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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Addiction, Freedom and Power

"Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. But where and how were we to find this Power?"

"Well, that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem."

-- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 45 --
Couched in a Catholic theological perspective, the attached videos of controversial, ex-Catholic priest, Fr. John Corapi may not be for everyone. (Corapi recently resigned from the ministry, amid unproven allegations of sexual impropriety, as well as drug and alcohol addiction.) Yet, his message on addictions still delivers a poignant warning about the power of drugs, alcohol, gambling and other vices, particularly if there is any truth to the allegations made against him.

Pointing out that freedom, to be true freedom, must operate within the parameters of God, Fr. Corapi observes:
"Freedom is power. Freedom is the power to do not whatever I want to do, but to do what I ought to do. And what should I do? I ought to love God with my whole heart, mind, and strength. But you (have) to be a free person to do that."

"It takes a free man," Corapi observes, "a liberated person, to do what is right and just. You have to be free to love God. . . .You have to be free in order to act in accordance with right reason."
But, he adds, to earn this freedom, the addict must ask for help.

In this experientially-based talk on addiction, Fr. Corapi concludes by telling his audience: "I hope you never read in the newspapers that I ended up dead in a crack house. But," he adds, "don't you ever think that it can't happen."

As one of the many thousands who has been moved by Fr. Corapi's gritty and realistic sermons and lectures about the challenges to faith in our modern age, and the perils of the pleasures that seemed at first to be pearls, I sincerely hope that the allegations made against him are false. All too often, though, I know that a relapse back into addictive behavior is part of an individual's life journey, even after many, many years clean and sober. If this be the case, this does not diminish Fr. Corapi's message on addiction, but rather makes it the more poignant.

1 comment:

  1. ....this news does'nt upset me as much as it would have even 5 years ago..i could give so many examples of my disappointment with people 'of God'/christians..but the most disappointing is within the organized Church itself..for the past year i have studied and learned of Christian history throughout its inception and its so very shocking and disturbing..i suppose to some degree we are all hypocrites and any bar set is set too high..even for people near and dear as Thomas Merton or Father John Corapi the 'Ideal' is unattainable and to believe otherwise is to set ones self up for disappointment..