Spiritual Depression: little understood

I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.  John 15 9 – 17

There is a song that is often sung at Masses:  We have been told.

We have been told
We’ve seen his face
and heard his voice alive in our hearts.
“Live in my love with all your heart.
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.

1. I am the vine; you are the branches,
and all who live in me will bear great fruit.


2. You are my friends, if you keep my commands,
no longer slaves; I call you friends.


3. No greater love is there than this: to lay down one’s life for a friend.

The lines: Live in my love with all your heart. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; always give me pause; not because I don’t believe them but because I work with moms who don’t feel love for themselves and therefore can not feel the Love of God.  Our relationship with God depends so much on how we perceive ourselves, not how we see ourselves: perceive ourselves.  We must start to care for our spiritual selves as well as we do our emotional and physical self.

Perception is a motivational-emotional state.  It is how we truly believe of ourselves not just what we tell others we believe.  Perception is the basic conviction of our self worthy, self knowledge and self concept.  If we have a very poor perception of ourselves we will not, can not be motivated to do anything, achieve anything or believe anything.  Every thing we do will is based on this perception.  And in the spiritual realm of our lives that low perception is what causes spiritual depression.

People call this spiritual depression the dark night of the soul.  It is a time when we are sure that God is no longer near us when we need Him, we can not hear Him, feel His presence in our lives.  This effects how we deal with others.  Unlike an emotional depression where we can deal with others in some limited capacity; spiritual depression leaves us feeling so barren that we do not have the strength to relate to others.

It is something that can commonly affect moms.  Mothers as nurtures we will often not take time to care for ourselves, not giving ourselves time to pray or mediate which is essential to feeling connected.  We feel either through social pressure or faulty church teachings that as mothers we have no right to care for ourselves.  In as little as five minutes a day we can begin to turn around spiritual depression and fell connected.

Many moms are told to be meek and mild, which is often translated into submissive and compliant; for those who are in abusive relationships this is how women/moms and controlled.  In this relationship we are not treated with God given dignity and our God given free-will is not encouraged.  God calls to seek out godly Men who treat us as Jesus would treat us.  God calls to be free to follow his call in our life and when someone is telling us they know what is God’s call in our life we should pray to be released from that person and their influence!

Spiritual Depression can also be caused by unresolved anger towards God.  Yes, we can become anger with God and it will not hurt our faith life.  God wants us to ask those hard questions, he wants us to be able to talk to him as he was a beloved parent.  If we have had a prayer or situation where we feel God as abandoned us or was “playing us like a fiddle” that will cause great spiritual depression.  We must find a way to work out these issues and get closure.  Journaling, speaking with a priest, rabbi or minister can help.  Sessions with a spiritual director can also help.

Seeking good spiritual health will give the strength and motivation to do all we need to do in our lives.

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Is a spiritual director working helping moms find God in the everyday. She has been a spiritual director since 1998: worked as a Director of Religious Education for Holy Cross Parish(2000-2005), was Director of Project Rachel, a healing ministry for Post Abortive women(1999-2000). Patty worked a social worker for Catholic Social Services (1988 - 1995) Then studied for spiritual direction at the Dominican Center of Religious Studies, DeWitt Michigan

She is married 20 years and has four children

She has a BS/BA in social work from Aquinas College, CSD Certified Spiritual Director

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