The ARM of St. Michael
There is a fear for those in recovery that if the past is forgotten it may repeat itself. Freedom from lust could seem to depend on the success to retain a history of one's weakness. Yet, this can also create risk of being trapped in fixation on the illness of addiction itself.
God's constant help and protection is the hope of all sinners and addicts. Alternately, God wants His children to put everything in His hands, even memory; to walk in the safety of His eternal love. What truly blesses is, not the labor to remember the awful past and its bitter shadows over and over. What blesses is something simpler: remembering God. It is relying on Him who is more than higher power, lifting up our souls, and asking the help of the God that delivers the sinner from obsession. It is to be a child who, instead of repressing memory, seeks the hand of a Father who knows the way.
For an addict, the telling and forgiving of weaknesses and failures, in the sacrament of reconciliation, as instituted on Easter Night, brings the purifying power of Christ. A sinner does not so much 'let go' to a priest, but to Jesus Himself, to the God of mercy, Who is present in the priest, His mediator.
The sacrament of penance confers upon the penitent the grace of strength not known before, to overcome the very weakness confessed. Reconciliation pours into the soul, power, toward attaining mastery over all fixations and distorted choices, a mastery made possible only by the grace of the Divine Lamb. This is an altogether different order of confession than those spoken in a support group or to a therapist.
Releasing the uncleanness of an addict's memory, so that the memory of sin can no longer torment, nor even be called to mind again, is a freedom beyond imagining. We can ask our Savior to cover our memory with his blood, to grant the grace of forgetfulness toward those things that could be poisonously called to mind again. Nothing is impossible for God.
The blood of Jesus Christ washes away the stain of sin, which is a stain of soul and memory. It is in daily Mass that Jesus holds out to those with faith His sacrament of Holy Communion, the remedy of those who love God, for washing away the vestiges of sin, the stains of lust, healing our wounds. Jesus is abhorant of sin, hateful of lust and we become like Him received in the sacrament. Receiving Jesus fills the mind, body and soul of faith with love, with Himself, Who is purity and chastity.
Love begins to manifest, in service to others, 'covering a multitude of sins', which also cleanses memory and soul. God Who is Love, light and goodness helps us to see how to replace everything old, dark and broken also by each act of selfless giving. It all begins in God's healing and perfecting substance in Christ's sacraments! Come! Receive! Believe!
Thank You, Praise You, Bless You Lord Jesus, Bread of Heaven, food for men. Lead us to receive you with faith and to let your virtue and glory unfold within us. Amen.