Prayer Request

A reader writes:

I am a Catholic school teacher / catechist and I am currently battling depression. With so much of my energy going to that, family, and professional responsibilities I have just not had it in me to enter the fray on either the abortion or “gay marriage” fronts. I’m surrounded by friends, family, colleagues, and students that are all championing the pro-abortion, pro-redefinition of marriage causes, and I am plagued by my lack of strength or courage to speak out on these issues right now. I ask for prayers that I may regain the fortitude to teach the truth in love and face the slings and arrows that result.

(As it is, I feel like the soldier / translator in the film Saving Private Ryan. He cowers in a stairwell of a blown-out building while one of his brother soldiers fights for – and loses his life in hand-to-hand combat in the room above.)

Father, hear your servant’s prayer through Christ our Lord.  Mother Mary and St. Paul, pray for him!

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  • Newp Ort

    To the reader-

    Prayers for you. I have struggled with depression for a number of years now, and I get where you’re coming from. It’s so exhausting just doing the day to day stuff that anything additional can make you feel even more frustrated and helpless.

    Take care of yourself first before worrying about the world. You need to first be of service to your family and the other people immediately present to your life. And I hope you get better soon. Wow it can really suck, can’t it?

  • Claire

    I’m praying for you too. I’m a once fallen-away Catholic who came back to the Church after a long absence. Both of my children (ages 8 and 11) will finally make their first Holy Communion in 3 weeks. I’m incredibly grateful to the catechists who have devoted so much of their time to helping me to teach my children the faith, especially since they had to play catch-up due to my idiocy. So thank you for what you’re doing…it’s more than enough. Hope things improve for you soon.

  • CathyLouise

    Please, don’t be hard on yourself. We who have dealt with depression know that every thing you actually manage to do is a triumph and proof of tremendous strength. Getting up in the morning. Taking a shower. Getting dressed. Eating. Driving. Working. Everything. Others will fight other battles. I had breast cancer, had a mastectomy, chemo and radiation. I too suffer from depression. And I can tell you, I would rather, hands down, deal with cancer than depression. I will keep you in my prayers. And do seek help from qualified professionals. They really can help. If the first one doesn’t work, keep looking. May God bless you.

  • Corita

    Yes, yes, to other commenters who have said it: Depression is a physical reality that affects, in part, the mind. I have experienced something similar and sometimes want to feel bad for not being more engaged with certain pressing political realities. But then I tell myself: your job is to survive, and keep the other people who depend on you alive.

  • Corita

    Oops, hit post before I said, : Take care, and be gentle with yourself. The Lord is with you.

  • John N

    On the other hand, my experience with depression was that I needed to fight back. What the experience was for me was what I call the grey fog of not feeling. I needed to find something that I could get passionate about. It took loosing a job I hated and finding one I love (Thank You God!!!) to figure that out for me. I will pray for you, too. I also encourage you to find a cause or concern that you can pour yourself into. It may just be teaching the subject matter at hand. For me, the worst thing I could do was feel sorry for myself because I had this illness called depression. I needed to fight back.

  • Clare Krishan

    Praying in PA with St Faustina (just returned home from Holy Radiation Therapy, an hour with the Blessed Sacrament where I read a couple of pages of her diary at a time and let them sink in)
    Here is what I read today, the same day in the calendar, April 19th (Tuesday in the Easter Octave in 1938, the last year of her life):
    § 1672 April 19, [1938]. During recreation, one of the sisters [Sister Cajetan] said, “Sister Faustina is doing so poorly that she can hardly walk, but may she die soon because she is going to be a saint.” Then one of the sister directresses [Sister Casimir] said, “That she is going to die, we know; but whether she is going to be a saint, that is another question.” There then began some malicious remarks on this subject. I kept silent; then I put in a word, but I saw that the conversation was getting worse, so again I fell silent .
    … perhaps I can offer some consolation with her closing clause from the follow-on segment?
    ” … I mortified myself and answered, “The same thing will happen to me, a sinner, as happens to all sinners, if God’s mercy does not shield me.” (§ 1673)

  • Richard

    To the reader – Sometimes people don’t listen to rational arguments, anyway, so the idea that you have to be able to stand up in every to situation to correct error may be unduly draining on you at the moment. There are times when such standing up with strength and courage is indeed called for, but on an everyday basis, and with most people, what is enough is for them to know where you stand in that you do not agree with them when they express their views, you are able at the right moments to calmly and rationally express what you affirm in your faith (when the Catholic faith is saying no to X, it is also saying yes to A, B, and C), and for the rest of the time carry on in temperance, charity, and joy. Just knowing where you stand and the fact that you carry yourself as a rational and well-balanced individual will itself bear witness. What will also throw them for a loop is if you smile. You don’t even have to been saying anything; just smile as you walk around and stuff, and the fact that someone can perhaps think differently from them be happy will be a great cause of reflection for them.

    All in all, comport yourself with charity, and pray for and depend upon the prompting of the Holy Spirit to guide you in those moments when bearing witness with your words is necessary. “When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:19-20) By trusting in the Holy Spirit that he will let you know and help you when those exact moments to bear witness with your words will be, may you find peace.