The roots of disturbance

Earlier this week there appeared in the Office of Readings portion of the Liturgy of the Hours an excerpt from the teachings of St. Dorotheus, abbot.

(Via Idaho Lay Dominicans.)

Every year when I read this I am struck by how useful and relevant to alcoholics and addicts this saints writing are.

Disturbance over something is often at the core of our addictions. We are not satisfied with ourselves, with others or with the world at large. And therefore we seek to quell that disturbance by alcohol. Even when that disturbance is “positive”, such as an unusually nice day, or good companionship, we seek to heighten our appreciation by drinking. But there is usually something wrong with ourselves. We seek to take attention away from ourselves and problems and falsely satisfy them. (I had written something about this before: A Spiritual Axiom: a Disturbance of the Spirit

If you read St. Dorotheus from the link in the first paragraph, he recounts the many ways in which a person may or may not be disturbed or take offense at a rebuke. From what we may call “considering the source” of the rebuke, to being in a calm state because one is prayerful and reflective, when one is disturbed there is a reason for it. The disturbance is what is wrong, but it points to a deeper problem.

St. Dorotheus puts forth the notion that: “Yet the reason for all disturbance, if we look to its roots, is that no one finds fault with himself.”

We cease to be reflective, and stop examining our conscience. We no longer look inward to ourselves and clean up our faults and defects.

Read over the excerpt from St. Dorotheus’s writings. Reflect on them. I’ll post a few more thoughts on them over the next few days.

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"