Those Episodes

Praying Through Depression

Admittedly, I have been depressed—or more than—during these past weeks. I even had to take a time off by going somewhere I find relaxing: a place where I could hear the birds chirp, where I could feel the breeze through my skin. And I did find that place even though within the metro along with another I could take a trip to every week. Nevertheless, what had been lacking is this sort of meditation in which I could converge all my hopes and relinquish all my fears. I had borne this kind of conundrum for some months past yet I still find myself in a cycle where I could not figure when and how to surpass all the rapid thoughts that continue to hound me. Of course many people had suggested meditation of various kinds but there is this tug in my heart about what sort of might make me feel better. And this I discovered when I went to that trip to a haven last Wednesday.

As I sat on the bench fronting a Catholic church, I could not help but be curious about how people could stay for prolonged periods of time doing nothing but mumble silent soliloquies in themselves. Not that they are truly reciting soliloquies but perhaps more of conversations thought of yet never articulated ubiquitously. There they either sat or knelt; and even while I was rolling my eyes at the thought of mimicking even their state, still the activity continued to astonish me. When nightfall came, lo and behold: a mass was held yet all I did was to sit still, fronting the assembly situated about ten steps to where I am. I continued to feign texting or posting on Facebook but my eyes were still on the people and a priest saying prayers. It was then that it dawned on me that I missed God and prayer.

As the ceremony progressed, I still did not deign budge from my seat. However, I began feeling uncomfortable: how is prayer really done? And how could I pray through my depression? Examining the crowd in all their fervent piety imbibed a bit of distance within me, as if I could not, at all, be able to communicate with God as I have used to in years past. Perhaps, just perhaps, if I remained in prayer a sort of comfort might seep through my soul and make me whole again.

At that time, within the vicinity adjacent to the church, I was not actually praying through my depression as my stay there was more of a digression from my various thoughts. But what if I actually prayed that time? What might have happened? Even though I might consider myself a resolute Christian who goes to church services religiously every week (not Catholic), it has come to the point that I have become desensitized to everything that talks about God, having been bombarded with lengthy sermons and countless Bible verses supposedly to edify into spiritual fortitude (but works nothing in me). Thus praying has taken a back seat. Surprisingly, though, sitting down that bench near the chapel renewed my interest again in the Divine, in the simplicity of those people who seemingly mumble communiques to an unseen being. No lengthy sermons, no bombardment of fiery preaching; only people whose hearts are set on fire to commune with the Lord in silence.

Even if I did not pray through my depression that day, now I long on how to actually do it. I should be resolved to do it. I may start anytime soon and the journey in doing so may be hard. But it would be well worth a try.

Choleric-melancholic, blogger, teacher, mental health advocate, book lover.

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