November 2021 Intention – We pray that people who suffer from depression or burn-out will find support and a light that opens them up to life.
If you or someone with whom you are close has suffered from depression, you might know how isolating it can be. Depression is a mental illness that touches every part of one’s life: family, work, friendships, hobbies. It can feel dark and alone. Sometimes those with depression withdraw so as not to burden others with their darkness. At other times, they are isolated by the stigmas that surround depression. Some friends may tell them, “Just get over it,” while others avoid them altogether. Jesus, however, shows us how to meet people in their suffering. He meets the blind man Bartimaeus, the woman at the well, lepers, and paralytics. They have been pushed to the margins of society, and Jesus meets them there. He gets close to them, connects with them and offers restoration. So, how can we follow Jesus’ example as we encounter those suffering from depression and burnout in our world today? How do we extend an opportunity for healing and restoration? We draw close, we connect, and we offer the Light of Christ. He is the Light that gives us hope always.
To those suffering from depression or burnout: there is hope. Depression is a treatable mental illnesses. Do not be afraid to take the risk of reaching out and seeking professional help. Do not be afraid to let others accompany you in your difficult journey. If you know someone who is suffering in this way, reach out; encourage them to see a counselor. And invite Jesus close. Ask for His healing and His Light. Take consolation in His words, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12)
Timothy Bishop, SJ
Timothy is a Jesuit seminarian in studies at Loyola University Chicago. He is a graduate of Rockhurst High in Kansas City.