Today the Catholic Church celebrates The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I believe the Holy Family has much to offer the addict trying to recover. They can offer us the hope of God’s promise to His people that He will never leave them nor abandon them. The Holy Family traveled hundreds of miles to deliver the Savior of the World. At first, they could not find a place, but God provided them a stable. Jesus was born in a stable, with no crib, surrounded by the outcasts of the world. Yet, God in His love and mercy provided for them in their need and protected them from harm in their flight to Egypt. I can relate to the Holy Family. After discovering I was an addict I struggled with finding a place where I could fit in. To stay sober I had to eliminate many things from my life, fleeing from people , places, and things that could trigger my acting out. I was even separated from my home and family for a time. I felt lost and abandoned like the Holy Family. God provided places for me to stay and get rest and get well. The first place He provided was the Church which I liken to the stable in Bethlehem, where Jesus lays, and His light shines upon me in the Sacraments, and the community of believers and outcasts that are present there to honor Jesus. The second place He provided me was sobriety support meetings which I liken to the flight to Egypt. This gave me a place I could run away from my triggers, and run to other men that could help me recover from my addiction. It was a church at home. These men in my support group became my extended family. In fact, for many men this may be the only family they have. But let us not forget, we have the Holy Family to run to for strength and protection in our need. They understand the trials and tribulations we go through as addicts, and they offer powerful intercession to Our Lord Jesus to help us when we are in trouble..
I would like to finish with a prayer from our late Saint Pope John Paul II:
“May the Virgin Mary, who is the Mother of the Church, also be the Mother of “the Church of the home.” Thanks to her motherly aid, may each Christian family really become a “little Church” in which the mystery of the Church of Christ is mirrored and given new life. May she, the Handmaid of the Lord, be an example of humble and generous acceptance of the will of God. May she, the Sorrowful Mother at the foot of the Cross, comfort the sufferings and dry the tears of those in distress because of the difficulties of their families.
“May Christ the Lord, the Universal King, the King of Families, be present in every Christian home as He was at Cana, bestowing light, joy, serenity and strength.” ~St. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO, #86