St. Rita and me

Do you think it’s possible that a saint can select you to be a client of theirs, rather than the usual way of us picking someone because we were named after them or something about their life resonated with us? 

Today is the Feast of St. Rita of Cascia; it’s also my sobriety date. Nineteen years sober! Anyway, I was soooooo not the poster child for early sobriety or for working the 12 Steps, and given that Rita is the patroness of ‘impossible cases,’ I was wondering if it was possible that she was summoned by God and was told, “Hey, Rita baby, I got one for you. Real tough job. Think you can handle it, kiddo?” And that was that.

Just wondering…

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Divine Mercy Sunday 2021

Divine Mercy Sunday is upon us. This is one of my favorite Sundays since the Divine Mercy devotion was instrumental in my reversion to the Church, but also due to the promises of Our Lord towards those who approach Him with sincere repentance and contrition in wiping away their sins.

I have always viewed Divine Mercy Sunday as a metaphorical ocean of the Precious Blood of Jesus, bottomless, with the shore off an infinite distance. And I dive into it, covering myself in His Blood and seeing my sins washed away.

I’ve blogged about this day before, so please read this post: Divine Mercy Sunday, and also this one: Divine Mercy Sunday: a Great Day for those who’ve really messed things up.

Here is another great resource on the holiday from the Marians: Divine Mercy FAQs

I do hope that you can avail yourself of this incredible example of the Divine Love for each one of us.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Help a Babcia in need: A Work of Mercy

I first learned about Markie Works in the introduction to the Mother Angelica book that Raymond Arroyo edited entitled “Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality.” I’m retelling from memory but Markie was in despair in a hotel room in Chicago in the early 1990s when she chanced upon the “Mother Angelica Live” show on EWTN. She was about to change the channel as a nun show was not on her TV watching agenda, not with her life.  Someone had called in with issues concerning their mother (the mother in question had rejected and mistreated the caller all her life.) Mother Angelica looked directly into the camera and told the caller that “I’ll be your mother, now.” That was all Markie needed. Her own mother was murdered in cold blood by an uncle when Markie was about two; afterwards her life became one of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. Always living on the margins, Markie found some solace in drugs and alcohol. But that night in Chicago, watching Mother Angelica, she hit bottom and began to crawl back up. Becoming  a faithful viewer of  Mother Angelica, her life turned around.

It has not always remained so. Given the start she had, it would never really be butterflies and sunshine. Markie now lives in Florida and has reached a point where she needs assistance. Multiple things have happened that when combined, have become overwhelming and financially unsustainable. Markie need help and has established a GoFundMe drive. You can read her complete story here: The Help Heal #BabciasBraindown Emergency Fund.

Quote: “My name is Markiemarie aka ( Babcia )

I’m here to ask for help , not something I’m used to but this is a situation in which I find that I must. 

 My life has never been easy due to circumstances I had no control over.

 In 1963 when I was only 2 years old, my drunken uncle, a Chicago Cop shot my mom in the head dead. That same man robbed me of my mother and my innocence.

( So did other men in my family ) I was routinely sexually abused and beaten for years by countless predators.

 I  carried that pain and shame with me my entire life.I prayed and cried and wondered why no one came to rescue me.I learned early that not many care to get involved and I had to fend for myself.”

 Furthermore, quote: “I recently moved from Ill. to Florida .

Last year and I started to experience panic attacks, debilitating anxiety and suicidal depression and agoraphobia. I attributed it all to lack of hormones from a Total Hysterectomy that was required from my uterine Cancer.

That wasn’t it.

 It was from being a trauma survivor , all that buried pain came to the surface and it parlayed me emotionally….

 …In addition to that, Several years ago I broke my foot when I slipped on some ice. MRSA  infections prevented it from healing right. I had to live in a non walking cast for 3 Years! Now it feels like I’m stepping on glass.  

 It kills me not to be able to function like I used to because I’ve always had a strong work ethic. I always tried to put on a happy face and positive attitude despite what I’ve lived through.

 I have been diagnosed with PTSD, Bipolar disorder and Severe Anxiety and Major Depressive disorder. I have to see a psychiatrist and take 4 different psychotropic medications to thwart the suicidal thoughts that keep intruding in my head….

...I’m a 59 year old woman that lives alone in a  trailer park who has no family to turn to and no income to pay for basic necessities. My estranged husband helps when he can but he has his own life ,bills & challenges to deal with.

(Anger Management)

 My prayer is that my GoFundMe campaign #BabciasBraindown 

inspires you to help me to be able to heal my soul and circumstances.

 I hope to be able to get some school and training to get a computer job but that’s not an option now , I can’t afford to pay living expenses let alone a computer or internet.The threat of homelessness is very real. I’m asking for a hand up not a hand out.”

 There’s more amongst the excerpts I quoted. But the story is there.

 I’ve donated to her fund. I do not know Markie personally and cannot guarantee anything; she is a Facebook friend after I discovered her name on a list of “People you may know” and I recognized it from the Arroyo book. I messaged her asking if she was that Markie Works and she said ‘Yes” and went on to tell me more of her life story.

 I thought about it, meditated and prayed about it and decided that I should donate. I took a leap of faith that it is the right thing to do. I am suggesting that you do likewise. Go to the GoFundMe link I posted above, read Markie’s story and pray about it. The spiritual life is always active, but this is the Easter Triduum and prayers are scorching the hotlines to Heaven. Graces are pouring down from Heaven as we participate in the liturgies concerning Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. Now is a good time to ask for intercessory prayers. And now is a good time to pray about offering help to another soul in need.

God rewards those who help others. We are all in need of help from time to time. I, myself, was the beneficiary from the charity and kindness of others five years ago when I was laid up at home recovering from hospitalization. My pride was humbled at the response to my wife’s pleas. We are not isolated, rugged individuals existing by our own efforts; although it seems that many people, including Catholics, think we should be. We are actually members of the Mystical Body of Christ; where one suffers, all of us suffer. When one rejoices, all rejoice. In giving to others, we help ourselves. The poor and needy are God’s representatives. Remember Matthew 25: 31-46

 So, consider helping Babcia. I consider her to be one of my ‘tribe,’ she’s a Polish-American, in recovery and a devotee of Mother Angelica. Donate what you can! Thank you! (Although I donated, I don’t remember if there was a place to write a note to the beneficiary of the fund. If there is, and you’d like to, kindly mention that you heard about the fund on SoberCatholic. If you can’t or don’t want to, that’s OK. I’m just curious as to how many readers of mine do donate.)

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 6.08.19 PM

 

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Holy Saturday and the Harrowing of Hell

Today is Holy Saturday and I hope that your Lent has been a fine and fruitful one. I didn’t blog except for a few times (I was ‘around’ but taken up with things.) The seasons come and they go; we as Catholics learn to live with the Liturgical Year as it helps us with the rhythms of the spiritual life. Many people decide to vanish from being online during Lent; while I don’t do that I did spend it in a somewhat reflective mood. I had my daily routine: awaken and grab a cuppa coffee, do my morning prayers and devotions and then watch a Daily Latin Mass on YouTube. Then on to the days’ activities: garden prepping, or miscellaneous household duties. Sometimes exploring income opportunities (which I do have to expand upon.) See this post: Bathtub Blogging, on my other blog.

But the days passed, I pondered Lent, and took things one day at a time. And now we have all arrived at the end. Today is Holy Saturday, a day which I always viewed, even as a child, as a day to spend in meditative prayer or pondering. Despite the Easter Vigil Mass in the evening, it always seemed to be a day to ‘pause,’ sandwiched in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the two ‘big’ liturgical days. While the Good Friday services are not obligatory (they should be) it still feels ‘odd’ to consider not attending. And the Easter Vigil Mass is also not an obligation (if you do not go, then you must attend an Easter Sunday Mass.) So, there are things one can definitely do on Friday and Sunday, but Holy Saturday? Where was Jesus, even? “He descended to the Dead” the Creed informs us.

Called the Harrowing of Hell, it is referred to in 1 Peter 4:6 “For because of this, the Gospel was also preached to the dead, so that they might be judged, certainly, just like men in the flesh, yet also, so that they might live according to God, in the Spirit.” and in Ephesians 4:9 “…what is left except for him also to descend, first to the lower parts of the earth?’

Courtesy Sacred Bible: Catholic Public Domain Version

What did he do there? He preached to all the Righteous who had died since the times of Adam and Eve. All of the Just who died before Heaven was reopened at His Ascension were gathered and received the Gospel. From Adam and Eve, to St. John the Baptist and his own foster father, St. Joseph, as well as countless others who died in God’s friendship but were banned from Heaven due to Adam’s sin.

He appeared to them, fresh from His Passion on the streets of Jerusalem and Calvary. He showed them His wounds, all the stripes He had suffered for the sins of all…. and they knew that the time of the banishment was over.

Who knows how much longer we have. We could die at any moment. Heaven is no longer barred to us, but Purgatory is a possibility for those who died in God’s graces but are not sufficiently cleansed from the impurities of sin. (NOTE: I do not wish to debate the doctrine of Purgatory. I have found that debating is quite pointless in these times and I lack the temperament required. I rarely do it and then only when I am moved to. But Purgatory is logical, and fits in with God’s mercy. The idea that a person could live a life of sinful depravity, and convert on their deathbed and go straight to Heaven just like a person who has died after living a life of heroic virtue, piety and sacrifice, is ridiculous. Both die in God’s graces, and upon death see God during their individual judgment, and yearn to be united to Him. Both burn with the desire for God and the latter (the holy person) enters into Heaven whereas the former (the sinner) still retaining the sins of their life, is prevented from admission because ‘nothing impure can enter the Kingdom  of Heaven.’ (Rev 21:27)  Their burning desire for God becomes like unto a fire of purgation, burning away the impurities  of their soul for as long as they are attached to the sins. This is an imprecise and simplistic recounting of what could occur, but it gets the idea across. Purgatory is the ‘entrance’ into Heaven. Some pass into Heaven without feeling the purgation because they offered their sufferings here in Earth; they essentially did their Purgatory already. Others need cleaning up.

So, Holy Saturday could be a day to ponder your afterlife. Where do you think you’ll be heading to? Lent was all about growing closer to the Lord by embracing His Passion and Death, by learning to accept the crosses that come into our life in hopes of becoming a better disciple. We suffered enough as alcoholics and addicts. And we caused enough suffering to others. Have you atoned and repented of these? Made amends? Get going while there’s still time. For we know not the day or the hour when the time allotted to us is over and we are summoned to our destiny.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

The Probably Not Gonna Be Happening Sober Catholic Podcast

If you are a subscriber to either the Sober Catholic Facebook Page, the Sober Catholic SP3RN Page, or even the Sober Catholic Telegram Channel, then you know that I was exploring the possibility of starting a Sober Catholic Podcast. This is something I’ve thought and prayed about ever since I began this blog in 2007. “All the cool Catholics” have podcasts and so I should too, even though I’m not cool.

I had seen in my WordPress subscriptions a post regarding “Turning your WordPress blog into a podcast with Anchor.” It seemed interesting: you connect your blog to Anchor.fm, your blogpost archive gets uploaded and you can then use these as scripts to record a podcast, with either your own voice or a text-to-speech robovoice (which actually didn’t sound bad.) They provide incidental music and sound that can be used as background effects, and there you go: a podcast which they even distribute to numerous podcasting services.

So I signed up. Unfortunately, not all of the posts got uploaded. I submitted a Help Ticket and they replied a day later stating that they can only upload the most recent 250 posts. Nice, but I have nearly 1,200 posts and my intent was to resurrect the oldest ones and gradually continue forward. I even thought of a schedule, every Friday I’d release a podcast of a “Classic” Sober Catholic post, with current posts that I thought are podcast worthy would be done on other days.

But the 250 post limit wipes out the advantage. So I figured that I can just manually upload classic posts as scripts (to perhaps take advantage of the text-to-speech,) but today I found that I can’t do that. So, that eliminates another advantage to using Anchor as a podcast service.

Therefore, as a result, I am leaning strongly against podcasting. Like I said, I had thought about it for years, never did it, and quite probably if I was ever going to I would have done it by now. Anchor.fm provided a relatively easy way to overcome my reticence, but their tech limitations of upload limit/no upload of text to be used as scripts essentially brings me back to the proverbial ‘Square one’ of podcasting: Do most everything myself. Anchor promised a virtually ‘pain-‘ and ‘hassle-free’ approach to podcasting; utilize already existing work with the rest being fairly automated (I know laying additional audio tracks requires some effort, but if most everything else is done for me, I can manage that.) But the above cited tech limitations or lack of functions pull me way out of my comfort zone.

I can still use old posts and record them on my MacBookAir. I can upload them to Anchor.fm and use some of their stock audio to spruce up the episode. So why am I disinclined to podcast, when it’s just a little more work for me to do?

If you are reading this and answering that it’s because I’m a lazy bum for seeing all these issues as obstacles, then you aren’t aware of two things: I HATE THE SOUND OF MY VOICE almost as much as I HATE SPEAKING!!! This is why I prefer the printed word of blogging over podcasting and why I always shied away from the latter. Anchor.fm’s easy-peasy system had the virtue of helping me to overcome my inherent personal issues to podcasting; but not enough, for now.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

33 Reasons NOT to walk the Camino

If you have been reading this blog for the past several years and retain a good memory for certain oddities, then you would know that I hold an obsession regarding the film “The Way.” It is a film directed by Emilio Estevez and starred his father, Martin Sheen. It is about a man (Sheen) who’s son (Estevez) died one day into his 500-mile pilgrimage and how he went to Spain to retrieve his son’s body. While there, the father impulsively decided to walk the Camino himself, carrying his son’s ashes, so that the son could ‘complete’ the Camino. It has lead me to watching untold hours of You Tube videos on the Camino. Ideally, I will walk the Camino someday; practically, it ain’t gonna happen, so until then I will do it vicariously. (Incidentally, there are ‘virtual Caminos;’ once in a while in my Facebook feed I see ads for such things. It’s like an exercise app where you enroll and walk so many miles a day wherever you live, either in your home or around the neighborhood and town. You keep track of how far you walk. I think it’s a smartphone app or Apple Watch thing; I’m not sure because I haven’t done that, either. But it looks interesting.)

Now, on to the point of this post. Recently I subscribed to a You Tube channel that is about this couple doing their third Camino. What I just love about it is that it is one of the few Camino channels that is unabashedly Catholic and approaches the Camino from its origins and purposes as a CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL PILGRIMAGE. Almost all of the others focus on a non-denominational/quasi-pagan spiritual development, or its historical and cultural importance, or that it’s a fun and worthwhile thing to do. Mostly backpackers for whom it is ‘just another’ hiking thing like the Appalachian Trail or whatever.

The channel is here: Los Peregrinos. The pilgrims are a Filipino couple from Dallas, Texas (although originally from the Philippines.) The series of videos are subtitled “33 reason why Catholics should not walk the Camino.” It is a funny use of ‘reverse psychology’ as each reason is a good lesson on faith and growing closer to Jesus, using Camino metaphors and examples.

I have not finished the series yet, currently I’m on Day 25. Each day they relate what happened, where they went and how it was; and at some point within the video he gives that day’s “reason not to walk” it, along with a “Camino Saint of the Day,” typically a saint from the area they were in on that day who is tied to the Camino in some manner.

I am loving these videos (although sometimes I do get dizzy as the camera is moved much too fast when a site is shot. But a small price for such an edifying series of videos.)

There is another You Tube Channel created by Catholics who also walked the Camino; although they visit churches along the way and their Faith is important, their videos aren’t as religious (but still worthwhile!) The St. Max Media YouTube Channel is run by a Polish lady who went on Camino with her daughter. Their playlist is here:  Camino de Santiago – The Way of Saint JamesKnow someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Ember Days of Lent 2021

Tomorrow, Friday and Saturday constitute the Ember Days of Lent. I mentioned them last year or the one before, as a weapon in the spiritual warfare for these times. Ember Days are like mini-Lents situated four times throughout the year. The first one begins right after Ash Wednesday, perhaps as a means of ‘strengthening’ the penitent for the Lenten journey. You know how it is, Lent begins, we’re all pious and devout and intent on having the ‘best Lent ever’ and dont’cha know it, one week in and we’ve already given up what we’re giving up!

From the Catholic Encyclopedia on New Advent:

“Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy.”

From the blog of the FSSP:

What are the dates of Ember Days? They have fluctuated throughout history. The upcoming Ember Days of Lent were not originally linked to the first week of Lent but to the first week in March. Francis Mershman in the Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) affirms: “They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross).” This was expressed in the old English rhyme:

Fasting days and Emberings be
Lent, Whitsun, Holyrood, and Lucie.
Or even a shorter mnemonic: Lenty, Penty, Crucy, Lucy.

Courtesy: FSSP Missive: Ember Days of Lent

The next Ember Days are the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after Pentecost.

I hope your Lent is going well; unlike some years, I will not be blogging daily. I do hope you are using a nice Catholic daily devotional to help you with Lent. If not, frequent meditations on the Passion of Christ are always fruitful. Stations of the Cross booklets are alway great to use, including mine! Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics.

 

 Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus

Last year I began a new devotion, the “Work of Reparation,” also known as the Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. I initially wrote about it here, but to quote from that post for a refresher: “During the late 1840’s. Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to a Carmelite nun in Tours, France, and revealed a message to her that was to be shared with the world. That message was the Devotion to His Most Holy Face. Sister Marie of St. Peter was tasked with making this “Work of Reparation” known.

This Devotion is intended to make reparation for the sins of blasphemy against the Holy Name of God and the profanation of Sundays and Holy Days. In addition, it is to be a spiritual weapon against Communists.”

I went on to say, “This is a devotion gravely needed for our times. Western Civilization is conceivably in a state of collapse as evidenced by the political and popular responses to the Coronavirus pandemic, riots and mob thuggery in our cities and Leftist infection of our cultural elites and the resulting aggressive action by the power centers they control in culture and society.” I am afraid that in addition to the threat of Leftist violence in the USA, Right-wing violence over the Presidential election results is now also a possibility. We may not have ‘passed the point of no return,’ regarding correcting our collective path to perdition, but to me, it’s only a matter of time before there is a Divine intervention of some kind. God does not provide miracles when there are still ordinary means to resolve problems and crises, but I think we’re coming to some such thing  soon. When? No idea, but the time for spiritual preparation is NOW (actually, it has been for a while.)

And so we come to the Holy Face Devotion, which in recent months  I am seeing more evidence of online (namely in the form of You Tube channels dedicated in part to it.)

Today is traditionally the Feast Day for the Holy Face. It is not celebrated in the Ordinary Form of the Mass, and in the Extraordinary Form (‘Latin Mass’) is is an optional votive Mass. But in years past the day before Ash Wednesday id dedicated to the ‘work of reparation,’ which is interesting given that the same day in secular cultures is dedicated to getting the last bit of debauchery out of your system before Lent begins the next day.

“Fr. Z,” who has a You Tube Channel where he celebrates the Latin Mass, posted yesterday on his blog, the Mass Propers for the Votive Mass in Honor of the Holy Face of Jesus. Here’s a link from that post for a downloadable PDF file for the Propers :  PDF of Mass Propers for the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus. If you want to watch the Mass, go here.

You can get a clear insight into the Holy Face Devotion by contemplating the Propers. I urge you to prayerfully read them!

ARCHIVE OF SOBER CATHOLIC HOLY FACE DEVOTION POSTSKnow someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Conversion of St. Paul

Today is January 25th, the day set aside on the Church calendar to celebrate the Conversion if St. Paul the Apostle. You know the story: Paul, still known as ‘Saul,’ a particularly zealous Pharisee who took special delight in arresting and bringing to capital punishment followers of “the Way,” as the Jewish sect that recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, was on his was to Damascus with authorization to cleanse that city of these followers. While en route, he was struck down by an apparition of Jesus.

From the Book of the Acts of the Apostles Ch. 9:3-9

And as he made the journey, it happened that he was approaching Damascus. And suddenly, a light from heaven shone around him.

And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goad.”

And he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”

And the Lord said to him, “Rise up and go into the city, and there you will be told what you ought to do.” Now the men who were accompanying him were standing stupefied, hearing indeed a voice, but seeing no one.

Then Saul rose up from the ground. And upon opening his eyes, he saw nothing. So leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.

And in that place, he was without sight for three days, and he neither ate nor drank. 

Courtesy: Sacred Bible: Catholic Public Domain Version

And we know the rest. He became the Apostle to the Gentiles, extending the Kingdom of God to lands beyond the original birthplace of the Way.

I like this feast day for personal reasons. First, my name is Paul. Second, it’s about his conversion; the transformation from a former manner of living to a better one that is in service to the Lord. I connect that with my own reversion to the Faith after about 15 years of being away, followed by the onset of sobriety.

Sometimes conversions take time. Mine took about eight years. Others can happen right away. Like a bolt of lightning, something happens which tells you that God wants something better for you and you must follow. There are many inspirational stories in Catholic devotional books and ‘lives of the saints’ of people converting very quickly, almost ‘miraculously,’ from a life of sin to one of holiness.

The point is, anyone’s conversion is possible. No matter how infused with secularism and materialism one is, the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother can break through the barriers and reach the interior of a person. The power and attraction of the ‘world’ may seem irresistible and insurmountable, but with God, all things are possible.

One additional point is, He may use others as the instrument of conversion. If you are reading this blog fairly regularly, you or another you know probably trod the path of conversion from an addictive life to a sober one. Perhaps one reason for that is for you to be an instrument of conversion for others. You may be the only Gospel, or Catechism that another person sees any given day. Your actions and words may be the springboard from which another person begins their journey.

Something to ponder…If He used St. Paul for the purposes He intended, what might He use you for?Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Distractions and anxiety

I noticed the other day that I haven’t blogged in over a month. This isn’t an apology nor an explanation, but just commentary about ‘distractions and anxiety.’

Lots of things have been going on in both the Church and the secular world. The Church passed through Advent, Christmas and on through Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord. Typically I would have blogged a bit on any one or a number of them. Not that I am a liturgical blogger, but one of the themes of this blog is that the liturgical year provides a rhythm and framework about which to live out the year. Not that I am always diligent in blogging during key seasons; I’ve been absent before during them and can promise you that it will happen again! Nevertheless, this goes beyond just focusing on the season and trying to live out the spirituality and forgetting or neglecting to bring insights to readers.

I’ve been distracted and downright freakishly anxious about the state of the world. USA Presidential election results were being disputed; and it doesn’t matter who would have won, either side was prepared to claim the other ‘cheated’ if their side lost. Carry this forward to the threat of political violence by the loser to protest the ‘stolen election.’ The threat of a civil war appears real. And I don’t really think it’s over.

So, in observing current events I decided to withdraw and not blog. Sad to say I didn’t withdraw from social media. I would have retained a greater deal of sanity if I had.

The civil war is for now a ‘cold’ one. No fighting or anything like that. But ruptures in online friendships as people ‘take sides’ and cannot tolerate an opposing point of view or conviction. I confess to having ‘unfriended’ people; primarily because they crossed a line of toxicity and illogic.

Oh, well. I’m back to blogging. I hope your Advent went well, that you got to Confession and Mass and grew spiritually and religiously. Perhaps you reread old Sober Catholic posts on the season to compensate for my not having written anything new.

Lent is almost upon us and I hope to use that to boost my blogging. Later, people!Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)