The ARM of St. Michael
The St. Michael Prayer Group meeting desires to bring every weary addiction sufferer to the infinite mercy of God, but especially those who have trudged for 20 or 30 or 40 years, casualties of the "sexual revolution".
Mercy is received as grace through a variety of pathways. This meeting and website are a library for learning about the many ways God effects his mercy when He is approached through the experience of the Catholic Church.
There is grace that flows outside the Church, but the great concentration of these graces flow to the person who seeks God's family within the One Church. God is approachable. He came to the earth at Christmas as a baby, that's how much He wanted to disarm our fears about Him. He did not frightfully rise up with cosmic drama against even his persecutors and the world, but lived the human condition to the bitter end. It was through this willing that he cures darkness of itself. This is a mystery of faith.
In Christianity we see, through sacred art tradition, an astounding predominance of the tender care God has for His creature. He allows Himself to have a human mother and on her lap He has placed himself as symbol of the exact same care He has for each of us, as a small child. God does not sell us anything, or make demands, except one, that we offer Him our wounded soul and crushed spirit, to allow that we need Him and want Him.
The St Michael Prayer Group desires to open access to the knowledge of how God works addiction healing through, prayer, fasting, sacramental reception, virtuous living and works of charity.
"Our deeds are as ashes in the revealing light of Your glory; we have nothing to commend ourselves to You. Yet You deigned to forgive the sins of Mary Magdalene, and she followed You to the end. The thief repented, and You led him into Your kingdom. I, like them, Lord, fly to You and confess my sins." - Br. Anthony VanBerkum, O.P.
Here follows the meeting script, which gives an outline of its flow and content. It is 90 minutes of prayer, being together in the spirit of the Lord, in the Lord's presence, and to be lead in prayer by the Holy Spirit. It is one unique space among the vast spaces of the Church's healing outreach, believing in the Name and the Power of Christ.
ARM of St. Michael Spiritual Care Group Meeting Guide
Welcome to The St. Michael Spiritual Care Support Group.
This group has been formed as a fellowship of prayer for those in recovery from addictions. This is a confidential, closed meeting that ministers to men who suffer from the effects of lust addiction: sexual obsessions, compulsions, and disorders.
This group gives thanks always and everywhere for Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, who died and was resurrected, so that all men and especially addicts shall be saved.
The steps presented through this group have been proven useful and successful for overcoming sexual compulsion and the obsession of lust. All are welcome in this fellowship.
Let us begin in prayer:
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Amen.
Come O Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth. O God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructs the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Refine our hearts and affections Lord
In the fire of the Holy Spirit
So that our bodies may be chaste and our hearts clean
To serve thee according to thy pleasure
Would someone please read "The St. Michael Prayer Group Purpose"?
The St. Michael Spiritual Care Group is a Christian fellowship of men who share faith, hope and prayer, that all may come to know the fullness of the Living God in love, in protection, and in healing. In surrendering ourselves entirely to God, we humbly ask with faith to receive the gift of freedom from lust and the grace to help others receive the same gift. Our purpose is to prepare ourselves and all those who are ready, to allow the healing hand of God, through the sacramental life created and given for us in the Holy Catholic Church of Jesus, to renew body and soul.
Would someone please read “What is Sexual Purity?”
Sexual purity is the hope that any person, with God's help, can be brought to the place of health, in mind, body and soul, a place free of fear, compulsion, obsession - in sins of lust. The beginning of sexual purity is the recognition that one has been unhealthy or malformed, suffering a distortion that can no longer be denied, nor sanely lived. As sexual disorders and addictions remain stigmatized, they require of us at present, anonymity in every place.
The sole source of error in all sexual impurity and disorder is lust, the unhealed fixation of person on self-controlled sexual pleasure - internalized in the mind or “acted out”. Lust is a false, 'genital' sexuality, personally manipulated, knowingly and at times unknowingly, against the intent of nature, life and God our Creator.
The words of Jesus: You have heard that it was said to the men of old 'You shall not commit adultery'. But I say to you every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
The temptation to lust is assisted by unclean spirits. But Christ commanded power over the Darkness and endowed his followers with power to cast out demons in His name and by His blood. Mary Magdalene, known through scripture and revelation, as a "sinful woman", became the faithful disciple of Jesus the Master. Christ cast out of her seven demons and it was”The Magdalene” who received the privilege of knowing the Risen Lord before all others in history. We ask the angels and saints to be our patrons and intercessors. “Where sin abounds grace abounds all the more.” St Mary Magdalene (all respond: pray for us) St Michael (pray for us), St Augustine (pray for us), St Thomas Aquinas (pray for us). St Anthony (pray for us). St ( __ of the day or hour) (pray for us).
The secret of chaste living and sexual purity is: you have to desire it, you have to ask for it and you may have to wait for it. Sexual purity is not an achievement or accomplishment but a gift. The sexual compulsive and the sex addict become chaste and healthy by grace, not by stress or strain. Sexual purity for any human creature alone is impossible. With God's help and the help of others, our hope is custody of one's faculties and mind, to take captive every sinful thought, all seeds of lust.
How do we recover, to attain pure hearts, minds, souls and bodies? Would someone please read the twenty ways in Christ?
The 20 Ways in Christ
In sharing with others we always avoid graphic or triggering descriptions, and be given to a spirit of honesty, helpfulness and healing. Sharing may include where we are at present and discussion of the meeting topic, but may also include any matters of faith and grace. May we respect each speaker by not interrupting and hold in strict confidence all that is shared. With generosity and compassion, let us then speak our hearts and listen to each other.
[After sharing is completed, the group can offer specific thanks, praise, and petition in group prayer.]
Let us make our prayers and personal needs known to our heavenly Father, praying through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, St Mary Magdalene, St. Anthony, all our patron saints.
To each petition we ask “Lord hear our prayer”.
[petitions, praise, thanksgiving]
Holy God we thank you for the gift of prayer, for the gift of gathering us together this night in your presence, for Jesus our Savior the greatest of all gifts. With thanks and praise Father we send up these requests confident and with faith in your merciful and perfect Will. We pray through the hands of our Blessed Mother in the name of Jesus Your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.
Everything that has been spoken in confidence at this meeting should remain here. As we go forth may we be sensitive to our environments and those around us and make known to any who are in need, one person at a time, this fellowship. May the Holy Spirit guide us all Amen.
Would someone please read “One Step at a Time”?
There is only one walk into beauty for each of us, our own, with God’s help, one step at a time. Slowly recovering souls we may be, but wise those who remember that God is not limited to our craving need of His solution and repair. Taking then these many steps into our hearts, let us acknowledge the wisdom of those who have gone before us in faith and recovery: Let us seek not the remedy of God, but seek the God of remedy. The God who makes stars, wants for all, a life that is more than indefinite recovery; He wants us to be fit to worship Him and to serve Him in this world with charity and joy. He made each of us with gifts and talents to be discovered and to benefit others, to be given freely and gladly in service.
This is our true hope and ultimate desire: new life.
How shall we resolve to improve ourselves in the month to come? [ All respond briefly in turn]
Let us close in prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference, living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace, taking as He did, the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; and that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
With thanks and praise, we ask in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.