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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
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+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – March 21

Just For Today
March 21
A Treatable Illness

“Addiction is a disease that involves more than the use of drugs.”
Basic Text p. 3

At our first meeting, we may have been taken aback at the way members shared about how the disease of addiction had affected their lives. We thought to ourselves, “Disease? I’ve just got a drug problem! What in the world are they talking about?”

After some time in the program, we began to see that our addiction ran deeper than our obsessive, compulsive drug use. We saw that we suffered from a chronic illness that affected many areas of our lives. We didn’t know where we’d “caught” this disease, but in examining ourselves we realized that it had been present in us for many years.

Just as the disease of addiction affects every area of our lives, so does the NA program. We attend our first meeting with all the symptoms present: the spiritual void, the emotional agony, the powerlessness, the unmanageability.

Treating our illness involves much more than mere abstinence. We use the Twelve Steps, and though they don’t “cure” our illness, they do begin to heal us. And as we recover, we experience the gift of life.

Just for today: I will treat my illness with the Twelve Steps.

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Daily Reflections
March 21
MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING

Fear … of economic insecurity will leave us.
–ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

Having fear reduced or eliminated and having economic circumstances improve, are two different things. When I was new in A.A., I had those two ideas confused. I thought fear would leave me only when I started making money. However, another line from the Big Book jumped off the page one day when I was chewing on my financial difficulties: “For us, material well-being always followed spiritual progress; it never preceded.”(p. 127).  I suddenly understood that this promise was a guarantee.  I saw that it put priorities in the correct order, that spiritual progress would diminish that terrible fear of being destitute, just as it diminished many other fears.  Today I try to use the talents God gave me to benefit others. I’ve found that is what others valued all along.  I try to remember that I no longer work for myself. I only get the use of the wealth God created, I never have “owned” it. My life’s purpose is much clearer when I just work to help, not to possess.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 21
A.A. Thought For The Day

In A.A. we forget about the future. We know from experience that as time goes on, the future takes care of itself. Everything works out well, as long as we stay sober. All we need to think about is today. When we get up in the morning and see the sun shining in the window, we thank God that He has given us another day to enjoy because we’re sober. A day in which we may have a chance to help somebody. Do I know that this day is all I have and that with God’s help I can stay sober today?

Meditation For The Day

All is fundamentally well. That does not mean that all is well on the surface of things. But it does mean that God’s in His heaven and that He has a purpose for the world, which will eventually work out when enough human beings are willing to follow His way. “Wearing the world as a loose garment” means not to be upset by the surface wrongness of things, but to feel deeply secure in the fundamental goodness and purpose in the universe.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that God may be with me in my journey through the world. I pray that I may know that God is planning that journey.

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As Bill Sees It
March 21
Debits and Credits, p. 80

Following a gossip binge, we can well ask ourselves these questions: “Why did we say what we did? Were we only trying to be helpful and informative? Or were we not trying to feel superior by confessing the other fellow’s sins? Or, because of fear and dislike, were we not really aiming to damage him?”

This would be an honest attempt to examine ourselves, rather than the other fellow.

<< << << >> >> >>

Inventory-taking is not always done in red ink. It’s a poor day indeed when we haven’t done something right. As a matter of fact, the waking hours are usually well filled with things that are constructive.  Good intentions, good thoughts, and good acts are there for us to see.

Even when we tried hard and failed, we may chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of all.

1. Grapevine, August 1961
2. 12 & 12, p. 93

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Walk in Dry Places
March 21
Living One Day at a Time
Time management

It’s surprising that some alcoholics learn how to “live one day at a time” while drinking. It had to work that way, or their drinking life would have been even more intolerable. It was convenient to shut off thoughts of tomorrow if one had enough money to drink today. It was also convenient to blot out thoughts of yesterday, which only meant remorse.

In sobriety, living one day at a time is an excellent way to focus our minds so we can pour our energies into the work at hand. In reviewing the wasted yesterdays, we can always find ways that we could have been more productive and effective. But we missed opportunities because we were still struggling with regrets or fearing what might happen in the future.

It’s never too late to change all that. We need neither regret the past nor fear the future. The AA secret is to make the best of today’s challenges. It may mean just chipping away at a massive problem that seems insurmountable. Living just for today, we can do today’s job well.

I’ll live comfortably and happily in the here and now. This means releasing the past and accepting the future as something I’ll deal with at the proper time.

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Keep It Simple
March 21

With each sunrise, we start anew.
–Anonymous

Like a tree, our life depends on new growth. There are many ways to bring new ideas and growth into our lives. We can attend Twelve Step retreats. We can study books and tapes on spirituality.

We can attend different Twelve Step meetings.

But our spiritual newness may not just come from the Twelve Steps. We can do volunteer work or be active in other types of groups. We need to invite new ideas into our lives. We need to stay open to change. It doesn’t matter what renews our spiritual growth. What matters is that we keep our spiritual lives fresh and growing.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, spring is one of the four seasons. Help me feel like spring. Help me to be strong but not stuck Help me be firm yet open to spiritual growth.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll try to do something new. When I get stuck or stubborn, I’ll see that it’s due to my fear of trying new ideas.

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Each Day A New Beginning
March 21

Children are surely one of God’s greatest gifts and truest challenges. To share your life with a child is to humble yourself so that you may learn from them and discover with them the beautiful secrets that are only uncovered in searching.
–Kathleen Tierney Crilly

Humility accompanies every experience wherein we let ourselves fully listen to others, to learn from them, to be changed by their words, their presence. Each opportunity we take to be fully present to another person, totally with them in mind and spirit, will bless us while it blesses them. Offering and receiving the gift of genuine attention is basic to the emotional growth of every human being.

Before recovering, many of us so suffered from obsessive self-centered pity that we seldom noted the real needs or pain of the people close to us. We closed ourselves off, wallowing in our own selfish worries, and our growth was stunted.

Some days we still wallow. But a new day has dawned. The Steps offer us new understanding. They are helping us look beyond ourselves to all the “children of God” in our daily lives. From each of them we have many secrets to learn.

I will be joyous today. Many secrets about life are mine to learn if I will stay close to all the people who cross my path. I will be mindful they are there because they have something to give me. I will be ready to receive it.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 21
SAFE HAVEN

– This A.A. found that the process of discovering who he really was began with knowing who he didn’t want to be.

I recall too well the morning when another guy and I stole my dad’s credit card and pickup truck so we could run off to California to become movie stars. We had a pistol so we could rob stores when the time came to stock up on beer, cash, and cigarettes. Before the first day of travel was over, however, I told my friend I couldn’t go on any longer and needed to return home. I knew my mom and dad were climbing the walls with worry by now. My friend refused to turn back, so I let him out of the truck; I never saw him again. My parents may have recognized my behavior as some serious adolescent rebellion, but they had no idea it was fueled by the disease of alcoholism.

pp. 452-453

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 21

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Therefore, Step Two is the rallying point for all of us. Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this Step. True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith, and every A.A. meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we rightly relate ourselves to Him.

p. 33

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Xtra Thoughts
March 21

Don’t go through life, grow through life.
–Eric Butterworth

“You see what you choose to see, because all perception is a choice.  And when you cease to impose your meanings on what you see, your spiritual eyes will open, and you will see a world free of judgment and shining in its endless beauty.”
–Paul Ferrini

To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.
–Bernadette Devlin

God is the architect. I am the builder.
–Unknown

“Stop talking about the problem and start thinking about the solution.”
-–Brian Tracy

The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.
–John Ruskin

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 21
BROTHERHOOD

“I love my country better than my family; but I love humanity better than my country.”
— Francois Fenelon

We need to think “big”. We need to escape from those little concepts that keep us small. Life is more than we can ever perceive. We need to see it in its totality. The nuclear family can be restrictive if taken as the center of our loyalty. Even our national citizenship needs to be placed in the context of the world. Our freedom rests in our universal humanity.

Spirituality is about thinking “big”. It is finding God in the richness of His creation. Our insistence on our shared humanity is the path to world peace and serenity. Divisions should not exist for the humanitarian who seeks acceptance for all men simply because they are men.

May I seek to find the One in the many—and the many in the One.

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Bible Scriptures
March 21

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Psalms 84:11

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Daily Inspiration
March 21

God not only answers prayer, but He has all the answers to the prayers that we haven’t bothered to ask. Lord, when you said “ask and you shall receive,” may I keep in mind that no request is too small.

It is far wiser to ask God for what He thinks is good for us, than for what we think is good for us. Lord, Your Will not mine be done.

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A Day At A Time
March 21

Reflection For The Day

The Program teaches us that we have an incurable illness.  We alwys get worse, never better.  But we’re fortunate in that our incurable illness can be arrested, so long as we don’t tkae the first drink one day at a time.  Hightoned academic rsearch and ivory tower studies to th contrary, we know rom experiece that we can no more control our drinking than we can control the ocean tides.  Do I have any doubt that I am owerless over alcohol?

Today I Pray

May I never fall prey to any short-term research sresults which tell me that alcoholism can be cured, that I would be safe to bbegin drinking again, suppoosedly, in a responsible manner.  My experience — and the experience of those in The Program — will outshout such threories.  May I know thaat my disease is arrestablke, but not curable.  May I know that if I took up my active addiction again, I would begin where I left off — closer than ever to possible death or insanity.

Today I Will Remember

Be wary of new theories.

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One More Day
March 21

It is a happy talent to know how to play.
–  Ralph Waldo Emerson

As the carefree days of childhood give way to adulthood, we sometimes forfeit too much of the child.  We become what we think is mature — serious and busy.  Quite unintentionally we might become caught up in the importance of being married, working hard at our jobs, raising children, or paying off the mortgage.  Even at home we  might be rushing here and there  –  mowing the lawn, getting a haircut, buying clothes or groceries, and performing all the small household chores which need doing regularly.

Where is the time we need for ourselves, to spend with friends, or just to play?  We can find time, right now, if we want to.  We can momentarily shrug off the demands of home or career and lend ourselves to carefree play.

It’s sometimes easy to be too serious.  Today, I will let myself participate in play.

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One Day At A Time
March 21
Patience

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”
Saint Augustine
(354 – 430) The Bishop of Hippo, was a philosopher and theologian
and one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity.

Patience is an area that I have had some REAL problems with in the past. I had a tendency to want – what I want – NOW! That included recovery. Gaining recovery, as I would eventually realize, is not the same as earning a university credit. It is a process not an end result. You have to be willing to learn to do things in HP’s time and manner rather than your own. What began to happen was – the more impatient I became – the more life tended to resist my efforts. It took a long time for me to realize this. Instead of calming down, I would get even more impatient and struggle even harder. Eventually, I would have a big meltdown and feel like a fool afterwards.

The end result was absolutely no different for having done this. It took time for me to muster the willingness to do things in HP’s time and manner. But when I did – life became much more peaceful and things had a tendency to work themselves out – without all the dramatics.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will learn to patiently and willingly do things in HP’s time and manner.

~ Rob R.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day
March 21

“The manner with which we walk through life is each man’s most important responsibility, and we should remember this with every new sunrise.”
–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Every spiritual person should carry a vision of God’s will in every area of their life. One day at a time, each morning at sunrise, we should spend time praying to the Creator. We should say something like, my Creator, this morning I ask you to show me, in terms I can understand, what you have for me to do. By doing this daily, over time, we will develop an unquestionable vision. Each person is responsible for taking the time to do this. It will bring great joy and peace of mind to those warriors who do.

My Creator, give me the vision, today, of what you want me to do.

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Journey to the Heart
March 21
Nurture the Seasons of Your Soul

Study nature’s ways. Learn her rhythms, her seasons, her cycles. See how she hibernates and rests during the cold winter, using that time to replenish and heal. See how she bursts forth in a slow crescendo of green and bright colors over the spring, rejoicing in the inevitable new growth. See how she gives her all, her grandest performance, over the summer months before gradually descending into a final burst of changing colors in autumn. Watch her cool down, return to her depths, and again take time to replenish.

These same seasons are within us. There are times to take action, to be busily involved with creating and doing and participating and giving. There are quieter times when we are being prepared for those times of activity. We cannot give and give without taking time to replenish ourselves. There are times of gentle growth when the first blades of grass, the first signs of spring begin to emerge in our lives– whether those signal a new stage of personal growth, a new stage in a love relationship, or the first buds of life on a project we’re creating.

And each season, each time, leads into the next.

There is purpose and value in each day of your life, in each season of your life. Nurture your times of action, of creating, of doing, and value your quieter times of going within. The more you study nature, the more you will learn about yourself. Nurture and trust the seasons of your soul.

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Today’s Gift
March 21

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
—Mother Goose

Poor Humpty ended up such a scrambled egg. Maybe that’s what comes from sitting too long in one place, choosing neither this way nor that, playing both sides against the middle. Maybe he played too much politics, got too much advice, had too much to think about. When the centipede was asked which leg he first moved when setting out on a stroll, he got those legs all tangled in his mind and couldn’t walk at all. It is better to be simply moved by those around us, or by our Higher Power, with faith and love. When our thoughts fail, their hearts, hands, and eyes will show the way.

Do I sometimes decide my fate by refusing to decide?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 21
Considering Commitment

Pay attention to your commitments.

While many of us fear committing, it’s good to weigh the cost of any commitment we are considering. We need to feel consistently positive that it’s an appropriate commitment for us.

Many of us have a history of jumping — leaping headfirst — into commitments without weighing the cost and the possible consequences of that particular commitment. When we get in, we find that we do not really want to commit and feel trapped.

Some of us may become afraid of losing out on a particular opportunity if we don’t commit. It is true that we will lose out on certain opportunities if we are unwilling to commit. We still need to weigh the commitment. We still need to become clear about whether that commitment seems right for us. If it isn’t, we need to be direct and honest with others and ourselves.

Be patient. Do some soul searching. Wait for a clear answer. We need to make our commitments not in urgency or panic but in quiet confidence that what we are committing to is right for us.

If something within says no, find the courage to trust that voice.

This is not our last chance. It is not the only opportunity we’ll ever have. Don’t panic. We don’t have to commit to what isn’t right for us, even if we try to tell ourselves it should be right for us and we should commit.

Often, we can trust our intuitive sense more than we can trust our intellect about commitments.

In the excitement of making a commitment and beginning, we may overlook the realities of the middle. That is what we need to consider.

We don’t have to commit out of urgency, impulsivity, or fear. We are entitled to ask, Will this be good for me? We are entitled to ask if this commitment feels right.

Today, God, guide me in making my commitments. Help me say yes to what is in my highest good, and no to what isn’t. I will give serious consideration before I commit myself to any activity or person. I will take the time to consider if the commitment is really what I want.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 21
Letting go of finances

Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t care. It’s about having faith that things will work out. Let’s take a look at how letting go applies to the issue of money.

John had been an alcoholic for years. Over time, the disease destoyed his life, including his financial health. He hit bottom and finally began recovery. After a while, he was able to start making progress in life. But his finances were in terrible shape. For a while, he hid all the bills in a drawer. Then one day, he took out the bills and started to make a plan. Instead of feeling hopeless and overwhelmed, he applied the Twelve Steps to this area of his life. He called his creditors. He gave himself a budget. He did the best that he could and he let go of the rest.

Slowly, over the years, he began to rebuild his credit. He paid off his debts, a little at a time. He applied for a credit card, the kind you have to pay in advance. Then after a year, his limit was raised. He doesn’t use the card for credit; he uses it for a credit rating. He’s now got a checking and savings account. He pays his taxes and manages to save a little every week.

Sometimes things happen. Cars break down. People get sick. The rent gets raised. That unexpected expense comes up, out of the blue, just when you thought you were ahead.

Worry never helped.

An attitude of taking responsibility for myself did.

What we cannot do for ourselves, God will do for us. And God knows we need money to live here on earth. What was that the Bible said? Seek money first, and then you’ll have peace? Nope, I got that backwards. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else shall be added unto you.”

Manifest what you need from a place of responsibility, trust, and peace.

God, teach me to let go of worrying about money.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 21

If I Had My Life to Live Over … I’d relax…. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers…. I’d start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.
—Nadine Stair

“Letting go” is a theme with many variations. When we live with gusto and are released to experience the full excitement of life, we are letting go. When we turn our lives and wills over to the care of our Higher Power, we are freed of many cares. If we orient our lives with a compass that always points to fear and insecurity, or to power and success, we are giving ourselves over to those forces. But we can orient our lives to our Higher Power’s care and support. That makes it possible to drop our guard, allow for some mistakes, and delight in the pleasures of creation.

Today let me forget my worries and enjoy the fullness of life.

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DailyTAO
March 21
OPPOSITES

Before emptying, there must be fullness.
Before shrinking, there must be expanding.
Before falling, there must be ascent.
To destroy something, lead it to its extreme.
To preserve something, keep to the middle.

Although we speak of opposites, they are not truly antagonistic elements. All opposites are part of the same entity. Like a two-headed snake, opposites are two parts of the same whole. They define one another, as black defines white. They alternate with one another, as war alternates with peace.

Whenever any phenomenon reaches its extreme, it will change toward its opposite, just as the darkest night begins to change toward dawn, and the coldest winter is followed by glorious spring. Therefore, anything that one wishes to destroy need only be led to its extreme or crushed while it is just appearing. For example, the two easiest times to destroy a tree are when it is so tall that it is about to topple or so young that it can be easily uprooted.

The same principle holds if one wishes to nurture something. You can prevent its destruction by bringing it close to, but not over, its apex. You can take a branch from an old tree and graft it. This is the wisdom of the middle ground. Followers of Tao change a situation when it reaches its apex. By joining their efforts to a new situation that is just budding, they attain perpetuity.

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DailyZen
March 21

The trail enters
Pines, the sound of pines;
The farther one goes,
The rarer the sound.
Mountains’ light
Colors the river water.
Among peaks,
A monk sits Zen,
Facing an old branch
Of a cassia tree,
Once a seedling in the Liang.

– Chiao-jan (730-799)

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Food For Thought
March 21
Letting Go

By admitting that we are unable to manage our own lives, we become ready to let a Higher Power take over. Before we can fully benefit from God’s direction, we must let go completely of the idea that we are in control.

We say that we are grateful compulsive overeaters, because if it had not been for our inability to control what we ate and the resulting turmoil in our lives, we might never have realized our need to “let go and let God.”

When we turn our problems over to our Higher Power, we leave them with Him and move as He directs. If we take the problems back, we are like a child who has given his or her parent a broken toy to fix, but snatches it back before the parent can make the repair.

If we had been able to fix our problems ourselves, our way, we would not be in this program. Since we know we need help, let’s be willing to let go and try God’s way.

May I let go of my problems so that You may direct my life.

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Faith’s Check Book
March 21
Avoid That Slip

Then shalt thou walk in thy way of safety, and thy foot shall not stumble. (Proverbs 3:23)

That is to say, if we follow the ways of wisdom and holiness we shall be preserved in them. He who travels by daylight along the highway is under some protection. There is a way for every man, namely, his own proper calling in life, and if we devoutly walk therein in the fear of God He will preserve us from evil. We may not travel luxuriously, but we shall walk safely. We may not be able to run like young men, but we shall be able to walk like good men.

Our greatest danger lies in ourselves: our feeble foot is so sadly apt to stumble. Let us ask for more moral strength that our tendency to slip may be overcome. Some stumble because they do not see the stone in the way: divine grace enables us to perceive sin and so to avoid it. Let us plead this promise and trust in Him who upholds His chosen.

Alas! Our worst peril is our own carelessness, but against this the Lord Jesus has put us on our guard, saying, “Watch and pray.”

Oh, for grace to walk this day without a single stumble! It is not enough that we do not actually fall; our cry should be that we may not make the smallest slip with out feet but may at the last adore Him “who is able to keep us from stumbling.”

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This Morning’s Meditations
March 21

“Ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone.
–John 16:32.

FEW had fellowship with the sorrows of Gethsemane. The majority of the disciples were not sufficiently advanced in grace to be admitted to behold the mysteries of “the agony.” Occupied with the passover feast at their own houses, they represent the many who live upon the letter, but are mere babes as to the spirit of the gospel. To twelve, nay, to eleven only was the privilege given to enter Gethsemane and see “this great sight.” Out of the eleven, eight were left at a distance; they had fellowship, but not of that intimate sort to which men greatly beloved are admitted. Only three highly favoured ones could approach the veil of our Lord’s mysterious sorrow: within that veil even these must not intrude; a stone’s-cast distance must be left between. He must tread the wine-press alone, and of the people there must be none with Him. Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, represent the few eminent, experienced saints, who may be written down as “Fathers;” these having done business on great waters, can in some degree measure the huge Atlantic waves of their Redeemer’s passion. To some selected spirits it is given, for the good of others, and to strengthen them for future, special, and tremendous conflict, to enter the inner circle and hear the pleadings of the suffering High Priest; they have fellowship with Him in his sufferings, and are made conformable unto His death. Yet even these cannot penetrate the secret places of the Saviour’s woe. “Thine unknown sufferings” is the remarkable expression of the Greek liturgy: there was an inner chamber in our Master’s grief, shut out from human knowledge and fellowship. There Jesus is “left alone.” Here Jesus was more than ever an “Unspeakable gift!” Is not Watts right when he sings—

“And all the unknown joys he gives,
Were bought with agonies unknown.”

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