Fighting with Addiction Science
Addictive disease both fascinates and horrifies me, as an addiction professional and as a human being. Poetry and philosophy I need for my soul because they uplift me. There was no satisfaction for me to teach high school English, so I found a new career, which by the grace of God I do enjoy. Over the years I have learned to wield the powerful teaching tool of addiction science to combat addiction, which I think of as an evil super villain.
I will speak to any group, anyone who will listen or needs to hear the message. People need to understand how addiction mercilessly hi-jacks human brains, especially those of teenagers. Without treatment it causes brain owners to die painful, lonely deaths–most of us are very aware of that. So I preach and teach compassion for persons with the disease. I admire the discoveries of brain science, which have been advanced by the study of addictive processes.
I highly recommend, When Society Becomes an Addict, by Anne Wilson Schaef. She exposes just how deeply addiction permeates American Society. Creating addictions which people initially enjoy, but sooner or later suffer from, appears to be very good for business. Far too many of our best and brightest have fallen prey.
Expertly marketed addiction traps are all around us now. These traps, in whatever form they arrive, have fooled us, but we shouldn’t be fooled any longer! The developers of the new, legal addictions don’t care who their products hurt, even kill. So it seems the best way to escape their oppressive clutches is for people to bring recovery into their lives, as a defense against the commercial onslaughts that launch out at us day and night.
To illustrate the real dangers that exist today for unsuspecting young people, I suggest you access an article that appeared in the Economist, “The Scientists Who Make Apps Addictive,” by Ian Leslie, published in the Oct/Nov 2016 issue. The scientists identified here are neuroscientists.
Introduction to Mercy, an Eternal Good
Theology is compatible with addiction science in this way: both fields of study involve Mercy. Theology is the study of God and God’s relation to the world. My favorite theologian is Dr. Scott Hahn, an astute scholar, yet a grounded, “regular guy,” whom I had the pleasure of meeting at a men’s conference in Milwaukee, where he was the keynote speaker. Dr. Hahn is a witty author who writes about heavy theological questions very light-handedly somehow.
His style belies the fact that he’s an expert in biblical and mystical theology. I’m enjoying reading his book, Lord, Have Mercy. God’s Mercy inspires me, but it’s not my addiction, even though this blog is called, “Addicted to Mercy.” Through this title I want to express that I’m passionate about God’s Mercy!
What is Divine Mercy? It is a spiritual force, which engages human beings when someone, anyone, without deserving it, is gifted with what they most need at the exact time they most need it. It’s a get-out-of-jail-free card, along with a love letter, because Divine Love is the source of it.
I hope you will someday know the pleasure and excitement I got from reading Divine Mercy in My Soul, the diary of Maria Faustina Kowalska. It’s all about her direct and repeated experiences with Divine Mercy, as revealed to her by God, for the sake of all of us.
St. Faustina is a very different sort of saint, because she did not feel saintly at all. In fact she struggled greatly with self-doubt. She was often downcast because of her sense of unworthiness of the part she was given to play by divine providence. However, she was in fact chosen to reveal Divine Mercy to the world. Her diary is about how that happened, back in Poland in the 1930s. You can read her diary online, by going to https://archive.org/stream/St.FaustinaKowalskaDiary/divine-mercy-in-my-soul_djvu.txt.
I believe that we as individuals and the world as a whole need a transfusion of Divine Mercy, which the saint writes is an “Ocean of Mercy,” unlimited and unfathomable. Why do we need a spiritual force of that magnitude? Because no matter how hard we try, we can’t be perfect. We fail, we sin, we get lost in the dark. The diary proclaims factually, through real events in Faustina’s life, that God’s Heart waits eagerly to rescue us from the Darkness. He will not force us to receive His Mercy, however. God is not a tyrant.
I will keep writing and talking about my greatest passion, Divine Mercy, and sending out warnings and cautions about this addictive society we have. Those mood- and mind-altering chemicals and activities that are traps set to catch us and our families, are in that group of lower or least worthy goods of life. Mercy and Recovery bring goods of the highest worth, which in turn bring joys and delights which do not harm.