Today we pray Day 6 of our Novena to Matt Talbot for Alcoholics. Like yesterday we begin with:
PRAYER FOR THE ADDICTED
God of mercy, we bless You in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who ministered to all who come to Him. Give Your strength to N., Your servant, bound by the chains of addiction. Enfold him/her in Your love and restore him/her to the freedom of God’s children. Lord, look with compassion on all those who have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of Your unfailing mercy, and strengthen them in the work of recovery. To those who care for them, grant patient understanding and a love that perseveres. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sometimes after we have been sober for a while we may lose some empathy for those who are still suffering. Empathy is feeling what others feel.
In the “Prayer for the Addicted” there is a line about granting “patient understanding” to those who care for the addicted. This can also apply to the rest of us who, while not caregiving for an addict, are somehow involved in their lives.
We were once there. We should remember as best we can what it was like to still be trapped in our addiction. “Moving on” should not mean “leaving behind.” Empathy and having a patient understanding towards those still suffering connects us with them and may help them connect with us, thus drawing them out of their entrapment.
How many times in Twelve Step meetings or elsewhere has someone told you “I want what you have” in reference to your sobriety and serenity? We share what we have with others to help them achieve what we have.
Our patient understanding is an act of kindness and compassion. It helps to heal us of our past because we derive the strength for our patience from our own past sufferings.
We conclude the daily novena with:
Official Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Matt Talbot
“Lord, in your servant, Matt Talbot you have given us a wonderful example of triumph over addiction, of devotion to duty, and of lifelong reverence of the Holy Sacrament. May his life of prayer and penance give us courage to take up our crosses and follow in the footsteps of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Father, if it be your will that your beloved servant should be glorified by your Church, make known by your heavenly favours the power he enjoys in your sight. We ask this through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
The source of these prayers is Circle of Prayer – Matt Talbot Intercedes for Alcoholics .