This weekend, the Summer Retreat for men of AA is going on 10 mintues from my home, same place we do our winter retreat. There's this wonderful retreat center operated by the Precious Blood order, within the Arch Diocese of Cincinnati. It's out in the country, beautiful setting, prayerful, restful all the trimmings... Over the past 5 yrs we've had a wonderful retreat master for both the summer and the winter retreats, this sweet retired Jesuit Priest, sober 20+ yrs. He works in various capacities in the recovery field. It's truly a blessing to live so close to such a great place, and be able to attend retreats as often as I do.
Well, I didn't attend the retreat for the weekend, but knowing that Fr. Pete was over there, I knew I needed to get over and meet with him. So, I dropped in, sat in on a great meeting about home groups/service work and then Fr. and I got a chance to spend some time together. He blessed a crucifix given to me by my AA sponsor, and a Rosary given to me by my RCIA sponsor, both Confirmation gifts. I shared what's going on in my marriage and celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After we got done talking and praying, it was time for Mass. I got to read the 2nd reading, a part of a letter from St. Paul to the Colossians (Col 3:1-5, 9-11), that's the first time I had ever read in Mass. Fr. Pete incorporates the AA program throughout the Mass whether it be the opening prayer, the Penitent Rite, the Sanctus, Gloris, Kyrie, Homliy, etc. He always fins a way to make it a Mass for alcoholics... He tied today's readings together beautifully with the program of recovery we cherish so much. He even Prayed the Eucharistic Prayers, incorporating the 12 Steps and principles of recovery. It was wonderful.
It was really nice to escape for a couple hrs yesterday and get some stuff sorted out and talked about with my favorite priest. Fr Pete has been a vital part of my recovery for 11 years. Who knew one day I'd actually receive the Eucharist at Mass from him. It's like we've come full circle.
Yesterday morning, rather than go to the jail meeting, Ian was really on me about hanging out. So, I took him to the pet store where we picked up a few more fish, to complete our school of Tiger Barbs. We ended up having a blast and it was the perfect HP inspired solution to what could've been a poopy deal between me and the Mrs.
Well, I need to get dressed for Mass, playing again this morning! I love sharing God's gift of music at Mass... It makes me feel good when people catch me afterwards and say how much they anjoy having different music at Mass. I am grateful for this gift,a nd really happy to be sharing it again. Tonite, our dance band has a gig in the next town down the road, outdoor gazebo deal, should be fun!
prayer for today...
HP/JC/God, please help me to stay sober today. Please give me the strength to avoid temptation and behaviours that separate me from Your Grace. I pray that I can do my part to avoid hurting my wife's feelings today, and let her be where she needs to be. Thank You for the rain that is currently falling, our farmers and my garden need it badly. Thank You for sharing Fr. Pete with me yesterday, and for the gift of Your Son at Mass yesterday and again today. I pray that I might live up to the Grace I am afforded with the living Word and Your presence within me.
may the peace of Christ be with you all...