How often do you pray and go to Church? Part 1

Quite often in the 12 Step meetings that I attended years ago some newcomer would ask the question as to how many meetings they should attend. Some old timer would ask:

“Well, how often did you drink?”

The newcomer responded, “Every day.”

The oldster replied, “Then go to meetings every day. If you drank every day, then you can go to meetings every day.”

The idea is that as often as you flooded your mind with alcoholic and addictive thoughts, you can now flood your mind with 12 Step principles and meeting discussions and fellowship. As much time as you gave your drinking, you can give to your recovery.

OK, if you read this blog often enough and perhaps are even a member of Catholic Recovery, you somehow arrived at the notion that your Catholic Faith may have some hand in keeping you sober and clean. But can it provide the all the tools necessary to keep you sober?

For the intentions of this post, and follow-ups, I won’t touch upon the nature of the Church Jesus founded, nor any theology or other “high concepts.” Just the bare bones basics of the possibility that your life is not what it could be. There’s something missing. Sure, you attend your regular AA meetings, you talk to your sponsor, (or maybe are one yourself). You go to Sunday Mass and are generally “Catholic”. But there’s a hole and an emptiness. You feel that your life as you’re living it is something less than it can be.

So, like the title of this post suggests, “How often do you pray and go to Church?” It isn’t as easy a question as you might think. This is particularly true if your Catholic education stopped when you received the Sacrament of Reconciliation or graduated from high school. Basically, teenage years. Your concept of God probably stopped developing at that point. You figure that putting your hour of Church in once a week (or so), praying to Jesus or maybe Mary when you’re in a jam, is enough. But now you’re sensing that isn’t quite true.

Now I ask the question, or rather reframe the question in the title, “How do you live the life of the Church?”

The life of the Church is marked by prayer and the liturgy. The Sacraments are Her lifeblood. How often do you explore and partake of them?

I will continue this in Part 2.

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"