"And What have you done. Another year older and a new one begun." These are words from one of my favorite Christmas songs written by John Lennon. https://youtu.be/4lINLhw7iv0
Another year older and another year will begin. This my dear people is the reason why at this time of year DEPRESSION is hanging over the lives of many instead of holiday cheer.
We see the time passing and depending what has occurred in our life---we may be very happy, or very sad. All lives can be compared to a roller coaster one. Ups, downs, thrills, terror, and breath taking or heart stopping. There can be moves, job changes, health problems, deaths, fires, unexpected tradegy. I personally have dealt with a bit of all and with aging, along with a aging husband (ahem of 47 years)! Like everyone---GOOD AND BAD came into our life.
BUT for those who believe and trust in God---we know that all things happen for a reason. The biggest reason why sad/bad comes into our life---unless we go to our crosses-- we do not live! What?? That is right, we do not grow in wisdom and grace-- we are zombies living in fear. In trying to protect ourselves---we build walls that keep possible pain away. (examples of walls--obesity, addictions, hoarding, isolation, centering on the technical world--tuning out the real world.) WE cannot be gifted with all the Holy Spirits gifts or BE the GIFT that God wants us to be.
It may seem that I know all the answers. I should for I speak from experience for 4 years ago--I was very depressed! (http://www.catholic365.com/article/687/this-is-what-depression-can-do.html), AND, I am depressed again. The world is very depressing and as I said our life is like the lives of many---heavy with limitations and the ability to rise and be overcome the blues.
This morning, while in prayer ---God reminds me that He, Mary and all the Body of Christ are suffering from this sadness too---for they see, know and feel the sorrow of the multitude here on this earth. They see and know what is to come and know how important it is that we stay strong in our faith and trust in God's love for us.
I know that here is what God would want us to do. Use these feelings and emotions as a sacrifice, an offering of prayer to Him. Let Him use us to reach out to others who are struggling with sadness. Not with 'cheery' words that we THINK are reassuring and encouraging---but with just our presence, our hugs and understanding of "I know how you feel." Then again, we let the Holy Spirit lead us in what to say---or just to pray silently for them. Maybe that "My Jesus, I trust in You," or "Jesus have mercy on us," or "Jesus, Mary and Joseph pray for us."
More than any words we say though is the WAY that we look at someone and are just there for them to lean on. Listening also is the greatest gift we can give, and be skimpy with advice.
Perhaps, God is allowing our depression so that He can use us to help if there is something we can do to alleviate a need and give to hope again.
There are many families in need of a 'inn' to stay. Nourishment for both body and spirit and soul are needed in the lives of the homeless, unemployed, or those living with limited income. The ability to feed these masses will be dependant again on our FAITH AND TRUST that just like Jesus did before ---God can do this again when we become His hands, heart, feet and spirit. He can and will multipy any tiny effort that we put forth to love and serve those in our life that God brings to us.
WE must be like MARY that will say "Yes, Father, be it done unto me as You WILL so that Jesus can be born into the world of the many who are depressed. Before JOY, Peace and His Light can come into ours and their lives---first must come FAITH, TRUST and our "YES Lord."
"She said YES!!" can be our greatest proclamation of Christmas joy and allelujah at Easter. May we, for the sake of all who are suffering sadness, --may we remember how important our YES in answering the daily call to bring Jesus into their lives. Let us embrace that helpless 'person' who lies in the simple settings found everywhere around this world. By the grace of God's help and love ---let our smile and love be the answer to depression. IF you are depressed---'loving as I have loved' is the best medicine for that sadness within.
There are two ways to ride a roller coaster. In fear, eyes shut tight and hanging on to the rails, hating every second, hoping the ride will soon end. OR---with arms straight up, eyes wide open, screaming to the top of our lungs---we enter into the ride and thoroughly experience every detail with exuberance and joy. Oh look, having shared my sadness with you, I see the Light as we come out of the dark tunnel!! WHEEE!!!
Let us Praise God, the devil hates it when we do. Rejoice even when depressed and pray for all those who are on this ride with you. For this is the Will of the Father for us all.