Sunday, July 31, 2011

Recovering from Lust, the “Matt Talbot Way”

Posted on 07/16/2011

”Been reading a book recently, and I thought I'd share. It's called To Slake A Thirst: The Matt Talbot Way to Sobriety by Philip Maynard. It's written for alcoholics, but like so much, if you just replace every instance of "drink" with "lust" it makes perfect sense. It proposes a new way of overcoming addiction, based on the example of Irishman Matt Talbot. The book is especially pertinent to Catholics, but is written so that all Christians can profit by it.

The essentials of the book are that all addicts have the willpower to overcome their addiction; they simply do not have the motivation. When they want their fix, there is nothing else in life that is more important. So, the solution is to make something, or rather someone, more important. The book focuses relentlessly on prayers said throughout the day, at waking, internally while going about one's life, in community, etc., focusing exclusively on fostering love of Christ.

You do not pray to be relived of the addiction, you pray only and constantly to be brought closer to Christ. In doing so, you create a bond of love so real, palpable, and permanent, that it simply eclipses the other loves you have within you, for drink or sex or anything else. The desire for those things remains, but your love of Christ becomes so strong that you eagerly give them up for love of him. In fact, your painful addiction becomes a kind of joy, because you can offer up the pain of giving up those things to Christ as a gift, which only further increases your love of Him.

The book is straightforward, insightful, and moving, and I really recommend it (I'm sure it's on amazon). It's an excellent alternative to the mindset and methodology of 12-step programs, because it looks at the solution to addiction from a very Christian perspective, and truly proposes a path of heroic virtue and sacrifice as the proper path, which is much more appealing than the 12 steps, to me. It proposes that through Christ, lust can actually be conquered, instead of just repressed from day to day, as in 12 steps. Seriously, look it up.”