Thursday, October 23, 2014

Inspiration and Hope with Venerable Matt Talbot

Fr. Tom Ryan, PP, who is responsible for the hugely successful Matt Talbot Novenas and author of Comfort my people: prayers and reflections inspired by the Venerable Matt Talbot ( prepared the following remarks for the 2014 novena, which is currently in process. (More information is available at the link below.)
Inspiration and hope with Matt Talbot
Fr Tom Ryan
23 September 2014

“For nine Tuesdays in the months of October and November starting on Tuesday next, 30th September, people will gather each week at the Shrine of Matt Talbot in St. John & Paul Church, Shannon, to pray and intercede for people suffering or sharing in the life of addictions.

Matt Talbot was born in Dublin in 1856 and died suddenly in 1925, experienced at first hand the pain and suffering of addiction.
    Matt worked and prayed and fasted for the gift of temperance. He had experienced at first hand, in his own body, the havoc and the ravage wrought by his drinking alcohol to excess.
    He had felt the horrors of hangovers and saw its effects on his work and on his relationship with his friends and with his family. In fact, he saw that he was slowly but surely destroying himself.
    Somehow or other, by the grace of a good and generous God, he got the strength to give it all up and to go sober.
    He began to see that our hunger and thirst for food and drink is something good – given to us by a good and generous God, to encourage us to eat and drink to keep ourselves alive and strong and well. But he saw also that it was something to be used in moderation.
    One of the things we need, at all times, is a proper approach to the use of food and drink and the sexual power, given to us by God to bring new life into the world.
    There is a right way and a wrong way of using his gifts. There is a temperate way and an intemperate way. The temperate way is the better way.  The intemperate way is the way that leads to disaster, but people don’t see it like that unfortunately. The temperate way is possible.
    Matt Talbot is an outstanding example of prayer and conversion.  The Matt Talbot Novena, now in its 22nd year in Shannon, is our annual opportunity to support by prayer and reflection all suffering or sharing in the life of addictions.
    Matt Talbot has shown that it is possible to change; the power of prayer should never be underestimated.”