Growing up I felt like I was just going through the motions when it came to going to church. I just knew that we had to stand up, sit down, listen to a few songs, and repeat. However, I do remember getting excited about seeing others that I knew there (it was as if we were all part of the same team). But at the time I had no idea about the amazing and healing grace that the Church and its teachings would give me in the future.
With that said, and in keeping with Part 1 of this series, below are two more resources that our Catholic faith offers us for finding and maintaining recovery and healing.
Venerate Our Beloved Mother, Mary Most Holy
One of the great powers of prayer is that it transcends time. I surely experienced much grace today from my grandparents’ pasts prayers, and I’m so grateful that they all prayed the Rosary. It is one of the most powerful Catholic prayers and practices that we have, and no one remains in the same spiritual place who prays it.
A quick search on YouTube produces countless videos for the daily Rosary to help with relearning or learning the practice for the first time. As Saint Louis Marie de Montfort said about honoring Mary, “We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek—Jesus, her Son.”
I also like praying a quick “Hail Mary” to interrupt my thoughts not conducive to love. It’s an important practice to be able to observe our thoughts and choose which ones we let grow and which ones we interrupt or redirect. Contemplating Mary and her mysteries is a lifelong practice and one that opens spiritual doors for us in countless ways.
Being a mother myself, devoting time to contemplating our “sorrowful mother” has also helped me not give in to fear during difficult times, reminding me instead to trust God’s plan and “wear the world like a loose garment.”
On several occasions, I have enjoyed reading the 33 Days to Morning Glory: A do-it-yourself retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration by Fr. Michael Gaitley. Every time that I have read it, it feels like reading this book for the first time, gaining more insight into the wealth of spirituality that Mary offers us. Her incredible example of womanhood and motherhood is unlike any other role model on earth. Her faith, humility, and obedience to pursue God’s will and not her own can help anybody who is seeking recovery.
Another one of my favorite Marian practices is receiving the “Daily Kolbe Email” sent from the Militia of the Immaculata. The founder of the Militia of the Immaculata, St. Maximillian Kolbe, is regarded as the saint and martyr of the Immaculate and you can sign up for those emails to receive a short meditation, prayer of consecration, and intercessions.
St. Maximillian Kolbe is also the patron saint of addictions, so I find it that much more impactful. He reminds us to “never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much, you can never love her more than Jesus did.”
As it has been said, “No Mary, No Jesus; Know Mary, Know Jesus.”
Experience the Church’s Liturgy and Readings Daily
Growing up I did not know Mass was held at any time other than Saturday evenings and Sundays. I suppose I did not need to know at that time though, either. Once you hit the point in your life when you need a daily reprieve it is nice to know Mass and the Eucharist are available to us daily as Catholics. Our religion truly offers everything we need for healing.
I have many wonderful daily devotionals and 12-step books but the book I always have with me is the Magnificat. It’s a monthly subscription that includes morning readings, daily Mass readings, prayers for the evening, saint profiles, and beautiful reflections.
But beyond reviewing the daily Mass readings, if you can go to daily Mass then I strongly recommend you do so. Daily Mass will change your life. Not only because of the beautiful mix of Old and New Testament readings but because of the Eucharist.
Another way to get the daily readings is to receive the USCCB daily readings in your inbox or to watch daily Mass through EWTN. I try to watch it live daily at 8 am EST because I think there is a lot to be said about our daily habits and doing the important things first in the day. I also love hearing the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word celebrate Mass and getting to know their personalities.
However, living life on life’s terms means that first thing in the morning doesn’t always happen, so it’s nice to know that we can go back and hear the readings any time of the day. A lot more parishes are live-streaming their daily Masses these days, so it has been a gift to get to hear some amazing homilies from different priests from all walks of life. Some of my current favorites are the priests at St. Marks out of Oro Valley, AZ. I always walk away having learned something new.
By following the Church calendar closely, we are also brought along through the many different feast days that occur throughout the year. Franciscan Media does a Saint of the Day email that you can sign up for as well.
If we can put a fraction of the effort we had put into our addictions or unhealthy behaviors into reading or hearing the daily Word of God or receiving the Eucharist, then we’ll truly be set up for the healthiest and happiest life possible and will have the strength and grace to handle situations that used to baffle and harm us.
Allison is sober from alcohol and a self-proclaimed “cradle convert” who has received a great deal of grace after coming back to her Catholic faith. She is so grateful to have the opportunity to be a sober Catholic wife and mother and loves nothing more than being with her family. She loves daily Mass and connecting with God outside through nature.