Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Recovery’

Morning Prayer for Saturday, November 24, 2018 — Making Progress — Reflection on The Promises

November 24, 2018

Instead of pretending to be perfectionists, we are content if we are making progress. The humanness of man is a bulwark against perfection. The main thing is to be growing. Just as every team doubts its chances of reaching the Super Bowl, every man on every team strives to get to that final destination.

We realize that perfectionism is only a result of false pride and an excuse to save our faces. We are are willing to make mistakes and to stumble, provided we are always stumbling forward. We are not so interested in what we are as in what we are becoming. We are on the way, not at the goal. And we will be on the way as long as we live. No person on this earth has ever “arrived.” But we are getting better. Am I making progress?

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Meditation for the Day

Each new day brings an opportunity to do some little thing that will help to make a better world that will bring God’s kingdom a little nearer to being realized on earth. Take each day’s happenings as opportunities for something you can do for God. In that spirit, a blessing will attend all that you do. Offering this day’s service to God, you are sharing in His work. You do not have to do great things.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that today I may do the next thing, the unselfish thing, the loving thing. I pray that I may be content with doing small things as long as they are right.

From Twenty Four Hours a Day



 (Bishop Goh in Singapore says: “We will either end up with faith in God or in total self-destruction.”)

There are promises in many Segments of Life: These Are the Promises of Alcoholics Anonymous

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

The Promises (pg. 83, Big Book)

We first put the AA promises with the reading for the Feast of Saint Anthony. It seems fitting that we put the AA promises on the feast of Saint Anthony, who, preached above all, love of God and proper order. Alcoholism is, above all else, a disease of disorder.

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Saint Anthony of Padua and “Jesus jumping out of the book.” When the book of your life is written, what will be jumping out?


God Bless You Lenny! We Miss You!


Morning Prayer for Thursday, June 28, 2018 — Maintain your calm and composure amid pressing duties and unending challenges

June 28, 2018

If you can take your troubles as they come, if you can maintain your
calm and composure amid pressing duties and unending engagements,
if you can rise above the distressing and disturbing circumstances in
which you are set down, you have discovered a priceless secret of
daily living. Even if you are forced to go through life weighed down by
some unescapable misfortune or handicap and yet live each day as it
comes with poise and peace of mind, you have succeeded where most
people have failed. You have wrought a greater achievement than a
person who rules a nation. Have I achieved poise and peace of mind?

Meditation For The Day

Take a blessing with you wherever you go. You have been blessed, so
bless others. Such stores of blessings are awaiting you in the months
and years that lie ahead. Pass on your blessings. Blessing can and does
go around the world, passed on from one person to another. Shed a
little blessing in the heart of one person. That person is cheered to
pass it on, and so, God’s vitalizing, joy-giving message travels on. Be a
transmitter of God’s blessings.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may pass on my blessings. I pray that they may flow into
the lives of others.

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Book: Holy Spirit by Fr. Edward Leen
Every human being has the spark of God within. What we want to do is make that spark into hot, life saving flame! We want the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.


Prayer and Meditation for Sunday, July 10, 2016 — “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

July 9, 2016

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 105

Art: The Good Samaritan by Walter Rane.

Reading 1 DT 30:10-14

Moses said to the people:
“If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God,
and keep his commandments and statutes
that are written in this book of the law,
when you return to the LORD, your God,
with all your heart and all your soul.”For this command that I enjoin on you today
is not too mysterious and remote for you.
It is not up in the sky, that you should say,
‘Who will go up in the sky to get it for us
and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’
Nor is it across the sea, that you should say,
‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us
and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’
No, it is something very near to you,
already in your mouths and in your hearts;
you have only to carry it out.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36, 37

R. (cf. 33) Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
Answer me, O LORD, for bounteous is your kindness:
in your great mercy turn toward me.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
For God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
The descendants of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall inhabit it.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.

Or PS 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R.(9a) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Reading 2 COL 1:15-20

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Alleluia CF. JN 6:63C, 68C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”

He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
From The Abbot in the Desert


Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu, New Mexico

My sisters and brothers in Christ

Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?  This is the theme for our readings today.  All of us want to know what we must do for eternal life.  The way in which we ask the question is probably more important than the answer.  If I am looking only for the things that I must do, my question will take me to a dead end.  If I am asking how to follow the Teacher, the Lord Jesus, then all shall be well.  We should all be attentive to the difference in the way we ask questions!  The first way of asking this question could result in a handbook of the various things that I must do.  The second way of asking the question has only a vague answer that must be lived concretely each day:  Love God and love your neighbor!

The first reading today is from the Book of Deuteronomy and is very similar to today’s Gospel:  heed the voice of the Lord and keep His commandments and statutes.  Sure, there is something a bit more concrete in this advice than that of the Gospel, but it implies an ongoing listening to the voice of the Lord—and that is the same as loving God and neighbor.  God’s message to us, His people, has been consistent throughout all ages:  listen to His voice, love Him and others, follow Him in every moment of life.

The second reading, from the Letter of the Colossians, again contains this same type of teaching, but is now specific that God is in Jesus and it is Jesus, our Teacher, that we must follow, and He is the head of the Church and so we must belong in the Church.  Jesus is God and Jesus is encountered now in His Church.  So many today would like to say:  I love Jesus but I don’t like the Church.  This kind of thinking has no place in us who follow the Teacher, the Lord Jesus.  Jesus is the head of the Church and the Spirit guides the Church.  Jesus and the Spirit show us the Father in His Church.

The whole focus of Luke’s Gospel today is on the story of the Good Samaritan.  Clearly we are called to love our neighbor.  This is the direct teaching of Jesus.  And who is my neighbor:  everyone who comes into my life in any way.  My neighbor is every person I treat with mercy for love of the Lord Jesus, my Teacher.  My neighbor is each person who needs my help or asks my help or who enters my life in any way.  We can see quickly that this answer makes us leave aside any book of good deeds that I must do and instead I must serve each person according to that person’s needs.  An incredible commandment!  It demands everything of us, just as it demanded everything of Jesus, even unto death.

My sisters and brothers, we are invited to walk the way of the Teacher, the Lord Jesus, and serve all others and to give our lives up completely in the love of others.  Let us walk in the way of the Lord!

Your brother in the Lord,

Abbot Philip

Monastery of Christ in the Desert

Abiquiu, New Mexico




Reflection by  The Most Rev Msgr William Goh Archbishop of Singapore
10 JULY 2016, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

SCRIPTURE READINGS: [ DT 30:10-14; COL 1:15-20; LK 10:25-37  ]Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  In seeking for eternal life, he is seeking for the life of God, a share in God’s life.   So, what must we do in order to have a share in the life of God?

The first thing we need to do, the first reading exhorts us, is that we must return to the Lord our God with all our heart and soul.  Why is this so?  Because only God who is eternal life can give us this kind of life!   If there is no life in us, it is because we are far from Him.  Indeed, the stark reality today is that many people are finding God very far from them and are losing faith in Him.  This is more so especially when they meet crises in life.  When we are beset with misfortunes, how can there be God when He does not seem to care?  We are just like the wounded man on the roadside, abandoned, robbed of life.  So a person who has no life cannot see God.  As it is often said, we cannot preach God to a hungry man.  Indeed, atheism is the result of helplessness in the face of innocent and apparently meaningless sufferings.  It is not a theoretical problem but an existential and personal problem.  In the face of suffering, we fall into despair, and give up on life and therefore on God as well.

However, it is equally true to say that the real reason why we give up on life in the face of sufferings is because we have given up on God.  It is because we are just the like Israelites who often wandered far away from God and did not listen to His voice nor obey His commandments and as a result brought disasters upon themselves.  Jesus reiterates this in the gospel when He said, we must love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength.  Without God, we will not only be unable to live our lives meaningfully but we will not live with wisdom and love.   Not the world’s riches and glory can make us happy.

Consequently, we are in a conundrum.  In the first place, we said that we have no life because we cannot find God.  But in denying God, then there is no way for us to find life either.  Is there a way out?  Whatever it is, the fundamental point remains that eternal life is synonymous with God.  To find true life is to find God.  Conversely in finding God, we always find life.  We can begin from one or the other, but both will meet since to meet God is to meet man and if we truly meet man, we will meet God too.  But we must begin somewhere and not sit around doing nothing, languishing in our predicament.  Where then do we begin?

For most of us, we should begin by finding God in life or else God seems too ethereal and abstract to us.   Why is this so?  Because God is found in creation and most of all in our fellow human beings!  But how can this be so?  Moses said to the people, “the Word is very near to you.”  The question is how near?  So near, Moses said, “it is in your mouth and in your heart!”   What Moses prophesied is fulfilled in Jesus who is truly the Word made flesh.  He is the New Law and the New Covenant.  Jesus is the compassion of God in person.  He is love and compassion incarnated.  In Jesus, the Law of the Old Testament written in words and with ink is now written in the flesh and in the Spirit.   Thus, St Paul tells us that “Christ Jesus, is the image of the invisible God and the first born of all creation; for in him were created, all things in heaven and on earth.”  In other words, by His incarnation Jesus enjoins humanity to Himself; and especially at the resurrection, we become members of His body since He has identified Himself with us by being the first-born from the dead.

The implication therefore is that we are all by virtue of our humanity inserted in creation, and we are all the image and presence of God to each other.  Every one of us has the capacity and potential to mediate the presence, the life and love of God.  Yes, we are called to make God present to each other so that we can encounter God and in encountering Him, we experience life.  In this way, we will share the mission of Jesus who came to reconcile everything on heaven and on earth, man with man; and man with God.

The corollary to this is that if we were to find God today, we must therefore find him in a special way in our neighbors.  But who are our neighbors?  This precisely is the question that the lawyer asked.  Of course, to begin with, it is relatively easy to find God in those who love us.  But we would be certainly short-changing ourselves if we only find God in those who love us.  This is because the focus is not on others but on oneself.  This is not truly sharing the heart of God.  So if we are concerned solely with receiving love from others, it can lead us to become more egoistic and self-centered.

So according to Jesus, if we want to find the life of God, then we must seek it in our neighbors who are in need.  This is what the parable of the Samaritan is teaching us.  It teaches us to be concerned for others, even strangers and people who are hostile to us.  This was the case of the Samaritan.  He helped the injured Jew even though the latter regarded him as an enemy.  But that did not prevent him from reaching out to someone who was in need.  We can be certain that there was nothing for the Samaritan traveler to gain from this act.  He helped simply because he was moved with compassion.  By responding to the needs of this man, he therefore shared in the compassionate heart of God.

But there was something else in the way he helped.  He did not simply help from a distance.  Quite often when it comes to helping people, we are willing to help but only on certain conditions.  We are willing to help but we are not willing to get ourselves too involved in their lives.  So long as we are not personally involved in the lives of others, especially the poor, we will miss out the joy of service and compassion.  We will also not be able to truly empathize with them and share in their lives.  As a result, our compassion remains incomplete and perhaps cerebral.

However, those who are truly involved in the lives of the poor and the oppressed are also changed by them.  When we identify themselves with the poor and their sufferings in a very concrete way, we are charged with even more compassion and love.  Compassion implies having a common passion with the ones we love.  This explains why those who are involved in social work and works of compassion for the poor and needy are willing to exhaust not only their money and resources to help them, but their time and energy as well.  We must have a first-hand encounter with the sick and the poor in order to feel with them.

As we reach out to the poor, paradoxically we become more conscious of ourselves and learn to love ourselves.  Hence, to love God, we must love our neighbors as ourselves. In loving our neighbors, we actually truly love ourselves.  Through our involvement in the lives of the poor, we begin to be more appreciative of what we already have and how blessed we are.  If we think that our lives are miserable, we only need to reach out to those who are sick and poor, then we will come to realize how much more they are deprived than us; and yet many of them can be quite cheerful and contented with the little they have.  We will learn the art of contentment; the art of counting our blessings instead of our woes; appreciating what we already have and not what we have not.  Once we do this, we begin to love ourselves authentically and we become less envious, resentful and angry with others.

In loving ourselves, we discover the living God in us as well, since we too are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.  So by loving our neighbors, we find God within us.  This explains why the commandment to love our neighbors is put on the same level as loving ourselves.  When we love ourselves, then we find God is alive in us.  If God is absent from our lives, if we do not have a share in the life of God, it is because many of us do not love ourselves truly.

It is not surprising therefore that when we reach out to others; many of them in their need are able to see the presence of God in us.  The fact that they can see us as instruments of God and the messengers of God means that it is only through our participation in the compassionate love of God that we can truly claim to have a share in the life of God.  So many non-Catholics who stay in Catholic Aged Homes are eventually converted, not because of any compulsion or aggressive evangelization but simply because they can see the presence of God in those who serve them in the homes.   So too, many of us who studied in Catholic schools and got converted in the later years of our lives, did so because we were inspired by the religious brothers and sisters whom we came into contact with.   And this is because we saw the love of God in them through their selfless and humble service.

But how can we find the courage to reach out beyond ourselves?  In other words, where can we find the capacity to love others selflessly so that we can share in the life of God?  How can we be God’s presence to others?  To be truly the presence of God to others, it presupposes that we be filled with God’s presence which enables us to recognize God in others too.   Receiving our Lord in the Eucharist and contemplating on His Word is the way to be filled with His Spirit of love and compassion.

Written by The Most Rev William Goh


What Does Jesus Tell Us To Do?
Feed my sheep — 
Follow me —
Put yourself into my hands–
Do not be afraid —
Love Your Neighbor as Your Self —
Be of service to others —
Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you —
This is one of our all time “most readers” Internet postings:
Why do we need to pray?

By Kevin Cotter

Book Synopsis So, what’s this Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic all about? Well, its author, Matthew Kelly, is taking up quite the task—how do we renew Catholic parishes across the country? Matthew Kelly spent a significant amount of time and money focusing on what makes Catholics highly engaged at their parishes. His logic: if we figure out the difference between highly engaged Catholics and un-engaged Catholics, we can figure out not only how to make more engaged Catholics, but we can also track their effectiveness in the parish. The book sold over 100,000 copies in the first month of publication and has started a conversation about how to renew the parish.

Ultimately, Kelly will say that only 7% of all Catholics are engaged Catholics or what he calls “Dynamic Catholics.” What makes someone a Dynamic Catholic? Here are the four signs Kelly sees:

  • Prayer Description: Specifically, Kelly notes that this consists of a daily routine of prayer. “Am I saying the other 93 percent of Catholics don’t pray? No. Their prayer tends to be spontaneous but inconsistent. The 7% have a daily commitment to prayer, a routine” (p. 8).
  • Study Description: “[Dynamic Catholics] see themselves as students of Jesus and his Church, and proactively make an effort to allow his teaching to form them” (p. 14). Kelly also notes that on average they spend 14 minutes each day learning about the faith.
  • Generosity Description: Generosity covers not only time and money, but also generosity in all things. This generosity is a way of life.
  • Evangelization Description: While many Dynamic Catholics don’t consider themselves to be evangelists, they “regularly do and say things to share a Catholic perspective with the people who cross their paths.”

Actually, this book could be named “The Four Signs of Any God Loving Human Being”  or the “Four Signs of a Person Dedicated to Sobriety” or “The Four Signs of a Recovering Addict in a 12 Step Program.”

Twelve step recovery programs like AA teach us to pray, study, give ourselves away in loving service to others and evangelize.

But in AA we don’t say evangelize, we says “Do 12 Step Work.”

“Do you love me?”
Sometimes I simplify this for myself: “What have you done today as proof of your love (for God, your spouse, your children, your community).
If I can say, “I washed the dishes and took out the trash and tried to be of services to the other in this house” that’s proof.  I didn’t cause trouble and I did a little “good.”
When I explain this to some people they come up empty handed. “Geez, I didn’t do a thing to prove my love today but I did say ‘I love you.’”
That’s not good enough.