Thursday, October 23, 2014

Inspiration and Hope with Venerable Matt Talbot

Fr. Tom Ryan, PP, who is responsible for the hugely successful Matt Talbot Novenas and author of Comfort my people: prayers and reflections inspired by the Venerable Matt Talbot ( prepared the following remarks for the 2014 novena, which is currently in process. (More information is available at the link below.)
Inspiration and hope with Matt Talbot
Fr Tom Ryan
23 September 2014

“For nine Tuesdays in the months of October and November starting on Tuesday next, 30th September, people will gather each week at the Shrine of Matt Talbot in St. John & Paul Church, Shannon, to pray and intercede for people suffering or sharing in the life of addictions.

Matt Talbot was born in Dublin in 1856 and died suddenly in 1925, experienced at first hand the pain and suffering of addiction.
    Matt worked and prayed and fasted for the gift of temperance. He had experienced at first hand, in his own body, the havoc and the ravage wrought by his drinking alcohol to excess.
    He had felt the horrors of hangovers and saw its effects on his work and on his relationship with his friends and with his family. In fact, he saw that he was slowly but surely destroying himself.
    Somehow or other, by the grace of a good and generous God, he got the strength to give it all up and to go sober.
    He began to see that our hunger and thirst for food and drink is something good – given to us by a good and generous God, to encourage us to eat and drink to keep ourselves alive and strong and well. But he saw also that it was something to be used in moderation.
    One of the things we need, at all times, is a proper approach to the use of food and drink and the sexual power, given to us by God to bring new life into the world.
    There is a right way and a wrong way of using his gifts. There is a temperate way and an intemperate way. The temperate way is the better way.  The intemperate way is the way that leads to disaster, but people don’t see it like that unfortunately. The temperate way is possible.
    Matt Talbot is an outstanding example of prayer and conversion.  The Matt Talbot Novena, now in its 22nd year in Shannon, is our annual opportunity to support by prayer and reflection all suffering or sharing in the life of addictions.
    Matt Talbot has shown that it is possible to change; the power of prayer should never be underestimated.”

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blessed Paul VI and Venerable Matt Talbot

2014 has been an eventful year for Popes who knew of Matt Talbot.  Earlier this year Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII were both declared saints.
And yesterday, 19 October 2014, Pope Francis beatified Pope Paul VI (1897-1978), the pope who declared Matt Talbot as “Venerable” on 3rd October 1975, fifty years after Matt’s death.

In a 1974 address in Rome to Calix Society members on the occasion of their twenty-fifth anniversary, the now “Blessed Paul VI” stated: “You have chosen to look upon Matt Talbot as an admirable exemplar of discipline and supernatural virtue. It is our hope that his success will encourage countless men and women throughout the world to realize the need for conversion, the possibility of real rehabilitation, the serenity of Christian reconciliation, and the peace and joy of helping others to overcome abuses, disorders and sin.” (

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Knots Prayer

Whenever the negative voices in your head threaten to take over, consider reciting The Knots Prayer:

Dear God,

Please untie the knots in my mind,
my heart and my life.

Remove the have nots,
the can nots, and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots,
may nots, and might nots that
may find a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots and should nots
that obstruct my life.

And most of all, Dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart, and my life all of the “am nots”
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought that
I am not good enough.


Source: Author known to God

Also note:

Friday, October 10, 2014

A physical miracle involving Venerable Matt Talbot?

Thousands of moral miracles have been reported by recovering alcoholics through the intersession of Venerable Matt Talbot. But for beatification, a Vatican confirmed physical miracle is required, which has not occurred yet.

But one is possibly on the that does not involve an addiction nor an adult laborer.

One-year-old Talbot Joseph Watkins wasn’t supposed to be a healthy little boy. In fact, all medical evidence prior to his birth pointed to something seriously wrong. But a possible miracle changed the boy’s fate, which may lead to Matt’s beatification.

This extraordinary story, “The Making of a Miracle,” by Joe Bollig and published in The Leaven (Catholic Newspaper) on September 26, 2014, can be read at

An expanded article on page 5 at includes a brief biography of Matt Talbot, prayer for his canonization, and an interview with Fr. Brian Lawless, the Vice-Postulator, who visited with the Overland Park, Kansas family in August 2014.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2015 Pilgrimage to Matt Talbot's Ireland

The Philadelphia Units of The Calix Society announced that  there will be a June 2015 pilgrimage to Ireland lead by Fr. Brian Lawless.  It will include visiting sites important to the the life and spirituality of Venerable Matt Talbot as well as other spiritual sites (like Knock) and secular sites.  
Check periodically for additional details as they become available.