We must all pray for Divine Mercy. God’s mercy is infinite, as St. Faustina tells us. God hungers for us to turn to Him in our times of trial so that we can find relief in His mercy.
When I reveal to others that my depression and anxiety have worsened over the last several months, I am usually encouraged to develop better self-esteem and to nurture hope in God’s providence.
This is great advice that I try to follow but it has not changed my depression.
I realize that God has given me gifts to help myself and others. More recently, He has given me the gift of living more deeply in the Trinity. I am thankful for these gifts even though I still feel dry and empty. I trust that my aridity is part of God’s current plan for me, and that He is healing me of my inner brokenness and transforming me to live more deeply in His Divine Mercy. I seem to be able to do little else right now but to trust in His mercy.
Because of sin, I resist enveloping myself fully in His mercy. I want to do things on my own and fix myself. There is a battle going on inside of me that seems to be ongoing and hard to face. I have to make a radical break with my sinful nature and let God’s mercy transform me.
I am taking anti-depressant medicines that are supposed to lessen my pain and melancholy. You see, I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that requires some medication. These medicines had worked in the years after I lost my 26-year-old son, Aaron, in 2002 in a police shooting that I had witnessed; but they stopped working some months ago. This chemical imbalance had actually been part of my life since childhood, and only became evident to me after the death of my son.
My psychiatrist has prescribed different medicines for me over the last six months. None yet have worked.
So I pray harder and more frequently. Pope Francis said that those who are depressed and fatigued should spend time looking at the Crucifix. I now do that more consciously than I did before reading his advice. I find some comfort in this.
I have had some setbacks in my life that have contributed to my depression. There are new illnesses in my family that are life altering. My financial situation in retirement has not kept pace with our expenses, and I have gone back to work. I used to run schools and now I am a kindergarten classroom aide. This has been humbling for me.
I am a permanent deacon, and the one place where I find solace is in ministry. I experience God’s presence when serving others, even kindergartners. I have had doubts about leaving my old, well-paying job when I entered diaconate formation eight years ago, but I have had little doubt about becoming a deacon.
When experiencing God’s mercy in my life, my trust and faith in Him increases. He died for me and was resurrected, conquering sin and death.
He is calling me to trust fully in His mercy. In order to do this, I need to turn to Him in every conscious moment where I worry about myself and the future. I need to fill myself with Him, not my own self.
His Divine Mercy will get me through this crisis and help me to let go of my pride and hurt.
I will keep trying medications that could ease the chemical imbalance in my body that contributes to my depression.
I need to eat better and exercise more.
But most of all, I need Divine Mercy.