Alcohol poisons the spirit. A person begins to see alcohol as a conduit of the spirit, and jokes abound as to the wisdom discovered at the bottom of a bottle of tequila. Great insights into the mystique of human existence and divine wonders are often discerned, sensible sounding while under the influence, ridiculously absurd after a sobering up.
Although the physical debilitation of alcoholism is the last aspect of the illness, alcoholism itself can be considered to be primarily a disease of the flesh. The flesh (in Christian terms the “spirit of the World”) desires alcohol because it provides the satisfaction lacking from any other source . One has a “hole in the soul” that seems to be best filled by drinking. The flesh assumes the role of the spirit, and the painful descent further into the illness of alcoholism gets deeper.
The Solemnity of Pentecost is this weekend (26/27 May 2007) and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to all who seek them. Pray during Mass this weekend for the strength, the power and the courage of the Holy Spirit to bolster you against temptations of the flesh. Be they a desire to drink, or for inappropriate sexual behavior, or something else sinful, try to rely and lean upon the Holy Spirit in your times of struggle.
St. Paul writes of this in his letter to the Galatians:
…live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.
Living in the Spirit marks you as different. Not necessarily by any means discernible to others, but nevertheless your desires and motivations are different from those who live according to the World’s morality. You are not guided by a need to satisfy the craving for the pleasures of alcohol (or other cravings). You are liberated from the limitations of fleshly desires and the lies that abound concerning the wonders of those ways. Those lies only serve to destroy you. Lies about the fun of alcohol or the pleasures of porn and illicit sex. They all debase the human condition and mar the dignity of the human being. Shun those lies and turn to the Holy Spirit.
We humans are dignified creatures, made in the image and likeness of our Creator. We deserve better than behavior and thinking that impugns that dignity.
Come, Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium: et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
V. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.
Oremus. Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere; et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
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