Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sex, Drugs, Money, Those Nasty Little Desires...They Catch Up To Everyone

If you clicked this headline looking for a story about someone's recently exposed behavior, look elsewhere (and shame on you).  In an age where we're becoming more and more immune to the drinking, drugging, cheating, stealing, philandering, backstabbing, partying, and the ever-increasing shamelessness of the general population, I think we all need a bit of a reality check.

Catholics especially need to check themselves, and stop themselves from participating in the spreading of dirt and the smearing of our brothers and sisters who are suffering and need prayer. To quote our Lord, "you who is without sin cast the first stone."

Some time ago, my husband and I were hit by a series of tragedies brought on by the horror that is addiction. Finding a book titled Addiction and Grace by the late Dr. Gerald May was a true Godsend for us, and a real eye-opener. I recommend it highly. Dr. May defined addiction as "any compulsive, habitual behavior that limits the freedom of human desire". According to Dr. May, no human being is above being addicted, everyone is addicted to something, and no one addiction or addict is any better or worse than another. Every human being struggles with compulsions, aversions, dependencies of all kinds, and every one blocks us to the grace of God.

I have a gazillion addictions, compulsions and aversions that interfere with my life of grace every minute of every day. Thank God that no one finds me important enough to smear me based on them, either, because I could very easily be portrayed as a hot mess. Mine may not be drugs or alcohol, but I have to fight them as hard as any drug addict or alcoholic must fight theirs.

Sometimes we all lose our fights, don't we?

In his book, Dr. May listed five fundamental characteristics of all forms and types of addiction:

  • Tolerance: wanting or needing more to feel satisfied.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: physical or emotional effects when addictive substance is removed.
  • Self-deception: denial and rationalization, invented to counter attempts to control the addiction.
  • Loss of willpower: an inability to conquer the addiction despite the illusion of control.
  • Distortion of attention: a preoccupation with the addiction that usurps our concern for the true priorities of life, especially God. For this reason, addiction can be viewed as idolatry.
St. Paul writes in Galatians Chapter 6: “even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself, so that you also may not be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal 6:1-2) Just as He carried the cross to His death for our salvation, we in imitation of Him can carry the guilt of addiction for these addicts, because in their illness they cannot carry it themselves.

Over the next several days I will be posting a special Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary that I wrote for my friend who lost her son to heroin addiction. I hope you will all join me in prayer for everyone who suffers as a result of their addictions.


Eddie Ray said...

Very sad.......addiction is like walking a tight rope.
More people need to be addicted to prayer.

Gina said...

You said it, ER.

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