When life gets harder due to the many difficulties we have to face everyday, some of us may fail sometimes, abandoning ourselves to addictions, such as drug addiction or alcoholism. Many people are weak and when going through a difficult time, it is very easy to fail and make mistakes. Some people find temporal pleasure and comfort by drinking alcohol or taking drugs, because they seem to be the only things to let them feel better, like a sort of gateway from ordinary life. When we are dealing with addictions, however, it is very difficult to get out of the tunnel and sometimes the help of specialized nonprofit organizations and volunteers is not enough.
This is where faith comes into play. There are so many Christians who achieved ending up with addictions through their strong faith and devotions to the Saints.
Discover who you can pray to and help your loved ones to end up with addictions.
Venerable Matt Talbot: the story of the Patron Saint of alcoholics
Venerable Matt Talbot (1856-1925) is considered the Patron Saint of alcoholics and people who struggle with this dangerous addiction. He was born and grew up in the suburbs of Dublin (Ireland) in a really poor family. His father had severe problems with alcohol that made his family move from place to place. Due to this unordinary life, Matt did not attend formal school properly: in fact, he could not read or write until the age of twelve. Due to his extreme poverty, he started working at the age of sixteen as a delivery boy for a beer bottling company and on that occasion took his first drink. Since then, he used to spend all of his money on alcohol and not supporting his family, who remained desperately poor. He said he reached his lowest point when he and his brothers stole a fiddle from a bling street player to sell it for the price of a drink. It is a clear demonstration of how far people can get when they suffer from addictions, such as alcoholism.
Painting, depicting Matt Talbot
How faith can help you quit with alcohol: the example of Matt Talbot
When he was 28, one fateful Saturday afternoon, after many years of hard drinking, he found himself unemployed, with no drinks and with no friends who could help him. While coming back home, he experienced a moment of immeasurable grace. He had an epiphany: he realized he had been wasting all his life drinking, and for this reason he decided to quit it immediately.
On that day, he made his confession to a priest of Dublin who helped him to take the pledge to quit with alcohol for three months. But it was not so easy!
Imagine that at that time there were not any recovery programs or support groups. The only thing he had was a strong faith in God and his “special” recovery plan. He attended mass daily, expressed his devotion to the Eucharist, his love for the Blessed Mother and learnt to read to interpret and understand the Bible.
Faith helped him so much because he completely changed his behavior and lifestyle. After his conversion, he lived a life of extreme generosity in spirit and material goods.
He offered an example of austerity and charity for those he worked with, for those in his neighborhood and for his mother, Elizabeth, who never lost her faith and hope that her children and husband would have healed from alcoholism.
Thanks to his example of recovery, Elizabeth lived peacefully the last years of her life, after that her husband, who never converted to God, passed away.
What to do if your loved ones suffer from alcoholism
Love and comprehension are what people with addictions need the most. We need to be comprehensive and understand that it is not easy to give up drinking or taking drugs. Our body is weak, and sometimes our will is even weaker.
Matt Talbot used to say:
So always keep this in mind!
Faith can help you with everything in life, even giving up drinking. Be close to your loved ones who suffer from this kind of addictions and remember that God walks by our side. He never abandons His children. Nobody is alone in this world.
Prayer to help people who suffer from alcoholism
“Lord, you give us the example of Venerable Matt Talbot
as a man who seemed completely lost and beyond your grace.
In a single moment, you pierced his heart and changed his mind,
leading him back to you.
Jesus, I pray for this same conversion and transformation
for _________ in your perfect will and timing
and for your greater glory.