I’ve just read a book on St. John the Baptist: (John the Baptist: Prophet and Disciple) and now is an appropriate time to have done that since it’s Advent. As John is the Precursor of Christ, foretelling of His first Coming, this book helped me to better prepare for Christmas.
One thing about my reading it is that I should have given St. John the Baptist a much larger role in this blog. I don’t think I’ve mentioned him too often. This is odd as I’ve kind of felt this blog to be in the spirit of his mission. He pointed the way to Christ, he was not the light, but merely reflected the light of Christ. He decreased, so that Christ would increase. Likewise, I’ve used this blog to not especially promote a plan of recovery (save for possibly a “Matt Talbot Way”), but rather to point the way to what resources the Church offers to alcoholics and addicts. Rather than illuminate a “Catholic Recovery Program” invented by me, I’ve sought to reflect the light of the Church with regard to the possible efficacy of the Mass and the Sacraments, prayers and devotions, the Saints and others, to those who might be searching for it, but do not see it. Don’t come looking to me, take a look at what I’m pointing out. I’ll get out-of-the-way, you spend more time in Church. 😉
And so, I’ve had some attachment and self-identification with the “Voice crying out in the wilderness” tagline that St. John the Baptist used. In fact, if I recall back when I started this blog in January 2007, I considered that for a title for this blog. I probably rejected it as being too wordy and not properly descriptive.
So, this one sober Catholic “Voice crying out in the wilderness” of recovery, pointing the way to the healing power of the Church and Her resources, is going to spend a few posts writing about St. John the Baptist and how his message of prayer, fasting and repentance can be useful in recovery.
A brief review of the book linked to above: It’s a very good work, it should be in every Christian’s library. It very much helped me to better appreciate the role of John in salvation history and his place within Christianity. My only problem with it is I think it could have gone through one or two more rewrites. The author frequently brought up points as if it were the first time he mentioned them. A minor cosmetic or stylistic problem, but I got annoyed every time he brought up, for example, the issue of scholars regarding John as merely being a product of “Second Temple Judaism.” The multiple times he mentioned this is fine, it’s just that the way he brought it up was as if each time was the first. But don’t let that get in the way of getting the book, ordering information is in that link up above.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"