(I collect prayers, and I’m especially fond of novenas. I find them to be a very practical means of organizing thoughts and hopes. A year or so ago, I was putting together a litany for parents with wayward children. It was dedicated to a woman who was going through a very bad time with her daughter, a young woman whose life was being slowly ruined because of her addiction to drugs. I was shocked, and somewhat horrified, when I could not find a prayer concerning addiction, any kind of addiction. It was as though the church turned its face away from such degradation. Perhaps there is just too much shame in the idea of addiction to want to actually pray for someone in such trouble.
If that’s the case, then that is the real shame.
I was overjoyed when I finally came across the following novena. I can’t remember now where I found it, but in finding it I immediately became an ardent fan of Brother Kolbe.)
A Novena to Saint Maximilian Kolbe for the Grace to be Freed from Addiction
Saint Maximilian Kolbe, your life of love and labor for souls was sacrificed amid the horrors of a concentration camp and hastened to its end by an injection of a deadly drug.
Look with compassion upon (NAME OF PERSON) who is now entrapped in addiction to drugs/alcohol and whom I now recommend to your powerful intercession. Having offered your own life to preserve that of a family man, I turn to you with trust, confident that you will understand and help.
Obtain for me the grace never to withhold my love and understanding, or to fail in persevering prayer that the enslaving bonds of addiction may be broken and that full health may be restored to him, whom I love.
I will never cease to be grateful to God who has helped me and heard your prayer for me.