In our world and our Church, many of our brothers and sisters struggle with addictions. Indeed, almost half of Americans report having a family member or close friend who has struggled with drug addiction, and one in seven report suffering from substance addictions themselves. Today, the internet also provides an avenue for addictive behavior, including to internet use itself, to electronic devices, and to pornography. The latter is especially prevalent and known to have devastating effects on personal relationships. Which family has not experienced something of addiction’s difficulties?
Whatever factors push a person toward addiction, as a result relationships are sure to suffer: one’s relationship with God, with family, with friends. Addiction can be a tremendously isolating experience. As a Church, as persons bound together to one another through our common love of God, we recognize and pray that individuals struggling with addiction not only have their needs met through appropriate professional help, but also that their relationships with God and others be strengthened and healed.
We celebrate in our Christian faith that Jesus has set us free from sin and death; such is Jesus’ greatest victory and His gift to us. In Baptism each of us is made a sharer in this mystery and is washed clean of sin and illumined with the light of God’s grace. Yet, we struggle to live according to the “glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rm 8:21), and this gift typically becomes actualized only progressively in our lives. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters who suffer from addiction, that they may be both helped and accompanied by healing relationships along the road of recovery, in order to enjoy in authentic depth their dignity as God’s image.
- Fr. Andrij Hlabse, S.J.
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA & Canada)