How have we ended up here?
For anyone who may need an encouraging word as they or someone they know is battling a substance addiction…
Pardon the long quote.
“Benedict XVI is the first pontiff of the age of addiction – and he knows it. In almost all his speeches to young people he mentions illegal drugs: not just to condemn their use, but also to acknowledge their seductiveness.
During his visit to Britain, he told the youth of Scotland: “There are many temptations placed before you every day – drugs, money, sex, pornography, alcohol – that the world tells you will bring you happiness, yet these things are destructive and divisive.”
Note that the Pope lists drugs before all other addictions. This is deliberate. When making foreign trips he warns his young audiences about narcotics before listing other temptations. His anxiety about drug addiction has gone largely unnoticed by the media, but it crops up again and again. In Brazil in 2007, he visited a rehabilitation centre and praised the work of voluntary groups that rebuild lives drained of meaning by addictive substances.
This Pope does not often utter thunderous condemnations, but he makes an exception for drug dealers. “God will call you to account for your deeds,” he said this year in Mexico, in what amounted to a papal declaration of war on the country’s mighty cartels. Earlier, on the plane, he told journalists that it was the responsibility of the Church to “unmask the false promises, the lies, the fraud that is behind drugs”.”
” Pope Benedict often mentions pornography alongside other seductive dangers; he’s right to do so, but I wonder if he can begin to grasp the full devastating effect of hardcore videos on young people who, tragically, are beginning to model their first romantic encounters on the grotesque scenarios of digital erotica.
The epidemic of addictions is beginning to eat away at the neat distinction between addicts and non-addicts that we take for granted ….Pope Benedict is a prophetic figure in so many ways, and I believe he has worked this out. By offering the Gospel as an antidote to addiction he places it at heart of the disturbing changes that, as human beings with volatile appetites, we are too weak to resist through the exercise of solitary willpower.”
What a beautiful trait to have in a leader of all people; someone who understands the fall and consequent temptations facing humanity to indulge in hedonistic behavior… and who will be honest about their consequences on a person and their eternal fate.
May God grant grace to those struggling with addictions and place in their lives those who are able to help them when they realize they need it.
Viva il Papa!