From the Gospel according to Luke, from today’s Mass (Friday after Epiphany)
Now there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately.
Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”
The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.
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The man was instantly healed of leprosy. Would that our addiction of alcoholism be lifted immediately as well. No pain, no suffering (ours or anyone else’s) no loss of family, jobs, years and so on. No need to rebuild everything from the start in your 30’s or 40’s or 50’s and wonder if it’s too late. (Although people in recovery invariably enjoy that aspect of it, once there’s been a sustained period of sobriety. The idea of a fresh start is wonderful. Still, there may be a lingering feeling of “Why me?”, especially when you dwell to long on regrets.)
Anyway, such is not our doing. We cannot linger in the time-wasting exercise of regret, nor the “Why me?” attitude towards our alcoholism and addiction.
We can, however, approach Jesus and ask for our healing and humbly wait for as long as it takes. Things are done in God’s time, and the process of healing may take as long as it does for our own benefit. We learn from it. Alcoholics and addicts are people who routinely want what we want, and we want it now. And when we get what we want, we sometimes forget what it was like before we got it. Our want was satiated, our lacking was satisfied and then we’re on to the next want. Nothing is learned.
People who are sincerely trying to recover from alcoholism and addiction through a spiritual method such as religion or a Twelve Step movement understand that things useful are earned and merited, not given.
Ask God in your prayer time not “Why me?”, but rather, “What are You trying to teach me in all this? What am I supposed to do with this? How is this bringing me closer to You and to others?”
Then wait silently and listen, the answer may come soon.
"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"