When He was insulted, He returned no insult; when He suffered, He did not threaten

The following passage from the First Letter of St. Peter speaks of a difficult, challenging but ultimately liberating attitude towards authority. Particarly if you’re having a bad time with it (authority) and have suffered justly or unjustly at the hands of it.

Alcoholics have a particular need for this passage as there is a residual sense of selfishness and pride in early recovery while the whole “humility thing” is being worked out. Non-alcoholics can use this as it will help them endure coping with authority, the legitimate and just, and the unfair and unjust.

Note: take out the word “slaves” and substitute “employees” or “children”. And for the word “masters” substitute “bosses”, “managers” or “parents”.

1 Peter 2:18-25: “Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse.

For whenever anyone bears the pain of unjust suffering because of consciousness of God, that is a grace.

But what credit is there if you are patient when beaten for doing wrong? But if you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God.

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.

‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’

When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.

He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls. “

(Via USCCB.)

As I have stated countless times before, as Christians we are to emulate Christ. We must take up our crosses and follow Him, as He commanded.

Matthew 16:24: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”

(Via USCCB.)

It is self-righteous pride when we cry out against real or perceived unjust treatment of ourselves. “Why me?” Perhaps it is connected to our instinct for self-preservation, but our faith in God should be strong enough to consider that He has a plan in store for us and if things are not going our way, then maybe He has something different in mind for our lives. If we are suffering through this, then somehow that suffering is a part of His plan of salvation for us. And as Jesus accepted His cross for humanity’s salvation, so then must we take up our individual crosses for our discipleship.

Being a Christian isn’t easy. And it was never intended to be.

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"