Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

My Photo
Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

12 Step Recovery Program for Reverts/Converts

As children of alcoholic parents, Prodigal Daughter and I have benefited from the principles annunciated in the 12 Steps of AA. There has just some been discussion on my blog regarding the subject of converts/reverts returning to their former protestant faith. I began to think of the 12 Steps of AA and how they were uniquely applicable to this situation as well. Therefore, I developed my own version of the 12 Step Program. Together, we can say the 12 steps and hopefully prevent someone from falling off the wagon, or out of the Barc of Peter, so to speak. (The regular font is the original , brown italics are my reworking of them)

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
We admitted we were powerless over our desire to experience God on our own terms-our spiritual lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Came to believe in the hierarchical Church with an infallible teaching authority that could restore us to theological sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Made a decision to submit our will and our life over to the care of the Church historically started by Christ 2000 years ago.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
We performed an examination of conscience with the help of the Holy Spirit.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
We went to Confession and confessed our sins in detail to a priest.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
We received forgiveness and grace to sin no more through this sacrament of reconciliation instituted by our Lord in John 21.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love, I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. We perform Penance, attempting to make restitution for the wrongs done and the temporal consequences of our disobedience.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Continue to perform restitution where possible for my sins.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
We continually live in a state of grace and humility acknowledging that we can fall from His grace by our conscious choices to sin. We continue to make frequent use of the confessional.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God through the gifts, graces and sacraments given us by Christ in the Church praying for the knowledge of His will and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to all our brethren and to let Christ guide us in all our earthly affairs.


Blogger MMajor Fan said...

Very thoughtful and insightful. Nicely done. Few things bum me out more than the many people I know who think they are saved once and then their sin-o-meter just keeps on clicking every day. I like how you illuminate the process.

June 23, 2007 11:02 PM  
Blogger White Stone Name Seeker said...

I'll link it.
I am watching two people I love going through AA at the moment. It is wonderful to see the transformation.
One of them has an alchoholic husband and so she falls occasionally, but overall she is doing well. Please pray for her. I am hoping she will find God through this.
And as a revert I hope I will stay aboard the barque of Peter now I've been rescued. :))

June 24, 2007 5:15 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

MM fan:
"The sin-o-meter", I like that. Actually in my life as an evangelical, the gauge on the sin-0-meter was broken at times, or stuck on zero, because I felt that I was forgiven and there was nothing I could do that would ultimately cost me my salvation. It may have been subconscious, but at some level I suspect it had an effect on me.
The sin 0 meter certainly gets broken in Catholic's lives as well when they forsake the grace available via the sacraments.

June 24, 2007 9:20 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks for the comment. I was a little afraid at first to write this post because I didn't want to negate or detract from the excellent work of AA as well as some readers who have may have been through it. But I was struck by the similarities the 12 steps have to living your life as a faithful Christian including the accountability, confessing sins and making restitution for them. If that doesn't sound like Catholic sacrament of reconciliation...

June 24, 2007 9:25 AM  
Blogger White Stone Name Seeker said...

According to Fr Benedict Groeschel, who met the man who started AA, he was very much influenced by Catholic thought in how he set up the 12 steps. I can't remember the details but he was a great friend of an order of sisters in New York.
God bless

June 24, 2007 11:50 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

I did look him up, thinking he would be Catholic. He apparently had a conversion experience during his detox at a hospital, but no mention was that it was in a Catholic context. But Truth is always Truth, regardless of where it's found.
Fr. Groeschel knows everybody!!
He knows Madonna's grandma, who is a devout Catholic.

June 24, 2007 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Great post, TJ.

I find that being attuned to God through daily prayer(Divine Office, rosary, etc.) ensures that my conscience is in fairly good working order. Believe me, I get very unmistakable signals when I really need to pay Father a visit.

Can't say enough about the value of regular confession (I generally go once a month). Call it preventative maintenance; taking care of the small sins regularly goes a long way towards not allowing the big ones to develop. My priest is a good confessor, and we have a solid enough relationship that I can feel comfortable being rather blunt about the issues that are giving me trouble.

I love the sacrament. In fact I availed myself of it this morning. It's like a great shower of God's mercy - the clean feeling you have when you come out can't be beat!

June 24, 2007 2:44 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Yes Nancy!
Preventative maintenance. I like that.
How do you get confession on Sunday AM? Sounds like a great time to get right before receiving Christ in the Eucharist. We have confessions sat early evening.

June 24, 2007 4:08 PM  

Post a Comment