Book Review: Recovery Rosary for Alcoholics and Addicts

Book Review: Recovery Rosary-Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts
By Paul Sofranko,
Published: April 01, 2012, Words: 12,824, English, ISBN: 9781476307558
Review:  A+

RosaryCoverWhen I first started to be “public” with this blog–yeah, I was a little nervous about being openly alcoholic–I surfed around for kindred spirits before “coming out.”  I found one in Paul Sofranko (Paulaholic) via his resourceful blog Sober Catholic.

My New Year’s resolution was to pray the Rosary every day.  When I discovered he had written a book, Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts, I naturally purchased it on the spot.  Impulsivity is one of my character defects, but in this case it boded well for me! The eBook version for my iPad mini was only $3.99, so I wasn’t taking much of a risk.

It’s simply wonderful!

From the Smashwords description: “The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts” helps people to reflect on their recovery and relationships with others, and ultimately with Jesus Himself. Whether people are still struggling with their addictions, or have been clean and sober for a few weeks, months, or years, the reflections will lead them to meditate on the spiritual growth they have achieved so far.”

Loving the Rosary as I do, I was pleased Sofranko strikes the delicate balance between protecting and honoring the format and mysteries of this most holy spiritual practice, but at the same time providing a fresh take for recovering alcoholics to meditate alongside Jesus and Mary.

Contrary to popular belief, the Rosary is not about the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is about Jesus. Catholics believe Mary points the way to Jesus; and through Mary we are able to develop an even closer relationship with our Savior.  What was it like to give birth and raise the Son of God? Luke 2:1-7.  How happy must Mary have been when she and Joseph found the child Jesus praying in the Temple after having lost him for three days? Luke 2:41-52.  What’s the mother-son dynamic at play during Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding at Cana? John 2:1-11. What would it have felt like for Jesus when he was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane? Matthew 26:36-45. Why was it so important to Jesus to give us his mother before he died on the cross?  John 19:25-27.

All these things we ponder as we meditate on the holy Scripture passages while fingering the delicate beads and repeating the Hail Mary prayer over and over..  Through the Rosary, we go deep into the life of Jesus and contemplate these things.

And Sofranko points out to us, “The Rosary is Twelve-Step-friendly.”

The 11th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous states:

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him praying only for the knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out.”

As we understand Him.”

Sofranko continues, “You want to know God’s will for you?  The Bible is a good place to start looking. You want a great role model for following the will of God?  His own Mother is a perfect example. By praying the Rosary you will be meditating on the Scriptural passages that each section (mystery) is based. You can nicely combine Mary’s submission to God’s will with direction from Sacred Scripture.”

Jesus in the Temple Luke 2:46-50In the Introduction, the author explains to the unfamiliar exactly what the Rosary is and what it means–in simple terms even non-Catholics can understand.  He clears up some common misconceptions as he explains how Biblically based and how in line with 12 Step Recovery the Rosary truly is.

As he takes us through each of the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Luminous mysteries, Sofranko explains a mystery, “is something divine that we cannot fully understand with our limited human intellect.”  He then for our reference provides precise Bible verses where each mystery is highlighted in the Word of God. At the end of each chapter he offers a meditation for the recovering person, suggesting we consider each of his meditations in light of where each is in his or her recovery walk. He explains that the meditations are meant to be personalized for the individual in order that the reader ponders his or her own step on the path.

rosary1I wholeheartedly recommend Recovery Rosary certainly for all Catholics in recovery, but even for all Christians who wish to expand their meditation practice of the 11th Step to include the Scriptural passages and the life of Jesus.

To purchase (seriously guys–just $3.99!), please visit the order page on Sofranko’s blog here.  Or, you can find it in all the major online booksellers:

on Amazon
on Smashwords
at Createspace

I look forward in this time of Lent especially to diving into Paul’s second book, “The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics.”  Thank you Paulaholic for these recovery treasures!

Check out this other review of Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts on the Phoenix Diocese newspaper:
The Catholic Sun

15 thoughts on “Book Review: Recovery Rosary for Alcoholics and Addicts

  1. I need to get this – perfect timing (not my timing, God’s for sure). Someone who works for me made (yes, made) me a rosary, even though I am not Catholic (I grew up Roman Catholic though, baptized, confirmed, etc) I have kept this rosary with me the last week or so on me. Just not sure what to *do* with it. Ta da. This post materializes. Man, I love this kind of synchronicity…ha ha.

    So I am going to buy this..thank you so much for passing this on at exactly the right time.

  2. Anglicans pray the Rosary too; both the traditional with the 5 decades and the Anglican rosary (which has 4 weeks in lieu of the decades and uses the Jesus Prayer instead of the Ave Maria). I get confused when saying Hail Marys these days though because while I know the traditional version, but OHP have their own version for the Angelus (Hail Mary, full of grace, the LORD is with you. Blessed are you among women, for you conceived the Son of God, the Christ our redeemer). It’s an incredibly useful tool for providing something to focus on so that (in my case) my brain and fingers have something to fiddle with. If I don’t use the Rosary during my quiet time, I just end up thinking about all sorts of random things!

    • I am just seeing this. How neat the Anglicans say the Rosary too! I love learning about the Anglicans from you! And your version of the Hail Mary is beautiful!

      • This version is specific to the community I’m in. I don’t think it’s used by anyone else! I’ve been using the Rosary during my quiet time recently because it’s just so helpful for keeping me focussed on the fact I’m supposed to be praying and not thinking about what the day has in store or what my family are doing or when I can get to see the Sisters at one of the Branch houses – you get the picture!!

          • I know I’ve not posted in at least a week now. I have post ideas, I’ve just got to actually type them up and sometimes I have problems in finding time to put finger to keyboard, and then when I do have time I don’t always feel like typing. Plus I sometimes struggle to keep on top of reading all the blogs I follow! Having things like retreat days and times when one can’t go online because it’s a lesser or greater silence means that the amount of time I have for dealing with emails, reading people’s posts and keeping on top of facebook is quite limited – and that then gets eaten into with other activities too!

  3. Pingback: [International entry] Mary | Miserere mei, Deus.

  4. Pingback: Buy the Book: Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics | Catholic Alcoholic

  5. Pingback: Book Review Recovery Rosary for Alcoholics and Addicts Catholic | Vatican Report

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