After my pained SOS email to the monastery requesting the earliest retreat, I am thankful for a bit of calm finally gaining control of my fast falling mood. I have taken a mental note of my prolonging dark mood for the past couple of weeks. I have been living with an unavoidably deep and strong desire of running to the mountains-which is a very poetic indicator of the depressive episode approaching. A faint female voice is constantly narrating “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things are passing away; God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices”. These famous words of St. Teresa of Avila are my guiding light, her quiet voice leads me out of the dark little hole I found myself in.
Nightly, I am clutching at my rosary in my desperate prayer. I don’t even know what I am praying for but I do it anyway, sometimes mindlessly and mechanically, just so that I can be assured that this, too, shall pass soon enough with the help of these prayers and by the magnificent power these rosary prayers will invoke. I believe that.
When I received my first rosary from the late Brother René at Abbey of Gethsemani, I did not know that it would take me four long years before I could experience the healing power of praying the rosary. It was one hot spring day in 2012 when I was going through the deepest part of the depressive episode that year. Two things happened that helped me overcome my depression that spring and summer. I saw a vision of Jesus guarding me against the multitude of evil force. I was sitting on my parents’ porch in Tennessee. That suicidal morning heat was so intense and brutally painful. I still remember- and feel- the overwhelming mental pain my fragile mind was holding. It was unbearable. So imagine when I saw a vision of Jesus in His shining white robe standing between me and the evil army at the battlefield. It was life saving. Without that vision God showed me, who knows I would be here today still mumbling and typing about my little life (This story appears in this blog from 2012).
Another thing that happened during that episode was that I started praying the rosary with the very rosary given by the late Brother René. With the same urge to run to the mountains, I ran to the rosary. Every rosary bead was being washed with my falling tears, day after day, night after night. And just like that, bead after bead, day after day, I started to get better. I surfaced from my dark pool of depression quicker than ever before. That’s when I personally experienced the miraculous power of rosary.
Being so undisciplined and immature on this path of faith, I still foolishly stray away from my rosary. By the grace of God and by some dark events of my soul, I am drawn back to the motherly embrace of rosary over and over again. Recently, I was given a very special rosary by a wonderful soul I got to meet through this blog. He personally fixed my first rosary given by Brother René without any payment for his service. Not only that, he gifted me with another rosary he made with the same beads sent by Brother René.
One bead at a time, the rosary prayer is said each night. One tear after another, heavy burden is relieved from one’s soul. And one day at a time, the pain of living this human journey will finally come to an end. Then will come a celebratory eternity in heaven. One bead at a time, we will get there. Today, I feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit to pray for those suffering from mental agony. May the Blessed Mother hold your soul in her arms and comfort you and nurture you as she did for me for so many nights.