“Some people brought a paralytic to Jesus to be healed. Seeing how much faith they had, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven.’ At once the man was healed.” Mark 2:5
What one of us, when in the throes of our alcoholic addiction, reached the dire point of wanting to be healed? How did we act? The following true story, not unlike many of our own stories, was given to me from a fellow Jesuit, Fr. Mark Link, S.J.
Harold Hughes described himself as “a drunk, a liar, and a cheat.” He was so convinced he’d never change that he decided to end it all. At the last moment, however, he remembered enough from the Bible to realize that to take one’s life is wrong. So he knelt down sobbing and explained to God why he was going to end it all. Suddenly, something happened that he never experienced before in his life.
He wrote later: “God was reaching down and touching me. Like a stricken child lost in a storm, I suddenly stumbled into the warm hands of my Father. Joy filled me, so intense it seemed to burst my breast.” Ten years later, Harold Hughes was elected governor of Iowa.
When did I, perhaps feel God “touching me?” Today would be a good day to reflect on this and give thanks to God for saving me. As we know, many alcoholics take their own life while others continue drinking, ensuring a slow suicide.
These thoughts offered by Brother Richard Hittle, S.J., a grateful 1980 graduate of Guest House and an employee since 2004.