A New Testimonial from Gary J., Helpful saints for 12 Step Programs, Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, Al Anon and “One Year No Beer”

A New Testimonial from Gary J.,  Helpful saints for 12 Step Programs, Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, Al Anon and “One Year No Beer”

      We received a very thoughtful, heartfelt note and testimonial from Gary J. yesterday and thought it was a good day to share (with permission, of course). Here is Gary’s note:

“Just opened my order and got to read your letter. Thanks so much! The medals are beautiful and the lagniappe much appreciated. I am writing because the medals I’ve bought are always for friends...

My first purchase was for a dear friend and his daughter. She was diagnosed with a degenerative spinal disease. They both loved the medals. She put her’s on right away but her brother claimed the other one - Dad never did get to wear it. They are all doing well in Hawaii now.

My current purchase was for another friend who’s son just died of an overdose. I couldn’t leave her boyfriend out. So he also got one! The lagniappe has been claimed by my wife - a teacher who just went back but is still a bit “Covid shy.”

The medals are always appreciated and I think they always help!

Thanks for your efforts and kindness...”

      It takes emotional, mental and physical strength to address the reality of death from overdose. Two saints are said to be the “Go To” Recovery Helpers.

      Saint Maximillian Kolbe

      I’m not completely sure why Padre Kolbe has been designated as a saintly Recovery Specialist. He is though. You can look it up. My spin on it is that he chose both the red and the white garments when offered one of them.

      The red stood for being active in faith, sort of like how I perceive the Jesuits and Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta) and Sister Helen Prejean to practice their religion. They dive right into the middle of the pool and get to work on trying to make things better. Faith by doing.

      The white stands for purity in thought, mind, deed, contemplation. A prayerful approach, much like Saint Therese of Lisieux. The little Flower is described as joyfully tranquil. Two opposite faith modus operandi to be sure, and admirably diametric. Strong active discernment seeking sobriety and while praying hard, hard, hard, to stay on the right course.

      An ambitious fellow, Saint Maximillian Kolbe wanted to have both red and white, so his garments are nearly always in those colors on his medal, though, as you know, we do stray.  Because we can!

      The Venerable Matt Talbot

      Why Matt Talbot is not a saint yet leaves me dumbfounded. He confronted his alcoholism head on, at around age 17, and wrapped himself up in chains and barbed wire, and suffered for his 40 years of sobriety. And then the Church established Matt Talbot Houses that have helped hundreds, no, thousands, seeking Recovery from addiction.

     Yet still the bosses of Catholicism will not grant him a second miracle, so he remains “Blessed” and “Venerable,” inches away from being offered up for Canonization. Pope Francis did go pray at the Matt Talbot statue in Dublin so maybe his canonization is near. I’ll go to the Vatican for that ceremony, but I just might be carrying a sign that reads, “WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?”

      So, Maximillian Kolbe is the premier Saintly Recovery Specialist and Venerable Matt waits on deck. Personally, I wear Blessed Matt Talbot. Wearing Matt and Max might a better course of action when seeking help with Recovery.

      There are lots of other saints on fringes that help with addressing addiction. Saint Teresa of Avila is a fine example. I’m saving her for one of my future topics though, “awkward silence.’ You’ll have to wait for that one but it’s coming soon.

      That’s all for this newsletter. I was so moved by Gary’s note, I just had to share it right way after it came in last night. Gary, how thoughtful of you to reach out to your friend confronting loss from overdose. You’re truly brave and kind.

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