Monday, 18 February 2019

AROUND THE YEAR WITH EMMET FOX #essentialsofrecovery


LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION

Lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:13).

Many earnest people feel that God could not lead anyone into temptation in any circumstances, and that Jesus could not have said what he is represented to have said, and so some other phrasing is sought more in accordance with the general tone of his teaching. All this, however, is unnecessary.

The facts are these—the more you pray, the more sensitive you become, and the more powerful are your prayers. Buy you also become susceptible to forms of temptation that simply do not beset those at an earlier stage. Subtle and powerful temptations await; temptations to work for self-glory, for personal distinction; temptation to personal preferences other than perfect impartiality. Beyond all other temptations the deadly sin of spiritual pride. Many who have surmounted all the other testings have lapsed into self-righteousness that has fallen like a curtain of steel between them and God.

Some old writers were so vividly sensible of these dangers that they have spoken of the soul as being challenged by various tests as it traversed the upward road. The traveler was halted at various turnpike bars, and tested by some ordeal to determine whether he were ready to advance any further. If he succeeded in passing the test he was allowed to continue upon his way with the blessings of the challenger.

Now, some less experienced souls, eager for rapid advancement, have rashly desired to be subjected immediately to all kinds of tests, and have even looked about, seeking for difficulties to overcome. Forgetting our Lord’s injunction,

Thou Shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (Matthew 4:7),

They have virtually challenged him to give them difficulties. And so Jesus has inserted this clause, in which we pray that we may not have to meet anything that is too much for us at the present level of our understanding.

© 1931 by Emmet Fox 
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DAILY REFLECTIONS #essentialsofrecovery

OUR PATHS ARE OUR OWN

. . . there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet.

~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 25 

My first attempt at the Steps was one of obligation and necessity, which resulted in a deep feeling of discouragement in the face of all those adverbs: courageously; completely; humbly; directly; and only. I considered Bill W. fortunate to have gone through such a major, even sensational, spiritual experience. I had to discover, as time went on, that my path was my own. After a few twenty-four hours in the A.A. Fellowship, thanks especially to the sharing of members in the meetings, I understood that everyone gradually finds his or her own pace in moving through the Steps. Through progressive means, I try to live according to these suggested principles. As a result of these Steps, I can say today that my attitude towards life, people, and towards anything having to do with God, has been transformed and improved.

Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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JUST FOR TODAY #essentialsofrecovery

The Recovery Partnership

“As long as I take it easy and make a commitment with my Higher Power to do the best I can, I know I will be taken care of today”

~ Basic Text, p. 120 ~

Many of us feel that our fundamental commitment in recovery is to our Higher Power. Knowing that we lack the power to stay clean and find recovery on our own, we enter into a partnership with a Power greater than we are. We make a commitment to live in the care of our Higher Power and, in return, our Higher Power guides us.

This partnership is vital to staying clean. Making it through the early days of recovery often feels like the hardest thing we’ve ever done. But the strength of our commitment to recovery and the power of God’s care is sufficient to carry us through, just for today.

Our part in this partnership is to do the very best we can each day, showing up for life and doing what’s put in front of us, applying the principles of recovery to the best of our ability. We promise to do the best we can&151not to fake it, not to pretend to be superhuman, but simply to do the footwork of recovery. In fulfilling our part of the recovery partnership, we experience the care our Higher Power has provided us.

Just for today: I will honor my commitment to a partnership with my Higher Power.

© 1991 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services Inc 
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TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY #essentialsofrecovery


A.A. Thought for the Day

After I became an alcoholic, alcohol poisoned my love for my family and friends, it poisoned my ambition, it poisoned my self-respect. It poisoned my whole life, until I met A.A. My life is happier now than it has been for a long time. I don’t want to commit suicide. So with the help of God and A.A., I’m not going to take any more of that alcoholic poison into my system. And I’m going to keep training my mind never even to think of liquor again in any way except as a poison. Do I believe that liquor will poison my life if I ever touch it again?

Meditation for the Day

I will link up my frail nature with the limitless Divine Power. I will link my life with the Divine Force for Good in the world. It is not the passionate appeal that gains the Divine attention as much as the quiet placing of the difficulty and worry in the Divine Hands. So I will trust God like a child who places its tangled skein of wool in the hands of a loving parent to unravel. We please God more by our unquestioning confidence than by imploring Him for help.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may put all my difficulties in God’s hands and leave them there. I pray that I may fully trust God to take care of them.

© 1954, 1975, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation 
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AS BILL SEES IT #essentialsofrecovery

~ Page 49 ~

Out of Defeat . . . Strength


If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.

<< << << >> >> >>

Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one’s old life as a condition for finding a new one.

~ 1. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, P. 33 ~
~ 2. A.A. COMES OF AGE, P. 46 ~

© 1967 by Alcoholics Anonymous ® World Services, Inc
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WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery



SHINING SHOES FOR SUBORDINATES

Growing in Humility

Did you ever hear of a man named Samuel Logan Brengle? He was a Salvation Army officer whose spiritual consciousness was legendary. But he didn’t start out that way. A gifted ministerial student of the nineteenth century, he joined the Salvation Army only to find himself sent to a cellar to clean the shoes of other cadets-most of them far below him in learning and intelligence.

Brengle used that humbling experience to conquer his pride and resentment. He later recalled the utter joy he felt as he cleaned the shoes and prayed for each person. Later on, Brengle became an inspiration to thousands.

It’s not likely any of us will have to clean shoes for subordinates today. What’s more likely is that we’ll encounter situations that wound our pride or churn up resentment. We can turn any such experience into an opportunity for growth by praying to see God’s hand in the matter and refusing to fight about it. The peace and serenity we feel is our reward, and, like Brengle, we’ll become better people who can be of real service to others.

Somebody may come at me today with something that makes my blood boil. I won’t be a doormat, but I will remember that I always have the choice of making anything a positive, spiritually uplifting experience.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation
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KEEP IT SIMPLE #essentialsofrecovery


Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.

~ Spanish proverb ~

Gossip can kill the trust in a Twelve Step program. We all need to feel safe when we share our personal lives with others. We need to know our private business won’t be spread around.

We can do two things to help keep the trust in our groups, and in the rest of our lives too. First, don’t gossip. Second, don’t listen to gossip about others.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me mind my own business today. Help me honor the trust of my friends by not gossiping.

Action for the Day

Today, I’ll think of two ways to stop someone from telling me gossip. Then, I’ll put those ways to use.

Copyright © 1988 by Hazelden Foundation 
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FR. LEO'S DAILY MEDITATION #essentialsofrecovery


LAW

“The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.”

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr ~

I respect the law. I respect the society in which I live. I am not an island unto myself. I live in a community and have a responsibility to myself and others; such is sobriety.

For years, I did what I wanted and tried not to be found out. I was manipulative, dishonest, and unhappy. Then I decided to change my life. I discovered the spiritual law of freedom through responsibility. Law is the collective experience of the many who choose to live a certain way, and today I choose to live among them. My understanding of spirituality involves respecting the laws that give me the dignity of citizenship.

Dear God, help me see that the laws of civilization are a gift of freedom.

© 2008 Leo Booth 
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A DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery


Reflection for the Day

We learn in the Program that we cannot punish anyone without punishing ourselves. The release of my tensions, even justified, in a punishing way leaves behind the dregs of bitterness and pain. This was the monotonous story of my life before I came to the Program. So in my new life, “I’d do well to consider the long range benefits of simply owning my emotions, naming them and thus releasing them. Does the voice of God have a chance to be heard over my reproachful shouting?

Today I Pray

May I avoid name-calling, ego-crushing exchanges. If I am angry, may I try to assign my anger to what someone did instead of what someone is. May I refrain from downgrading, lashing out at character flaws, or mindless abuse. May I count on my Higher Power to show me the way.

Today I Will Remember

To deal with anger appropriately.

© 1989 by Hazelden Foundation 
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ONE DAY AT A TIME #essentialsofrecovery



SERENITY

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

~ The Serenity Prayer ~

My life before abstinence was a fight in the dark to stabilize my world and protect myself from more pain. Too much suffering was endured by this child. She never understood that she could ever come back into the Light. But, the fog is lifting now … there are days of clarity and joy. How could she have known? She was too little.

Circumstances change … memories fade away … I can be safe again … I can allow myself to be me. I will work my program to secure the Light again in my world.

One day at a time . . .

I pray to understand that the stream of life keeps moving … I will live in darkness no longer.

~ Margaret ~ 
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ELDER'S MEDITATION OF THE DAY #essentialsofrecovery


“Laughter is a necessity in life that does not cost much, and the Old Ones say that one of the greatest healing powers in our life is the ability to laugh.”

~ Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA 

Laughter is a good stress eliminator. Laughter causes healing powers to be distributed through our bodies. Laughter helps heal relationships that are having problems. Laughter can change other people. Laughter can heal the sick. Laughter is spiritual. One of the greatest gifts among Indian people has been our ability to laugh. Humor is natural to Indian people. Sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh.

Great Spirit, allow me to laugh when times get tough.
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Today’s Gift


United souls are not satisfied with embraces, but desire to be truly each other.

—Sir Thomas Browne

If hugs could melt, if kisses were made of nothing but pure air, if talkers always agreed, and if hearts all beat to the same drum, would we desire any longer to be truly each other? No two leaves on a tree turn the same way in the wind; no two fish in a school tread the same water; and no two people can live the same life. Therefore, when we hug let’s leave some space; when we kiss let’s allow each other to breathe; when we talk let’s permit each other to disagree; when we love let’s honor each other’s rhythm and way.

Is it our similarities or differences that make us want to know each other better?
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THE EYE OPENER #essentialsofrecovery



The Program is often referred to as a Selfish Program and it is primarily that. Jesus of Nazareth told us to “Love our neighbors AS ourselves.” We are supposed to love ourselves, and in so doing we should give to ourselves all the happiness we can. We have found out, however, by practical application, that we can only receive happiness if we give happiness.

We should fulfill all our duties to our families, to our communities, and to our neighbors so that we can keep in the good graces of our own conscience for that is the only avenue of approach to happiness and peace of mind.

If you really love that guy in the mirror, you must of necessity love your Creator and your neighbor.

Published by Hazelden 
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DAILY TAO / 50 - DEATH #essentialsofrecovery

Death is
The opposite
Of time.

We give death metaphors. We cloak it in meaning and make up stories about what will happen to us, but we don’t really know. When a person dies, we cannot see beyond the corpse. We speculate on reincarnation or talk in terms of eternity. But death is opaque to us, a mystery. In its realm, time ceases to have meaning. All laws of physics become irrelevant. Death is the opposite of time.

What dies? Is anything actually destroyed? Certainly not the body, which falls into its constituent parts of water and chemicals. That is mere transformation, not destruction. What of the mind? Does it cease to function, or does it make a transition to another existence? We don’t know for sure, and few can come up with anything conclusive.

What dies? Nothing of the person dies in the sense that the constituent parts are totally blasted from all existence. What dies is merely the identity, the identification of a collection of parts that we called a person. Each one of us is a role, like some shaman wearing layers of robes with innumerable fetishes of meaning. Only the clothes and decoration fall. What dies is only our human meaning. There is still someone naked underneath. Once we understand who that someone is, death no longer bothers us. Nor does time.
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DAILY ZEN #essentialsofrecovery



Someone who is about to admonish another must realize within himself five qualities before doing so [that he may be able to say], thus:

"In due season will I speak, not out of season. In truth I will speak, not in falsehood. Gently will I speak, not harshly. To his profit will I speak, not to his loss. With kindly intent will I speak, not in anger."


~ "Vinaya Pitaka," translated by F.S. Woodward
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