July 4, 2020 at 12:56 pm #2307Jace LeeParticipant
My brothers and sisters, May the peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost be with you all!
As a recovering drug addict and someone who is in the recovery stage at its earliest, I am often asked how I am finding victory over my addiction and maintaining a close walk with Christ. “How do you maintain?” Or “How can you project such victory over the power of your addiction?”
I have a very simple answer to those two questions: I focus my attention, my energy, my desires, and my time to the Healing of Our Lord BY His VICTORY on the Cross, and Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament: The Holy Eucharist. Our Saviour’s Eucharistic Promises of Healing and Salvation.
So in this blog post I will first give an explanation of the Eucharist and how this all ties into the merciful Healing Power of this Sacrament of Life Eternal.
How this most Blessed Sacrament can bring not only healing to your life, but also Grace Abundant and the desire for continual renewal with Christ, Mary, the Saints and the Church itself.
THE EUCHARIST EXPLAINED: THE LITURGY OF SACRIFICE
The celebration of the Holy Mass is the culmination of the Faith of the Catholic Church. Within the Opening Rite, we are called upon to come to Christ’s table with a spirit of humility and contrition, and we confess so: “I confess to Almighty God, Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and to you my brothers and sisters that I have sinned in my thoughts and my words. In what I have done and what I have failed to do. Therefore I beg Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin, all the Saints, and you my brothers and sisters to pray for me to the Lord our God.”1
This examination of conscience is a worthy way to approach the Lord’s Table with humility, being “…heartily sorry for these, our misdoings. The remembrance of them is grievous unto us, the burden of them is intolerable.”2
Then we ask the Lord to have mercy on us, followed by the hymn of glory.3 Having sung the prayer of the angels, we sit and open up our hearts and ears to the Word of God, the food for the mind. The Readings and the Holy Gospel. The entire foundation of the Eucharist is contained within the Holy Gospel and we are commanded by Christ to hear His Gospel- His good news and spread it throughout the word. (St. Matthew 28:19)
We confess our sins. We hear His Word. Then we offer ourselves, souls, and bodies to be a fitting sacrifice upon the altar, along with Christ Himself, as He was the Perfect Sacrifice and remedy of Original Sin by the merits of His Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection.
Upon this altar, we too can also offer unto Christ all of our troubles, worries, sadness and yes even our addictions themselves! These addictions that weigh us down and trouble our hearts we can lay upon the altar and offer them to Christ Himself and he will take them upon His VERY SELF as “…We have an Advocate with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the propitiation of our sins.” – St. John I 2:1-2 In this we are assured by the Holy Word of God.
ADDICTION THE DESTROYER, RECONCILIATION AND THE EUCHARIST AS RELIEF FOR THE ADDICT
The pathway of addiction is the pathway towards utter annihilation. We know this because of the characteristics of our physiological, psychological, and spiritual deficits we as addicts experience during the course of our substance abuse. Whether it is drugs, alcohol, food, pornography, etc., we all FEEL the effects of our use and abuse.
We know these feelings and symptoms well. We all know what drove us to that first use or ‘fix’, and in our hearts we cannot ever truly deceive ourselves. Never. Though we all at one point or another have tried to either justify our usage or make little compromises with ourselves that ‘moderation’ is OK, or that ‘just one more time’ won’t hurt. Again, we KNOW our hearts, and can never deceive ourselves truly at the core of our being. We know!
For me my substance abuse was prolific. My drugs of choice were marijuana, methamphetamine, and cocaine. I am one of those guys that always lived life by the ‘go big or go home yardstick. My drug use was no exception. I jumped head first into demise and destruction of he precious life that our Heavenly Father gave me.
What’s worse I could feel the separation from God happening in REAL TIME, it pained me in REAL TIME, and not only did I do nothing to stop it at the time, but I fell deeper into my addictions to numb the pain that the separation of holiness and Christian Virtue from my life. I know and remember how sad it was. I was wasting LIFE. It was a separation from all of my principles and faith. I was lost. Ask for HELP.
“O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me.”- Psalms 69:2
“In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped, let me never be put to confusion.” – Psalms 70:1
THE HEALING POWER OF THE EUCHARIST: STARTING THE CONVERSATION WITH CHRIST
Asking Our Lord Jesus for help is the opening verse in the whole communing with Christ thing. Unlike human to human conversations, where we say hello to one another and ask after their day, how their health is, or other things, when one is battling the adversity of addiction one must start the conversation with Christ by asking asking for help.
Is asking for help ever easy? No it is not, especially for me. Whenever I am lost in some strange part of town and I know I need to ask for directions I am so stubborn that I just bumble about lost until after a hilarious amount of time has passed that I eventually find my way.
Whenever one is walking with the adversity of their own addiction one is LOST TRULY and the ONLY ONE who can help give you DIRECTION is Christ Jesus. After all, He is “…the WAY, the TRUTH, and the Life.” – St. John 14:6
For me as a sinner and addicted Catholic, I knew that the WAY, TRUTH, AND LIFE could only be found in the Holy Eucharist and Christ Jesus’ REAL PRESENCE physically contained within this most spotless and worthy Sacrament. The pathway from destruction of addiction to the state of Grace and the Eucharist is the Sacrament of Penance. The beginning of the roadmap for the Catholic in recovery.
Reconciliation is literally the opening sentence of the book of healing for the soul for those who unburden themselves to the Lord through this Sacrament of Forgiveness will find themselves reborn into the state of grace and that their natural drive and inward instinct is to crave to be united with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
“Come unto Me all ye who travail and are heavy laden, and I shall give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – St. Matthew 11:28
WHAT IS THE HOLY EUCHARIST AND WHY DO I NEED IT???
In the Gospel of St. John, Our Saviour identified himself as the “bread which came down from Heaven.” -John 6:41. The person who receives the Eucharist is blessed with many graces.
• Maintains and increases intimate union with Christ. 4
• References the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. 5
• Removes venial sin and increases charity towards God and neighbour. 6
• Strengthens the recipient from grave sins. 7
• Decreases temporal punishment due to sin. 8
• Helps the recipient to avoid temptation and control temptation and control concupiscence.9
Christ the Divine and Good Physician has by means of the Holy Eucharist given us the perfect prescription for internal healing and for the spiritual healing and an always open line to His mercy and grace upon us.
The Holy Eucharist is that outward sign of inward grace that sustains and guides us. Each time the Bishop or priest repeats the words Christ spoke at that First Eucharist when He took the bread and the cup, “This is My Body…this is My blood of the covenant” (St. Matthew 26:27,28) the Words of Consecration at Holy Mass, the substance of the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.10
When receiving the Blessed Sacrament at Holy Communion we literally take into ourselves physically and spiritually the Humanity of Christ our Healer and the perfect and complete remedy against all sin and vice. Christ Himself becomes the Cure!
As Catholics in recovery we are diseased and in need of effective medicine with which to combat our illnesses and begin to heal our weary minds, bodies, and souls. For he is the perfect food that nourishes and feeds our minds, bodies, and souls with the knowledge of His Real Presence.
When we admit that we are not in control and can relinquish our hold and desire TO control our pathway and instead letting Christ be our guide and stay in this transitory life our decisions and drives begin to change as do our priorities as we more and more desire to kneel before Him and receive Him in the Holy Sacrament.
THE POWER OF THE EUCHARIST TO CHANGE OUR LIVES
How can the Holy Eucharist imbue all of these benefits unto all of humanity and be the most effective treatment for those who suffer under the heavy yoke of addictions? By Jesus’ nature as the expatiation of our sins God who is faithful and just offers Himself as Priest and Sacrifice to heal and unite our will with His will and prepares for us to stand before His Divine Majesty and offer Him our praise and worship.
Other than receiving Him in this Sacrament we as Catholics have two other means of Eucharistic healing: Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Perpetual Adoration. We Catholics are fortunate to have these two other means of communion with Christ Jesus as members of the whole Mystical Body of Christ.
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, a beautiful and brief service, allows us to be BLESSED WITH AND BY the Blessed Sacrament. The Sacred Host, being held in a Monstrance by the Priest, makes the sign of the Cross with it and Blesses us with the Sacred Host, and we have the opportunity to commune with Christ spiritually before His Awesome Presence and His immense graces imbued to us through the Eucharist.
Perpetual Adoration and Holy Hour is when we have the opportunity to stay within the continual presence of the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament. Also, this special time can be the perfect moment to nurture and develop a closer relationship with Our Mother Mary by praying the Rosary within her Son’s presence upon the Altar.
Our Blessed Virgin and Mother, I believe, BORE WITHIN HER WOMB THE VERY BLESSED SACRAMENT HIMSELF. By maintaining this close bond with Our Lady she continuously draws under her motherly cloak and gathers us unto her Son Jesus just as a mother gathers us in her arms as comforter, nurturer, and the bandager of all the little cuts and scrapes that trouble us on a daily basis.
I always feel the PEACE OF GOD whenever I am within the presence of the Tabernacle. The peace and quiet overcomes my soul whenever I am in the presence of The Holy Mysteries. I kneel and pray. Then the healing flow of the Holy Ghost and the Divine Trinity continues it’s important work within my spirit.
The healing from GUILT. The healing from broken faith. The healing of all the wrong and offences that I committed during the length of my addiction. And also of the despair and hopelessness and fear that my addiction will consume me fully to the point of no return and that my soul would become the property of the Adversary, Satan the tempter.
Just being in such close proximity to Jesus the Physician in any Catholic Church continues the spark that lights my way to continual desire and renewal to be in closer union with him within the miracle of this Holy Sacrament. The Eucharist drives one to the life of holiness because when is in frequent Communion with the Eucharist and is more and more within its holy light, its beacon of light lights our way along the highway of the Divine and striving to remain within the sight of the holy.
LET THE HOLY EUCHARIST WORK ON REPAIRING ALL THE DAMAGE THAT ADDICTION HAS CAUSED YOU. OPEN YOURSELF TO THE CALLING OF CHRIST JESUS AND HIS WIDE OPEN ARMS. LISTEN TO HIM IN YOUR HEARTS WHEN HE SAYS TO YOU, “Come to Me my children and I will refresh you!”
May the Peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts in the knowledge and love of God and His Son Jesus Christ. In the name of the Father +, and of the Son+, and of the Holy Ghost+. Amen.
04 July 2020
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