A Saint for Our Time
Mental illness, especially depression and anxiety, are rampant in Western society. In 2019, twenty-six million people were prescribed Alprazolam and Citalopram for depression or anxiety, placing those drugs in the top 20 list of all drugs prescribed. Now with the dreaded daily threat of Covid-19 and all that entails, mental disorders and illnesses are about to explode.
Medication can help, but many people find the side effects outweigh the benefits. I'm not advocating that people stop taking their meds, but if you're suffering from mild to moderate anxiety or depression and don't want to go on medication, or if you're currently on medication but you find your meds aren't totally taking care of the problem, do not despair. I have good news. We have a friendly, faithful, and effective advocate in the Heavenly realms: a teenage saint named Dymphna (pronounced "DIMF-nuh").
Today is the feast of the Irish martyr St. Dymphna. In Gheel (prounced "Gale"), Belgium, where she tragically died, the victim of a grieving, insane father, the townspeople care for the mentally ill in their homes. Amazingly, they have done this for hundreds of years, thanks to her powerful influence.
May St. Dymphna continue to intercede for all those suffering from depression and anxiety and every form of mental and emotional distress. For more information, contact the National Shrine of St. Dymphna at Massillon, Ohio, where you can enroll in the League of St. Dymphna for only $3.00 per year.
St. Dymphna, pray for us!
Six weeks' shy of one year of being unemployed. Nobody wants to hire a 61-year-old. Nowhere to live on a permanent basis (a nice way of saying I am homeless, were it not for the charity of a very generous couple who take the precepts of the Church seriously in the area of the corporal works of mercy.)
I have moved four times in the past year and will soon be faced with moving once again. I have a dog who refuses to wear a collar, come near a leash, or get in my car. Our continued relationship is therefore not looking good.
And let's not even bring up the dreaded "C" word. I do, however, now own a face mask.
But I have much to be grateful for. I am still relatively healthy. I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I have friends who care and a son who loves me. And most of all, I have God. What more can one want?
In the words of the Benedictines, "Ora et labora," or "work and pray." Hopefully the "labora" part will materialize soon...
The past few months have been apocalyptically challenging. For all of us. My life of late has been like leaping across a raging river, hopping from one slippery stone to the next, trying not to fall in. My only source of strength has been Jesus, especially Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Like many people, I often pray the Anima Christi prayer after receiving. In English, the first verse is "Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me." In Latin: "Anima Christi, sanctifica me. Corpus Christi, salva me. Sanguis Christi, inebria me. Aqua lateris Christi, lava me."
The video below has been in my YouTube feed for months and months. I did not listen to it until a few minutes ago. I do not know who the nuns in this video are, where they live, or what Order they belong to. Nor do I care. All I know is, until a few minutes ago, nothing short of pharmaceutical drugs has heretofore been able to calm my relentlessly lacerated emotions. Until now.
Listen and weep and thank God for the surprisingly beautiful and poignantly holy things in this world. They still exist. We still exist. Be amazed, and be thankful. Even now. Especially now...
The opinions expressed on this website are my own personal views and do not necessarily represent those of the Catholic Church.
If I have erred in any statement, whether directly or by implication, in any matter pertaining to faith or morals, I humbly invite fraternal correction.