Thursday, April 22, 2021

Addiction as Attachment


                                                          (Maumee Bay State Park, Ohio)

Gerald May, in Addiction and Grace, says the French word for 'addiction' is attache. Attache has the sense of "being nailed to." In addiction, a human soul is nailed to a behavior that stops the flow of God's grace and love, and disallows us to freely love and worship God.

May writes,

"Saint Augustine once said that God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them. If our hands are full, they are full of the things to which we are addicted. And not only our hands, but also our hearts, minds, and attention are clogged with addiction. Our addictions fill up the spaces within us, spaces where grace might flow. 

It is most important to remember, however, that it is not the objects of our addictions that are to blame for filling up our hands and hearts; it is our clinging to these objects, grasping for them, becoming obsessed with them. In the words of John of the Cross, “It is not the things of this world that either occupy the soul or cause it harm, since they enter it not, but rather the will and desire for them.” This will and desire, this clinging and grasping, is attachment." (Pp. 17-18)