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THE SPIRITUALITY OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

Fr Jim Cogley


The AA 12-Step Programme was created in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr Bob Smith with a lot of influence from the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. It is essentially a secular version of the Gospel where the language used is totally accessible to those of all faiths and even none. It is a powerful spiritual programme of radical discipline, that could equally be called discipleship. It has literally brought ‘Salvation’ to millions of lost and suffering souls. While entrenched in an archaic belief system the most devout believers can’t always hear its

message, yet those who come from ‘rock bottom’ often respond wholeheartedly. Jesus did say to the Scribes and Pharisees that the prostitutes and sinners would find their kingdom path before those who thought they were first in the queue. In essence the AA Programme is ‘a spirituality of imperfection’ where the ones who have experienced their weakness, failure and vulnerability are most open to being recipients of the Good News. In painfully discovering their need of God they paradoxically discover their ‘blessedness’.

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