From the Catholic Sun, “Sofranko, a recovering alcoholic himself, has added one more element to the whole scheme of fighting addiction — hope. While many or even most self-help books suggest that we are the only ones capable of fixing our brokenness simply by reading the book, Sofranko elevates the place of prayer in the healing process and reminds readers of the necessity of relying on God for the grace to overcome our addictions.”
At our parish and I expect in most parishes the stations of the cross are offered every Friday during Lent. I usually only do them on Good Friday, though; and I like to do them alone. I know God likes us to worship Him in community with others—and I do that, of course—-but when I really want to experience grace, I like to have Him all to myself.
So, I’ll take my children through them and then later come back and do them by myself.
Good Friday is one of my most meaningful and spiritual days of the year. More than Christmas. More than Easter! I love how in our Catholic faith, I can go into Church and by myself walk around the stations, pray, kneel, sit, read—and nobody bothers me. Ha ha! I am not being anti-social, I just want to hang out with God in His house by myself. Nobody comes up to me and says, “Are you okay?”
Before I was married, and my parents lived in another state, I would spend Easters alone. Three years in a row I went to Stone Mountain after Mass on Easter Sunday just to climb the mountain and sit there. I think normal people might feel sorry for me, spending Easter alone, but I LOVED IT. I was not alone at all. I was completely enveloped in the Alleluia and the risen Lord. The last thing I wanted, ha ha ha, was to be with other people. I’m so weird!
Back to the book, and from the publisher:
The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics is a book that is rooted in an ancient Catholic devotion. It is intended to assist Catholics and other Christians find deeper meaning in their struggles with alcoholism, by connecting the oftentimes hard road of sobriety with Jesus’ suffering road to His Crucifixion. The reader sees that their old alcoholic ‘self’ is being led to the Cross and the joy of eventual resurrection of a new sober self can follow. Whether they are still drinking and struggling, or have been sober for many years and still have difficulties coping with sobriety, this book should help readers maintain that sobriety.
I particularly like “Jesus falls for the third time.” What a lesson on life that is! If God came down here to show us that it’s okay to fall again and again as long as we pick ourselves back up and keep going, keep carrying our crosses–then those of us who have fallen a few times can take comfort. Who cares if the world thinks I’m a loser. Get back up. Keep going. He’s right there with me.
I still feel a little weird walking into Church with my iPad…even though my readings are on my tablet and many of my prayers…it still feels weird–but this Friday, I’ll be doing just that as I take the Stations of the Cross with this e-book by Paul Sofranko. It’s only a matter of time before we all have tablets in the pews, right?
My oldest son came home from school last week after having done the Stations with the whole school community. The eighth graders acted out the stations and gave running commentary for the rest of the younger children. Ben was telling me about this and reminded me, “Mom, it’s not always a good thing to go along with the crowd. The crowd is who killed Jesus.”
The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics by Paul Sofranko is just $2.99:
The Way of the Cross is not only a great testimony to an inner depth and maturity, but it is in fact a school for interiority and consolation. It is also a school for the examination of conscience, for conversion, for inner transformation and compassion — not as sentimentality, as a mere feeling, but as a disturbing experience that knocks on the door of my heart, that obliges me to know myself and to become a better person.” - Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI
- Stations of the Cross Walk (stfrancislumberton.wordpress.com)
- Resources for Holy Week #2: Stations of the Cross (godspace.wordpress.com)
- Stations of the Cross and Virtual Journeys (acyberpilgrim.org)
- Good Friday Stations & other events (reclaimingourchildren.typepad.com)
- Bishop Snyder students replicate Stations of the Cross in unusual way (jacksonville.com)
- Book Review: Recovery Rosary for Alcoholics and Addicts (catholicalcoholic.com)
- Stations of the Cross (werinhishandsdotcom.wordpress.com)
- Our Stations of the Cross and Statues Make a Pilgrimage (holycrossrumson.typepad.com)
- Stations of the Cross with John Paul II: (faitheconomyecology.wordpress.com)
- Jesus Carries the Cross: Stations of the Cross – Seventh Station (thecosmiccathedral.wordpress.com)