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Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions Paperback – January 9, 2007
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From the Publisher
Explores the psychology and physiology of addiction from the perspective of contemplative spirituality, describing the relationship between addiction and spiritual awareness. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Gerald G. May, M.D. (1940-2005), practiced medicine and psychiatry for twenty-five years before becoming a senior fellow in contemplative theology and psychology at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Bethesda, Maryland. He was the author of many books and articles blending spirituality and psychology, including Addiction and Grace, Care of Mind/Care of Spirit, Will and Spirit, and The Dark Night of the Soul.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a medical doctor, he shows that addictions are not just a mental challenge that must be surmounted. There are physical, neurological and spiritual components that enter into the whole mix.
I initially bought this book in the late eighties to try to better understand the problem of alcoholism in my family. I have to say, I got what I wanted. I also got to take a better look at myself and what makes me tick.
Each reading of this is very new. However, it is also a great reference book to keep handy to help others in need. I have used it hundreds of times in this manner.
I have likened it many times to The Confessions of St. Augustine and his speaking of his own addictions. To paraphrase him, he said addictions are a perversion of any of our passions, which then get out of hand: we go from an evil, to a habit, to a compulsion and then to a necessity. At one point, he calls it the "Law of Sin," which he gets from Saint Paul's Letters to the Romans (and Galatians). He gives a great definition too! He says, "the law of sin is the fierce force of habit, by which the mind is drawn and held even against its will, and yet deservedly because it had fallen willfully into the habit" (Book 8, 5 in the Frank Sheed translation shown above).
Like Augustine, like any 12-step program, Dr. May shows that there is a dimension in recovery that is beyond ourselves. Augustine saw it as Christ, the "... Anonymous" programs see it as a Higher Power, Dr. May calls it "Grace." Because of this dimension, this is not only a helpful, but also a good spiritual read that can benefit almost anyone.
I've liked the hardcover, because it serves one well over the years. It's not a bad idea to keep a few used paperback copies around to give away. They're cheap enough! I've given away dozens of copies along the way, and will probably continue to do so.
In some cases he trivializes addiction. It is not bad when it comes to the grace part. I am stating these things because I am a real
recovered addict. To say if a person can quit cold turkey they are not really addicted to whatever, is not true. A person can quit cold turkey but they
may be very miserable. I may give this book to someone but would not recommend they buy it.