The cause of our gloominess is nowhere outside ourselves, says St. John Cassian. Depression grows like a weed from the seeds of our own faults.
Sometimes depression is the fault of previous anger, or springs from the desire of some gain that has not been realized, when someone has found that he has failed in his hope of getting the things he had planned to get.
But sometimes, without any apparent reason for our being driven to fall into this misfortune, we are, by the instigation of our crafty enemy, suddenly depressed with such deep gloom that we cannot receive the visits of those who are near and dear to us with ordinary civility. Whatever subject of conversation they start up, we regard it as ill-timed and out of place; and we can give them no civil answer, as the gall of bitterness is in possession of every corner of our heart.
That proves clearly that the pains of disturbances are not always caused in us by other people’s faults, but rather by our own, as we have stored up in ourselves the causes of offense, and the seeds of faults, which, as soon as a shower of temptation waters our soul, at once burst forth into shoots and fruits. –St. John Cassian, Institutes, 9.4-5IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Am I prone to bad moods and gloominess?
Does it help to remember that nothing outside myself can really put me in a bad mood?
Father, you give us everything we truly need. Fill my heart with joy and gladness, so that I may serve you faithfully through your Son Jesus Christ.
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