Conscious Contact with God is a new paraphrase of the Psalms that reflects the experience of addiction and living in recovery. It will speak powerfully to anyone who shares those experiences and struggles to find God present in the midst of them. Ideal for personal prayer, reflection, and meditation, as well as for praying and reflecting in groups, these thoughtful and inspiring texts are rich in the vocabulary and vision of the Twelve Steps.
This new resource fills a gap that has unfortunately existed until now for anyone addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, sex, or other substances or experiences. Here they will find compassion, understanding, and strength.
Fr. Kenneth Schmidt is a licensed professional counselor and executive director of Trauma Recovery Associates, which trains mental health professionals and spiritual caregivers in the US and several other nations. He is the Advocate for Priestly Ministry and Support for the Diocese of Kalamazoo. Fr. Schmidt is the author of You Have Set Us Free: Scriptural Reflections for Trauma Survivors, also published by Liturgical Press.
Fr. Ken has captured the essence of the Psalms as well as the essence of the 12-step recovery vernacular. His poetry grasps the spiritual depths of the despair that comes in addiction, the hope and eventual gratitude and praise that can be offered in recovery. I recommend this book as a tool for anyone who is comfortable with the biblical foundation as they grapple with the pain of addiction, the challenges and the joys of recovery.
Rev. Dr. Deborah Kohler, 37 years in recovery, Portage, Michigan
Father Ken has taken the Psalms a step further for all to understand. As I read them, I felt such a difference in how God works in our lives. When I am in trouble, I know he is always there to bring me back through his never-ending love.
Mary Anne Stora Jansen, Saint Catherine of Siena Church, Portage, Michigan
This is a terrific work that will have real relevance for all those impacted by substance use disorders in the court system. They are desperate for direction and this can provide it. These psalms teach that the goodness of recovery can't be forced. One must be open to recovery's grace and courageous enough to accept wellness offered by The Twelve Steps. As recovering addicts and alcoholics say: "Let go! Let God". That is Fr. Schmidt's message.
William Schma, Circuit Court Judge (Ret), Kalamazoo Michigan
Ken has grasped the core message of each Psalm. He has then splashed on these pages: my thoughts, my struggles, my experience and my joy, in my 12-step language. My relationship with God has once again been deepened.
Kathy Davies, Portage, Michigan
This work speaks profoundly to me as a recovering person. Ken has captured the very spirit of the twelve steps, facilitating one to personalize God as he understands Him. This book would be an inspirational addition to daily prayer and meditation.
Terry Brown, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Addiction has been called by some as a `cry of the heart.' Curiously, those same words have often been applied when describing the Psalms. In Conscious Contact with God, Father Ken Schmidt has interwoven these two deep expressions of heartfelt longing, addiction and the psalms, with a third cord of conscious contact. It makes an unbreakable cord of healing grace to hang onto in my addiction recovery. I use this book daily.
Michelle Reineck, South Haven, Michigan
Whether one is struggling with addiction, has been in recovery for a long time, or simply wants to pray for those who struggle, this is an excellent and prayerful resource that exemplifies the ongoing relevance of biblical prayer for all situations.
The Bible Today
Fr. Ken's work in making the Psalms more accessible to recovering people is amazing. His understanding of scripture and the nuances of recovering people is very evident throughout this book. Guest House will incorporate this book into our curriculum.
Jeff Henrich, President and CEO, Guest House, Inc., Michigan
'Listen God, I've got a problem . . . ' (Psalm 17) is just one of many prayers Father Ken has transformed for an addict, or anyone wishing to pray the Psalms in present day. This contemporary version of sacred songs and lamentations are graceful and truthful; really resonating with those desiring to grow closer to God. Truly inspiring!
Colleen Semler, Kalamazoo, Michigan
This adaptation of the Psalms to a language that is universal to all who experience addiction is refreshing and unique. Kenneth Schmidt captures the heart of prayer in this beautiful translation. The introduction is particularly useful in orienting people to the benevolence of God's Love and provides a segue into the body of the Psalms with an orientation to the essence of the 3rd and 11th steps. A remarkable work!
LuAngela Cervone, Kalamazoo, Michigan