Sobriety And Beyond on Conversion

Father Ralph Pfau, writing as Father John Doe. He was the first priest in AA. I will be jumping in in the middle on page 7 (all emphasis is his):

“This is brought about as stated above by accepting instead of trying to change the world, people, God and God’s laws; by working day in and day out to change us-our attitudes, habits, and actions; by humbly beseeching God-day in and day out-for this peace which surpasseth all understanding and which is a state of being able to be undisturbed in spite of our conflict or suffering of disappointments or sin of anything that might cross our path.”

“Through all ages, men have attained this serenity-this peace. But all who have attained it, did so by exactly the same process although under different names and for different reasons. Sad to say, most people seek it sincerely only after all else has failed: as witness the alcoholic. It is brought about only through a complete change of personality and to a point where everything in like takes on a new meaning and a “new look”=including God.

“In the middle ages this change was called a “conversio mores” which literally meant a complete change of customs and habits. Religion has always called it a “a true conversion” although religion itself is not necessarily involved as we shall see. Again, they meant a complete change of person in relation to religion. Alcoholics Anonymous calls it a “spiritual awakening” as a result of taking the twelve steps suggested by the A.A. Program. They, too, in this mean a total change toward life and living: towards one’s self: towards one’s neighbor; and toward one’s God. Psychiatry has given this change in man the impressive name of “adjustment,”-to life and living and God. And the average man of the street has a name for it to. It is “growing up.””

My Thoughts

We know of no exact word expressing this condition. The nearest is the word used by members of Alcoholics Anonymous: Serenity. But it is not only alcoholics who are frantically seeking this serenity. All humans have it as the object of their living although so few seek it from its source; in the only manner in which one can attain it; from the only One Who can give it; God.

AA and the 12 Steps have deficiencies, and one can easily see Father Pfau’s indifference in the comments above. I have revised two of the steps, because they are religiously indifferent. I reproduce this, because it is one of the few things on point. The main point is the conversio mores a complete change of customs and habits.