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The eleventh step

prayer_01People who have tried to recover from addiction by using the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, will recognise the problems presented by the eleventh step: where they “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” What, they ask, is all this “prayer and meditation”? Many want to put their lives in order – but they have little or no faith in God and are often hostile to religion. In 2008, when Manresa launched Steps2Serenity, the take-up was extraordinary. Ciary Quirke SJ teaches how to pray, using an Ignatian model. Then, in groups, people reflect on their experience in prayer.  They keep coming back, looking for more. There is a monthly top-up meeting. It is a growth point.