How many times have we said—“I am going to get this done, do this or that---or begin today to live life right? Determined we make an effort but all too soon—those best intentions just fizzle out. We are left frustrated, depressed, discouraged and feeling like a total failure. We know our weakness and we know that no matter how hard we try there just are some areas in our life that is the “thorn in our side” that keeps poking us to remind us we are HUMAN.
Fact—everyone has an addiction of some type and some of us even have at least three or four or more. You may think, “Not me!” So, first of all, the word addiction needs to be looked at closely, for many think only of drugs, alcohol, porn, or gambling as an addiction.
Merriam Webster Dictionary describes it as this ---a noun—a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (such as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.
Did you know that sugar or carbohydrates are very addicting and cause us to be a compulsive carbalohic? As sure as the sun come up, if you digest high sugar foods or drinks, you will want to eat again in two hours or less and when you deny yourself sugars –you will have withdrawal symptoms. (Irritability and aggressive behavior)
Computer games or use of iPhones or computers for recreation or self gratification---can be very addicting and also lead to your ability to function without this being a part of your life. All those posts, tweets, comments, likes and funny or sad videos give you a sense of self worth or a sense of insecurity if you are not being liked or sought out. All this self evaluation coming from a phone or computer, should not determine our self worth!
Now I am discussing two addictions in my life that have slowly taken me away from putting time and energy into my God-given gifts, AND taking my spirit down as guilt surfaces as I know that I have chosen a false idol or god over God. But, as always, God is ever faithful---and gives me the grace to be faithful to seeking the answer to all needs that come into our life.
Matthew Kelly’s book “Resisting Happiness,” was gift given to us at Christmas by our parish priest. His insight on many common factors that all humans encounter which get into our way of happiness and how to remove those roadblocks, has been very helpful. (Thank you--Father William and Matthew for your obedience to God's insight.)
Prayer, seeking God in His Word daily and finding just exactly what message I need to hear from God –has always brought me from the pits of despair. Psalm 40 was the latest Word given—and when I obeyed and did as God spoke to my heart ---the results---renewed energy, joy, zeal and determination to try again BUT, this time with the help that is needed to overcome any addiction. “Together We Can” is a support group that will begin by Lent. If you want to be rid of any addictive habit—you need the help of others who have walked your walk and can give you what is needed to achieve your goals. So, go find one or start your own, or become a part of a prayer group—but do not stay isolated with your problems. God also opened doors for me to take classes to improve my gifts, or help others to improve their gifts—which means, volunteer and do something constructive to change bad habits.
We have available to us the prayers of all the saints and angels, the poor souls in Purgatory, and the Blessed Mother, IF we ask them to pray for us every day. Then there is the support of prayer warriors everywhere who will pray for us too---IF WE ASK. Which brings us to another reason why we may not succeed in our efforts: “if My people will HUMBLY pray, and seek My face, and turn away from all their wicked ways—then I will hear them and move My hand and freely then will I forgiven and I will heal” their hearts, bodies, spirit and life. God will always help, IF WE ARE HUMBLE and admit—I NEED HELP!
All the steps are there. Seek God, humbly---pray---and in seeking others, we seek His face. The last step is obedience by turning away from what is addictive and turning to each other and God—TOGETHER; we can do all things—by the grace given to us every moment of every day.
2Surely, I wait for the LORD; Who bends down to me and hears my cry,
3Draws me up from the pit of destruction, out of the muddy clay,
Sets my feet upon rock, steadies my steps,
4And puts a new songin my mouth, a hymn to our God.
Many shall look on in fear and they shall trust in the LORD.
(Our example will always lead others to God or lead them astray, SO let us be careful and be aware OF what our behavior can do---to others and to ourselves.)
5Blessed the man who sets his security in the LORD,
who turns not to the arrogant, (or addictions) or to those who stray after falsehood.
6You, yes You, O LORD, my God, have done many wondrous deeds!
And in Your plans for us there is none to equal You.
Should I wish to declare or tell them, too many are they to recount.
7*Sacrifice and offering You do not want; You opened my ears.
Holocaust and sin-offering You do not request;
8so I said, “See; I come with an inscribed scroll written upon me.
9I delight to do your will, my God; Your law is in my inner being!”
10When I sing of your righteousness in a great assembly,
See, I do not restrain my lips; as You, LORD, know.
11I do not conceal Your righteousness within my heart;
I speak of Your loyalty and Your salvation. I do not hide
Your mercy or faithfulness from a great assembly.
12LORD, may you not withhold your compassion from me;
May your mercy and your faithfulness continually protect me.
13But evils surround me until they cannot be counted.
My sins overtake me, so that I can no longer see.
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head; my courage fails me.
14LORD, graciously rescue me! Come quickly to help me, LORD!
15May those who seek to destroy my life be shamed and confounded.
Turn back in disgrace those who desire my ruin.
(The devil, and all those human negative emotions that tempt and control)
16Let those who say to me “Aha!” Be made desolate on account of their shame.
(My mind trying to tell me I am no good.)
17While those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.
May those who long for Your salvation always say, “The LORD is great.”
18Though I am afflicted and poor, my Lord keeps me in mind.
You are my help and deliverer; my God, do not delay!
ALWAYS AND FOREVER MORE—HE IS OUR HELP, OUR ROCK, AND OUR SALVATION!