This week’s “Here’s To Your Health” is a continuation of Sister Ruth’s story. We ended last week’s story with…it doesn’t matter what new-comers smell, look, or act like, or how much money they have, they need help and since we were once sick too, we unconditionally love them; until they can learn to love themselves…You have no idea what this meant to me. I’m a nun, but I didn’t find God in the convent, religion or at home. I found Him around the tables of AA. I owe my life to Sister Superior, the nuns who stood behind me, Alcoholics Anonymous and a loving God.


After the night at that ghetto meeting God moved from my head into my heart, and life took on new meaning. I’m so grateful that I stayed at St. Luke’s until the miracle happened, and after that night the Twelve-Steps took on a whole new meaning for me. The secret to the AA program is surrender and I finally just let go, that was my moment of surrender; I surrendered!

The program of AA is so powerful, but unless we surrender we can’t get it. If I were asked to put the AA program into one word it would be “surrender!” And, the amount of peace and serenity I have in my life today is directly proportionate to how much I surrender and turn my life over to the care and direction of God. I do the steps each morning. I surrender in the First Step and ask God to restore my sanity during the Second Step and then add a word to my Third Step. When Bill Wilson originally wrote the Third Step, “Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood Him,” he included the word direction. But, since alcoholics hate directions the committee removed that word, but I put it back in there by saying, “Turn my will over to the care and “direction” of God.” I once heard an explanation about the Third Step and how we turn our life and will over to the “care” of God. When our car develops mechanical problems, we don’t give the mechanic our car we put it under his care and let him fix it, so we can drive it again.

I also want to talk about another God Step, the Eleventh Step, “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.” Step Eleven is about “prayer” and “meditation.” Prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to Him. I remember how I used to rattle off prayers in the convent at such a rate that God couldn’t get a word in edge-wise. Today, after praying I meditate in silence and imagine that God is right there with me and that He has His arm around me, it’s such a good feeling; words would only get in the way of that feeling.

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John Barleycorn

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