By Jack:

 

You can’t do recovery alone.  I have never heard of a program that says, don’t talk to anyone.  Don’t tell anyone about your journey.  I think most people accept this.  However, many people think when we go on a journey to find God we should strike out on our own.  This is clearly not how Jesus worked it.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.  Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Luke 10; 1-3. 

Jesus didn’t do it alone and He sent his followers out in twos.  One reason for this is we all need someone to help us carry the hardships of our journey.  We all need someone to share our struggles.  We will face many enemies on our journey that we cannot fight alone.  There are many places to find brothers for your journey.  But what you share at each place may be a bit different.  A good place to start is with a men’s small group or Bible study.  You could find a group that meets in person or online.  You probably would not be comfortable sharing the specifics of your struggles there but that is where groups like this can be invaluable.  All the men here have similar struggles.  No one will judge you because of the uniqueness of this addiction. You can share your struggles, your success, or you can just share your thoughts.  Besides helping yourself, you will be helping others who have never heard a friend talk about this addiction.  I know at times we are reluctant to share our inner thoughts but getting them out will help you on your path to healing.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10

Sometimes we can get down on ourselves and lose our desire to continue.  That is when we all need hope and encouragement.  Mother Theresa said, “You are more than the worst thing you have ever done.”  But sometimes that is how we want to judge ourselves.  That’s maybe when we need fellowship the most.  Whether it be an accountability partner or a small group, Jesus calls us to a fraternity on our journey to holiness.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 

God calls us to help our brothers when they are down and need support.  Some people feel that they don’t need support once they think their addiction is behind them.  However, these people have a special call from God to help others who struggle.

He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4

God doesn’t heal people just to heal them.  He heals them to bring the gift of healing and the gift of His word to others.  We are called by God to help our struggling brothers and are rewarded for these actions according to James.  Being able to help a brother in need is a privilege given from God.  Sometimes it can be hard to share our faith with those we know who may have different beliefs.  Just be yourself.  Just talk about what you do.  If someone asks you what you did this weekend, tell them you went to mass.  If someone asks what you did last night, tell them you went to your Bible study.  If a friend is in need, simply say you will pray for them.  One of my friends told me about someone they knew who had just had a miscarriage.  I asked the person’s name and said I would pray for them.  My friend said they thought that was a good idea and they wanted to do the same.  The next day my friend told me they had gone to a church to pray for their friend.  It was the first time they had set foot in a church in eight years.  While they were there the pastor approached them and prayed with them.  They have been going to that church on Sundays and even are volunteering at the food pantry at the church.  We don’t need to do something big.  God can use something small to help someone in need. Augustine of Hippo says, “The greatest gift God can give a person is to allow him to help in the salvation of another soul.”

My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20

Share with your brothers at church.  Share with your brothers at work. Share with anyone you meet but especially share with your brothers here who have been drawn into a darkness few know or understand.   Francis of Assisi says,” Preach the Gospel always and if necessary, use words.”  Fulton Sheen says the best way to make it to heaven is to take someone with you.  God calls us to a fraternity with our brothers in Christ, this is not optional, this is about spreading God’s love to a world on fire.

 

Written by Jack