It’s a daily discipline, this clinging to Jesus. One look away from his Resurrection, I am already standing at the door step of my spiritual death. With just another glance at the Resurrected Jesus, I am instantly brought back to life with a renewed sense of hope. Each day, I journey through heaven and hell, falling and rising constantly. This daily struggle to consciously choose hope takes away ninety percent of my energy, it feels like sometimes. I walked out of my chapel after my weekly Eucharistic Adoration last Thursday with a small piece of paper that invites all to join the missionary journey to Honduras. It was calling for doctors, nurses, dentists, hygienists, health care workers, interpreters or anyone that wants to share God’s ministry. Offer your talents, the invitation read. And I heard my inner voice quietly murmuring in shame, ‘what is my talent that is worth offering?’ Sensing I had none, other than my ability to spend most of my God-given time on sustaining my own life here on earth- I wondered if God would have anything good to say to me at the end of my journey here.
A Korean soldier recently killed himself feeling torn between fulfilling his military duty and making efforts of living with his depression. His medication caused him to fall asleep during his watch on duty so he chose to skip his medication. Skipping medication can cause havoc on a depressed mind, and there is little explanation necessary on why he killed himself one hopeless day of his short life. I read this article yesterday, and it grieved my heart because I fully understood how stuck he must have felt in between the two worlds of inner and outer. His inner world was no place to find hope and rest. It was left barren, a wasteland, a war zone after the depression has swept through. His outer world offered no haven, either, his only fault at being born in a society so rigid and prejudiced. I, too, lived in a similar way, feeling stuck by the two great wars going on inside and out. Living was a torture until my soul came to rest in the heart of Jesus. The story of Jesus resurrecting Nazareth is more than just a story from the Bible. I live that story through my very own life’s struggles. In this world where so many lives attempt to find a false-and deadly- hope in the form of suicide, I wonder how many more lives will be lost because they did not come to rest in the hope of Jesus, the ultimate solution to the deadly disease of depression.
My favorite part of prayer said during the Mass at my local parish comes when the prayer concludes with “We pray for those who have no one to pray for them”. Every time I hear this powerful message being prayed, my heart is stirred by the urgent necessity of this critical matter. How many souls are being abandoned by us Christians, simply because we do not know them? How hard is it to pray for those you have never met, never seen, and never known of their existence? And in the darkness of silent and deadly evil of depression, how many tortured souls are experiencing isolation not only in their physical form, but also in their spiritual bodies?
Depression still haunts me even worse than my painful memories of leaving my home country or my long marriage. I do not want to remember my past depressive episodes let alone relive them. But at times, I fall right back into my dark past. It is God’s call for me to remember those that are so easy to be forgotten in their silent and invisible sufferings. Although I do not possess any talents to offer to those facing immediate and physical harm in Honduras, I sense God’s invitation to pray for the souls that have no one to pray for them. May their souls rest in peace in God’s everlasting light and may the intercession of Jesus and Mother Mary be ever before their heavy footsteps in this fallen world.