Addiction to Alcohol or any other substance is a disease. Recovering from it and getting yourself back to sobriety is a difficult journey.
It is well known that addiction is relentless and formidable. It can besiege individuals, testing their resilience. In the face of such struggles, one can seek help from support groups, professionals, and, of course, spiritual guidance. The importance of faith, prayer, and guidance from revered figures in the spiritual realm holds profound significance that can not be overlooked.
A simple prayer is enough to call upon God for His divine help. However, the catholic school of thought has a more precise method of prayer known as the Novena. The novenas are often said for a particular intention or to seek the arbitration of a particular saint or deity.
What Is A Novena?
A novena is a traditional form of worship that involves nine consecutive days of prayers. The term “novena” comes from the Latin word “novem,” meaning nine.
Novena prayers can vary in structure and content but typically involve a specific prayer or set of prayers that are repeated over nine days. These prayers might be directed towards a saint, the Blessed Virgin Mary, or even the Holy Trinity. It aims to seek their intercession for specific needs or intentions.
Devotees often use novenas for various purposes, including seeking guidance, healing, or strength. The prayers are repeated each day, emphasizing the consistency and perseverance in seeking divine assistance. One such purpose of saying the Novena is seeking recovery from addiction.
Novenas For Alcohol Addiction
Several novenas exist within the Catholic tradition that are specifically dedicated to seeking intercession and support for those struggling with alcohol addiction.
Some of these novenas include:
- Novena to Venerable Matt Talbot: This novena is dedicated to Venerable Matt Talbot. He lived a life of penance and overcame alcohol addiction. It includes prayers for those suffering from addiction and seeking healing and strength.
- Novena to St. Monica: St. Monica is known for her fervent prayers for her son, St. Augustine. Her son struggled with various vices, including alcohol addiction. The novena asks for her intercession in supporting those battling addiction like her son.
- Novena to St. Maximilian Kolbe: Although not specifically an alcoholism novena, St. Maximilian Kolbe is often invoked for various addictions and struggles. His intercession is sought for those battling substance abuse.
- Novena to St. Jude Thaddeus: St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless cases and desperate situations. His intercession is often sought by those struggling with addictions, including alcoholism.
- Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes: While not exclusively for alcoholism, this novena seeks the intercession of the Blessed Mother for healing. It is especially for those dealing with physical and spiritual afflictions.
- Novena to St. Rita of Cascia: St. Rita is known for her intercession in impossible or desperate situations. Her novena is often prayed by those seeking support for loved ones struggling with addiction.
Of these, the most frequently recited is the Novena to Matt Talbot. Let’s explore that in a little bit more detail.
The Novena to Matt Talbot for Alcoholics
The Novena to Matt Talbot stands as a beacon of hope and solace for those grappling with the challenges of alcohol addiction. It is sought in the face of desperation by those who find it difficult to find the path to recovery.
The Legacy of Matt Talbot:
Matt Talbot, although not yet officially canonized, was pronounced “Venerable” by the Catholic Church in 1975. It is said that if he were officially canonized, he would be considered the patron saint of alcoholics.
Talbot was born in 1856. Shortly after, at the age of 12, he began to drink alcohol. By the age of 16, due to excessive drinking of alcohol, Matt was an addict. This addiction of alcoholism reached an extent where he would sell or pawn his belongings in exchange for alcohol.
At 28, Matt Talbot was penniless and miserable. Thus, he took a pledge of sobriety and dedicated himself as a slave of the Lord and Mary. He took part in charitable works and reading of the scripture to spend his time. Eventually, he beat his addiction and came out of it as a better human and Christian.
His remarkable story is a testament to the strength of the human spirit in overcoming addiction. Talbot’s life was one of immense devotion, marked by a commitment to prayer, penance, and an unwavering reverence for the Holy Sacrament. Making him a role model for addicts everywhere.
The Novena to Matt Talbot for Alcoholics:
This novena begins with a heartfelt Prayer for the Addicted, asking for God’s mercy for those entangled in the shackles of addiction. It serves as a guiding light for individuals struggling with addiction. The prayer extends to encompass those caring for individuals struggling with addiction, requesting patient understanding and enduring love.
Here’s a breakdown of the Novena prayer to Matt Talbot. It can be said by the person dealing with addiction or someone close to them.
Prayer for the Addicted: The initial prayer seeks God’s guidance and strength for the person struggling with addiction. It calls upon His assistance and power of healing for the individual’s recovery.
The following prayer is what you begin with and continue for nine days:
God of mercy, we bless You in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who ministered to all who came to Him.
Give Your strength to (name of the person dealing with addiction), Your servant, bound by the chains of addiction.
Enfold him/her in Your love and restore him/her to the freedom of God’s children.
Lord, look with compassion on all those who have lost their health and freedom.
Restore to them the assurance of Your unfailing mercy, and strengthen them in the work of recovery.
To those who care for them, grant patient understanding and a love that perseveres.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Days 2 to 8:
These days involve personal reflection and prayers for someone in your life who is struggling with addiction. It is believed that praying for others helps us in our own lives as well. The novena encourages praying for the person’s strength, faith, and endurance, whether they’re amid their addiction or going through a challenging period in their journey to sobriety.
If you’re struggling with alcohol or drug addiction yourself, you can pray for yourself, too.
This day is dedicated to the Official Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Matt Talbot. It acknowledges the exemplary life of Venerable Matt Talbot, seeking his powerful intercession for strength, courage, and devotion in following the path of Jesus Christ.
This prayer goes like this:
O Lord, in your servant, Matt Talbot,
You have given us a wonderful example of triumph over addiction, of devotion to duty, and of lifelong reverence of the Holy Sacrament.
May his life of prayer and penance give us the courage to take up our crosses and follow in the footsteps of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Father, if it be Your will that Your beloved servant should be glorified by Your Church, make known by Your heavenly favors the power he enjoys in Your sight.
We ask this through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
After this, pray for whatever you want. (It can be your needs, relief from struggles, or anything else).
Once you have talked about your needs, say each of these things once:
- Our Father…
- Hail Mary…
- Glory Be…
Then, finally, conclude the prayer with the same three phrases:
- Venerable Matt Talbot,
- Pray for us.
- Venerable Matt Talbot,
- Pray for us.
- Venerable Matt Talbot,
- Pray for us.
This completes the Novena to Matt Talbot.
Other Prayers for Addiction Recovery:
Alongside the Novena to Matt Talbot and other novenas mentioned, numerous prayers exist for those seeking liberation from addiction. If following through with nine days seems daunting, you opt for these short prayers instead. You can say them as often as you can.
Some of these powerful prayers are:
- Serenity Prayer:
“Dear God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” — Reinhold Niebuhr.
- Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel:
“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. Help us overcome our struggles and grant us strength to resist temptation.”— Catholic prayer.
- Prayer to St. Jude Thaddeus:
“St. Jude, patron of those in despair, I ask for your intercession in my time of need. Help me find hope and healing as I face my struggles with addiction.”
- Prayer to St. Maximilian Kolbe:
“St. Maximilian Kolbe, guide us in our fight against addiction. Help us conquer our weaknesses and lead us to the path of recovery and freedom.”
- Prayer to St. Rita of Cascia:
“St. Rita, advocate for impossible causes, intercede for us as we battle our addictions. Grant us the strength and courage to overcome our weaknesses.”
- The Prayer of the Addicted:
“God of mercy, grant me the strength to overcome my addiction. Help me embrace healing and restore me to a life of freedom. I seek Your guidance and grace in my journey to recovery.”(General supplication for strength)
These prayers seek divine intervention, guidance, and strength, acknowledging the omnipotent force of faith in hard times. Whether it’s prayers to St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless cases, or the Serenity Prayer’s plea for peace and acceptance, each serves as a beacon of hope and fortitude.
Dealing with addiction has no set book of rules. While some prefer the expertise of medical science, others seek divine help in the face of their struggles.
The Novena to Matt Talbot and other prayers for addiction stand to offer solace, guidance, and hope. It renews an unwavering belief in the power of divine intercession. The journey to recovery, often fraught with challenges, is aided by the steadfastness of prayer, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Through these rituals, individuals are known to find strength, courage, and the belief that healing and freedom from addiction are attainable.