How often do we look at events in our lives and make a judgement based on old ideas. Many of us make judgments based on judgments. How often have we given a fair glimpse into something new or perhaps old in our lives, which only begs the question- thus far, how is this attitude (a narrow-minded one) working for you?

I have been guilty of this in areas of my life. Growing up we tend to take on and live by the social mores handed down to us that we uphold and defend without ever investigating as to its soundness and or fact.

I have always been interested in my religion and in fact during my younger days I thought I had wanted to be a priest. Fast forward into 1988, when I came out of the blinding fog of drunkenness and addiction.

I once again became interested in my religion with great sense of urgency to develop a new way of living based on spiritual principles. That being said, I returned to Church and began to light candles and make prayer regularly, when a friend suggested I attend Mass on Sunday and so I did. My attendance was fair at best. I would go for a while then stay away, yet all the while going into Church on non-mass days to pray and light candles.

Away from mass I was praying deeply and searching for a relationship with God. It was the most important thing in my life along with sobriety. I attempted Mass a few more times and found myself judging and paying too much attention to the awful news about the Church and some of the priests accused of hideous acts. Yet I longed to be a part of the good in the Church. I have since learned that the news is the news and as Marvin Gaye once sang believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.

Thank God for sponsorship and a sponsor’s insight.

As I began another journey through the 12 steps (an annual event at least) I discussed with my sponsor my issues regarding the above matter. He then asked me several questions, which allowed me to be face to face with my own hypocrisy.

I attended mass again after siting with a priest in confession and expressing my ill feelings, my regret and my willingness to make amends. I was asked by the priest listening to me to attend Mass the next day and so I did- this time with and open mind and a feeling that peace in my heart was upon me.

I wept my first time back and wept again the following week and still do as I attend Mass on Sundays. They are tears of joy and gratitude, as He has led me back home with a very open mind and pure heart.

My favorite day of the week is Sunday, yet when I was in the grip of the grapes it was my worst day of the week. I lecture and serve communion and have developed wonderful relationships with some of the parishioners, priests and the Church in general. I love my church.

I guess my consideration to you the reader is what areas of your life do you have contempt or prejudice? My experience shows it’s only been based in fear and prejudice, and when we break these chains of bondage, what is waiting is freedom, peace and a joyful heart. I am so grateful for the sponsors that challenge us, and even push us to look deep within. For as I have known for a long time its Gods way of telling all of us, He loves us and wants us to be free.

How bout sobriety!
How bout God!

Blessings,
Peter Marinelli

“Chop wood, Carry water”