Break the Addiction!

Genesis 3:4-5
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

One wisenheimer has observed that there is a profession even older than “the world’s oldest profession”: advertising.  Here we see the advertising specialist hard at work: “Eat this apple!  It’ll make you godlike!”  The function of most advertising is to:  a) get people to want something they never noticed wanting before; or b) give people a sense of inner permission for something they want but are ambivalent about wasting time or money over (“You deserve a break today”).  The serpent was pretty much operating in “create a demand” mode with Adam and Eve.  They were happy before he showed up.  It was only by his incessant lies, insisting that they were unhappy even though they couldn’t see how, that he got them snookered into eating the fruit.  Since then, his task has been considerably easier, since our fall made it much more likely that we’d fall for the “you deserve to sin today” line of advertising later.  Like Joe Camel, the devil knows that the trick is to addict.  After that, your customers will keep coming back.  They have to.  Today, ask the Holy Spirit to help you take another step toward breaking our race’s addiction to sin with the medicine of immortality, the Eucharist.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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  • Guest

    Well, today I have cut and pasted this one to hang on my refridgerator!

    I've also created a 'Mark Shea' folder to begin saving this guys' writings-amazing talent to progress the work of God-Blessings upon you Mark!

  • DWC

    I loath the tired and trite comparisons to marketing and advertising, here and elsewhere. Let’s not condemn an industry that’s real service is awareness to the market and rarely forced deception. I don’t condone bad advertising, but I don’t pervert the good ones either. Like our church .. it tends to be “easy targets” without much substance. “Hey look, a banner for Catholic Match … I must have a a partner — no wait I’m married — but it’s forcing me to sin!”.
    Other than that …. love ya Mark.

  • lkeebler

    Great article! Yes, we are being told every lie (with temptation and fear) in the book to make us “eat” the candy coated bitter pill of “self”. We are the “consumers”, the masses waiting to be plucked… no longer valued as persons for the Glory of God but instead as sheep for the slaughter of greed.