Guest House is blessed to have a full-time chaplain serving the spiritual needs of the priests, deacons, brothers, sisters, staff and leadership. Rev. George Hazler, IVD, joined the Guest House team in 2012, and he provides spiritual nourishment in our healing ministry.
The role of chaplain is ever-evolving, and many recurring programs and activities are led by the chaplain: weekly spirituality groups for both men and women, individual appointments on an as-requested basis, daily Mass, special programs for Holy Days. A wonderful resource to Fr. George when working with our women and men is a prayer book that we recently revised and reprinted, Prayers and Reflections For Persons Suffering From Addiction and For Their Loved Ones. Included in the book are prayers for each of the Twelve Steps as well as many other powerful prayers. The book is a tool and repose for those who use it.
Fr. George can lead a group to hear God’s voice, and this is necessary for our clients who are sometimes struggling to connect with God when they arrive at Guest House. His calm voice calls and comforts, “We need a quiet time of prayer and reflection. God is in the moment – in this moment. We need to be present to hear God speak. It is this moment that is most important because there is no other moment, it is this moment and what God is saying to us, right now.”
So very often we think we know what people need without even the courtesy of asking. Fr. George reminds us, “When the blind man approached Jesus, He asked him what He could do for him. For us it seems obvious, but Jesus was courteous in allowing the man to express his need. There may have been a less obvious but greater need for healing in the depths of this man’s soul.” It is in expressing our need that we own that need and thus have a modicum of control in our recovery.
The presence of a chaplain and spiritual guide is a vital piece of the program at Guest House. How often we struggle in search of Jesus in our lives. Maybe at times we try too hard when all the while Jesus is looking for us, and all we need to do is welcome Him into our lives wherever we are in the moment – and it will always be a moment of peace. Powerful words for reflection come from Rev. Bernie Owens, SJ, in his book More Than You Can Ever Imagine: On Our Becoming Divine: “God accomplishes in us aspects of our salvation that cannot be realized except through loss and giving God permission to act in us.”
Written by Guest House Staff Writer