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Q & A with Father Anthony



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55 and in good health...

George asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

I have recently been granted an annulment for a marriage that occurred in 1972 and lasted 10 years. I have also recently recovered from alcoholism. What I was left with was a deep desire to dedicate myself 100% to knowing, loving and serving God. I am a Certified Public Accountant and can make a good living but the material world is of no interest to me. On a personal note, I am 55 years old and am in good health. I have had a strong calling for about a year now and have been praying and listening and that has gotten me to this point. I would appreciate any advice you can give.


Dear George,

You do not mention if you have children from your marriage that you are still responsible for (although since it is 21 yrs since the annulment it is hardly likely), or if you have any continuing obligations vis-à-vis your former wife.

Supposing that there is no impediment there to your dedicating your life to whatever you decide, there are some further elements to take into consideration. First of all, your recovery from alcoholism is recent. When there have been major changes like that in our lives we have to give them time to be fully assimilated into who we are. There are likely to be times when you feel your weakness more, times of temptation and depression that may shake your resolve; it is important to get through these and continue to grow stronger in the process.
It is good to want to dedicate yourself 100% to knowing, loving and serving God; but it is equally as important to know that this is not some distant possibility, out of your reach for the time being until you "find your call". You can, you need to start doing it now, where you are. Here are some concrete steps:

- Get to know God in prayer. Daily Mass and Communion (offer up your whole day to him, even the 'secular' work you will do in your profession. Make your resolutions for the day with Christ in your heart), frequent Confession; read the New Testament, especially the Gospels, seeking to know Christ's face. Go to Mary. Daily Rosary. Have your favorite devotions as well.

- Get to know about God by studying your faith. Catechism, Apologetics.

- Read and study good books on the spiritual life, the life of Christ in the soul, Catholic moral teaching.

- Do service. Volunteer (CCD, parish service projects, youth work, soup kitchen....). Be an apostle among your peers.

- Keep healthy

- Find a spiritual director. This is very important. He will be able to help you see how God is leading you, and the way in which he wants you to give him your 100%. He will be able to orient you in your new lifestyle, and if there are signs there of another vocation he will be able to help you discern them and prepare for each step.

God bless. Be sure of my prayers.

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