has the ability to control its members by saying anything they want as long as it’s in the name of god. As soon as you go to AA it is very hard to get away. Nowhere in the 12 steps does it say that you should quit drinking, or help anyone else to quit drinking, either. Nowhere do the words SOBRIETY, RECOVERY, ABSTINENCE, HEALTH, HAPPINESS, JOY, & LOVE appear in the 12 Steps. The word ‘alcohol’ is only used once, when it was PATCHED into the 1st Step for the word “sin.” But Wilson wrote “ We are powerless over ‘alcohol’… Oxford Group Slogan; “We are powerless over sin & have been defeated by it.You are being indoctrinated with BUCHMANISM, Paul!Peace Be With YouDavid

  6. With all due respect, AA is not a religion. It may be classified as spiritual organization, hence the borrowing of "religious" terminology. AA broke away from the Oxford Movement very early in its history due to Oxford's religious overtones (I believe Catholics led Oxford's alcoholic members away because they were uncomfortable with Oxford's Protestant associations) and can no longer be seriously associated with it, especially as the Oxford Movement is defunct (as far as I know).Once again, Catholics heavily influenced early AA, which you pointedly ignore. The fact that all those words (SOBRIETY, RECOVERY, ABSTINENCE, HEALTH, HAPPINESS, JOY, & LOVE) are not mentioned in the 12 Steps means nothing. Those are all the fruits of 12 Step living. Same for "quit drinking, or help anyone else to quit drinking" never being mentioned. They are the fruits of 12 Step life, as well. Thank you for your time.

  7. Gee Michael – On the surface you seem very, very angry about something.Paul has never said that AA is the only way to get sober. Nor does he suggest that it is a substitute for his Catholic faith.It is, for us alcoholics, just a help as we live out our daily conversion experience.Anyone who finds it necessary to dump his opinions in someone’s combox like so much doggie-do, should reflect on the Beatitudes and behavior that brings glory to God.Judging from your picture you are still quite young. As you grow older you will learn to temper your tongue…

  8. Dear PaulAlcoholics Anonymous runs solely on intimidation, false hopes, and the forced belief in god. Regardless of what Alcoholics Anonymous denies it is very evident they promote religion.As stated above Alcoholics Anonymous denies that they promote religion, yet constantly they say that its members must find god. It seems to me that that is promotion of religion. Federal courts even deemed Alcoholics Anonymous “unequivocally religious.” Peace Be With YouDavid

  9. MPD: You are entitled to your opinions, regardless of how far off-base they are. There is no point in continuing this discussion any further, especially as it had nothing whatsoever to do with the post they are attached to, but also particularly because there seems to be no point in communicating with you as you are consumed by judgmentalism and animosity. You take writings out of context and misunderstand the context they are placed in.This comment thread is over.

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