God, be merciful to me, a sinner


A close up of a set of rosary beads

“God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

The one patient for whom no doctor can do anything is the patient who doesn’t think that he has a problem. I have a good friend who is an alcoholic. Since you will never meet him, I will tell you that his name is Tom. He has now not drunk alcohol for ten years, but he still knows that he is an alcoholic. Before that, his drinking destroyed his family, his job, his home and very nearly killed him. One day during Lent ten years ago, the Saturday of the third week in Lent - he found himself in church and he heard this gospel being read. It was an evening mass and there was confession after Mass. So he went for the first time in years and confessed the dreadful mess he had made of his life.

For a penance, the priest told him to kneel down every morning and pray one decade of the Rosary for the strength not to drink for one day... And to do that every morning for the rest of his life!

But Tom did not trust the priest. He didn’t see that one decade of the Rosary was going to last him a whole 24 hours. So to this very day, every morning and every night he kneels to say one decade of the Rosary and to pray “God, to be merciful to me a drinker.”

We are all sinners. We are all addicts of one sort or another. We may not be addicted to alcohol or drugs - though you would be surprised at the number of people who are - but all of us have some bad habits , some dirty little secrets which keep us from God. God’s work in us can only begin if we are honest with ourselves and open ourselves to his grace. God to be merciful to all of us who are sinners.

By the way, on Hallowe’en I am doing a sponsored sleep-out for homeless services. If you want to support me in this, please go to my just giving page.

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Try this audio version of the mysteries of the Rosary from Pray as you go