SOME OF THE GREATEST SAINTS HAVE HAD TO ENDURE DARK PERIODS IN THEIR LIVES. ONE SUCH WAS SAINT TERESA OF KOLKATA...….
I arise today - Through a mighty strength,
The invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the threeness, Through confession of the oneness, Of the Creator of Creation.
I arise today - Through the strength of heaven: Light of sun, Radiance of moon, Splendour of fire, Speed of lightning, Swiftness of wind, Depth of sea, Stability of earth, Firmness of rock. (Saint Patrick)
Mother Teresa once wrote:
“If I ever become a saint,
I will surely be one of ‘darkness,’”
After her death, many suggested
that she suffered from clinical depression.
She experienced long periods
where she sought to understand
God’s absence in the face of so much inner pain. It is not surprising that she felt so low at times. Who could serve the people of Kolkata's slums in their soul-destroying squalour and immense pain without taking it to heart? God seemed so far away from it, and yet He was right there in the midst of it, in her hands, her eyes, her heart.
Therese Borchard writes:
“I spent a week with Mother Teresa and her Sisters in the winter of 1994.
I stood beside her for about two hours
as we distributed Christmas gifts
to orphaned children.
I sensed sadness in her.
But her light overshadowed it.
Unlike a person wrapped in severe depression, wearing the expression of despair, she exuded light and hope.
When she prayed, her deep love for God was visible, even contagious.
This saint in the darkness
has much to teach us
about how to live
with inner anguish.
First of all, I should stop referring
to my depression and anxiety as the “black Hole,” and call it, as Mother Teresa described her difficult places, the “dark hole”, because the darkness is never black, or without any light at all. Her legacy is proof that hope and faith and love prevail, even in the darkest night.”
A few years ago, I composed this prayer.
Dear God, I am on my knees,
because I don’t have the strength to stand up. My strength is gone.
I can’t deal with my depression by myself any longer I am lonely. I call
on You. I have faith that Your strength is bigger than my depression, that Your mercy and healing brilliance will show me the path home.I am not alone. Your rod and staff comfort me
as I walk through the valley of the shadow of depression, and there is nothing I shall fear.
So don’t lose hope.
Don’t lose God.
God’s working somewhere in it with you.
O God, help us to pray,
to concentrate our thoughts on you.
We cannot do this alone.
In us there is darkness,
but in you there is light.
We are alone, but you leave us not.
We are feeble in heart,
but with you there is peace.
In us there is bitterness,
but with you there is patience.
We do not understand your ways,
but you know the way for us.
Help us, O God,
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Prayer of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
FROM SAINT PAUL TO PHILIPPI
I have learned to be content
with whatever I have.
I know what it is to have little,
and I know what it is to have plenty.
In any and all circumstances,I have learned the secret of being well-fed
and of going hungry, of having plenty
and of being in need.
I can do all things through him
who strengthens me.
Philippians 4: 12, 13.
I arise today through God's strength to pilot me: God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's host to save me. (Saint Patrick)