Sunday, March 23, 2008

"To begin a new life"

On this Easter we are reminded that one can begin a new life of recovery from the slavery of alcoholism by the grace of God. This paragraph is from a spiritual letter previously posted here titled Matt Talbot - A Model for all Men and Women.

"Matt Talbot is a model for all men and women. To victims of alcoholism or drugs, he shows through his example that with the grace of God, recovery is possible. «Alcohol addictions are at times so strong that those closest to the alcoholic are led to believe that he will never overcome his addiction, and the alcoholic himself is tempted to lose all hope. It is good then to remember Jesus' resurrection. This reminds us that failure is never God's last word» (Social Commission of French Bishops, declaration of December 1, 1998). To those who are slaves to other sins (idolatry, blasphemy, abortion, euthanasia, contraception, adultery, debauchery, homosexuality, masturbation, stealing, false witness, slander, etc.), he reminds them that one must «never despair of God's mercy,» in accordance with Saint Benedict's recommendation (Rule, ch. 4). Our Lord promised St. Margaret Mary that sinners would find in His Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy. Just as it is the nature of a ship to sail on the water, it is God's nature to forgive and be merciful, as the Church confirms in one of its prayers. Saint Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church, also was able to write near the end of her manuscripts: «Even if I had on my conscience all the sins that can be committed, I would go, my heart broken with repentance, to throw myself into the arms of Jesus, for I know how much He loves the prodigal child who returns to Him.» She added, in spoken words, «If I had committed all the crimes it is possible to commit, I would still have the same confidence, I would feel that this multitude of offenses would be like a drop of water thrown into a raging blaze.» Matt Talbot's life eloquently proves that by turning faithfully to the Lord to ask forgiveness, one may, through the Sacrament of Penance, the normal way of reconciliation with God, begin a new life under Mary's maternal gaze."

The original source of this spiritual letter by Dom Antoinee Marie, OSB is from the Abbey of Saint Joseph de Claifval (in France) at