An Inspiring Account of Sobriety By Peter Marinelli

Inspiration From Peter Marinelli

Peter Marinelli is the Director of Sober Residences at FHE Health who has been living a fulfilling life of sobriety for the past 25 years. Mr. Marinelli has dedicated his life to helping others obtain the power and passion of living a sober life. Peter shares his insight, experience and inspiration through stories of recovery from time to time. Enjoy!

Knock And It Will Open by Peter Marinelli

There was a time in my life when I went from believing in God and Church to having contempt for both. I thought it was for the weak and cowardly to go to Church and believe in a Power you couldn’t see.

Now I always knew there was something there, I never doubted that, it was just He wanted nothing to do with me and I with Him.

However like many who come to believe, I had to hit bottom in my effort to do life as I wanted and eventually do whatever my alcoholism demanded I do.

I began a journey in Alcoholics Anonymous in 1988, by way of being homeless and a chronic relapser.

I began to pray out of desperation, and something interesting was happening- I was staying sober.

Working the 12 steps brought me to a new place and a new relationship with this Power called God.

Now I am a catholic and there was a yearning to return to my religious community. However old ideas were still at work.  I still had contempt for some of the church’s viewpoints.  I was caught up in the headlines of the day about priests and became critical of some of the churchgoers. I punched holes in too much.

Yet I would go my Sunday mass for a while and try and then stay way. Ironically I never lost my love belief and faith in Jesus Christ. He is why I went, but I was letting others factors interfere.

I wanted to want to be there but my mind had other ideas.

I was praying and meditation three times a day, reading spiritual books and scripture, but still I was absent from mass.

No long ago I sat with a great teacher in my life and discussed this. I had written lots of inventory ion this as a self-inquiry was certainly needed.

So he and I began a discussion one evening. After listening to me for a while, he paused and began to ask me a series of questions that went something like this:

Do you to AA meetings?

I replied: Yes

Do you see some meetings braking traditions and not doing what AA suggests?

I replied: Yes

Do you love every meeting you go to?

I replied: No

Are some of the members still sick and suffering and do inappropriate things?

I replied: Yes

But you still go?

I replied: Yes

And you still bring a solution and try to help others?

I replied: Yes

And you forgive others when they screw up ad you were forgiven when you screwed up?

I replied: Yes

Then Peter, tell me why you can’t do that with the church?

I had no answer, but I swallowed hard.

That evening I prayed and threw myself at the mercy of Jesus Christ to guide me.

I went to confession that Saturday to make amends, per my sponsor’s suggestion.

I sat with the priest and didn’t have much in the way of sin but had to try and make my amends to him who represented the church.

He listened, gave me absolution and was a kind and understanding man.

He asked if I would come to mass the next day and I agreed.

That Sunday morning as I walked into the service I heard the sound of the church bells and I was hit with a feeling that is difficult to describe other than euphoric.

As mass began the feeling continued and I began to weep and by the time the Lords Prayer was sung tears rolled down my face.

I was home!

I began attending mass every Sunday and was approached by a man who was a Lector at the church. He asked if I’d be interested in being a Lector- talk about God calling!

Of course I was interested and today I also participate in the communion services as I am a Eucharistic Minister. Recently I had the privilege of bringing communion to the sick that can’t make it to mass.

I love sitting on the beach on a warm weekend afternoon and watching the ocean. I love sitting in the backyard and watch the boats cruise by on the causeway. I love sitting in and AA meeting, and I love being in mass on a Sunday morning.

Catholics are taking a bad rap from many are still being persecuted around the globe. Those who have contempt, I don’t hate, but I try understand it. I don’t make excuses for them I just try understand it. So my Heavenly Father has made me a builder of bridges, for those to walk over to the side of compassion and understanding and tolerance- Catholic or not.

I am blessed beyond blessings.

As the phrase goes,” Knock and it will open”.



Peter Marinelli

Chop wood, carry water

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