Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Am I Getting Myself Into?

I've thought about starting my own blog for some time now and reading a couple others I thought I just might have something to offer. Maybe....Maybe not. But I'm going to give it a shot.

I am a recovering alcoholic and am active in my Catholic faith, AA and The Calix Society (see http://www.calixsociety.org for details). After being sober a short time I returned to my Catholic roots and I have somehow been able to mingle the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous with the Catholic faith in order to live a happy and sober life. I thank God every day for the Catholic upbringing I had and for every drink I had to drink in order to find AA. It was through AA that I learned about spirituality and the adage, "religion is for people afraid of going to hell; spirituality is for people who have already been there!" And I've been there (and dragged a few others with me)! I have now come to learn and love Catholic spirituality!

So I'm sure you are asking, "Where did you come up with the title for this blog?" Well it's a long story that I'll post later because (at least I think) it is rather interesting. But the short version is that after becoming active in a few ministries in my parish - lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, leading faith sharing groups and a bible study - I wanted to study the Catholic faith. I tried on my own for a few years when a co-worker introduced me to The Church Ministry Institute, a 3-year program offered by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for lay Catholic ministers.

Part of the program was to start or get involved in a ministry in your parish with the approval of your pastor. I was constantly getting messages to do something for Catholics in recovery, to the point where I knew I had to do something!

I started attending more Big Book meetings and studying the steps while reading more about Ignatius and the Spiritual Exercises. My goal was to come up with a "program" of sorts for these Catholics in recovery. And the name of the program was to be "We Are Not Saints...YET!"

When it came time to get approval from my pastor he let me know that he had other plans for me. I was disappointed to say the least but truly believed that God must have had something else in mind for me. Well the Monsignor's plans also faded and I was given permission to continue what I had started.

Early on in my research I came across an article on the Internet - which I have not been able to locate again - that basically stated that Catholics should not participate in Alcoholics Anonymous primarily because of a line in "How It Works" that states "We are not saints." As Catholics each and every one of us are called to be saints and believe that when we enter heaven we are indeed saints. So it only follows that Catholics in recovery are on a spiritual journey that will hopefully culminate in our spending eternity with God, and thus a saint!

Welcome to my blog and I hope you come back soon! Ken J

1 comment:

paulcoholic said...

You are getting yourself into something wonderful and much needed for us Catholics. I'll send my readers your way!

Paul S (of Sober Catholic)