Love is shown through guidance, Archbishop Charles Scicluna told those present at the Caritas Malta graduating ceremony.
Sixteen people graduated from Caritas Malta’s drug rehabilitation programme on Wednesday evening. Addressing those present, Mgr Scicluna referred to the speech given earlier by Caritas Director Anthony Gatt, saying that their appeal is to continue working with those in need, however society needs to do its utmost to decrease the problem of drug use.
Mgr Scicluna added that Gatt has two important messages which are that discipline is an expression of love and that one would deceive themselves if they think that any drug could be considered recreational, explaining that drug abuse leads to relationship break down, loss of money, and loss of one’s dignity. He underlined that there is nothing recreational in substance abuse.
Archbishop Scicluna said that another important message is that love is shown through guidance, referring to those who guide those seeking the services of Caritas Malta in understanding the consequences of their choices. He underlined that these messages need to be clear so that they serve both as an encouragement and an incentive to both those who are still doing the rehabilitation programme as well as those who finished.
Mgr Scicluna remarked that while visiting the centre he saw no signs of “punishment” but choices and their consequences. He added that the culture of impunity is increasing, explaining that many a time people are increasingly forfeiting their responsibilities. He contrasted such behaviour with that of youths, saying that through love they are being helped to accept the consequences of their actions and therefore trained to choose correctly.
‘This is a lifelong journey’
President George Vella observed that the event is a very important occasion for the sixteen individuals who have successfully completed their rehabilitation programme. He referred to the services offered by Caritas Malta to those who seek their help.
President Vella underlined the need for an extensive educational programme which would change the way in which those who seek help are viewed by society at large. Such persons should be viewed as a person who needs assistance rather than isolated. He referred to the challenges people who are dependent on drug use face on a daily basis, acknowledging that they have suffered to arrive to their graduating. He remarked that this is just a small recognition for their efforts, but reminded those graduating and present that this is a lifelong journey.
President Vella concluded his speech by quoting Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, saying that “choose life” is the crux of their decision when they choose to leave drug abuse behind and enter into a rehabilitation programme.
Caritas Malta is celebrating 50 years since it was founded this year, and 30 years since San Blas therapeutic centre was opened.