The path to peace offered in recovery is something altogether different. It is based on one thing: the proper relationship with God that we find in Step 3 when we become willing to turn our will and lives over to His care. When we are asked to take a series of steps to be relieved of the self-will that blocks us from this all-important relationship with God, we realize we will have to undergo “many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:24). But if we are willing to persevere through these difficult steps, then something miraculous happens. We begin to experience serenity.
Serenity is a radically different type of peace, far richer than the ease and comfort we had sought before in our addiction. It is not based on circumstances or the absence of suffering, and there is nothing we can do to earn it. It is the gift of peace that Jesus refers to in today’s Gospel reading. It is a grace given by God to those who seek to do His will for the love of Him. And it is a gift that encompasses all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, including faith and joy. This is a peace that comes from having our whole spirit rest in the love of God, filled up to the brim in ways that nothing else in the world can ever offer.
- In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27). What is troubling your heart today? How might the steps of recovery help you find peace?
- Which recovery step was the most difficult for you to work? How might you encourage someone else to work that step by sharing your own experience with it and how you came to experience God’s grace from working it?
Daily Mass Readings
First Reading: Acts 14:19-28
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 21
Gospel: John 14:27-31a
Reflection by Ann A.