And she has been posting some wise and brave thoughts about that — and specifically, about her own struggles with Bipolar Disorder.
To one concerned reader, she writes:
And she later elaborates, with some instructive thoughts about what the Church says about this disorder, beginning with a quote from Pope Benedict:
There is nothing in this but the Cross…but that is the whole point. Jesus is our leader, and we follow Him in carrying the Cross. If we have that, we have everything. There is nothing that I can say apart from Jesus, and nothing I can do apart from carry His Cross with Him. That is the only “message” I could ever give because it is the only one I know to give.
“Obtaining normalcy” is not the goal. Sharing the life of Christ is all there is to obtain. Know this, and you will know how to deal with this condition.
There are very likely not ever going to be any saints named by the Church who were known to have been mentally ill, because it is likely that the Cross of the mentally ill person is to be rejected by those who have the most “sense”. I’ve yet to show an ability to accept that burden…but I am trying.
The Church, particularly through the work of her chaplains, will not fail to offer you her help, well aware that she is called to express Christ’s love and concern for those who suffer and for those who look after them.
But she then notes:
About that “expressing Christ’s love and concern”, I’ve yet to see this happen from among the average lay Catholics ‘on the street’ who are very close to someone with Bipolar Disorder. Calling someone an ugly name while you’re delusional isn’t like having a broken arm….except to Jesus and the Pope, I guess. For everyone else, it still generally means that you’re a dirty sinner who probably doesn’t deserve to have any friends, least of all faithful Catholic ones, and most certainly not them personally.
There’s much more. Visit her blog. It’s something every Catholic should read — especially if you know or love someone struggling with mental illness.