Saturday, July 28, 2012

A different perspective of Matt Talbot

In this his latest book, Sharing God's Good Company: A Theology of the Communion of Saints (2012), David Matzko McCarthy explores the role and significance of the saints in Christians' lives today. He views Venerable Matt Talbot as an anti-hero or anti-saint and as a holy fool. It can be read on pages 52, 73-76 at

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Matt Talbot: Facing Adversity with Grace

In her latest book, Facing Adversity With Grace: Lessons From The Saints (2012), Koenig-Bricker includes a chapter on some lessons from Venerable Matt Talbot’s life as an example of using his addiction as a means of growth rather than just something to be endured. Whether struggling with this particular adversity or seeking to support a loved one who is suffering, the author provides questions for reflection.
clicking Read a chapter from this book, you should be able to read the introduction and 10 page Matt Talbot chapter.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Matt Talbot included in "Treasures of Irish Christianity"

A book description of Treasures of Irish Christianity: People and Places, Images and Texts, a newly published book by Veritas Publications, states: “In almost eighty short articles, a host of leading scholars from the worlds of history, liturgy, theology, philosophy, art history, and Celtic Studies reflect upon aspects of the history of the Christian tradition in Ireland from the fifth to the twenty-first century. This is a wide-ranging illustrated collection which draws from the major Christian denominations in Ireland and includes entries on significant people, texts, images, and events that have shaped the Irish Christian experience.”

Included in this paperback is the brief article, “Matt Talbot and the Eucharist: The Conquest of Freedom in the Face of Addiction.” To read this article click “look inside,” type in “Matt Talbot,” and sign-in at

Note:The “Time Magazine” reference in the text of the Matt Talbot article can be found at

Monday, July 9, 2012

Update on new Matt Talbot website

We noted on June 18, 2012 that the Dublin Diocesan Matt Talbot website is now online at Since that notice, additional entries have been added to the “The Story of Matt Talbot" as well as an interactive map of Matt Talbot’s Dublin, videos about Matt Talbot’s life and prayers. Additional sections currently remain “under construction.”
Note that the Dublin Diocesan Matt Talbot website and our Venerable Matt Talbot Resource Center are independent entities.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Note on Matt Talbot’s Humility

“Most folks probably have no idea who Matt Talbot is. If you have any struggles with alcohol or know someone who has, he is a good friend to have.

He was an Irishman who started working in booze outfits when he was twelve years old. As you can expect, this led him into alcoholism. After 16 years of suffering from this affliction, he managed to kick the habit and became something of an ascetic. He prayed and fasted fervently. He attended daily Mass. He became a Third Order Franciscan. He repaid his debts and gave much of his meager wages to the Church.

He did all this without anyone really knowing. Nobody would have thought anything more of Matt Talbot until his death. Once he passed away, his body was found wrapped in chains and cords under his clothes. He wore them as penance for his years of boozing. Of course, modernity would condemn an ascetic such as this as a lunatic. The idea of such acts as signs of holiness is no longer an option.

Matt's manner of humility in his virtue echoes the Master's words in today's Gospel (Mt 6:1-6)
‘Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.’”

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Matt Talbot's Coming Home

In a 2007 homily Fr. Michel de Verteuil states,
“Lord, a conversion experience is always a home-coming:
- turning away from an addiction,
- being reconciled with our family,
- forgiving an old hurt,
- going to confession after a long absence.

Once we are there we look back and wonder at our resistance.
Here was something that we needed in order to live, and yet we did not recognise it;
the truth of ourselves demanded it, and yet we did not accept to do it.

Now, Lord, by your grace, we know that your Word has been made flesh
and found a home in us.
Thank you, Lord.”

Note: With Matt Talbot’s conversion experience and recovery from alcoholism, the Word of God found a home in him.  Listening to the Word in Mass and reading the Bible became daily spiritual practices.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Importance of the Blessed Sacrament for Venerables Matt Talbot and Fulton J. Sheen

As these quotes indicate, the Blessed Sacrament was "essential" in the lives of Venerable Matt Talbot and (newly recognized) Venerable Fulton J. Sheen: 
"You know that Matt Talbot, the Dublin workingman, found in the Blessed Eucharist his support and his strength?  As a young man he was a slave to drink. He took the pledge and kept it. But who can tell what it cost him? When the temptation was fiercest Matt would make his way to the church and sit there. "I'm safe as long as I stay here"!”
(THREE TABERNACLES (1943) by Rev. Robert Nash, S.J. at, page 4-5.)

"How can anyone be lonely, with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament?" 

"The secret (to my preaching) is that I have never in fifty-five years missed spending an hour in the presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. That's where the power comes from. That's where sermons are born. That's where every good thought is conceived."