Starting Over Again-
A Fresh Look At Things
I have been wanting to write my blog for sometime now. My new jobs have been taking precedence and I am trying to balance it all so as to find time to continue with this Apostolic work.
Recently, a Guild member who has been with us a while sent me a book that is original and goes back more than one hundred and fifty years and it is the life of St. Benedict Joseph Labre. This really was a answer to my prayers because I have been praying about what to do here with the Guild once again. I will again resume the Wednesday reflections on the life of St Benedict Joseph Labre written by his confessor Reverend Giuseppe Marconi 1784 (Italian) and translated by Mr. James Barnard in 1785
Before I begin though, I wanted to first start the new part of my reflections recalling the importance of what we do. St. Benedcit Joseph did in fact suffer with mental iollness at some point and was cured. That is why we hold him up as our patron.
Below is an excerpt of an article I wrote a few years ago.
God Bless! Tim Duff
The Reality of mental illness among us: A Personal Journey Timothy Duff, STM, MA Cert. RCHL, ERD, BCC
Co Founder & Guardian
One of the most difficult experiences a family can go through is to see one of its members suffer from mental illness. A disease that medical journals frequently call “one the worst diseases to afflict mankind.” This is a physical disease that causes mental symptoms; it is no respecter of persons and it enters in to all walks of life and all types of vocations.
Mental illness is not just about one person. Everyone in the family is affected. Many of them become emotionally wounded. In a lot of cases, the family member who is afflicted gradually changes right before your eyes. After a while, you feel like you hardly know the person anymore. You cannot understand how this all happens. You begin to look for answers and find none. We know, because this disease affects our family, like so many others. Even in today’s culture, there is a stigma about admitting this fact.
This requires honesty! Families will know that that troublesome brother or sister, that irresponsible cousin or that troubled parent was probably mentally ill.
As a chaplain, I offer support to more and more families. The longer I offer ministry, the more I realize that almost every family has someone who is either emotionally troubled or has someone who has some form of mental illness. The statistics are astounding. Resources state that millions of Americans are diagnosed as mentally ill and itr is on the rise. One family in four has a member with a serious mental disorder. National statistics indicate that in any given six months at least ten million Americans experience some form of depressive illness. At least one third of the homeless are mentally ill. That is without adding alcohol and drug abuse which often is a mask for someone suffering from mental illness. That means the statistics are much higher. What is out there to offer help? There is Hope in Our Lord Jesus Christ! Saint Padre Pio used to say: “The worst question in the world was Why?” Our questions as Christians is What? What does God ask of me in this situation? What can I do to overcome this difficulty? What can I do to help others with this similar sorrow?
Our family had difficulty finding support on a spiritual level. We wanted and needed the love and support from our Catholic Christian community. Of course, there are good support groups and therapists and doctors. But the spiritual resources are rare and limited. That is why we decided to found the much-needed Apostolate called the Guild of St. Benedict Joseph Labre. The saint we chose suffered from a severe mental illness. Come and read with us over the coming months more reflections on his life.