Seized with mortal anguish

In the First Reading from the Daily Mass for the Thursday of the First Week of Lent, Queen Esther was gripped with mortal anxiety over the impending genocide of the Hebrew nation. She prayed to God.

Esther C: 12,14-16,23-25: “Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
from morning until evening, and said:
‘God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.

As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

‘And now, come to help me, an orphan.
Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies;
turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness.’

(Via USCCB.)

The idea of being “seized with mortal anguish” is familiar to any alcoholic and addict. When we’ve “hit bottom” and have lost important things and wonder if losing our life is next, or during sobriety when we’ve received several shocks to our lives and that sobriety is threatened, “aloneness” grips us and we feel there is no one out there, perhaps not even God, who cares.

Esther was in that position, but she remembered the religion of her youth and what it taught her. She had recourse to the Lord and sought His help.

Within the excerpt from today’s Mass reading, I emboldened a few phrases. From these we can construct a prayer for alcoholics and addicts who have hit bottom, or are going through severely trying times:

O Lord, my soul is seized with mortal fear,
I have recourse only to you.

Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.

Take my mourning and turn it into gladness
and my sorrows into wholeness.’

Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

2 Comments

  1. Paul,Thanks stumbled upon your site looking for Novena’s for alcoholics.I am the spouse of an alcoholic as I recently came to realize and am finding that so much of the fear and pain is not much different for the spouse only we recognize it as the alcoholic still drinking and in denial cannot yet. I have been drawn to God and prayer over the last few weeks in a way I never imagined. Thank you for the resource you have given me and I wish you God’s blessings in your journey

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