LET IT aLL sTART hERE
For Catholics who care...
Who doesn't know someone who is an addict? Who hasn't suffered extreme anxiety and/or depression at some time in their lives? Honestly, I live with all three of these afflictions in one way or the another throughout the day...every day. It was because of these unmanagable difficulties that often had this interior dialogue with myself :
"This situation isn't making me happy. It is all his fault...
no, it is all her fault. I am going to say something --
because something has to change ."
I was always ready to assign blame. Then one day I realized--
while in prayer and with the Holy Spirit's intercession what the truth was: I have never been happy and the common denominator through it all ...is me.
So what have I done with this new found knowledge? What has happened since then? Well this realization seems to have propelled me into deeper and more constant prayer mainly because I am seeking help for a malady I don't know how to fix. So I have prayed until I felt that I am wearing the words of The Our Father around my neck like a talisman. And I have prayed until there was nothing else for me to do but to commit myself to ridding the anxiety and depression I am plagued with-- with more prayer. This is what it took for me to finally "get it" : Unbearable pain, like my hand was being held over an open flame. And then an emptying out of my "self". Now there was room for Jesus to come in and reside and do His work.
I have lived on this planet a long time. In many ways, I have been blessed like a cat with nine lives. I feel more than qualified to say this: Only the Grace of God can resolve addiction; will power is not enough. One must pray and pray unceasingly to petition God for assistance. For me, this has been a really powerful way ask for His much needed Grace to rid oneself of weight of depression.
When we are able to think through situations simply and resist complicating what even a child knows... we are faced with the truth: God wants us happy. God wants us to feel loved and cared for. The devil wants us miserable. He wants us to play the blame game and he wants us, with our bad behaviors, to chase away all those who care for us. The devil wants us to ignore Our God, the God who asked us to be His people...the God who loved us into being. The devil wants us angry and wants us blaming God for not helping. If we isolate ourselves from God who is LOVE, the devil will have us all to himself. I have kept company with devil more than I want to admit. But now I pray till he takes leave of me. I have a choice...I can let evil destroy my joy and peace and ruin my relationship with others or I can turn toward Christ and feel okay.
I often think of Matthew 8:30-37 when I am "crazed" and how Jesus brought deliverance to the possessed men by casting the legion of demons into a herd of pigs.
I am not suggesting this experiment in prayer, minus medication is for everyone but I have committed myself to working hard on living Christ's prescription and I will report back to you on my progress. After all, I had nothing to lose and I have everything to gain.
6/22/2015 11:25:38 am
Evelyn, I feel a little hypocritical because at the moment I am not a strong prayer. I have, in the past, prayed with passion. At one point during my most devoted and disciplined time with Jesus, I was blessed with a different kind of prayer. A quiet place not filled with words or thoughts, but peace and openness. I have never been able to earn that connectedness with Christ again. Evelyn your devotion to prayer has changed you already , I believe your close to what you seek. Calm yourself when your in prayer....let the words go and focus on Jesus. Open your heart to Him. I know I am nothing spiritually special, but Jesus does love me! It is obvious He loves you Evelyn!
6/22/2015 02:18:28 pm
My birthday is today Dennis and your letter of encouragement will be one of the best gifts I receive. I understand now what "they" mean when they say we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you.
6/23/2015 06:55:55 am
Hope you had a happy birthday, Eve.
6/22/2015 11:36:06 pm
Happy Birthday, Evelyn. God has graced you in so many ways and so many of us are thankful that you are here on this website, in the church, in our world. You are truly an example of what Father Barron calls the loop of grace--we receive from God, we give back to God through giving to our brothers and sisters and He showers us with even more graces. Praise the Lord! I too struggle with depression and addictive behaviors but through prayer and closeness to the Lord have been able to keep them at bay--I've always said that depression is a beast with long talons but for the most part I've been able to be extricated from its grasp through the healing power of Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean that I'm immune to it--but I've come to realize that when the depression returns, it's a temptation that I must resist. When I was in the grips of it, I used it as an escape. I'm depressed so I can't do A, B or C. I had an "excuse" for my bad behavior--another lie of the devil. I can see that now that I'm free from it and I resist it intentionally through prayer and supplication, as well as daily praying for others who suffer from this. Thank God that we are free. May you have a very blessed day.
6/22/2015 11:53:39 pm
Hi thank you for your wonderful words! I have added more to the essay so perhaps you can give it another read. There are volumes to be written about anxiety, depression and addiction and I hope to share what I am experiencing as I manage "the demons" with Christ and prayer so that other's may not suffer as much with these demons. Lets see each other soon.
6/23/2015 05:15:26 pm
I like the "Serenity Prayer",the St.Francis Prayer
6/23/2015 08:59:47 pm
You'very given us great advice Ellen...I like singing thru saddness. I am going to try and think of my favorite church hymn today.
6/23/2015 09:25:43 pm
Evelyn I reread your blog, and you mentioned the devil. I think he does like to in influence us...and he does not like to be ignored. In my life I have tried to turn my back to that negative influence. Evelyn, the devil seems to be in your thoughts, drive him away, don't give him any of your attention. Use Jesus ' example "Get behind me satan'. I dislike the devil and don't want to give him even my negative feelings.
6/23/2015 09:42:46 pm
I understand what you are saying Dennis. Its just that if we are not acknowledgin the real presence of evil in this world in our lives than we are in danger of falling prey to it. I can say that from experience. I have spent time discerning the way evil permeated and can permeate my life to create chaos, reek havoc and cause my unhappiness.
6/25/2015 05:35:02 am
Agreed, we either know someone with extreme anxiety, depression or addiction or are carrying that weight ourselves. No matter how we look at it, we or someone else we know is carrying a cross. The power of prayer is here for us. I want to share a prayer by St. Francis de Sales called your cross.
6/26/2015 08:48:07 am
Thank you for opening up and speaking about something so personal. The Faith you have in our God will bring you peace Evelyn. It reminds me of a scripture I read this week Matthew 9:22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. May God Bless you along your journey.
6/26/2015 12:05:18 pm
Lovely. Thank you.
6/27/2015 09:27:52 pm
I think it is glorious that the creator and king of the universe will listen to us. Prayer is one of God's greatest gifts.
6/28/2015 03:06:50 am
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