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A Reader Struggles to Reconcile Alcoholics Anonymous with Her Catholic Faith

A Reader Struggles to Reconcile Alcoholics Anonymous with Her Catholic Faith October 20, 2015

She writes:

I am deeply disturbed that I have found more hope and healing through Alcoholics Anonymous than through Catholicism. Is that right?

AA helped me become a better Catholic and is continuing to help me be a better tool for God. But I am resentful. I am resentful that I have to find that healing outside of the Church.

Or that it’s somehow not real because it’s not a “Catholic” institution

I feel like I have to split the two up. I’m Catholic in church, and I’m an alcoholic in AA. These are two of the most important things of my life and I want them to come together!

God can use anything. Why not AA? I would take it as the gift it is and combine the healing you are finding there with the sacraments of confession (when you realize places where you need to get rid of your sins) and Eucharist (when you have something to give thanks for as you journey toward healing). There’s not a reason in the world God can’t use AA to give you all sorts of graces. It’s not in competition with the graces he gives you through the sacraments cuz there’s only one God who is Lord of all of life.

He’s with you wherever you go, both in and out of Mass. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith (because it’s Jesus), but

“Christ plays in ten thousand places
lovely in limbs and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces”.

Don’t feel like everything has to happen at Mass and don’t make the opposite mistake of thinking that if God blesses you outside Mass, then Mass doesn’t matter. The sacraments are the beating heart of reality because they are our sure encounters with Christ. But though he is *surely* there, he is not *only* there. Creation is his playground and he will pop out at you from all sorts of unexpected nooks and crannies to surprise and bless you.

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