What's your take on A.A. and NA and religion?

hI, i attend both these 12 step groups. In both these groups one is allowed to use God as they understand him. So it’s a God that they can choose. At first this really peeved me right off!
I have heard some slate off all religions, the Pope and The Holy Catholic Church. But this no longer bothers me. Reason being that I have become more patient. Those same people are seeing a change in me due to returning back to my faith-Catholicism.
I have also seen people that once had a religion and left return due to going to these 12-step programmes. Also some that never had any religion or faith enter into Christianity. I think it’s amazing. Must add. We say The SERENITY PRAYER at the end and where we have to hold hands at some meetings, I refuse to until I make the sign of the cross.
I use to get funny looks at first, but now it’s no big deal. I choose not to hide my being a Catholic.
Do any of you have any thoughts on A.A. and NA? :slight_smile:

Congratulations on taking steps to get your addiction under control. I know you will see what a positive affect ihas on the rest of your life. I think it is a good thing if it works for you. And obviously, it is working for you. And really, that is the only person you need to be concerned with, isn’t it? I am glad that you are not letting people get to you anymore and that you are not afraid to show your Catholic side. :thumbsup: May God continue to bless you and guide you. :slight_smile:

I’m a member of AA and it brought me back to Catholicism as well. Although I was always a believer (which helped grasp the 12 steps quickly), I was not a participant in the Church at all. I dabbled in lots of different philosophies.

There are so many people in AA who started out as non-believers who have come to believe in God once they get busy working the steps with someone. I only realized how many of my fellow AAs are practicing Catholics when I returned to the faith and started attending Mass in the Spring. Not only are there attendees, but one who plays guitar at the Saturday evening Mass and another who reads from the pulpit! Good stuff. :slight_smile:

If you’re looking for some good meetings that focus on God, see if there are any meditation meetings in your area. The ones I attend focus on Step 11 and there is usually a 10-15 minutes meditation followed by sharing. They’re great.

I have to keep my mouth shut when something offends me and I hope others do the same for me. I always talk about how great God is when I speak at meetings and when someone wants to know how I got sober and remain sober, it’s all about God, not about me. I am but an instrument for Him to work through.

My faith and AA work very well together.

During the late '50’s a priest (can’t think of name) working with addicted woman looked at AA and helped form NA. There was a book called The Junkie Priest published in the '70’s about him. :):knight1::flowers:

I think AA and NA can be good for some people. I’ve heard good and bad about these programs. I don’t think there is any conflict with the Catholic faith. I attended NA meetings for a bit. I personally do not think i would ever go back, not because of religious reasons, but because of how judgemental many of the people there were on certain issues. One night they were rather cruel to a young girl her first night there. They actually made her cry. They told her she was as bad as a heroine addict even though she was clean because of a non addictive med she was on. Although this particular group did not seem to hold Christian values important, I know others do.

The one thing I really did like was the serenity prayer.


Thank you. I will check it out :thumbsup:

No, I don’t think I would have gone back to that meeting either. People can be so cruel at times and is not acceptable! I too love the Serenity Prayer. God Bless :slight_smile:

What can I say, except fab! God Bless :slight_smile:

Dear Acacia,

How wonderful it is that you have found help in this program. May I suggest a good website, since you are Catholic, hosted by a Dominican priest, Fr. Emmerich Vogt.

I became acquainted with him from EWTN’s network when he gave his series called “Eucharistic Principles of the Spiritual Life.” Naturally, I bought the DVD set for my own use, since his talks are highly inspiring. His website offers many items for those who are striving to recover. He seems to have a special gift for reaching out to these sufferers, with God’s love and compassion, but best of all, with wisdom and counsel. Maybe something of interest might speak to you.

Thank you so much and God Bless to you :slight_smile:

In your love, OP, may I ask for your prayers for a priest in the UK who suffers from alcoholism, but has not begun a recovery process. He lost his faculties to minister in the priesthood, and I am pained whenever I think of him, hoping he will find some help for his problem. :gopray2:

Without a dout I will certainly pray for him and will continue to. God Bless. :slight_smile:

Thank you for sharing this. I will utilize this as well. :slight_smile:


Thanks for your offer to pray for this priest. I’d give his name, but want to protect his identity. Prayers from people who suffer in like manner are sooooo powerful!!!

As you know from the “group” here, I got sober in AA and it definitely brought me back to the church full time. Like you said, your higher power can be anything you want it to be- I, like the majority of us in my local group, use God for that.

The 12 steps worked for me in so many ways…:thumbsup:

Again, God Bless and keep up the good work!

No need for name. God knows who I’m praying for. :thumbsup:

Thank you. I wull check this out. So kind. :slight_smile:

Not a drinker myself, but a longstanding member of AlAnon. I’ve studied the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous extensively as part of my recovery from my own codependency. I attend AlAnon meetings regularly, have an AlAnon sponsor, and so forth.

I’ve attended AA meetings as well, and got a little tired of some of the Catholic bashing that goes on at some of them. I commented about this once at my sponsor’s home to her, and her long-sober AA husband pulled down his copy of the Big Book and showed me, in step five, where those whose religious tradition requires confession would go to the appropriate authority appointed to receive it, and then pointed me toward one of the prefaces. The Catholic priest who wrote that, Fr. Ed Dowling, SJ, was Bill W.'s spiritual director.

If you dig into the history of AA, there is plenty of Christianity and Catholicism in it. My own spiritual director commented to me that the Twelve Steps are very loosely adapted from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Mind you, I wouldn’t get into this at meetings with those who either Catholic bash or claim to be “spiritual but not religious.” As you and I both know, while Christian salvation comes via the Catholic Church, it is because the Church has been the conduit of the message of salvation for two millenia. The catechism in fact specifies that those not formally members of the Church in the literal sense still have salvation available to them, in ways only God knows. And since we aren’t God, we can only share our faith in the same way we share experience, strength and hope with people we know from recovery, if they’re interested in hearing about it. I wouldn’t want to drive someone away from a twelve step program and perhaps condemn them to return to a life of active alcoholism or addiction because of attitudes toward specific faiths, particularly my own.

We hear all the time in the fellowships that we might be the only example of the Twelve Steps that someone sees. We also might be the only catechism that someone sees. Let’s plant the seed with our faith. Demonstrating a life of happy, useful, morally upright, and loving sobriety and Catholicism is one of the best ways that we can present the message of Christ, and the message of recovery, to those still sick or struggling. That’s the best advertisement for both the Church and the fellowship that we can possibly provide.

May God continue to richly bless you. I know that He does so for me.

recovered in a.a. for 29 years and this has always been a thorn in my side.because it is not true.

I second everything you’ve wrote. God Bless and peace :slight_smile:

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