Suffering Transmuted & Giving Thanks – As Bill Sees It Meditations 35 & 266

“A.A. is no success story in the ordinary sense of the word. It is a story of suffering transmuted, under grace, into spiritual progress.”   1. LETTER, 1959

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For Dr. Bob, the insatiable craving for alcohol was evidently a physical phenomenon which bedeviled several of his first years in A.A., a time when only days and nights of carrying the message to other alcoholics could cause him to forget about drinking. Although his craving was hard to withstand, it doubtless did account for some part of the intense incentive that went into forming Akron’s Group Number One.

 Bob’s spiritual release did not come easily; it was to be painfully slow. It always entailed the hardest kind of work and the sharpest vigilance.  2. A.A. COMES OF AGE, P. 69

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Though I still find it difficult to accept today’s pain and anxiety with any great degree of serenity—as those more advanced in the spiritual life seem able to do—I can give thanks for present pain nevertheless.

 I find the willingness to do this by contemplating the lessons learned from past suffering—lessons which have led to the blessings I now enjoy. I can remember how the agonies of alcoholism, the pain of rebellion and thwarted pride, have often led me to God’s grace, and so to a new freedom.  3. GRAPEVINE, MARCH 1962

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