Friday, April 4, 2008

A personal reflection on Matt Talbot

November 29, 2007

Today, I have been reminded of one of my favorite Irishmen, a recovered alcoholic who long ago was asked to take another favorite Irishman of mine under his wing and intercession. Since then, I have added many others (Irish and non-Irish, bless their hearts) to his intercession.

This man began drinking at AGE 12!!

His life had become so unmanageable by the time he was 28 that he "took the pledge" to not take a drink for three months. Even his mother doubted his ability to stop, telling him not to do it if he did not mean it.

He did.

He found that there was only ONE who could help him succeed, and often begged the One not to let him slip back into where he HAD been. That One is the "Higher Power" of AA/Alanon, the "God as we understand Him" of the Old Timers in AA/Alanon, the God of the Old and New Testament. He is the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Matt Talbot spent the rest of his life serving His Lord, in prayer and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, 'working the fifth' by examining his conscience and frequent Confession, daily attendance at Mass, and giving most of his earnings away. This, years before the start of AA.

He read books (with LITTLE education) that I have not begun to desire to read by great men/women of the Church (like St John of the Cross). Few people outside his own little corner of Ireland knew of him. Until his death, that is .

When he died on the street of a heart problem, they were not even sure of who he was, but when he was identified, and his belongings taken from his room, they were amazed to learn of his devotion, his piety, his life. Within a short time, word spread, including to Rome.

Alcoholics the world over have gained strength to recover from his example. A recovering friend of mine said that there may NEVER be a physical miracle for his Beatification or Canonization, but there are MANY spiritual miracles as a result of his life, his recovery, and his intercession from Heaven. I pray that God allows two physical miracles in order for him to be called ST MATTHEW TALBOT.

Alcoholism is a physical affliction as well as spiritual. Body, mind and soul are all affected, as are every family member and friend of the person who has 'crossed the line' into dependency on the drug of alcohol (whether wine, beer or liquor). So in MY humble opinion, each and every person who has been aided by devotion to him IS already not only a spiritual miracle, but also an emotional and a physical miracle. Every family member and friend is also blessed and benefited by that miracle of sobriety. Lives are changed and restored.

But my opinions do not matter.

Venerable Matt Talbot, I once again ask you to aid my loved one, my family members, my friends, and all those that I have placed in your care over the last 20-25 yrs since I first heard of you. Bring them to the grace, presence, and the blessings of God. Bring them to recovery. Bring them to Him, the Author and Giver of Life so that they may also merit Eternal Life.

God bless!

"O Virgin, I ask only three things:
  • the grace of God,
  • the presence of God,
  • and the benediction of God."
~Prayer of the Venerable Matt Talbot