Beat the gloom
Some have proclaimed Jan. 21 the gloomiest day of the year. Daylight is scarce. Weather is yucky. Seasonal Affective Disorder abounds. So does prayer.
“The breath of life, O Lord, seems spent. My body is tense, my mind filled with anxiety. I have no zest, no energy. I am helpless to allay my fears. I am incapable of relaxing my limbs. Dark thoughts constantly invade my head. Was ever an oak tree buffeted by wind as the gales of melancholy now buffet my soul? Was ever a ship tossed by the waves as my soul is now tossed by misery? Did ever the foundation of a house crumble as my own life now crumbles to dust? Friends no longer want to visit me. No longer the flowers want to bloom for me. No longer the trees come into leaf for me. No longer the birds sing at my window. Lord, raise up my soul and revive my body.” —Gregory of Nazianzus, 4th century Roman Catholic.
“O God, my body won’t act and my mind won’t think and I feel that I can’t do anything. I’m too tired even to sleep. The worst of it is that I feel that I will never be able to do anything again. I get so utterly depressed. I’ve almost stopped hoping that I’ll ever be fit again, and it doesn’t seem worthwhile even trying. Nothing seems to do any good, and there seems nothing left to do but to give up and give in. O God, lighten my darkness, strengthen my weakness, put hope into my helplessness. I’m beaten, unless you help me. Help me to believe that you will.” —William Barclay, 20th century Anglican.
Always keep a green branch in your heart. Someday a bird will perch on it and sing for you.