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Memorial of Saint Clare, Virgin
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Jesus’ call for each of us to take up our cross and follow Him speaks in a specific and meaningful way to the person with addictions, compulsions, and unhealthy attachments. One’s personal journey of carrying the cross perfectly illustrates the life of recovering people who have made the initial decision to surrender to God’s will and begin anew. The road is long and filled with many challenges along the way. The initial relief of accepting the truth of our addictive nature and finding a recovery group is certainly a gift and blessing, but it does not remove the normal struggles of everyday life—struggles that may include loneliness, resentments, work and family pressures, etc. We have acknowledged our powerlessness and surrendered to God’s will, but problems do not vanish from our lives. Recovery is hard work, and it requires patience and perseverance.  

The Catholic understanding of the spiritual walk is one that acknowledges suffering and sacrifice. It is not always a feel-good, “warm and fuzzy” Gospel that we follow. Jesus tells us we must deny ourselves, accept our burdens, and follow Him. Jesus stumbled on His way, suffered greatly, and ultimately sacrificed everything for us. We look to Him and unite our sufferings to His as we move forward in our recovering lives. We will experience great joy and deep sorrow as we do our best, one day at a time, to live in accordance with His will. We will experience an abundance of life—both the ups and the downs—as we chip away at the underlying character defects and sins that have perpetuated our former addictive patterns. And we look to Him to lead us!


Reflection Questions

  • How have moments of surrender impacted your recovery journey?
  • What are the spiritual tools you can use to unite your journey in recovery—both the sufferings and joys—with Christ?


Daily Mass Readings

First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-40
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 77:12-13, 14-15, 16 and 21
Gospel: Matthew 16:24-28

Reflection by Mark L.

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