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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Glimmer of Hope

I am still very behind on catching up to all the questions! But today I have to address a serious question with no time to spare in answering.

I have lost my will to live. Which saint can I request intervention concerning the sin of despair?

Hold my hand while I say gently to you that you have not lost your will to live. Not yet. Not quite. Something is causing you to hang on by your toenails, and not only reach out to a blog, but to ask for help.  For a patron saint.

That would give you something to focus on outside your despair, even though it's all about your despair.

Yes, despair is, in fact, a sin.  That seems rather unfair, since some depression is not just sad lazy thinking, but a medical condition.  You can't sin if you're not responsible for sinning.  It's very possible that you're not sinning at all.

Let's talk about that for a moment.  Why is despair a sin?  Very simple: with God there is always hope. So to despair is, in some way, a denial of God's power and grace.

But I think it's very possible to feel hopeless and desperate and kind of forget all about God while being stuck in the ever increasing oppression of depression.

So you have actually raised up your head, just high enough, to ask God to help you, because when we pray to a saint, we are only praying (asking, petitioning) for the saint to pray to God with you, for you.

Please make sure you seek medical help, too, and/or a therapist.  These things can make a world of difference.

All the while, Heaven will help you.  St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes, but not because he suffered from depression or had a terrifically difficult life.  He made have had a rather jolly life, for all we know. Although, I rather doubt it, as one of the first Apostles (he replaced Judas), I imagine he met with a lot of jeers and resistance.  The reason he is the patron saint of the hopeless, is precisely because of his relative obscurity.  Since we know almost nothing about him, someone figured that no one gave him much thought and therefore, no one was praying for his intercession, leaving him with eternity on his hands and not much to do.  That would give him time to tackle the really hard stuff.

And as we all know, he has turned out to be really good in that area.  By now, though, he must be very busy.

I would go with Mother Teresa, who is surely in Heaven.  She suffered her 'dark night of the soul' for most her her working life.  And while she felt abandoned by God, she never let that slow her down in her faith or her work or her life.  I would think she could sympathize with you completely.

Also, there is the lovely St. John of God, who was so lost for so long in his life, only to wake up to the grace and power of God.  He was in a mental institution at the time.

Know that everyone who reads this will be praying for you, just like the saints.


Mary Frances Reitz said...

I am praying for you.

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you, too.

Yvette said...

I am praying for you as well.

jane said...

I am praying for you, too.

Sandy said...

I'm praying for you, too.

And to all: while you're at it pray for me too.

Oh, let's all pray for each other!

Peter Melia said...

According to Acts 1, Matthias was called upon by the remaining 11 to replace Judas.
I hope I am right on this, when I was younger I moved into house number 13, which I changed to Matthias for obvious reasons.
My family had many happy years in Matthias after that.

notta bot said...

Saying a rosary for you

Anonymous said...

I'm praying for you! I, too, am so sick of life. It's hard. Sometimes, the burden is so heavy. I'm tired. I'm truly exhausted. I take anti-depressants and see a doctor but it's hard to remain positive in a world that is so fallen. I cannot wait for this life to be over.

Anonymous said...

Lord Jesus Christ, You have willed that St. Dymphna should be invoked by thousands of clients as the patroness of nervous and mental disease and have brought it about that her interest in these patients should be an inspiration to and an ideal of charity throughout the world. Grant that, through the prayers of this youthful martyr of purity, those who suffer from nervous and mental illness everywhere on earth may be helped and consoled. I reommend to You in particular (name).

Be pleased to hear the prayers of St Dymphna and of your Blessed Mother. Give those whom I recommend the patience to bear with their affliction and resignation to do Your divine will. Give them the consolation they need and especially the cure they so much desire, if it be Your will. Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Claudia said...

Make an appointment with your doctor or if you do not have one there could be a health clinic in your town. (Catholic Charities in Pittsburgh has one)

You could be suffering from clinical depression and an antidepressant would help. There are a lot of Rx now on generic and many drug companies have a vehicle for getting Rx at reduced cost if income is an issue.

Anonymous said...

I used to be depressed, too. Try to hang on and get very close to Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph. I have suffered from losing my home, family, and my mother, 2 1/2 years ago. You are not alone! I know what I am talking about. You might even be living too hard on yourself.
When things feel too much for me, I just sit and talk to Jesus and Mary, and leaf through my bible, or hold my rosary. I'll sip tea and listen to positive classical music. It doesn't matter if the words of your prayers don't come to mind--just talk, and write down your feelings. NO one has to read them. He loves you very much. If you are Catholic, try to go to a parish that keeps its doors open so that you can sit before the Tabernacle. Just sit--don't talk, and be at peace.
I will be praying for you. Don't let go.

Anonymous said...

Dear person feeling despair,

I truly understand and promise to pray for you, as well. I go through periods of depression. Some last longer than others. Mostly, I am insecure at work. Will I have a job by this time next year? Life is hard. The previous poster has great advice - spend time with our Lord. There are usually several churches in any given diocese with Adoration. It may not be 24/7, but hopefully it will be at a time when you can go. My parish has it on weekends - unfortunately, I work on weekends. I wish it were one day during the week. I digress. Pray. Take care of your physical health. Write down at least one positive thing about yourself every day, and pray it as a "litany of Thanksgiving" each day (1st thing in the morning/last thing at night). Remember that what you are feeling is not the objective reality of
"how things really are." It is only how you are perceiving them at any given moment. Remember that 1st break-up in high school when you thought the air had been stolen from your lungs? Well, that has run its course, and so shall this present sorrow.
GOd bless you. God bless us all!

Anonymous said...

I recommend reading The Man Who Was Thersday in addition to the other good advice that has already been said. It was writen by G. K. Chesterton, who wrote several other books as well. If you want something a bit more aggressive (I think that's the right word) try his friend, Hilaire Belloc. These two where a cross between artists and philosophers. I find them to be very helpful when I feel pointless.