Helms bakery glazed doughnut covered in dirt in our yard and decided to brush it off and eat it, or when my sister’s boyfriend told me to kiss his toes before he would share a treat – and I did! I come from a family who fed this addiction with M&M and See’s candies at every occasion, and dessert served every night. So each Lent I choose to give up candy and cookies – my two biggest temptations to gluttony. I am amazed how good I feel when I lose the extreme sugar consumption – I have lots of energy and am more productive throughout the day. This extra boost even leads me to more prayer time and desires to be more charitable. Life is good without sugar.
Then Easter Sunday arrives and the fasting is over for it is time to celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection. I notice I get a bit apprehensive thinking about returning to sugar. I say to myself, “Why not stay off it! You feel so good! It is healthy for you!” Yet, soon I find myself in the store buying candy. I try to rationalize that the kids “need” Easter baskets full of delectable chocolates, as I purchase my favorite pieces, knowing it won’t all fit in their baskets so some will be left for me. Every year I give in and celebrate the Resurrection with an over consumption of sweets. I especially felt supersaturated with sugar this year. And even though I was bilious, I continued to gorge on treats for the next 50 days of the Easter Season.
In reflection on my sugar addiction, I want to reason that it is the extra graces that come with the Holy season of Lent that help me overcome my weakness to candies and cookies during those 40 days. Although, this is true, in reality there are also graces during the “ordinary” days of the year that can help if only I would call upon them.
Reflecting on the Gospel reading of the rich young man who leaves Jesus because he cannot follow him for he does not want to give up his material goods (cf. Mark 10:17-20) made me stop and think - would I give up my candies for Jesus, if He asked? Could I leave a scrumptious dessert to follow His call? Most likely not, but I am learning that Jesus loves me anyway, so I must not turn away sad, but instead look at Him and say, “Lord, I cannot leave my gluttony by myself, I need You to help me.” I have learned that standing in the truth of who I am, and admitting it to Christ is what He wants, for then He can rescue me. If I try to rid my addiction on my own I will always fail. If I ask for the Blessed Mother to help me then I have the power of Her intercession and grace which is strong enough to triumph over my temptations. I also know that I have to continually ask for this grace – daily, in fact. For as soon as I think I have conquered my addiction, it seduces me again, and if I am not begging for spiritual help, I soon give into its enticement. Another great defense against my addiction is offering it up during the Consecration of the Eucharist at Holy Mass, and since I am able to attend daily Mass I have the opportunity to do this often.
I have resolved myself to the fact I will always have this addiction in some form in my life. It is God’s way of reminding me how much I need Him. What I am coming to understand is that God loves me no matter how many cookies or candies I eat. He also loves me by sending me graces through His Son, the Eucharist and through the Blessed Mother so I may confront my cravings – for He knows how good I feel when I am not over consuming refined sugars and He wants the best for me – and being entrusted to His Mother I am learning to want that too!
 “Upon seeing your helplessness, trustfully call out to the Giver of everything to rescue you. He wants to do all things for you because He loves you and He sees that you cannot live without His love.” S.C. Biela, Open Wide the Door to Christ, (Ft.Collins, CO: IAMF, 2005), 252. pg. 85
 “It is necessary for you to ask Mary as often as possible for Her intercession. She, your Mother, intercedes for you, even when you do not ask her to do so. But, when you do ask her, when you give her your consent – your “yes,” it is as if her hands are freed. When you entrust yourself to her, she can obtain everything from God. She can even ask for a miracle,
such that you will begin to be poor in spirit, as someone who lives with the hunger for God and His holy will." Ibid. 132
 “The Holy Mass is the center of our spiritual life, the answer to all of the questions and doubts that torment us. It is the rescue from our afflictions and difficulties. It is the perfect cure for every evil.” Ibid. 80
 “When you begin to seek help in your helplessness, you will hear the knocking of the One who, upon crossing the border into your world, desires to rescue you. God desires that you seek nothing other than Him. Because of God’s desire, His knocking is present in your failures, disillusionment, and disappointments. He brings them about or allows these events to happen so that you can see that His will should be everything for you.” Ibid. 192