The spirituality behind the Twelve-Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous is a “low Church” approach to evangelization and healing that is probably our only hope in a pluralistic world of over seven billion people. Most of these people are not going to “become Christian” or join our church, which even the Vatican now admits.
Our suffering in developed countries is primarily psychological, relational, and addictive: the suffering of people who are comfortable on the outside but oppressed and empty within. It is a crisis of meaninglessness, which leads us to try to find meaning in possessions, perks, prestige, and power, which are always outside of the self. It doesn’t finally work. So we turn to ingesting food, drink, or drugs, and we become addictive consumers to fill the empty hole within us.
The Twelve-Step Program walks us back out of our addictive society. Like all steps toward truth and Spirit, they also lead downward, which they call sobriety. Bill Wilson and his A.A. movement have shown us that the real power is when we no longer seek, need, or abuse outer power because we have found real power within. They rightly call it our “Higher Power.”
Adapted from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, p. 315, day 327
(Available through Franciscan Media)
The Daily Meditations for 2013 are now available
in Fr. Richard’s new book Yes, And . . . .