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 Catholic prayers quit smoking

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Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Catholic prayers quit smoking   Mar 11 Fév - 12:12

10 januar 2010


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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition


Stopping Smoking


If you hate your body
You don’t love God.




Fear  |  Therapy  |  Spiritual Counsels  |  Books  |  About CSF


Introduction | Enslavement | Reasons for Stopping Smoking | Stopping Smoking through Faith and Prayer | Visualization and Prayer Technique | Coping with Cravings


MOST SMOKERS started smoking during a stage of identity formation or crisis in which they felt psychologically empty within themselves and wanted some way to make themselves feel accepted by the world around them. For example, adolescents who feel angry at their parents’ hypocrisy and lack of true love can get caught in the illusion that if they start smoking then they, too, can be as powerful as the adults who mistreat them.


Enslavement

But once nicotine gets into your body, it enslaves you to a continuous need for it. Like a deadly parasite, nicotine takes over your body so that you value this deadly chemical more than anything else in life, more even than life itself. More even than God Himself.

So there you are, helpless and cowering in a cold doorway, damp with rain, desperately sucking the illusion of strength and power out of a reeking cigarette, thinking to yourself, in your bleak emptiness, “This is life?” And all the while you fear that, without smoking, life will be bleak and empty.

Well, there’s more to life than slavery to illusions.

Now, no one can argue that simply smoking one cigarette is a sin. Yet consider the following:


Smoking pollutes the environment with toxic smoke and poisons from millions and thousands of millions of discarded cigarette butts.



Smoking offends your neighbor with the stench of stale smoke that you carry on your body and with the poison of second-hand smoke that you force your neighbor to breathe.



Smoking scandalizes children with the bad example of a deadly habit.



Smoking afflicts your own body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, with deadly poisons and life-threatening medical problems.



When you smoke a cigarette to make yourself “feel good,” you reject divine grace, the only source of goodness; thus you subordinate the desire for holiness to the desire for self-punishment.

And so, knowing all of this, and yet continuing to believe in cigarettes more than you believe in Christ, is a big mistake.

 

How often were you criticized and humiliated as a child by your parents? How often did you then condemn yourself for being worthless and inadequate? And how often do you reach for a cigarette out of unconscious anger as a secret wish to carry out that condemnation?

Isn’t it time to give yourself a break?

 



Reasons for Stopping Smoking



Stopping smoking will strengthen my heart, improve my breathing capacity, and bolster my circulatory system.



Stopping smoking will increase my immune response to colds, flu, and other diseases.



When I stop smoking I will be more productive in all that I do.



Stopping smoking will help me cut down on drinking.



As a non-smoker I will be setting a good example for children.



When I stop smoking I will breathe more easily and won’t have morning cough or phlegm.



When I stop smoking my senses of smell and taste will improve.



Stopping smoking will help lower my blood pressure.



When I stop smoking I will have more energy.



When I stop smoking I will feel more in command of my life.



When I stop smoking I will be part of an increasingly nonsmoking society.



Stopping smoking will help protect my unborn baby from Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) and decrease the risk of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage).



Stopping smoking will help protect the health of other persons from Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS).



Smoking Cessation Through Faith and Prayer

If you are addicted to any substance, you are declaring with your behavior that you “love” the addiction more than you love God, and so you will fail to love God as Christ commanded us: You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37). But, if only you train yourself, through faith and prayer, to desire holiness more than you desire an addiction, any addiction can be overcome.

Stopping smoking, therefore, involves two things: overcoming the addiction to nicotine, and overcoming the habit of always reaching for a cigarette (either as a behavioral reward or as a means to relieve anxiety)—instead of reaching out to God in prayer.

To overcome the addiction to nicotine, you have three choices. You can gradually reduce the number of cigarettes that you smoke. Or you can use nicotine patches to put nicotine into your system (while you refrain from smoking) as you gradually reduce the dosage of the patches. Or you can just quit “cold turkey”—nicotine withdrawal is unpleasant, but short-lived.

To overcome the habit of constantly reaching for a cigarette, it will be necessary to teach yourself to act in new ways. This takes some conscious effort. The first step is to recognize, as it is happening, the urge to reach for a cigarette; the second step is to tell yourself to do something different. Some people will carry around a cinnamon stick, for example, and put it in their mouth in place of a cigarette.

 

While you are making all these changes, it can help greatly to use some sort of relaxation technique. For more information about relaxation techniques, see my webpages called Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Autogenics Training on A Guide to Psychology and its Practice. A relaxation CD (true to the Catholic faith) from the present website can help you experience relaxation as well.

Audio CD:
Guided Imagery Relaxation
The Catholic Way



 

Moreover, the Catholic Church offers a centuries-old form of relaxation and emotional support: prayer. After all, what keeps you chained to your addiction? Fear. Fear that life will be bleak and empty without smoking. And what is the most effective way to overcome fear? To love—to be filled with all the fullness of God.

Accordingly, I offer below two ways to use prayer to help you stop smoking. The first way is best practiced at least two times a day (morning and night). The second way is a small card that you can print and carry with you; whenever you feel the urge to smoke a cigarette, pull out the card and say the prayer. By the time you have finished, the craving for a cigarette will have dissipated.


Visualization and Prayer Technique

In general, changing unwanted behavior comprises three basic steps:
1.

To know how ugly the behavior is and how much damage it causes to yourself and to others.

2.

To regret the damage caused by the behavior.

3.

To know the benefits of new and different behavior.

Note carefully, though, that in trying to overcome an addiction you will immediately encounter a frustrating paradox: thinking about the negative consequences of an addiction will only increase the desire for the addictive substance. So why does this happen? Well, the psychological defense at the core of any addiction is denial, so when contemplating any negative idea (such as getting cancer from smoking), your mind will crave the intense pleasure of the addiction as a way to override (i.e., deny) the frightening idea.

Therefore, even though it is important to know the negative consequences of the addiction, the fear of those consequences in itself won’t be nearly so much a motivation for overcoming the addiction as will be the hope of positive changes. Consequently, those positive changes need to be visualized very, very clearly.

So here is how to do it: practice the following procedure at least twice a day until you no longer need it.

First, enter a state of relaxation. Here, you can simply sit (or kneel) and pray quietly. This is important because the next two steps (if done properly) will arouse substantial anxiety, and you need to be able to reduce that anxiety again.

Second, create a negative mood state in which you visualize the harmful and disgusting effects of the unwanted behavior. Instead of defending your behavior—to yourself, to others, and to God—see the smoking addiction for what it is in all its gruesome reality. For example, smell the stench of the smoke on your clothes and body; see the stains on your fingers and teeth; notice your shortness of breath and coughing; visualize the poisons coating your lungs and other internal organs. After the intense negativity of this mood has been felt fully, reduce the anxiety with relaxation. Then pray the Hail Mary.

Third, contemplate how miserable and wretched your life will be if this behavior does not change. For example, see yourself wheezing for breath and dying of cancer. Imagine other persons around you encouraged in their own addictions because of your negative influence.  Then, after the intense negativity of this mood has been felt fully, reduce the anxiety with relaxation, and pray the Hail Mary

Now come the most important steps.

Fourth, create a positive mood state in which you visualize the beneficial effects of new, healthy behavior. For example, see yourself as calm and confident as a non-smoker, relaxed and able to concentrate, free of frustration and tension, a positive influence on others. Remember here your reasons for wanting to stop smoking. Use your relaxation technique to enjoy a peaceful state of mind with a deep sense of hope for yourself and love for others. Pray the Hail Mary.

Fifth, reinforce your positive mood with positive statements of validation. Repeat the statements several times. Create your own, or select from the following examples.

When I trust in You, Lord, I do not need to soothe myself with cigarettes. Through Your grace, I am no longer a slave to impulses and addiction.


Lord, when grounded in prayer, I work calmly and confidently. Give me the grace to not let my self-confidence be bothered by small mistakes. In You I can overcome all obstacles with total confidence.


Give me the grace, Lord, to respect my own body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and to present myself to others with respect and dignity.


Give me the grace, Lord, to remain calm, relaxed, and composed in any situation.


Lord, let Your calmness and patience reflect through me to shine upon others as compassion and sensitive understanding.


You, Lord, give me an experience of peace and calm that cannot be threatened by anything outside myself. I thank you, Lord; I refuse to be jealous or envious, and I wish peace and good to all.


Lord, help me to remember that in You there are no “good ” days or “bad ” days; there is only love.

Sixth, conclude with a prayerful closure to the session. Recite the following prayers:


The Hail, Holy Queen (Salve Regina).

HAIL, holy Queen,
Mother of Mercy;
hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious Advocate,
thine eyes of mercy towards us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Amen.



The prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

SAINT Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the wicked spirits,
who roam through the world, seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.



The following invocation, thrice repeated:

V. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
R. Have mercy upon us.  


Coping With Cravings

Copy the following prayer card, and whenever you feel a craving for a cigarette, pull out the card and say the prayers:



PRAYER FOR STOPPING SMOKING





O MARY, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Through the grace of your purity, may this unclean habit cease.

FROM the stench of smoke, the foul taste in my mouth, the stains on my hands and teeth, pray for my release.
Hail Mary . . .

FROM coughing and phlegm, from polluted blood, from heart and lung disease, pray for my release.
Hail Mary . . .

FROM habit and slavery, pray for my release.
Hail Mary . . .

FROM tension, fear, and anxiety, pray for my release.
Hail Mary . . .

FOR health and calm and peace, pray for me.
Hail Mary . . .

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that, by Christ redeemed, we will choose to live in purity. Amen.


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MessageSujet: Re: Catholic prayers quit smoking   Mar 11 Fév - 12:13



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Discovery Fit and Health > Wellness > Smoking Cessation
USING SPIRITUAL STRENGTH TO QUIT SMOKING
Comments
Many people have found strength to stop smoking by turning to spiritual sources. Several successful former smokers share their experience.

"I know that my pure intentions to quit and heal and the many prayers that surrounded me have both had a great deal to do with my healing."
I had an actual miracle when I quit smoking. No one who knew me thought for one moment that I could quit. I wrote out a list of the reasons that I wanted to quit and put it on my fridge so that I would read it each and every day. I wrote it in red ink to symbolize the blood of life. One of the reasons I wanted to quit was to live longer and get to see my grandchildren grow up. I prayed each and every day. I bought the Lights, then the Ultra Lights. I started asking myself with each cigarette if I wanted the cigarette, or did I need it. After months of this intense study of my smoking career, I started to see things differently. I made myself realize how much it was costing me in money and in lost health with each choice to smoke or not to smoke. One night I had a dream and from this dream I was given the knowledge that the cravings have been removed and from now on it is merely a choice. I have been a nonsmoker since that dream... I am so grateful that I was given the grace to quit. I do know that my pure intentions to quit and heal and the many prayers that surrounded me have both had a great deal to do with my healing...

What freedom there is in not having something outside of me controlling me and my life. For years, I wouldn't go anywhere that didn't allow me to smoke. I limited myself to a very narrow life. Now I am free to go anywhere and everywhere and feel the gratitude of being free from the shackles of an addiction. Don't judge self or other. Just stay aware and the grace will come. If you are deeply honest and open about learning a better way to live your life, it will come to you. Keep the faith in yourself and your ability to do all things. Progress, not perfection, leads the way. — Shero

"When I was ready, I requested prayer to help me quit smoking."
"After 20+ years of smoking I knew I couldn't do it alone. I also couldn't afford any of the methods advertised. When I was ready I requested prayer to help me quit smoking. God answers prayers. I quit without the normal withdrawal symptoms that you would expect. I know a lot of people would scoff at these words, but I know that it was God, because I also smoked when stressed and I was going through a lot during that time period. I felt no urge for a cigarette." — Robin S.

"The Bible says 'And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.'" After trying everything else like patches, sunflower seeds, "cold turkey", cutting back, blah blah blah, my "cure", if you will, I directly attribute to my Lord, Jesus Christ. The Bible says in Matthew 21:22 "And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive"; Luke 11:9 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you"; John 14:14 "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it," so I asked for my habit of two packs a day and addiction of 12+ years to be taken away, and it was. No side-effects, no cravings. It was as if I had never smoked." — Cathy D.

"I went to the Lord Jesus and asked Him to help me stop."
After trying to stop smoking for three years I finally did what I should have done in the first place. I went to the Lord Jesus and asked Him to help me stop. I told Him I would try stopping again the next morning. The next day came and I went to work as usual and didn't even think of it. It was like I had never smoked. I had smoked for 22 years. I haven't smoked for 20 years now. — Connie

"As a devout Catholic — a believer in the intercession of the saints — I made a great discovery."
This will sound strange to some, but as a devout catholic — a believer in the intercession of the saints — I made a great discovery! As you may know or perhaps have heard, Catholics have an asset called patron saints. They can cover anything from farmers (Isodore) to television (Clare) to maladies and afflictions... I wanted to quit and asked Matthias to intercede for me, and it worked! Now he isn't listed as the "patron of cigarette-quitters" but one catholic asked God's invention through the prayers of Matthias, the Apostle who replaced Judas, with successful results. About two hours after my prayer I lit up a cigarette and it tasted like — and I reacted to it like — I had never had a cigarette before." — F. Paul K.

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Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: Catholic prayers quit smoking   Mar 11 Fév - 12:17

God knows how I finally quit smoking
Could a higher power succeed where acupuncture, drugs and nicotine patches had failed – by terminating a 40-a-day habit?
Stubbed out: if acupuncture and nicotine patches don't work, try praying for guidance on how to give up smoking
Stubbed out: if acupuncture and nicotine patches don't work, try praying for guidance on how to give up smoking Photo: Alamy
By Eileen Fairweather8:09PM GMT 02 Jan 2013Comments50 Comments
I have twice felt with certainty that God spoke to me. In our secular world, this risks making me sound a) mad and b) vain. I am hardly holy and, when praying, my mind often wanders to grand spiritual matters such as, oh, household chores and unreturned library books. None the less, God has twice bothered to speak to me, clear as a bell. The first time was private. The second was when He promised me a miracle.
I once smoked up to 40 cigarettes a day. I hated my addiction, yet repeatedly failed at giving up. I tried acupuncture, cold turkey, hypnosis, herbal cigarettes, nicotine patches, nicotine gum and the drug Zyban. Each time, I suffered withdrawal twitches, fear and, ultimately, self disgust as, late at night, I hunted for dog-ends.
The one thing I didn’t try was prayer. I was a cradle Catholic but lapsed in my teens. In 2001, I began going to church again. After Mass one day, someone asked me why I had returned, and I answered: “I realised I couldn’t do it all on my own.” I had an ostensibly glamorous existence, yet was often fearful, stressed and pained by the religion-shaped hole in my life.
Some speak of addiction as a disease. But it is mostly spiritual: dis-ease, an imbalance in the soul. When I started going to Mass again, I steadied. By early 2002, I was preparing to kick the fags. I was, as usual, scared witless. And then one night I woke in the wee small hours, and there in my (sober) head was the voice of Himself, saying it was easy. All I had to do to get free from nicotine slavery was surrender and admit I was powerless without His help. And I would be free.
Just like that.
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Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: Catholic prayers quit smoking   Mar 11 Fév - 12:18

stop smoking prayer

O good God, Creator of all things, You gave man intelligence to be able to know the nature of plant life and the qualities of vegetation.
You also gave man a free will to accept what is good for him and reject what is bad.
I know that smoking is bad for my health, that it blocks my lungs, attacks my heart and upsets my nervous system.
But my will is so weak!
I want to stop smoking and I cannot!

Jesus, I remember Your words: “Cut off from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5c).
Maybe I am trusting only in me instead of trusting in You.
St Paul said:”There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength” (Ph 4:13).
Therefore, I also, with Your help, can stop smoking.

From heart attack, free me, Lord!
From lung cancer, free me, Lord!
From the vice of smoking, free me, Lord!
From all sin, free me, Lord. Let it be.
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