Saturday, September 19, 2009

Surrendering to Grace,with Father Ron

Several years ago I found out the true meaning of surrender, and how that act could bring about an experience of grace. And it all had to do with father Ron.After avoiding the issue for years, I finally admitted I had a problem with alcohol. Denial and rationalization had worked wonders in helping me to avoid dealing with the one area of life that was holding me back.

For many people, alcohol is a best friend, a definite escape tool that allows us to duck from dealing with reality, our own and that of the world.I decided to check into a 30 day treatment center, The Hanley Center in West Palm Beach Florida. But don't let the location name fool you, as the center was located in the middle of "crack city". I was not going to a posh beach side resort to get clean, but rather an amazing powerful center in one of the worst areas of town.

After spending a few days in the detox wing, to prevent any chance of convulsions due to the removal of my daily alcohol fix, I was asked to briefly stop by the Spiritual Director's office where I met Father Ron. A Monsignor in the Catholic Church, Fr. Ron asked me to enter , but not to sit down as this would be short."Why do you think you're here?" he asked."Well, to get sober I guess, or to learn to drink moderately, or maybe to get on a medication to stop my desire for alcohol", I answered, still in somewhat of a denial of this disease."What if I were to tell you you are here for none of those answers?", he asked.

I stood there dumbfounded, not having any idea of what to say."Listen, I know about your work, your books, and feel I have an idea about your path in life. I want you to meditate on what I'm about to share with you tonite, and tomorrow. Then we'll meet at 2pm, and talk about this concept.The only reason you are here is to get closer with God. To become one with God. If you take the next 30 days in this center, and devote yourself to this purpose, you will never desire alcohol or drugs again for the rest of your life. Think about this, I'll see you tomorrow. "

With that, I was gone. As I walked away, I could feel my head spinning. What was he talking about? I had been meditating for 20 years, praying daily for many more, and felt an already deep connection with God. How could deepening my relationship with God, cure addiction?

I thought about his statement all nite, and at 5am the next morning went to walk the track and meditate on his words. Within 15 minutes, a whole new world, a whole new understanding of life had opened before me! Yes, I had felt the Grace of God, right on the track! Yes I now knew what Fr. Ron had said was true! A lightness filled my being, Grace had been administered, and the opening had come through the words he shared.

For the next 30 days, I immersed myself into the work of God, through prayer circles, meditation, group therapy, one on one spiritual counseling and more. I surrendered my knowledge of addiction, and became a sponge to everything the counselors would share with me.

At the end of the 30 day stay, I had been reborn, healed at the deepest of levels, and that healing still continues to this day through my own daily rituals and the mission of my life.

Slow down, surrender , accept the Grace of the Divine, and watch your life change as well.Love, peace, Rev. David
Posted by Rev. David Essel at 4:17 PM 0 comments