Monday, September 1, 2014

The reward

I read an article where it was asked why so many priests are alcoholic.  I really don't know what "so many" is, but I have one idea why the drink is popular among the clergy.  In the seminaries of old, which were run a bit like monasteries, seminarians could not drink or smoke until they got ordained or reached some other level of seminary training.  Drink and smoke became the litmus test of "having arrived" which appeals to the male ego.  So new priests would drink and smoke as a right of passage or of having arrived at some completion.  This withholding of something as a reward does not go anymore  with drink and cigarettes, plus the screening is better in seminaries.  But if you are thinking of withholding something from someone, be it a child or adult, as a future reward for proper behavior, you might think about it.  The seminarians of old simply conformed on the outside to get the reward, ordination.  The insides were given much less attention.  There is a difference between not drinking, and sobriety.  One is behavioral.  The other, sobriety, is transformational.


  1. self respect is earned then you are mature enough to make decisions about transformation you can or don't. How else do children grow an identity or find out if they are valuable ? They do something that is appreciated or else they grow an I am special identity. We all need a special something , the gift we are to use to do God's work but, we have to hunt for it or have it recognized by others. You seek it.

  2. Not drinking without transformation=dry drunk=recipe for relapse

  3. Lots of dry drunks in AA - hence the sad failure rate.

    The message has been lost over the years