Friday, December 25, 2009


This Christmas morning I get to repeat last night's "Holy Night", sharing another meal with a couple thousand Catholics. Later, I am just SO honored to share a meal with several hundred of my closest friends--alcoholics in recovery. We meet, eat, tell one another the most outlandish stories of our "drinking careers" and then laugh about it all, in true love and fellowship. Happiness for this alcoholic is made of days like this....

In the thirties and forties I was raised on a farm. Raised to be nice, to say "Please" and "Thank you". I was taught to respect animals; we bred, birthed, fed and watered lots of them. 

I was also raised a catholic. And I'm back!

My beliefs are mine alone, tend to be more spiritual than religious, though the two words (worlds?) spiritual and religious do join one another or collide, however it happens. Aside from belief, I totally cringe, and want to crawl under the table, when a speaker says, "I'm a recovering alcoholic, and a recovering catholic," as if Catholicism is a disease.

It is impossible for me to begin to count the times I've heard, "I'm a recovering alcoholic, and a recovering Baptist."  Because in many years of meetings, I have never EVER heard that said. So I cannot count "nothing". Well, you must realize this is all leading up to something, yes?

It IS Christmas Eve. I just returned home from the most beautiful service dedicated to God "as I understood Him" in a Catholic Church. I was allowed to use my gift in adoration, playing obbligatos in the "Mass of Creation"...and some other things.

The priests sang the complete Acclamations including the Consecration--the most beautiful spiritual experience (in memory) I've ever witnessed.. And the incense, that wonderful odor, of smoke which rises to heaven carrying the prayers of a standing-room-only church full of worshipers--Oh! how I love that!

I must say, I am overwhelmed again at being sober for Christmas, it is like a Benchmark, as the memories of Christmases before sobriety are of nothing but debauchery and chaos. Oh Happy Day! Oh Happy Steve! Oh...peace, and love, to all you blogger-Peeps. Always! Be full of Joy, and be blest.


Secretia said...

A good day for me is when I am awake or sleeping. It feels like Christmas a lot.

Some years I have enough money, some years not.

But I've learned this: Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good!

Take good care, Steve, and thank you for helping people out all year long!


Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Have you ever wanted to congratulate those people on recovering their relationship with God and fellows in that "church" part of their life as well?

I did this very early on, took on the language in the rooms to "be funny" about my past relations with the church of my youth. Now, as likely as not, I talk about the experience I'm having in church today (having made a proper amend to that idea and principle on my inventory), that I have no idea what was "really" said back then, but it doesn't seem to match what I'm hearing now, and since the bible hasn't changed, I'm pretty sure it was me and my diseased perception all along. The world and it's people dominated me, and I have a choice today to go back and make the proper amend by giving them the time in my "less" diseased state, a fair hearing and see if it really is different than I thought it was.

enchantedoak said...

Hi Steve, Merry Christmas to you and the family!
I love how much you are enriched by your spiritual journey. It is an inspiration to me.
My husband is one of those who says he's a recovering Catholic, but that's just because he was excommunicated in his drinking days.
Now we're both "German Catholics" or Lutheran in other words. And we're very happy with the spiritual gifts bestowed on us by the God of our understanding, thank you God.
It is the great thing about Alcoholics Anonymous that we each get to define the great Creator in our own way, in the way that best suits our psyche and our hearts. Happy

Kim Williams said...

Merry Christmas, Steve.

It seems there is not time that our church heritage feels more 'right' than at Christmas.

Just for Today I choose to think on those things that bring me joy and gratitude...

Peace to you.

pat said...

What a beautiful post. May you and yours have a very blessed Christmas.

Dulce said...

I am happy I got here eventually to wish you again Merry Xmas... this post is such a nice recall... Sweetest Peep
God Bless > YOU

Ed G. said...

Happy Christmas Steve.

Holiday blessings on you and yours...

Carol said...

Peace and Love to you and yours.

~Christina~ said...

Hey Steve-eroni!!

May you and prayer girl enjoy the abundance of today!! You are the peachiest blogger on the net!

Keep on keeping on!!


Angeles said...

Be Happy Steve!!

and Merry Christmas to you .


Sylvia said...

Great Steve! That says a lot to me. I've been raised as a Catholic and I consider myself a Catholic but at a certain time I started toi be upset with the excessive and mechanical rituals of the church. So now I find God in the simple things - in the Human Being, in the Nature, in the words of Jesus... And I try to understand and establish parallels with other religions (they have so much in common that I almost don't understand why the quarrels among them). There are so many wonderful things in this world, and you made me feel close to the real sense of Christmas with your Post. Congratulations on your victory. Hope the New Year brings a lot of goodness and happiness to you. Love from Silvia.

Hope said...

Merry Christmas to you Steve! Loved this post.

Audrinna said...

Merry Christmas

Shadow said...

merry christmas steve. and however you are, however you think, stay that way, it's good.

Mr. SponsorPants said...

Merry Christmas and a joyous noel, Steve!
All the best in the coming year for you and yours.

Angeles said...

Happy Saint Stephen to you and your father.

Just Be Real said...

Stevie, I hope you and the gal had a good Christmas! Blessings.

Selchie said...

Steve I hope you are having a wonderful Xmas, a star in the dark night. Wonderful post, I can smell the incense.

The Turning Point said...

Having spent the first i3 years of my life of in Catholic grade, high and college and then scooting off the become a Trappist monk in the early fifties (time of Merton)I say believe whatever brings you closer to God and spiritually growing. We love you without strings.
Incidentally my most precious memories are also the of Midnight (three Priest) Mass, the choir, the incense, walking to church in the snow with family and serving as master of ceremonies (altar boy with special cassock and all.

Stay the course.


Syd said...

I watched the pope's mass from St. Peter's basilica. I watch it every year and I'm not Catholic. It is just something that I find particularly moving.

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