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Tag Archives: addiction

DO YOUR RECREATIONS THREATEN TO TAKE UP TOO MUCH OF YOUR TIME AND ENERGY?

ARE WE TO READ ONLY HOLY BOOKS?

“QUESTION:

I read a lot but much of it is ephemeral fiction. If I am to be a good Catholic should I stop this and only read Catholic books?

ANSWER:

Many of the saints show us an example of single-minded dedication to the work of the Lord, shunning any secular entertainments, and spiritual writers often warn us about wasting time on trivial pastimes. However, they also tell us that recreation is part of a balanced life. St Francis de Sales says:

‘There can be no doubt that it is a defect to be so rigorous, boorish and unsociable as not to be willing to take any recreation ourselves, or permit others to do so.’ Reading popular books, enjoying sports or hobbies, or engaging in other recreations, can help us to unwind, to be balanced in our life and outlook, and cultivate good relationships with others.

What St Francis de Sales and other writers do insist on is a proper balance in our activities. The holy bishop uses the example of playing chess for five or six hours, leaving us exhausted and weary in spirit. Today, highly sophisticated entertainments are available to us that are open to misuse or even act as a kind of addiction. Books are written to a formula that makes them ‘unputdownable’, computer games lure people to spend hours trying to complete a level and television programmes are designed to hook us so that we give too high a priority to catching the next episode.

In the language of St Francis de Sales, we should not set our affection on recreation ‘to such an extent that we long for them, occupy ourselves with them and become too eager about them’. In other words, recreations should serve us as part of a balanced life, not become our master. So with books there is no harm in reading fiction to relax, but we should also find time to read books that deepen our faith and spiritual life, and exercise self-control over how much of ourselves we give to any recreation that threatens to take over and use up too much of our time and energy.”
– This article entitled “Catholic Dilemmas” by Fr Tim Finigan was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue March 28 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

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THE LIVING GOD SAVES, SETS FREE, AND WORKS SIGNS AND WONDERS (Dn 6:28)

The living God saves, sets free, and works signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth (cf Dn 6:28).

Through the intercession of all the saints who have sought refuge in God in time of trouble, let us pray:

R. Listen to our cry!

You delivered your people from slavery in Egypt:
– deliver all those in bondage to sin and oppression. (R.)

You delivered your people from exile in Babylon:
– deliver all those who endure or fear the loss of homes and livelihood. (R.)

You delivered the world from sin and death:
– deliver all those whose minds and hearts are wrapped in the darkness of fear and anxiety over the burdens they must bear. (R.)

(Personal intentions)

Our Father…

Lord our God, our rock, our fortress, our deliverer, you brought life from death through the mystery of the cross. Deliver your people in time of suffering and need, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 
 

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“WHEN HE HEARD THIS, MY FRIEND STARTED TO CRY BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT IT WAS OUR LADY WHO HAD LED HIM BACK TO HER SON JESUS”

HE STOPPED AND LOOKED AT MARY AND SAID TO HER, ‘ARE YOU REAL? BECAUSE IF YOU ARE I NEED YOU BECAUSE I’M DYING HERE!’

“… One friend of mine was leading a self-destructive lifestyle, he hated himself for something he had done in the past and he couldn’t forgive himself.

So for a number of years he drank heavily and took drugs. One night he stayed at his mum’s house and at the top of the stairs she had a picture of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

As he was passing it, he stopped and looked at Mary and because of the despair he was feeling he said to her, ‘Are you real? Because if you are I need you because I am dying here!’ and nothing happened so he went to bed.

NO CALL TO MARY EVER GOES UNHEARD; SOONER OR LATER SOMETHING SHE OBTAINED WILL DEFINITELY HAPPEN

A VERY UNPLEASANT SHOCK

The next morning he awoke to the sound of the Hoover going downstairs in the living room. Now it was a Sunday morning and his mum would never normally clean on a Sunday.

Then he remembered that he had hidden his stash of drugs underneath the settee in that room and he knew she had found them. The rest of that day he was in fear of the confrontation that he was sure would arise because of this discovery.

Later that day his dad came up to him and asked him to come outside. Then he held out his hands towards his son. In one hand were the drugs his mum had found and the other hand was empty.

Then his dad said to him, ‘Today I’m giving you a choice, you can take your drugs and you can leave this home because we will not watch you destroy yourself any longer, or you can take the hand of the family that loves you and you can change your life and be our son again.’

That day, he decided he wanted to change and not long afterwards the love of God touched his life in a deep way and he committed himself to live for the Lord.

HE COMMITTED HIMSELF TO LIVE FOR THE LORD

A few years later he was asked to give a talk on Our Lady at his local parish and he decided to use the picture of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from his mum’s house. When he took it down off the wall he was surprised to find the names of all his brothers and sisters written on the back with his own name written at the very bottom.

So he went to his mum and asked why his name was written on the back of the picture of Mary? She replied, “When you were in your wildest times and I was worried sick about you and I couldn’t even sleep at night, I went on a retreat and the priest said, ‘If you are worried about your children, consecrate them to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and she will look after them because she loves them even more than you do.’

When he heard this, my friend started to cry because he knew that it was Our Lady who had led him back to her son Jesus!

St Pio always used to say, ‘Pray, hope and don’t worry.’ I think that is very good advice, because there is always some situation that will worry us and rob us of our peace if we allow it to.”
Pray, hope and don’t worry!
– This is an excerpt of an article by John Pridmore which was published in “The Pilgrim” issue October 2013. More about the Archdiocese of Southwark including vocation information at http://www.rcsouthwark.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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PRAYER FOR SOMEONE TO BE FREED OF AN ADDICTION

God of mercy,
we bless you in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who ministered to all who came to him. Give your strength to (name the person), one of your children, 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, strengthen them in the work of recovery, and help them to resist all temptation.

To those who care for them, grant patience and understanding and a love that perseveres. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 
 

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