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When Jesus appears for the last time to his disciples, he sends them out into the world saying: “Go, … make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

Jesus offers us baptism as the way to enter into communion with God, Father, Son, and Spirit, and to live our lives as God’s beloved children. Through baptism we say no to the world. We declare that we no longer want to remain children of the darkness but want to become children of the light, God’s children. We do not want to escape the world, but we want to live in it without belonging to it. That is what baptism enables us to do.

Some of us have taken very hard knocks to learn this truth: Job or no job – wife or no wife – we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 98

Before coming to A.A., I always had excuses for taking a drink: “She said… ,” “He said… ,” “I got fired yesterday,” “I got a great job today.” No area of my life could be good if I drank again. In sobriety my life gets better each day. I must always remember not to drink, to trust God, and to stay active in A.A. Am I putting anything before my sobriety, God, and A.A. today?

We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again: “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever. If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 33

Today I am an alcoholic. Tomorrow will be no different. My alcoholism lives within me now and forever. I must never forget what I am. Alcohol will surely kill me if I fail to recognize and acknowledge my disease on a daily basis. I am not playing a game in which a loss is a temporary setback. I am dealing with my disease, for which there is no cure, only daily acceptance and vigilance.

Sacraments are very specific events in which God touches us through creation and transforms us into living Christs. The two main sacraments are baptism and the Eucharist. In baptism water is the way to transformation. In the Eucharist it is bread and wine. The most ordinary things in life – water, bread, and wine – become the sacred way by which God comes to us.

These sacraments are actual events. Water, bread, and wine are not simple reminders of God’s love; they bring God to us. In baptism we are set free from the slavery of sin and dressed with Christ. In the Eucharist, Christ himself becomes our food and drink.

He [Bill W.] said to me, gently and simply, “Do you think that you are one of us?”

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 413 (Third Edition)

During my drinking life I was convinced I was an exception. I thought I was beyond petty requirements and had the right to be excused. I never realized that the dark counterbalance of my attitude was the constant feeling that I did not “belong.” At first, in A.A., I identified with others only as an alcoholic. What a wonderful awakening for me it has been to realize that, if human beings were doing the best they could, then so was I! All of the pains, confusions and joys they feel are not exceptional, but part of my life, just as much as anybody’s.

How do we live in creation? Do we relate to it as a place full of “things” we can use for whatever need we want to fulfill and whatever goal we wish to accomplish? Or do we see creation first of all as a sacramental reality, a sacred space where God reveals to us the immense beauty of the Divine?As long as we only use creation, we cannot recognise its sacredness because we are approaching it as if we are its owners.

But when we relate to all that surrounds us as created by the same God who created us and as the place where God appears to us and calls us to worship and adoration, then we are able to recognise the sacred quality of all God’s handiwork.

Like a gaunt prospector, belt drawn in over the last ounce of food, our pick struck gold. Joy at our release from a lifetime of frustration knew no bounds. Father feels he has struck something better than gold. For a time he may try to hug the new treasure to himself. He may not see at once that he has barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if he mines it for the rest of his life and insists on giving away the entire product.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 128-29

When I talk with a newcomer to A.A., my past looks me straight in the face. I see the pain in those hopeful eyes, I extend my hand, and then the miracle happens: I become healed. My problems vanish as I reach out to this trembling soul.