Annual Novena to St. Maximilian Kolbe begins

An annual post:

August 5th begins a novena to St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, one of my favorite saints for a myriad of reasons. One of them, and not the primary one, even, is his patronage of addicts. He was not an addict himself, but the Church in Her thinking has anointed him for that role by virtue of his death, for he was executed by a lethal injection.

His Feast Day is August 14th.

The following are links to a novena to him I wrote near the time when I began this blog:

The Novena to St. Maximilian Kolbe for Alcoholics and Addicts:

Novena Day 1 Novena Day 2 Novena Day 3 Novena Day 4 Novena Day 5 Novena Day 6 Novena Day 7 Novena Day 8 Novena Day 9

If you’d prefer an ‘official’ Novena from the Militia of the Immaculata, then you can download this PDF of one from them: Solemn Novena in Honor of St. Maximilian Kolbe.

There are numerous posts on Sober Catholic about him, the archive of them is here: St. Maximilian Kolbe Post Archive.

Although I said above that the novena begins on August 5th, I personally begin it on August 6th so that it can be said simultaneously with a Novena to the Immaculate Conception, which I say in honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Feast of the Assumption is August 15th. Here is a novena for that: Novena in Honor of the Immaculate Conception with St. Maximilian Kolbe

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!!)

Novena to St. Alphonsus Liguori begins July 23

A novena to St. Alphonse Liguori, whose feast day is Aug 1st, begins Saturday, July 23rd. He’s the patron saint of arthritis sufferers and those with scrupulosity (sometimes related to obsessive compulsive disorder).

Here are two: Pray More Novenas  and Redemptorists.

I love this saint, although I have not read as much of his works as I’d like. I have read, and highly recommend The Glories Of Mary. The version that I linked to is from Tan Books and is the most complete volume (other publishers offer the Glories of Mary, but in an abridged form.) You read this book and you will end up loving Our Lady even more than before. This version is:

 

The Glories of Mary is five complete books in one volume. The first book examines the words of the Salve Regina and shows how God has given Mary to mankind to be the Gate of Heaven. The second book explains Our Lady’s principal feasts and reveals fresh truths about these mysteries. The third book explains the Seven Sorrows of Mary and why Our Lady’s martyrdom was longer and greater than that of all other martyrs. The fourth book describes ten different virtues of Our Lady, and the fifth book provides dozens of famous prayers, meditations, and devotions to her.

Included are the theological proofs for the Immaculate Conception, explanations of the invocations in the Litany of Loreto, and a description of Our Lady’s death. The Glories of Mary is the greatest compendium of nearly eighteen centuries of teaching on Our Lady and seeks to lead many souls to a greater love of Jesus through a more intimate knowledge of Mary and her exalted role in our salvation.

Source: Tan Books

 

Another book he wrote that I absolutely love is Visits to the Blessed Sacrament, which I often use in, well, visits to the Blessed Sacrament. It is thirty-one meditations, perfect for a quick fifteen minute visit to Our Lord.

A very good biography of him is right here: St. Alphonse Liguori.

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!!)

Let there be Life

It’s all over the news, so I won’t post any links, but what has been known for months due to a leak has now become official: the utterly barbaric USA Supreme Court decision from 1973 known as ‘Roe vs Wade’ has been overturned by the current Supreme Court. Protection of the unborn now reverts to the States and the laws that were on the books in 1973, or laws passed afterwards that are set to be ‘triggered’ into effect once Roe v Wade was overturned

This is a great day for those who believe that life begins at conception and that all human life is sacred from womb to tomb. I am hoping that this will have a cumulative effect of propagating more ‘life affirming’ laws and actions: from extensive and comprehensive affordable healthcare, to a more defensive-oriented military policy (the US Armed Forces to be used only for the defense of the US, and not for military adventurism and the expansion of the ‘American Empire’), prison reform, labor and workplace protections, and so on down the line.

It is interesting that this Supreme Court decision became official on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the traditional date for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (who was an unborn child when he first heard the Word, Who was Himself an unborn child….)

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!!)

NOVENA ALERT!!!!!! Today begins the Sacred Heart Novena, and also …

… the Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Technically, the Sacred Heart Novena began yesterday so that it ends on the day before the feast, but it’s all right if it ends on the day of. I forgot to begin it yesterday, but I think I’ve always said the two Novenas simultaneously, because of the Union of the Two Hearts. 

Sacred Heart Novena.( ETWN)

Sacred Heart Novena (Pray More Novenas.)

Immaculate Heart of Mary Novena(EWTN)

Immaculate Heart of Mary Novena (Pray More Novenas.)

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!!)

National Eucharistic Revival: A Grassroots Response to God’s Invitation

The Bishops of the United States are launching us on a three-year long Eucharistic Revival. I first heard about it in a recent issue of the Militia of the Immaculata-USA monthly magazine Knight of the Immaculata. (This may initiate a PDF download in some browsers.)

Why is this being done? From the he US Bishops site especially set up for it: National Eucharistic Revival:

Revival’s in the Air!
AN EXCITING JOURNEY AHEAD:
Our world is hurting. We all need healing, yet many of us are separated from the very source of our strength. Jesus Christ invites us to return to the source and summit of our faith—his Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. Watch the video to learn more about the exciting journey ahead and how you can be a part of it!

Scandal, division, disease, doubt. The Church has withstood each of these throughout our very human history. But today we confront all of them, all at once. Our response in this moment is pivotal.

In the midst of these roaring waves, Jesus is present, reminding us that he is more powerful than the storm. He desires to heal, renew, and unify the Church and the world.

How will he do it? By uniting us once again around the source and summit of our faith—the Holy Eucharist. The National Eucharistic Revival is the joyful, expectant, grassroots response of the entire Catholic Church in the U.S. to this divine invitation.

It takes time to kindle a living, loving relationship—and a relationship with Jesus Christ is no exception. That’s why the Eucharistic Revival allows three years for discernment, encounter, and grassroots response on the diocesan, parish, and individual levels.

The Timeline:

It begins this June 19, 2022, the Feast of Corpus Christi “Launch of the Eucharistic Revival.” (It actually started with the Novena to the Body and Blood of Our Lord, which I totally forgot to do. Go figure. I blew it already!)

Then the “Diocesan Year of Eucharistic Revival” begins Monday, June 19, 2022 and lasts until June 11, 2023.

After that it moves to the Parish level with the “Parish Year of Eucharistic Revival” from June 11, 2023 – July 17, 2024.

And then there will be a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, Indiana from July 17 – 21, 2024. I have never been to a Eucharistic Congress. I’ve heard of them and known that some amazing things happen at them. These are not recent, they go back over a century, with the first International Eucharistic congress happening in 1881. I would love to attend this one! Indianapolis isn’t that far away! It isn’t an ‘International’ one, but this is as close as I’ll get.

When that is done, there begins the “Year of Going Out on Mission,” from July 17, 2024 – Pentecost 2025. 

Three years. Equal to the number of year Our Lord openly preached on Earth. If we get behind this, we can work wonders in our country and in the World. There’s no reason why you can’t participate in some manner. Get started by learning about the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist. A majority of Catholics only think it’s a symbol. It is not. It is literally the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the form of bread and wine. If you receive Holy Communion and don’t believe this then your are receiving Him unworthily. St. Paul teaches that this brings condemnation on oneself. If you’ve done this because you just didn’t know, then your culpability is lessened. But you must believe that He is truly, Really Present in the Eucharist. 

Read up on this. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a great place to start. I may look up some great, informative sites on the Real Presence and post them this weekend. Another awesome practice to do is Eucharistic Adoration. Just spend some time, when you can, in silent prayer and reverence before the Lord. If the parish you attend does not have Eucharistic Adoration, then go to Mass early and Adore Him reposed in the tabernacle. Or stay later after Mass. If your parish is like a gabfest in the church before Mass and it’s difficult to pray, then perhaps charitably and kindly talk to the priest about suggesting to people that they take their conversations outside, or somewhere else on the parish grounds that’s more appropriate. Perhaps he can tie it in to the Eucharistic Revival; that the parish’s contribution is to be transformed into a house of prayer before each Mass, so that people can ‘get to know’ Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament by means of quiet prayer. And maybe after three years it’ll stay that way!

I’m excited. It is something to provide a focus for over the next three years. Get behind it! The Mass (said correctly, with proper reverence and solemnity) and Adoration is the closest thing we have to Heaven on Earth!

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!!)

Novenas to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

I wrote about Our Lady of Perpetual Help recently and how I’ve been experiencing ‘signal graces’ in the form of coincidental happenings. (I forgot to mention one: while in Adoration I had found a Rosary in the ‘free box’ with the OLPH image!) Anyway, in that post I also said that I’ll share with your some novenas to OLPH. The Novena begins this Saturday the 18th of June with the feast day on June 27th.  

Here’s one from EWTN: Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help | EWTN 

Here’s another from Pray More Novenas.

Here’s another nice one.

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!!)

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

I have recently been the recipient of multiple odd ocurrences of the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH). The seeming randomness has gone beyond being mere coincidence; I think it has reached the point of being a ‘signal grace.’

I could be watching a Catholic YouTube channel and the host has images of the walls of his home and studio. I am looking up stuff on Catholic sites or blogs and there are references to her or the image. I go to Saturday Vigil Mass with my wife wants to sit in a particular pew, but there’s an AC unit blasting arctic air and so we move to a pew in the rear of the church right next to a huge image of OLPH. At home I find a random image of OLPH sticking out of a pile of books. I go to Facebook and search for OLPH, I get as far as typing ‘our’ and the search result start appearing…. OLPH is the first. (Granted Facebook tracks you away from itself, but I think I have enough addons to block that.) An image I forgot I had peeks out from a stack of books. I go to a med appointment and arrive early, leave early, and so have time to go to Mass. It’s the new Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church. While not tied to the devotion to OLPH, in my mind I make theological and spiritual connections between my being called to go to Mass on that day and the feasts. (Mary is the Mother of the Church, and as we Catholics are members of the Mystical Body pf Christ, which is the church, she is the Mother of us. And under her title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, she is our Mother who will help us forever, regardless of space and time or any other situation, since the Church and Her teachings are applicable to anyone, anywhere, in any time.)

Our Lady of Perpetual Help is among the most descriptive titles of the Blessed Virgin in her role as our Heavenly Mother, and her maternal care over us. 

 Here’s the image:

CultofPerpetualHelpVetusImagoMiraculisClaraVenerata

From Wikipedia:

  • The original wooden icon measures 17″ × 21″ inches, and is written on hard nut wood with a gold leaf background. The image depicts the following symbols:
  • The Blessed Virgin Mary — wearing a dress of dark red, in Byzantine iconography the color of the empress, the Queen.
  • The subject shows Mary looking towards the faithful while pointing at her son, Jesus Christ who is frightened by the instruments of crucifixion and is depicted with a fallen sandal.
  • The left side is Saint Michael Archangel — carrying the lance and sponge of the crucifixion of Jesus.
  • On the right side is Saint Gabriel Archangel carrying a 3-bar cross and nails.
  • The Virgin Mary has a star on her forehead signifying her role as Star of the Sea while the cross on the side has been claimed as referring to the Greek monastery which produced the icon.

More on the symbolism here. 

It is one of the most venerated images of Our Lady; largely due to its beauty and intricate design and deep symbolism, but also through the numerous miraculous cures and conversions rendered through it. Its history is sketchy and some parts contradict each other, but such is often the case when records are oral, lost or there are gaps within the various accounts. It is reputed to be a copy of a painting of Our Lady done by St. Luke, the author of the third Gospel and the Acts. That painting was destroyed by the Moslem invaders of Constantinople in the 15th Century. It had been copied numerous times and these made their way throughout Eastern Christendom. This particular copy, with some emendations by later artists, possibly dates from the 13th or 14th Centuries. It wound up in Rome in the 16th Century after being stolen or spirited out of Crete by a Cretan merchant. This is one of the contradictions. One story claims the merchant was a pious man who merely sought to protect the image from Moslems who were invading Crete; another story holds that he was hired by rich Italians who wanted spectacular eastern images to decorate the churches they sponsor, and thus reap the rewards of pilgrimages and such. At any rate, his piety, if not present when he brought the image out of Crete, was in evidence on his deathbed when he made a promise to Our Lady to find a suitable home for it. She appeared to him and mentioned a church in Rome in between St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major. This church was named after St. Matthew. It supposedly did not make it there right away. The merchant died and the image fell into the possession of his best friend, present at his death, who temporarily kept it. The story, which is rather complicated, goes that this man’s wife and father coveted the image because of her pride and his greed. Only after repeated apparitions of Our Lady to convince them to release it to the Church where she had wanted it, the image was finally transferred to St. Matthew’s, but not before initially failing to achieve that goal until after the predicted death of the merchant’s friend and the sheer terror of the wife and father upon realizing they were opposing the will of Heaven. Like I said, the story is complicated and you should really look it up. It would make a great movie by Mel Gibson or better yet, Leonardo Defilippis.

The image remained in St. Matthew’s for a few centuries until that church was destroyed by invading French in the 19th Century. It was spirited out to another church in Rome, where its initial identity became largely forgotten. Eventually, the Institute of the Most Holy Redeemer, an Order founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori, needed to build a headquarters in Rome, and they coincidentally built it on the site of the old St. Matthew’s Church (remember? the original desired home by Our Lady for the image!) Well, they wanted a suitable image for their HQ. And one day, one of the Redemptorists was looking through some old books and discovered the history of the area and found out about St. Matthew’s and that it was the home of the renowned image of OLPH. Some of its history was told, and the Redemptorists wondered about its current whereabouts. Then, through a series of coincidences, chance circumstances, and the fortuitous memory of an altar boy-turned-priest who was at the right place at the right time and heard the right thing said by the right person, the picture was retrieved from where it had been moved after St. Matthew’s was destroyed and the Redemptorists moved it to their Church, where it has been since the late 19th Century.

I think I got the details correct, I recalled this from memory after reading a little book on the history of the image and my short-term memory at times sucks. Come to think of it, Leonardo Defilippis could make a trilogy of the image’s history. 

Anyway, I’m writing all this just to let you know of this image. It is a devotion to Our Lady that I think should be popular amongst sober Catholics. Why I haven’t developed such a devotion before now is a mystery, but better late than never! Who else needs the assistance of such a Lady, but those of us who have struggled with alcohol and drugs; and oftentimes for years? Including spending years trying to get clean and sober? Any especially since many of us (like me) have been abandoned by their families? 

Look up Our Lady of Perpetual Help (sometimes called Mother of Perpetual Help.) Her feast day is June 27th. The Novena begins June 18th. I will post one or more just before. Also, try and get yourself an image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help; it would make a nice addition to your prayer area or just your home. 

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!!)

Please help support Sober Catholic! Your donations are appreciated.

Hi, all. I am writing this post to make a request. I have been blogging since early 2007, that’s nearly 15 1/2 years. I’ve quite enjoyed it and will probably never give it up (unless I can no longer mentally perform the tasks or I die.) This request is a humble one for donations. Sober Catholic’s hosting bill for the next three years is due at the end of the first week of June; with our domain names* coming due a week later. Although we can pay them, doing so will take quite a chunk from our financial reserves. I will try and negotiate a discount with the hosting service, given that we’ve been loyal customers sine 2010. But, it would be greatly appreciated if those of you who enjoy this blog can help support it in some way so as to help defray the costs.

I’m not just going to ask you to ‘please please gimme money’ and that’s that. I will try and do something in return. Maybe for $5 you can suggest something that I can blog about? Something at the intersection of Catholic Faith and recovery? Something else? My opinion or thoughts on this, that or whatever?

How about this? For $10 you get a PDF copy of one of my books (you pick). I know $10 is more that you’d pay if you bought them online from where they’re distributed, (unless you had to pay shipping) but there will be the ‘added value’ of supporting the blog. 

You can always just donate whatever you want without getting anything. That is true charity; giving something without expecting anything in return. But that doesn’t diminish the idea of giving in exchange for something. That’s nice, it establishes a kind of ‘proprietary’ interest in the blog. In fact, it’s giving me an idea for another post… But for now, something, anything you feel that contributes to the upkeep of this blog will be appreciated. 

You can PayPal me, or use the PayPal link in the sidebar. If you prefer to send a cheque, you can email me (details in the About Me page.)

*Regarding ‘domain names:” my wife and I have three sites. There’s this Sober Catholic blog, plus I have another at Paul Sofranko which I think I will transform into a static promotional site for current and future Sober Catholic books (yes, I’m planning more and should start the actual writing soon on one or two.) It could be renamed “Sober Catholic Books” or something like that; plus my wife has her site which she uses as like a ‘calling card’ for all of her online storefronts. Hey, there’s and idea!! You can also help out by checking out her stores and maybe buying stuff!!!

Whatever you do send, you will be in my prayers. 

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!!)

An invitation to join Catholic Recovery: A safe, redemptive place on Reddit

Oh, no. Not again. I thought I was done with running online Catholic communities for papists in recovery! Way back in 2008 I created an small social network on the Ning platform. That was nice, it lasted for a couple of years until Ning banned free networks. I couldn’t afford the cost and created an new place using my own hosting account. It lasted a year. Ghost town. Since then I’ve tried a Yahoo email group and a Facebook secret group. Meh. I may have forgotten a few. There’s typically some activity, but mostly dead, no matter how hard I tried to promote them.

It may be something related to Catholics and joining such things; take Calix Society. It has been around for nearly 80 years, and is barely in every diocese in the United States.

 A few years ago I chanced upon a subreddit called: Catholic Recovery: A safe, redemptive place. It’s a subreddit on Reddit. If you don’t know about Reddit, it is a sort of combination of social network/old school discussion site. Discussion groups are called ‘subreddits,’ or ‘subs.’ People who run a sub are called ‘mods.’ There is a unique culture on reddit regarding proper behavior and so forth. I do not know all the rules unique to reddit (aside from the usual stuff against the typical online nastiness.) The one rule I do know is against ‘brigading.’ Brigading is when you recruit a bunch of friends to ‘upvote’ posts. Upvoting is like ‘liking’ a post on Facebook. Every time your post or reply gets ‘upvoted’ you get an increase in your ‘Reddit karma.’ It’s like a popularity contest; but it comes in handy as it is a way for some subreddits to restrict spammers and trolls. Many require you to have karma above a certain number in order to post. I am probably going on way too long on Reddit; you can look into it yourself! 😉

Anyway, the Catholic Recovery subreddit recently lost its creator. I do not know what happened to that person. I discovered this on Sunday when I tried to post about my Twentieth Soberversary and the post was restricted, awaiting approval. I’m like, “Huh? What? That’s never happened before!!” So I tried to message the mod and found that there wasn’t any. And so I looked into taking it over, to protect it from spammers and other evildoers. (I don’t know how ‘protected’ a sub is on Reddit from such things, but I figure hackers can try and take over unmoved subs. I did the same thing on Facebook two years ago when I discovered that a Militia of the Immaculata Group I was in lost its Administrator. Now, I know that spammers can hack into a Facebook Group and take it over, so I didn’t hesitate to do that. (If you’re in the M.I. and on Facebook, please join my Group: The Unofficial Militia of the Immaculata Group.)

So, back to Reddit. Please join Catholic Recovery: A safe, redemptive place, ESPECIALLY if you’re already on Reddit and experienced at being a moderator. 

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!!)

Why I stopped regularly attending AA meetings

I wrote in my last post, “Today is my Twentieth Soberversary” that I had last attended an AA meeting as a regular member in 2004, and that I left it in anger. I thought that I had posted about it before, but couldn’t find it. If it exists, then finding it is taking more time than writing a new one about the experience. So, I’m writing a new one. Or the first one. Shut up and blog, Paulcoholic.

OK, so it was August 2004. I was ‘going through some stuff’ that summer and one of the ways I got through it all was to be the coffeemaker for my Home Group. Usually, the job rotates. My Home Group met every weekday and I ‘needed’ to make it everyday to cope. No one objected as they knew I needed it and wouldn’t keep it as a daily service work forever. So for a few months, I made the coffee every day. And then around August I decided that I had gotten past the worst of what I was going through and was now ready to relinquish the job, keeping just Monday for myself. This other guy had taken Tuesday.

All was fine for a while. Then one day, a Monday, actually, the meeting began and the Tuesday Guy was the chairperson. My Home Group had some liberal policies as to who can chair a meeting. Tuesday Guy had only three months in the program, but he wanted to chair it and no one objected. When it came time to come up with a topic, no one suggested any and so he came up with one. It was a topic that oftentimes is introduced during the holidays. “What to do when confronted with a drinking situation.” (Because around Christmas, Easter and other holidays, a recovering person often finds themselves in just such a situation.) Tuesday Guy, if I recall correctly, recently lost a friend in a motorcycle accident, and there was going to be an event held in the deceased’s honor at a local drinking establishment; ‘and should I go?”

I dislike sharing when I have no personal “experience, strength and hope” to relate to. In other words, if the topic is something I have no personal experience with, I’ll pass when called upon to share. I’d never really faced this situation, so I’ll just pass. 

Tuesday Guy started calling upon people to share. Then it was my turn. I said, “I’ll pass.” But Tuesday guy would have none of that. “No, Paul, we all want to know what you think about this!” 

Well, I always had this paranoid fear in AA meetings that one day I’ll be called upon to share, I’d refuse, and promptly be told that isn’t the custom at this meeting; ‘here, when you’re called to share, you must.’ A paranoid, irrational fear, to be true; and that it would only happen if I attended a meeting far beyond my home area, where they might have strange customs. Except that it didn’t happen in some far away AA meeting, it happened right in my Home Group! So, I figured I’ll just share what I know from AA’s ‘Conference-approved literature,’ in this case, something from their book, “Living Sober.” And so I quoted from memory a line that said something about ‘if you have a legitimate reason for being there,’ and at that point Tuesday Guy interrupted me. “Well, Paul doesn’t know what he’s talking about; can someone else share?”

I was stunned. My worst fear was not only realized, that of being forced to share, but while sharing relevant book knowledge, I was humiliated in from of a bunch of people. The meeting continued. The men couldn’t look at me; the women gave me sympathetic looks. Almost everyone quoted the same line I started quoting. 

The meeting ended. I don’t even recall if I helped clean up. As coffeemaker, my job was done prior to the meeting; afterwards others pitch in with the clean up. 

Remember, this was Monday and Tuesday follows, meaning Tuesday Guy was going to be there early the next day to open up and make the coffee. I was prepared.

Tuesday rolls around and I get there early. I timed my arrival so that I showed up after about when I thought Tuesday Guy got there but before anyone else arrived. I was successful. The site was opened, he was there, in the back, alone, getting ready. I stalked over to him, he sees me coming and has a crooked smirk. I went up to him and slammed down on the table, right next to the coffee machine, my copy of the building’s keys. I said quite loudly, almost shouting into his smirky face, “I AM NOT COMING TO THIS MEETING EVER AGAIN!”

And then I stormed out. All I can say is that when I was walking to my car I had a feeling of liberation. The sun was sunnier. The birds were chirpier. The cars driving by were carrier. And a weight was lifted from my shoulders. I literally felt lighter.

And I never set foot in that meeting. Well, not quite true. I did return a over a year later to an occasional meeting, but it had moved to a different location by then and so I figured my declaration held. 

Since that day in August 2004, I never considered myself a regular meeting attendee. As I’ve said before, I am a misfit in a fellowship of misfits. I don’t bother with live meetings; occasionally dabble in online recovery and read AA literature. But having a Home Group? Nope. 

A couple of posts on Catholics attending AA meetings:

Should Catholics Attend AA meetings? I heard they’re bad.

A Fortnight of Years in Sobriety

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!!)