TO SLAKE A THIRST
It is said that Matt Talbot was an alcoholic by the time he reached his I teens. He lived to drink. But all that changed one day when he was 28. He was broke; his weekly paycheck had already been passed to the barman. Matt stood outside the pub for several hours, waiting for one of his friends to invite him in. No one did. He went home and told his mother, “I’m taking the pledge,” to which she replied, “Don’t take it if you can’t keep it.”
With no A.A., no sponsor, no weekly meetings to attend and no “Big Book,” he had to rely on God alone. He found a way to sobriety which not only enabled him to give up drinking from that time on, it led him to adopt a way of life such that, at his death in 1925, word of his holiness spread throughout Ireland and his cause for canonization was begun almost immediately. He was declared venerable by Pope Paul VI in 1975 and he is on a long list of those who, in all likelihood, will be canonized early in the new millennium.
This is the story of his life and the Matt Talbot Way to Sobriety. Although this Way — very similar to St. Thérése of Lisieux’s “Little Way of Spiritual Childhood” — is primarily for active alcoholics, it will inspire all who are seeking a life of authentic holiness in the world. Alcoholics recovering through A.A. may find that Matt Talbot’s unique, Christ-centered Way satisfies a need for which they had only a vague, uneasy awareness. Written by a man who has experienced an extraordinary transformation in his own life by following the method outlined in this work, it is hoped that “To Slake a Thirst” will provide the answer to those for whom other programs have not worked or who have been looking for a Way that addressed more specifically their own most deeply felt spiritual needs.
About the Author: More than being just a “born Catholic,” Philip Maynard has had the unique experience of growing up in a household in which his father, Theodore Maynard, and his mother, Sara Maynard, wrote many lives of the saints. It was only natural that these heroes of the Church should become his heroes in a special way. Later, he was able to overcome alcoholism only by turning to the example of Matt Talbot, the Irishman who is a hero to many reformed alcoholics and himself now a candidate for sainthood. Maynard is a lawyer who writes on estate planning matters. He lives in Baltimore with his wife Agnes, and has two sons, Kevin and Peter.