Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Dark Night of Recovery

Gerald G. May, M.D. who authored 
 Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions practiced medicine and psychiatry for twenty-five years before becoming a senior fellow in contemplative theology and psychology at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Bethesda, Maryland.
Addiction and Grace offers an inspiring and hope–filled vision for those who desire to explore the mystery of who and what they really are. May examines the "processes of attachment" that lead to addiction and describes the relationship between addiction and spiritual awareness. He also details the various addictions from which we can suffer, not only to substances like alcohol and drugs, but to work, sex, performance, responsibility, and intimacy. 

Drawing on his experience as a psychiatrist working with the chemically dependent, May emphasizes that addiction represents an attempt to assert complete control over our lives. 
Addiction and Grace is a compassionate and wise treatment of a topic of major concern in these most addictive of times, one that can provide a critical yet hopeful guide to a place of freedom based on contemplative spirituality.”

While parts of this book can be read online, your attention is directed to “The Dark Night of Recovery," beginning on page 222 at

Eighty quotes from May’s books are available at

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Major Financial Donation to the Canonization of Venerable Matt Talbot

Carpet king Des Kelly left a gross estate of more than €13m in his will which included charitable bequests to two Dublin homeless shelters and €71,425 for the canonisation of Matt Talbot...” The article is available at the link below.

Carpet king Des leaves €13m in will and cash for 'Saint Matt'
By Liam Collins
January 21 2018 

NOTE: The cost of  some canonisations is estimated to be as much as €500,000. The donation amount in the article will undoubtedly help finance Matt's cause.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Seeking Christ Rather Than Alcohol

From the moment Matt Talbot took the pledge not to drink with a priest. Matt filled the void with God. The first three months were very challenging but he persevered for the next forty one years.

Seeking Christ
by Father Pablo
January 6, 2018

Every heart searches for meaning.  Every soul longs for happiness.  We are born restless.  We are born with a void inside, a missing piece, which moves us to seek fulfillmen   We are like a beautiful and complex jigsaw puzzle with one missing piece.  Without that last piece we remain incomplete, so we tirelessly search for the piece that will complete the picture.

We often attempt to place other appealing pieces which satisfy temporarily but do not complete the puzzle correctly.  These fleeting and ultimately unsatisfying fillers may include materialism and vanity, drugs and alcohol, hedonism and egotism to name a few.  Though alluring and perhaps temporarily successful in satisfying the inner restlessness, these vices rapidly deepen the void within us.

No matter how many different pieces we use to fill that last opening, there is only one, perfectly made piece that will fit flawlessly.  Saint Augustine accurately identified it when he wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

We are created by God with a natural need for Him to reach personal fulfillment.  We will remain restless, missing that last perfectly fashioned puzzle piece, as long as we resist God.  He has created us for Himself and we need Him.

In God we find the fulfillment of every desire of our hearts.  It is in surrendering to Him that peace is found.  It is in surrendering to Him that He will place that perfectly fashioned piece into our hearts, completing who we are.  It is in Him that the restlessness of seeking dissolves into the happiness and fulfillment of having found Him.  May the new year allow us to grow closer to Christ, enabling Him to place the perfectly fashioned puzzle piece that will fill us with peace and joy.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

How the Eucharist helps the lonely and the desperate

One of Matt Talbot's quotes is "How can anyone be lonely, with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament?"

How the Eucharist helps the lonely and the desperate 
by Eve Tushnet

Difficult circumstances seem to make the Eucharist all the more powerful.

"...Earlier this year, I interviewed some homeless and formerly homeless people for America magazine. Two of the Catholic interviewees described the way their experience with homelessness drew them to the Eucharist. Greg C said that when he was living in his car, he sought out churches “that had 24-hour Adoration, so it wouldn’t be suspicious that I had my car there… Going to Adoration felt like coming home, even though it’s not where I slept.”

Sunday, January 7, 2018

A Note on Matt Talbot's Movement from Addiction to Wholeness

The following excerpt is solely about Matt Talbot (St. Katharine Drexel and St. Ignatius are also discussed in the complete article.)

Three pillars, three saints
By Effie Caldarola
February 23, 2017

"...Venerable Matt Talbot provides an example of someone who used asceticism to help him on his journey from addiction to wholeness. Born into a large family, Talbot lived in poverty-stricken, post-famine Ireland. He began work at age 12, and that's when a soul-consuming alcoholism took root.

At the age of 28, Talbot, with the help of a confessor (and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius!) began his journey of sobriety. His abstinence was accompanied by a radical conversion. A laborer and a union man, he joined the Secular Franciscan Order, gave up another addiction -- smoking -- and began to lead his ordinary life with extraordinary penance and self-sacrifice.

Talbot is at the second rung of a four-step ladder to canonization. A miracle attributed to his intercession could lead to him being declared "Blessed." But in the meantime, thousands believe he has helped them in their struggle with addiction.

All of us are attached to something that impedes spiritual growth. During Lent, fasting from a behavior -- drinking, gossiping, addictive screen time -- that interferes with our relationship with Jesus can lead to conversion. An attribute of Talbot was that people described him, despite his self-denial, as a very happy man..."

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Matt Talbot's Inspirational Victory Over Addiction

This informative video, published on Sep 16, 2017, features multiple speakers.

"Theme of documentary- The amount of families in Ireland and every other country in the world who are afflicted by an addiction of one sort or another is very high, and addiction more than anything else, destroys families. Many families have lived tortured lives because what do you do when a member of your family gets addicted to alcohol or drugs? The alcoholic or addict usually ends up going t
o any lengths to feed their addiction, to the detriment of the wider family. 

Where do people in such an awful scenario go for help? What do they do? When many of them hear about the inspirational story of Matt Talbot and how he overcame his chronic alcoholism, they’re inspired and encouraged to try and overcome their addiction and begin the difficult journey from darkness to light. Matt Talbot is nowadays the number one patron for countless people all over the world who are suffering from addiction and are struggling to find recovery.

This 50-minute radio documentary investigates: (a)[ Matt Talbot’s inspirational life-example and why his story resonates so strongly with our modern world; and (b). the huge interest nowadays in Matt Talbot in Ireland and abroad. More than anything else, this documentary aims to highlight Matt Talbot’s story of redemption and hope, and in so doing perhaps inspire any listener who’s suffering from addiction, or knows someone suffering from addiction, to follow his example of walking the difficult (but worthwhile) path from addiction to recovery. * 

This 50-minute radio documentary is to be downloaded for non-profit purposes only, in adherence with the universal truth- “What you do for yourself dies with you, what you do for others remains. It is immortal.”

Monday, January 1, 2018

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary Unties Knots

Writing on the British Jesuits’ site Thinking Faith, Hedwig Lewis, SJ, gives more background on the devotion to Mary the Untier (or Undoer) of Knots, which Pope Francis has promoted for years.  You can also visit a website about the devotion.  The devotion is especially appropriate for “problems and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution:”
Knots of discord in our family, lack of understanding between parents and children, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home. They are also the knots of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion, depression, unemployment, fear, solitude. . .
- See more at:
As readers of biographical articles and books about Venerable Matt Talbot are quite aware, Matt developed a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother from the time of signing the pledge to give up alcohol through his remaining forty-one years of life.
As noted today at the start of this new year, Pope Francis said that having a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary isn’t just something that is nice or good to do, but is an obligation in the life of a Christian (