- A A history meets sobriety

A A history meets sobriety




General discussions related to A.A. History.

A A history meets sobriety

Postby sunlight » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:35 pm

When I was drinking, I used to talk to this Jesuit priest about how miserable my life was. He was retired, & must have had the time to listen to my bellyaching. :roll:

Gradually, as I became more comfortable talking to him, I revealed that maybe I drank a little too much, but you would too...blah, blah, blah...

Eventually, I let him know my drinking had gone off the charts, & made a vow to him & God that I would not drink for a week. (with or without a solemn oath!)

I lasted two days. He was very kind & patient & told me to just keep trying.

My first day sober, immediately after my first AA meeting, I called him & said I had to see him. He agreed.

I burst in the door, announcing, "Guess what? I'm an alcoholic!"
He smiled & said gently, with a sigh, "Yeah."

He then went on to tell me excitedly that the Jesuits had a lot to do with AA beginnings, but I was coming down off a wicked drunk & didn't hear a word he said.

I always meant to ask him, but we got busy discussing sobriety, & then life started happening, & when I was 6 mos sober he passed away.

It was this history topic that got me thinking of it again & I looked it up.

Father Ed Dowling, a Jesuit priest, had come to see Bill W., because he had heard of the 12 steps & was amazed at how they resembled the spiritual exercises of St. Ignasias. When Bill said he'd never heard of the exercises, this made Fr. Dowling feel the 12 steps were divinely inspired. I read that Bill considered Fr. Dowling his spiritual sponsor.

I felt this deep connection to AA history learning this. Bill had a Jesuit spiritual sponsor, & I was graced with the same!

I know a man who sobered up at St. Thomas hospital & a woman who was at her jumping off place, banging her head against a brick building & she said one of the AA pioneers came upon her & told her he knew the way out.

How about you? Did AA history ever meet with your sobriety?

Or can you fill in more about Fr. Dowling? I'm really bad at remembering history, but I could get better! :D
sunlight
 
Posts: 597
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:03 pm
Location: Denver Co

Postby Dallas » Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:35 am

Thanks for sharing your story above. I appreciate you sharing it.

I'll write about my experiences later. This is a great topic!

Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby GeoffS » Sun Dec 21, 2008 5:16 pm

Not to be confused with the tv character played by Tom Bosley (Happy Days).

Ed Dowling was a Jesuit from St Louis who turned up to see Bill W when Bill was depressed and surrounded in his life by misery and more tellingly for Bill, unsold Big Books. He drew Bill's attention to the parallels between the 12 steps and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (worth a read btw).

Bill found a spiritual re-charging through talking with him, and ended up doing a step 5 with him. He got Bill back on track handing his will and life over, and showing that Bill couldn't grow AA, god would do that at his pace. Bill used Fr Dowling as a kind of spiritual sponsor, and the father endorsed AA for the Catholic Church and gave his approval for the free use of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Father Ed went on to be a supporter and worker for AA and its causes, and his writings record that he gained a lot spiritually too from helping Bill and others.
GeoffS
 
Posts: 365
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:55 pm
Location: Australia

Postby sunlight » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:32 pm

On an AA retreat, we listened to a recording of Dr. Bob at his last public talk in Cleveland, Ohio. This was in 1950, shortly before he died.

He mentioned that he had been in bed for the last 5 months, as he had not been well.

He said, "Let's not louse this up with Freudian complexes..." and he stressed "kindness, consideration and tolerance". I got kind of choked up & don't recall the rest. It was a short talk, but powerful and beautiful.

What a privilege to hear it, especially since we were told that very little of Dr. Bob was ever recorded.
sunlight
 
Posts: 597
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:03 pm
Location: Denver Co

Postby GeoffS » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:11 am

Dr Bob's last talk from the Conference in Cleveland is indeed powerful stuff.

It is also available for free download. PM me if you want the link to it.
GeoffS
 
Posts: 365
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:55 pm
Location: Australia

Postby sunlight » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:17 pm

Thank you! :mrgreen:
sunlight
 
Posts: 597
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:03 pm
Location: Denver Co


Return to A. A. History

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 0 guests









.








12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - A A history meets sobriety