Battling the demon of dejection
Depression is one of the plagues of the modern age, overtaking many with it’s insidious poison, and ravaging many a life. The pain and suffering that comes with deep depression can infect those who surround the sufferer, for the depression of one person can spread like mold on stale bread. Psychiatrists are kept busy writing prescriptions, and drug companies rake in the money manufacturing the “cure”. Families are destroyed, marriages come apart, and young people drop out of school, all because of depression.
Although there are certainly cases where depression can be caused by imbalances in the chemical makeup of the body, it far more common for depression to be the result of the sickness of the soul. The cure, in this case, is to be found in the life of the Church. Giving oneself over to the pursuit of God, and increasing the time we spend in prayer and worship, can gradually transform depression and turn it into joy.
Saint John Cassian wrote: “But first we must struggle with the demon of dejection who casts the soul into despair. We must drive him from our heart. It was this demon that did not allow Cain to repent after he had killed his brother, or Judas after he had betrayed his Master”.
The period of the Apostles Fast is the perfect time to confront the spirit of depression, for the increased attendance in the Church’s divine services, and the time spent in private prayer, contribute to the healing of the soul, taking our minds off our problems, and turning our hearts towards the things of God. Spiritual reading, frequent confession, and the reception of the Holy Mysteries, all come together, bringing the healing the soul longs for.
Psalm 39/40: “I waited patiently for the Lord, and He heeded me; And He heard my supplication. And brought me up out of a miserable pit, And from north clay; And He established my feet on a rock, And kept straight my steps. He put a new song in my mouth, A hymn to our God; Many will see and be afraid, And shall hope in the Lord. Blessed is the man whose hope is in the name of the Lord, And did not look into vanities and false frenzies. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you performed, And in your thoughts there is no one who shall be likened to you…”
With love in Christ,
Photos: Father Moses & Matushka Magdalena Berry of Unexpected Joy Orthodox Church in Ash Grove, Missouri, visited the monastery on Tuesday.
Wednesday June 14, 2017 / June 1, 2017
2nd Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Martyr Justin the Philosopher, and those with him at Rome: Martyrs Justin, Chariton and his wife Charita, Euelpistus, Hierax, Peon, Valerian and Justus (166).
Venerable Dionysius, abbot of Glushitsa (Vologda) (1437).
New Hieromartyr Basil priest, Virgin-martyr Vera (1940).
Glorification (1990) of Righteous John of Kronstadt (1908).
Venerable Justin (Popovich) of Chelije in Serbia (1979) (Serbia).
Venerable Agapitus, unmercenary physician of the Kiev Caves (1095).
St. Mertius the Farmer of Myra in Lycia (912).
Martyr Neon (Greek).
Hieromartyr Pyrrhus the Virgin (Greek).
Martyr Firmus of Magus (3rd c.) (Greek).
Martyr Thespesius of Cappadocia (230) (Greek).
Holy Martyrs Shio the New, David, Gabriel and Paul of Gareji (1696) (Georgia).
The Scripture Readings
The Promise Granted Through Faith
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
I Never Knew You
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’