Lost sheep appear in Sacred Scripture during this season of Advent. It is an apt image of someone lost in the bog of alcohol. At once the alcoholic really doesn’t want to be found and, at the same time, he feels the loneliness of his existence. But it takes an awful lot to get him to grasp the hand for help.
As we long for the coming of The Lord of life in our time and place, we can find comfort in what Jesus says: “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?” [Matthew 18:12-13] This season is a special time where The Lord works powerfully to get the straying alcoholic back to real life. As Jesus continues to say in the Gospel of Matthew, “It is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.” [Matthew 18:14]
This injunction of The Lord also directs those of us in recovery to do our part in helping other poor souls who suffer our disease. It takes no more than a listening ear and a willing heart to be available to someone who is deep in addiction. Am I willing and available today?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you call me by name today and desire to enter my life. You wish to share my joy and hope, my grief and sorrow. Calm my fears as I open myself to you and my suffering sisters and brothers. Speak your word down deep in the silence of my heart and never let me be parted from you. Gift me today with the abiding presence of your Holy Spirit and the love of the Father. Amen.
These thoughts offered by Brother Richard Hittle, S.J., a grateful 1980 graduate of Guest House and an employee since 2004.
Having moved into December month and deep winter, we find ourselves perhaps sleeping more and hiding out indoors. Even so, the liturgical calendar moves us into advent and thoughts of the coming once again of our Savior, Emmanuel – God with us in the person of Jesus Christ.
Directly the first assigned scripture passage counsels us to “stay awake therefore! You cannot know the day your Lord is coming.” [Matthew 24:42] This is an admonition precisely directed to us in recovery. That is, we must truly stay awake but also, be alert. We well know the creeping self-delusion that may slip in and overcome us with regard to our use of alcohol during the holiday season. It is, to be sure, a scary thought but also a most needed reminder that we must ALWAYS be on guard, always ALERT to slipping down that awful slope of active addiction. (more…)
“Jesus glanced up and saw the rich putting their offerings into the treasury, and also a poor widow putting in two copper coins. At that He said: ‘I assure you, this poor widow has put in more than all the rest. They make contributions out of their surplus, but she from her want has given what she could not afford—every penny she had to live on.’” [Luke 21:1-4]
The lesson I take from this scripture passage assigned for today is not about economic security but rather of generosity and trust. This poor woman in her soul was moved to give everything she had to the temple. Her reward, I feel, was both a greater trust in her God and the joy that comes from unselfish giving for a greater good. (more…)
“Once on being asked by the Pharisees when the reign of God would come, Jesus replied: You cannot tell by careful watching when the reign of God will come. Neither is it a matter of reporting that it is ‘here’ or ‘there.’ The reign of God is already in your midst.” Luke 17:20-21
In the program of AA we are counseled to live in the present and seek God in the present. Forgetting yesterday and its troubles as much as possible, we face a clean slate for today. What opportunities will present themselves for us? Will I be ready for what comes today? Well, if we place all of our faith and hope in God and His power, we will surely not fail. Whatever comes in our life today can be successfully and even joyfully handled by this dual relationship with God. Indeed we will find that, at the end of today, some things we have done or said have even surprised us. That is the power of the Spirit of God at work in us. (more…)
Guest House is recognized as the premier provider of residential, behavioral health and addiction treatment services exclusively for Catholic clergy and religious. Today, Guest House announced that in 2014 it will consolidate all treatment to state-of-the-art, gender-specific facilities on its campus in Lake Orion, Michigan.
Upon completion of new construction, male clients (priests, deacons, seminarians and other religious) will be transferred from the Guest House Center in Rochester, Minnesota to be treated at Lake Orion on the modernized campus, featuring new clinical and residential facilities.
Denise Bertin-Epp, President and Chief Executive Officer of Guest House, announced the plan, “We continually provide innovative advancements in residential behavioral health treatment and after-care follow-up.
“Savings achieved by offering inpatient programs at a single Michigan campus,” she added, “will also help us to continue our tradition of never turning away a priest or religious in need of lifesaving treatment, regardless of their ability to cover the cost of their rehabilitation.” (more…)
Within us is the desire for friendship but also resistance. The person in recovery needs friends, at least one soul mate who accompanies the person on life’s journey.
Today, the Feast of Luke, we encounter the only person who accompanied Paul in his missionary journeys and visited Paul when he was imprisoned. In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, Paul declares “Luke is the only one with me.” [2 Timothy 4:11]
We know the value of a true friend, one we can turn to at all times. A friend is there to listen, to console, to offer a word of advice. Through all our trials and hardships, a true friend remains loyal to us. (more…)
“On one occasion a lawyer stood up to pose Jesus this problem: Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life? Jesus answered him: What is written in the law? How do you read it? He replied: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said: You have answered correctly. Do this and you shall live.” Luke 10:25-28 (more…)
October 4, 2013
Francis was born into a wealthy family. It is apparent also that he had that quality which many of us in recovery know about, namely, extremism. After spending the first part of his life in frivolous enjoyments he experienced war, captivity and sickness which sent his life on a new direction. Francis took to emptying his father’s warehouse and giving everything to the poor. Then he exchanged his fine clothing for poor clothing and undertook a new life. It was the course that set all of life into a new perspective.
We, too, have set our course on a new way of life. It has its challenges to be sure but it also gives us new freedom to act in a way we never envisioned. What are some of the “newness” items we find in our life today? Maybe an easier access to God? Maybe fewer difficulties with our relationships with family and friends? Perhaps new motivation to go out of our self to volunteer time and money to help the poor? Something as easy, and yet put off, as a long overdue telephone call to a person we have neglected. Each of us can come up with a list of things to do. Easy does it! (more…)
Today’s word is taken from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 7, verses 31-37 where The Lord is asked to heal a man who is deaf. The application to those of us who really need to hear a comforting word about recovering our life from a dreadful addiction is quite obvious. Yet, do we really want to hear a word of comfort and healing? An illustration about reluctance might be seen in this story told by Deacon Dick Folger.
“Grandpa was almost stone deaf. He finally went to the doctor to see if anything could be done about his condition. The doctor fitted him with a set of hearing aids that allowed him to hear like new. When Grandpa went back to the doctor for his monthly checkup, the doctor said, your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again. Grandpa replied, Oh no, I haven’t told my family yet. I just sit around the house and listen to their conversations. I’ve already changed my will three times!” (more…)
Everyone was all smiles Thursday, September 12 when HealthQuest of Lake Orion presented a large check (literally and figuratively!) to Guest House at the Scripps Mansion. The check, in the amount of $7,000, was a portion of the proceeds from HealthQuest’s annual charity golf outing held during July in support of Guest House and another local non-profit. The donation will be used to support our Women’s Services. HealthQuest has provided physical therapy services to Guest House clients and many staff since the early 1990′s.
Pictured (left toright) are Patti Stowell, Nursing Supervisor at Guest House; Sr. Mary Ellen Merrick, Director of Women’s Services at Guest House; Dan Cady and Phil Krause, Co-owners of HealthQuest Lake Orion; Johanna Baartmans, HealthQuest Physical Therapy and Medical Fitness Marketing Manager; and, Denise Bertin-Epp, President and CEO of Guest House.