A Blessed Rejection   3 comments

This is a letter from John Peter to Brennan Manning, one of my favorite authors on grace, a Catholic priest who was black-balled for getting married (to Roslyn). 

They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab... I said, "No, No, No!"

My wife, Lolly, and I were at a breaking point.  I did not think I could continue to stay married to someone who was so self-destructive!  But I wanted to consult you before moving out or calling a lawyer.  When I did call you, Roslyn said that you were in route to Providence, Rhode Island, for a week of renewal at a Catholic church there.  Ros also said that you had a layover in Newark to change planes.  So I immediately drove to the Newark airport and, believe it or not, found you in the midst of that huge airport!  I told you what was going on, and you said that I, under the circumstances, could leave Lolly—after twenty-five years of alcoholic drinking!  So I drove back to our house in Manhasset, New York.  When I arrived there some three hours later, I found Lolly all cleaned up and as sober as I had seen her in a long time.  She announced to me that you were coming for dinner!

What had happened was some conservative Catholics at the church you went to visit in Providence found out that you were married and reported it to the bishop.  The bishop then forbade that parish to have you speak there, so what did you do?  You called Lolly and said you’d like to come to dinner!  So I had to turn around and pick you up at LaGuardia and home we came.  Lolly could not have been a more willing or welcoming hostess.  She loved you, Brennan.  After dinner I retired, and you and Lolly sat up and talked almost all night!  She had sworn that she would never go back into treatment again, so you can imagine my surprise when, the next  morning (Sunday), you told me that Lolly agreed to go back to Brunswick Hospital Rehab….

As you know, Lolly stayed sober in AA for the rest of her life—over twenty-five years!  She passed away September 27, 2009.  And the gift of her longtime sobriety was something that my children and I found as close to heaven as I suspect we’ll see this side of the grave.

–from All Is Grace, Mannings recent autobiography, though I would much more highly recommend The Ragamuffin Gospel or Abba’s Child if you want a taste.

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Posted January 3, 2012 by janathangrace in Reading

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3 responses to “A Blessed Rejection

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  1. you always post the most wonderful pieces!

  2. Thanks, Mardi! Glad you like it.

  3. I cried and cried over this one, Janathan. Thank you.

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