"Ladder To Recovery, 12 Steps To Progress"
This website has been inspired by St. Raphael and the story in the Old Testament Book Tobit


Spiritual 12 Step Ladder to Recovery



1. I Humbly admit I am powerlessness over my Addiction, Affliction or Adversity (name it/them). Without courageously putting You God first, my life has become unmanageable.

"...I will not boast, except about my weaknesses.” (2 Cor.12:5)
“For, we are powerless against this great multitude that is coming against us. We do not know what to do but our eyes are upon you." (2 Chron.20:12)
“Fear not, and be not dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chron.20:15)
“I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell in me. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
"My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect through your weakness.” (2 Cor.12:9)
“So continue to thank Him every day” (Tb.12:18).
"Be Strong and of good courage, and fear not, nor be afraid. For the Lord your God goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you." (Dt.31:6)
"Take courage and be strong, Fear not, nor be dismayed. For the Lord your God is with you. (Jos.1:9)
"Fear not, I will help you." (Is.41:13)
"Take courage, it is I. Do not be afraid." (Mt.14:27)
"Take heart, I have overcome the world." (Jn.16:33)
"I can do all things in Him who strengthens me." (Phil.4:13)
"If you ask the Father anything in my name, He will give it to you." ((J.16:23)

Reflection: It takes humility and courage to admit I’m weak and flawed; that I'm and utterly powerless over my addiction, affliction or adversity. I truly admit that I cannot conquer the addiction, problem, trouble, bad habit or sin, of myself, by myself or with my own will power. Then who can? I believe God can do this for me. His Grace is sufficient conquer the addiction, problem, trouble, bad habit or sin. My Savior, Jesus Christ, Love Itself, will not be undone in His Mercy, Compassion and Tremendous Love.


2.
I come to believe in God the Father Almighty, whose Infinite Power, Love, Goodness and Grace, can recover, repair, restore and heal me and my circumstances. He can bring back my soul’s original inner joy, peace, integrity, virtue, happiness and beauty by His Goodness and Love giving me new life in Him.

"...Unless you believe, you shall not understand.” (St. Anselm)
“Unless your faith is firm, you shall not be firm.”(Is.7:9)
“I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief.” (Mk.9:23)
“Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible nature, namely, His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.” (Rm.1:20)
“He made us, and not we ourselves.” (Ps.99:3)
Look out upon all the most beautiful created things and creatures in the universe, even add them all up together –who have ever lived, and “know how much more beautiful is the Lord, the creator of all beauty.” (Wis.13:3)
“Put off your old nature with your former practices, and put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (Col.3:9-10)
“And put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.” (Eph.4:24)

Reflection: It is not only my belief in God that will heal, restore and recover me, but understanding that He loves me first and foremost. Out of nothing
He created me, “in His own Image” He created me, and wants me to make the right choices to be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with him in the next. He gave me free will. So I am responsible for my choices, which effect me in a good or bad way.  What is most important is my soul, which God made to be eternal.  God gave me free will, but He does not block my use of it.  I have come to learn that I will trust God and let go, and learn about Him and what He wants. He loves me just as if I were the only person on earth that mattered to Him. He wants only what is best me. He loves us all that way.

3. I make a decision: I set my mind, heart, thoughts, words, desires and will, to follow my God, my Lord Jesus Christ.


"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." (J. 3:16)
Lord, "Your will is my heritage forever, the joy of my heart.  I set myself to carry out your will in fullness, forever." (Ps. 119:112)
"...not my will, but thine be done." (Lk. 22:42) following and imitating Jesus.
"Be it done to me according to they Word." (Lk1:38) following and imitating Mary.

Reflection: My best thinking got me here. Following my own will, and my own instincts, has caused me more trouble and dismay than I would ever wish on anybody else, much less myself. Would I let anybody else do to me what I'v done to myself? Therefore, I realize I can't do it myself (i.e. quit, abstain, do good, etc). But He can do it for me. So, I think I'll let Him. He loves me as if I was the only person in the universe, more than all the human Fathers and Mothers who have ever lived, combined. "So great is His love from me."

4.  I humbly ask God the Holy Spirit to help me courageously search within myself, to write down a thorough fearless moral inventory of all past wrongs committed; in though, word, deed and omission

On the Cross, He cries out "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." (Lk. 23:34)

"The things you say in your heart, be sorry for them." (Ps. 4:5)

"Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee." (Ps.40-5)

"Cast all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you." (1Pt.5:7)

Reflection: Though it may be painful, with Mary, I remember Jesus as He carries His Cross, falls, gets back up, falls again, and back up, on the steps on the way to His Death. God sees and hears everything, no exceptions. Since with God, there are no secrets, we are only as sick as our secrets.  Once trapped by the very vicious, evil though "God does not know" or "God does not see", or, even worse, "God does not care" or "God does not exist."  I now realize the exact opposite is true: God is All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Wise, All-Seeing, All-Caring, All-Loving, All-Good and Eternally Existing.  True Love, Pure Love, this Tremendous Lover, God the Father Almighty, All Gentle and All Kind, asks me to be completely honest.  Jesus' Love and Mercy can and will thoroughly cleanse me, if I allow Him in.  I will be patient, surrendering my concept of time to His Infinite Love for me.  Time takes time. Non-the-less, I will start to write down right now, exactly what bothers me about myself, about others, including you my God; not for the world to know and see. But for You to know, see, understand, bless, heal, recover and restore me.


5. I confess the exact nature of all my past and present wrongs. 

"Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." (J. 20:23)

"No trial or temptation has seized you that is uncommon to mankind.  God is faithful.  He does not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength." (1Cor. 10:13)

"Have mercy on me God in your Goodness, in your Compassion blot out my offenses....Create a clean heart in me O God, restore a steadfast spirit within me." (Ps.51:1, 12)

Reflection: The Sacrament of Confession can heal, recover and restore my soul, where God's infinite Love and Mercy can forgive my sins, if I sincerely confess them. Where a minister of God is not available, I can always go to a sponsor, or a trusted friend. I refrain from the people, places and things that tempt or urge me to think, and go and do wrong: participate in my addiction, affliction or adversity.


6.  I am entirely ready to surrender my will and desires to God's Infinite Love.  I make the decision to put love and worship of God: His 10 Commandments, Beatitudes and Virtues first right now; then, in every future moment; and in all that I do, from this moment forward. 

"God is Love." (1 J. 4:8) The Holy Bible is His love letter to us.  Out of His Incomprehensible Love for us, "It is written: 'You shall worship the Lord, your God, and Him alone shall you serve.'" (Lk.4:8) "The law of the Lord is undefiled, converting souls: the testimony of the Lord is faithful, giving wisdom to little ones.  The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes." (Ps. 18:8-9)

Reflection: The highest form of Justice is to give God His due first: to worship and love Him first, Him alone shall you adore."...with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind." (Lk. 10:27).  I will remember this in every moment, whenever I can, so that God can enter into my mind, heart and soul with His Power, Goodness, Mercy and Love, to help heal me and restore my soul.  My life and circumstances will begin to show this.

7. I humbly ask God, "with my whole heart, with my whole soul, with all my strength and with all my mind" and implore Him for His help to surrender my will and put Him first. 

"Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock and it shall be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives: and he that seeks finds, and to him that knocks, it shall be opened." (Mt.7:7-8)

"But...ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea which is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord." (Jm. 1:6)

Reflection: Repeat often:...not even lifting your eyes to heaven..., "Lord have mercy on me, a sinner." (Lk.18:13) God, This Tremendous Lover, loves me so much and wants me to speak with Him about all my circumstances.  Divine Mercy understands, corrects and heals, if I allow Him to do so.

8.  I make a list of all that have ever hurt me and that I have ever hurt or retaliated against.  I become willing to say "I am sorry" to those I hurt or retaliated against, and make it up to them, irrespective of anybody else wronging me first, more deeply, or more often. 

"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you pray for those who mistreat you.  To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other as well, and to the person who takes your coat, offer him your clothing as well.  Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you...Love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back, then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for He Himself is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Lk.6:27-36)

"He makes His sun to rise upon the good and bad, and sends rain upon the just and the unjust." (Mt.5:45)

"For in many things we all offend." (Jm.3:2) even if we don't realize it now or think so ever.

"Who can understand sins? From my secret ones, cleanse me, O Lord (Ps. 18:13)

"Then came Peter unto Him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him" till seven times? Jesus said to him "I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times." (Mt.18:21-22) 

Reflection: Forgiveness is for the forgiver......and the undeserving. If God can forgive me all my offenses, sins and transgressions no matter how numerous, great and often, or how undeserving of his forgiveness I am, I can certainly forgive anybody else, no matter how numerous, great or often their offenses against me, no matter how truly undeserving I think they are.  In imitation of Jesus' Love and Mercy, recalling His Sacrifice on the Cross, I will forgive everyone, often and much.  Forgiveness is not so much an emotion I feel, as a decision I make.  To hold a grudge, to misjudge and to error is human.  Yet to truly forgive and be cleansed comes from the Divine Healer, Jesus Who is God.  I want to forgive, and I want to forget the bad feelings and negativity of the situation.

9.  I make direct amends to all I have ever hurt, whenever possible, prudent or appropriate, except when to do so would hurt them, or others.

 "Go first to be reconciled to your brother [or whoever]." (Mt.5:24)

"To the extent to which you forgive others, your Heavenly Father will forgive you..." (Mt. 6:15)

"Many sins are forgiven her because she has loved much.  But to whom less is forgiven, he loves less." (Lk.7:47).

"Love is Patient, love is kind.  It is not jealous, boastful or proud..." (1 Cor. 13:4)

Reflection: True justice...(and True Love), is giving another their due first: not getting mine first.  If I want to be balanced, I need to be just.  For the iniquity and injustice I worked, once made me very unbalanced.  Now, with God's Grace, I will become more humbled, courageous, healed and balanced.

10. I examine my thoughts, conscience and behavior frequently throughout the day, and at night before bed. When I am wrong promptly admit it.

"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your Faith.  Test yourselves." (2 Cor.13:5)

"Everyone of us shall give an account of himself to God." (Rm.14:12)

Reflection: It's a spiritual axiom that every time I am disturbed, no matter what, there is something wrong with me. For those practicing Recovery, there are no exceptions. Therefore, I will check myself carefully throughout the day. I will keep a strong watch over my tongue. I will be sorry and apologize the moment I realize I said something inappropriate, made a mistake or did something wrong. At the end of the day, I will write down the exact nature of these disturbances ask God to forgive me as well. I will speak with my God truthfully, humbly, honestly and sincerely at all times. I will speak to God every night on my bed and review with Him this very day, every day, just for today.


11. I seek Jesus' Precious Presence and Gentle Friendship, by attending Worship/Service/Mass and talk and pray to Him. I read Scripture and good spiritual books where He talks to me.  When I think about Him, I am meditating.  Jesus says, I "ought always to pray and not lose heart." (Lk. 18:31) "Pray without ceasing." (1Thes.5:17) "Pray at all times..." (Eph.6:18) I will follow His example. "And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and he passed the whole night in the prayer of God." (Lk.6:12)

Reflection: Pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances, for all circumstances.  I tenderly and graciously accept God's Gracious Will for me at this very moment, and in every moment.  Whenever possible I go into His Precious Presence and listen to what He says to me.  Jesus is there, truly.  This Tremendous Love, Jesus, waits for me! How wonderful, awesome and marvelous!

12.  I climb this ladder towards God, this true stairway to Heaven. I practice these principles in all my affairs; and, whenever prudent, appropriate and possible, help recover others lost, hurting and suffering. 

 "....as you wish that others would do to you, do you also to them." (Lk.6:31)

"Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter." (Prov. 24:11)

"Whatsoever you did for to the least of my children, you did for me." (Mt.25-40)

"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: Freely have you received, freely give." (Mt. 10:8)

Reflection: God's gifts to us are really His.  You can't keep God's generous gifts and graces, or your place on the ladder, unless you share them and give them away.

St. Raphael angel of joy, healing, and happy meetings, pray for us. 

 

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