Jesus speaks to the depressed and to the bereaved.
by Timothy Duff, STM, MA CHL Cert.
edited by Theresa Duff
"Mental Illness is represented by Jesus' Crown of Thorns"- St. Teresa of Calcutta
As Catholics, we honor the days between Palm Sunday and Easter, our Holy Week, as the holiest time of the liturgical year; when we walk with Our Lord and, through scripture, join in His Passion. It is time for us to also share with our brothers and sisters in Christ as they suffer, not just this Holy Week, but every week and every day with depression, grief and other illnesses.
Depression has been likened to "being in a dark room or facing a dark wall" and can feel overwhelming. How can we be supportive? How can we be their "light"?
If you have a mental illness, be assured! There is hope and it's just for YOU!!! It is Our Lord in His Passion! The Crown of Thorns was forced upon Our Lord; just one more atrocity and one more visible suffering.
Remember the words of Saint Mother Theresa of Calcutta to Fr. Benedict Groeschel (CFR): "Jesus' Crown of thorns represents the struggles of those persons with mental illness". This week, take comfort: reflect on His agony in the garden. Only an angel could comfort Our Lord because of the depth of His anguish. Listen to Jesus saying to you: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted,
saves those whose spirit is crushed.
"Depression is more than just the daily sadness that comes and goes. It's a deep-seated feeling that grabs hold of us and doesn't let go, day after day. It can take a toll on our social lives, our professional lives, our spiritual lives and our health. Psychologists tell us that depression is the most common of all psychiatric disorders. Almost all of us, at one time or another in our lives, will experience it.
As Christians, we may feel we should be immune to depression. But depression is no sin! God has promised us He will be especially close to us when we go through these bleak times. He will be there at our side, waiting to lead us into His joy once more." (Sanna E. 2012)
Dear God, I am in an emotional desert, a barren and howling wasteland. Sheild me, Lord Care for me.Guard me as the apple of Your eye. (Deuteronomy 32:10)
I'm waiting patiently for You, Lord. I know you will lean down to me and hear my cry. You will draw me up out of the pit of destruction, this miry bog of depression where I'm stuck. You will set my feet on the rock, and You will make my steps steady. And then You will put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to God. Many will see what You have done for me, and they, too, will put their trust in You. (Psalm 40:1-5)
Source: Sanna E. 2012, Prayers for difficult times, Barbour Books ISBN: 9781620291726