Our modern lifestyle aggressively promotes all types of dependencies. All of us have known of cases of erratic behaviors due to excess in drinking, smoking and the like. The variety and extent of the toxic dependencies are surpassing what we would have never dreamt 50 years ago.
The word addiction is a new term which is not clearly defined. People are commonly said to be “addicted” to anything: coffee, tobacco, sex, but also football or hard rock. It will be good to put some order and limits to this nebulous magma.
Modern society has seen the resurgence and multiplication of psychologists and therapists who are submerged by the demands. However, society is suffering from the very excess which it has encouraged. There is a huge drive for getting rich quickly, forevermore having and consuming. All this feeds an ever-unsatisfied monster in us. With it, the most simple and pure joys and true happiness has vanished from daily life. And so, the door is open to all types of excess. Unfortunately, he finds easily the way to the pit but, once there, he is trapped, and few make it back to a life worthy of humans.
Ever since the hippy revolution of the 60’s, the natural order has been thrown out systematically. The plain notions of family, of duty and country are emptied out of meaning. Some zombified creatures are barely alive, in a day to day existence, without a past and no future.
This question of addiction does not seem at home in a religious magazine. It is a medical issue, to be treated by competent physicians and psychiatrists. Yet, the question is symptomatic of larger and deeper issues which threaten the very essence of humanity. To the point where we may ask ourselves whether man will still exist in a few decades or whether he will be supplanted by some less-than-human soulless monster.
Our duty is not to bury our head in the sand, but to open our eyes to the issue at stake and take what disposition we still control in order to protect those under our care as well as rescue the victims of this modern epidemic.
Fr. Jürgen Wegner