Alcoholics Anonymous, and other twelve-step recovery groups, work because they point people to Christ. While the life of addiction is spent in a chaotic and endless bipolar pattern of clinging to some thing and then falling into the ugly waters of shame and despair, the program invites people to live from one pole, a middle place of integrity and stability. This pole is ultimately the Cross which links deep trust in God – as the first eleven steps call for an accounting of what dwells in our souls and thus directs our lives – with a willingness to spend ourselves reaching out in service to others that they may also share in the peace that only God can bring – the twelfth step. The famous Serenity Prayer, fundamental to the entire recovery tradition and offered at every single meeting, says as much: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” (the love that God has for me), “the courage to change the things I can” (the way that I relate to other people), “and the wisdom to know the difference” (Christ, who, especially crucified, is the very “wisdom of God,” cf. 1 Cor 1:24). May we each adopt Christ as the captain of our ship on this lifelong recovery journey and thus move from the anonymity of suffering to the uniqueness of being a child of God. Ave Crux, Spes Unica.
Published by Brothers Phil and Ben
Phillip Smith and Benjamin Rossi are members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. They established The Voice of Moreau blog on September 15, 2018. View all posts by Brothers Phil and Ben