Lenny and Denny and the Curse of Addiction!

Lenny the lion was caged in a zoo. He spent the rest of his life roaring as lions do, and pacing back and forth in his cramped quarters without any hope of being set free. Lenny is caged because he has an addiction. He is a dangerous wild animal, is unpredictable, and is a meat eater. He therefore cannot be trusted to be with human beings so that they will be perfectly safe in his company.
However, Lenny's addiction is not of his own fault as it is, so to speak, "The nature of the beast".
Lenny's cage has a door with which to pass in or to pass out. Unfortunately for Lenny, that door has a lock on it and Lenny has no key. Because of his addiction, the zoo keeper has charge of the "key".

Lanny however, another lion, spent his life performing in the circus. Unlike the caged Lenny, Lanny was free simply because he had kept his addiction under control under the 'direction of his trainer' (teacher), who also has a 'key'.

This little story parallels those persons who are confined by an addiction of one kind or another. I have no need to list the various kinds of addiction, for I am sure we are all familiar with them. Being addicted means being caged in such confinement as Lenny, with no key, and with no hope of being set free purely by self help. But then, Lenny too could be set free with the help of his keeper who has the 'key'.

The human person addict (let us call him Denny), is addicted not because it is 'the nature of the beast', but because his addictive nature (habit) was acquired through his own free will.

Throughout Holy Scripture, GOD and His antithesis, Satan (or the devil), are both competing for our souls. GOD is constantly knocking at our door:
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."
Revelation 3:20
GOD is calling us to Himself and to eternal salvation.

Satan, however, not unlike Lenny the roaring lion is:
"...Your adversary the devil (who) prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour."
1Peter 5:8
Satan is calling us to himself and to eternal damnation.
Addiction is the price we pay when we have responded to the call of Satan.

Those who are trapped in the "cage of addiction" cannot free themselves but they can call upon their "keeper, trainer, teacher" for the 'key' to free them.
Who has the 'key'?

Let us turn to Holy Scripture for the answer:

"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the 'keys' of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Matthew 16:18-19
So it is the Church which Jesus Christ founded, and its visible head on earth, Peter, who has a set of the 'keys', in addition to Jesus Christ Himself.

So how is the addict to be set free from his addiction?
Again, we turn to Holy Scripture:

"Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free"."
John 8:31-32 (RSV)

Please note what those verses really said:
If you KNOW the truth, it will set you free. Truth itself will not set you free if you do not have it.

So Denny, to be free of your addiction, turn to Jesus Christ and to His body which is the Catholic Church, and there you will find the key to freedom.

Compiled on July 31, 2004
by Bob Stanley
Commissioned by Anonymous, the Author.

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