About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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"Nothing should be allowed that is unworthy of divine worship, nothing that is obviously profane or unfit to express the inner, sacred power of prayer. Nothing odd or unusual is allowable, since such things, far from fostering devotion in the praying community, rather shock and upset it—and impede the proper and rightful cultivation of a devotion faithful to tradition."
— Pope Paul VI • 10/13/1966

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"Addiction" and Pain
published 14 March 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

The word “addiction” has expanded from drug problems all the way to “shopaholism,” and computer game “addictions.” My own favorites are co-dependency and workaholism. At first these words seem artificial, but by now we have in the dictionary a generic description of addiction as being any kind of compulsive out of control behavior patterns.

A key factor in observing the “addictions” of others is the phenomenon of denial. How can a hugely overweight person, for instance, be exhorting others to be “detached” in order to be more holy? But it soon becomes a vicious circle since the one who sits in judgment of the obsessions of others is her/himself compulsively exercising contempt instead of hopeful, forgiving, love.

What helps me in harsh judgments of others and myself is getting closer to the pain that underlies frantic attempts to escape into dead-end behavior. For instance, when I look for work in a frantic way at times where I should be relaxing in enjoyment of family and friends, am I trying to escape from the pain of the inevitable crosses of life? I need to think of the open arms of the crucified Jesus inviting others and myself to make even the smallest attempts to run to Him instead of to our favorite “addiction.” It is so moving to me when someone I think of as “in denial” has a grace-breakthrough to begin the process of liberation from some addiction – one finger at a time releasing its grip on the desired “goody.”

I have been reading the contemporary novels of Brian J. Gail. In “Motherless” a key moment is where Jesus says to the priest-hero “If you show me your thirst for Me, I can show you My thirst for them.” If I turn my thirst for my “addictions” into groaning prayers for help, He can show me also the thirst for Him underlying the addictions of others.

Dr. Ronda has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.