Category Archives: Prayer

The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts now Amazon.com both PRINT and KINDLE

Just an update to let people know that my new book, “The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts” is now available from Amazon.com in both PRINT and KINDLE editions.

To obtain a print edition, Amazon offers it here: The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts, and also through their CreateSpace division here:

The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts on CreateSpace.

“The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts” helps people to reflect on their recovery and relationships with others, and ultimately with Jesus Himself. Whether people are still struggling with their addictions, or have been clean and sober for a few weeks, months, or years, the reflections will lead them to meditate on the spiritual growth they have achieved so far.

The book takes a time-honored prayer and brings it into a useful format for people to pause and reflect on their recovery, their relationships with others, and ultimately with Jesus Himself. Whether people are still struggling with their addictions, or have been clean and sober for a few weeks or months, or many years, the reflections for each Mystery of the Rosary will help them meditate on the spiritual growth they have achieved so far. Over the years, their thoughts on each meditation may change, depending on “where they’re at” in their recovery journey.

It is also available through Smashwords, for a variety of ebook formats. If you can’t wait for it to be available through Barnes & Noble for the Nook or Apple for you iPad and other iThingies, try Smashwords!

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

New eBook: The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts

A new ebook I have written for Catholics and other Christians suffering from alcoholism and addiction is out:

The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts. The book helps people to reflect on their recovery and relationships with others, and ultimately with Jesus Himself. Whether people are still struggling with their addictions, or have been clean and sober for a few weeks, months, or years, the reflections will lead them to meditate on the spiritual growth they have achieved so far.

So far, it is available only through Smashwords, but print editions from CreateSpace and Amazon will be out perhaps this week, as well as an ebook version for Kindle.

The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts takes a time-honored prayer and brings it into a useful format for people to pause and reflect on their recovery, their relationships with others, and ultimately with Jesus Himself. Whether people are still struggling with their addictions, or have been clean and sober for a few weeks or months, or many years, the reflections for each Mystery of the Rosary will help them meditate on the spiritual growth they have achieved so far. Over the years, their thoughts on each meditation may change, depending on “where they’re at” in their recovery journey.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Dying on the Cross

The meditation of the Fifth Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, Dying on the Cross (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.)

The soul nears the end of its journey. It faces its final purging, that of finally and completely casting off all vestiges and traces of its attachment to Earthly things.

This is the soul’s final “dying” unto itself. It refused the opportunities to do so on Earth. All the times when Jesus might have increased within the life of the soul went for nothing. It was afraid of surrendering itself on Earth to God, fearful perhaps because of the perception that it will “lose” itself, its autonomy, its independence.

That was the World speaking, falsely misrepresenting its own allures to the soul.

But the soul, now having been purged within the cleansing fires of Purgatory of nearly all things Earthly, can finally achieve it desired end: annihilation of its Earthly attachments and springing into the arms of the Lord, forever united with Him and all its loved ones that have preceded it.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Carrying the Cross

The meditation of the Fourth Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Carrying of the Cross (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

Perhaps the biggest pains reserved for the suffering souls would be for the times they refused to carry their cross while on Earth. For those born into the discipleship of Christ (those born Christian and those who eventually converted to Christianity) the need to accept and carry the cross of Christ was a mark of that discipleship.

Many were called, but few accepted. Lured by the trappings of the World, with its false promises of joy and happiness, these souls opted for a comfortable Christianity.

“Go to Mass or worship services once a week, and all is good.”

Well, no. Life is not one of comfort. While at time we are rewarded with goodness and peace, overall life on Earth is an exile from our true home. And so it is filled with an emptiness, a kind of suffering that the souls seeks to satisfy with the false promises of the World. Fame, money, power, carnality, acceptance and other such vanities that pass.

And so now they realize what their intended mission was, and they are paying the price for it.

Now they suffer in place of what they could have done on Earth. Here, in the fires of Purgatory they suffer the pains of the cross.

Heaven is delayed, when it could have been attained already.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Crowning with Thorns

The meditation of the Third Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Crowning with Thorns (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

Their journey continues. The souls move ever closer to their ultimate goal, complete union with God for all eternity. But still their progress forward is slowed.

Their thoughts while on Earth did not give due attention to God’s will. Their thoughts were oftentimes consumed with worries, anxieties and fears of Earthly trials. Rather than rest in comfort in the Lord’s arms, certain that Divine Providence will come to eventual fruition, they avoided this reliance. They turned their thoughts to Earthly solutions, to attempts of their own to solve the problems. Or, not even this, their thoughts dwelt upon silly and frivolous things. Too often they were concerned with the ordinary day-to-day events, and rarely turned their thoughts to things from above.

“Plenty of time to think about death and what happens after,” their souls thought upon Earth, “do not bother me with frightening things like Hell. Leave me alone.”

And so now this Earthly focus hinders their union. And like they underwent a spiritual scourging at a pillar, they now bear a spiritual crown of thorns. In this manner they atone for their sins of thought, for all of those times on Earth they did not give proper attention to God and His will.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Scourging at the Pillar

The meditation of the Second Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Scourging at the Pillar (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

The soul’s progress continues onward, closer to the Lord. It can see God afar off, but the vision is obscured by the smoke and flames of purgation that rage here: about them, among them, within them. Countless souls exist in this place, all possessing a burning desire to unite with the Lord. But shame that they did not pursue Him while on Earth piles agony onto their suffering.

In their pain they cry out for union. They are held back. Knowledge of their physical attachments to worldly pleasures sear their thoughts. Sexual improprieties and follies while on Earth demand purging. The sacred gift from God meant for human unity and cooperation in creation had been perverted. From lust to fornication and other abuses of this gift, these souls now seek a scourging of their worldly desires.

And so they attach themselves to a spiritual pillar. Nothing physical exists here in this place of torment, but in a manner of kind they undergo a scourging at a pillar. The sins of their Earthly flesh are flayed from their souls, they scream in agony.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Agony in the Garden

The meditation of the First Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Agony in the Garden (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

A person has died. The soul stands before God and has been judged. It is found wanting, unfit for entry into Heaven, but has not committed offenses against the Lord which condemn it for all eternity.

It joins other souls who have have entered into a “Garden of Gethsemane” within the afterlife. They begin their suffering in Purgatory, but their wills are still too connected to earthly desires. They are fearful of the journey ahead, and it is long and painful as they are separated from God because of their attachment to the World.

They desire God and His will, but their fear hinders their progress towards Him. They resist the journey and wish that it needn’t be made. Agony permeates their being. It is like a fire that burn through to the core of their selves. They try and pray to relieve their suffering, but cannot. Any wish or desire directed to themselves is impossible, their selfish desires were left back on Earth and any self will here in this burning Garden is for nought.

But their love for God spurs them on. Painful as it is, their desire for the Lord begins to burn away the stains of their earthly sins on their souls. The spiritual rags they wear, clothes not fit for the wedding feast of the Lamb, begin to loosen.

They discover that while they cannot pray or desire anything for themselves, they can do so for others. Herein lies their knowledge that their existence now reaches out to God, and to people left behind in the World.

They begin to pray for others, those still on Earth. In this charity, they grow closer to the Lord. Their journey forward continues.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

St. Michael’s Lent

Earlier this month on Sober Catholic I wrote about “Second Chance Lent”, another period of penance and conversion not widely advertised in the Church but present nonetheless. After that post, I was introduced to yet another “Lenten” season by Michael Franzwa, of SFO Saint Francis Of Assisi Fraternity. He told me on Google+ that:

“Saint Francis of Assisi observed an annual ‘Lent of Saint Michael’, from the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (Aug. 15) to the Feast of Saint Michael The Archangel(September 29).
Francis had a special rapport with Mary and Michael from the early days of his conversion. He went to them often, for comfort and consolation, when things got rough. It was on one of these 40 day solitary retreats when, through meditating on the Passion of our Lord, Francis received the sacred stigmata, imprints of Jesus’ five wounds on his body.”

Tomorrow (August 15th) marks the Feast of Mary’s Assumption, and thus the beginning of this devotion.

The Our Lady of the Pearl Secular Franciscan Fraternity points out this:

“In the writings of St. Francis, such as the Volterra text (Letter to All the Faithful) which is included in The Rule of the SFO, we are reminded again and again that Franciscans are called to be penitents, to pray and fast. For these reasons this ancient tradition is important to us. St. Michael’s Lent is a period of 40 days, honoring Mary and St. Michael the Archangel. It begins on the Feast of the Assumption and ends on The Feast of the Archangels.

“[H]e wished along with the most faithful Brothers . . . to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (August 15) and then prepare himself by a forty days’ fast for the Feast of St. Michael (September 29). In common with the rest of the people of the Middle Ages, Francis nourished a special devotion to this Archangel, signifer santus Michaelis, the standard-bearer of the Heavenly Host, and the one who with his trumpet was to wake the dead in their graves on the last day . . . .” (St. Francis of Assisi by Jorgensen)”

(Via Our Lady of the Pearl.)

And so we are made mindful of the facts of our own resurrection on the Last Day and also of our subsequent Judgment. No sense in waiting until then to worry about it. If you haven’t started some “Second Chance” Lenten period of reflection and penance, you have another opportunity to do so beginning tomorrow!

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Withdraw to a deserted place

Matthew 14:13: When Jesus heard of it (the death of John the Baptist), he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.

(Via USCCB.)

In this excerpt from the Gospel Reading from today’s Mass (18th Sunday in Ordinary Time) Jesus was saddened by the death of John the Baptist. the Son of God felt the loss of His cousin and grieved. He needed to withdraw, be alone and more than likely spent the time in prayer and meditation.

The fact that Jesus needed to grieve over His loss is a hope to those of us who have lost loved ones to the separation of death. We are not alone, in what can be the loneliest of times for those who continue on.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Things said at Funerals

From Matthew Archbold who blogs at the Creative Minority Report comes this reminder on the state of modern Catholic funerals:

Please Say This at My Funeral

He makes an excellent point. Perhaps the subject of what Mr. Archbold writes about is a sign of either political correctness or misplaced sensitivity, but it is also what I’ve witnessed.

There is no reason to assume that the deceased is already in Heaven. While that may be comforting to us, it may also be cruel to the deceased if they are in Purgatory, being there as a result of being insufficiently detached from Earthly desires and pleasures at the time of death. We as a culture dislike talking about sin, as if that makes us “judgmental” about other people’s behavior. We seek to avoid offending them. And in doing so behavior stands uncorrected and people perhaps wind up paying for it in the afterlife.

I have little idea what was said or done at funerals before, say, 1970. I do know that priests wore black vestments. Perhaps they focused less on Jesus’ Resurrection than is common today and more on the suffering and death of Jesus. I would imagine that Purgatory was referred to in a respectful and prayerful manner, so as to provide an awareness to the living about the reality of it, and some comfort to the loved ones of the deceased that people would be praying for their soul. I don’t know.

I echo Mr. Archbold’s request. At my funeral, I want the priest to wear black, and go on and on about Purgatory. Maybe the funeral home can have selected The Four Last Things blogposts printed out and stapled to my Holy Cards.

But don’t assume I’m in Heaven.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"