THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE

Despondency – Introduction from Fr. Tryphon‘s blog from the monastery of All-Merciful Savior which is on Vashon Island, just off the coast of Washington, whose Blog you can visit here:  https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2019/09/despondency-7

Fr. Tryphon (referenced above) in his morning offering, expressed very clearly his own personal struggles with despondency and how he found encouragement in the writings of St. Seraphim: “Like Saint Anthony the Great, I cry out to God, “where are You?”, all the while floating in a river of grace. I want to be a friend of God, yet often feel like the chick who has been pushed out of the nest by the mother eagle. Yet I am comforted by the counsel of Saint Seraphim, who instructed his spiritual children with the words…”

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: “What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head.”

How often I must feel despondency, but don’t recognize it until too late, when I am reflecting on it later in prayer. I know why, too. It’s mostly because I automatically find a way to distract myself from it, losing all the grace available through just feeling my inner emptiness and offering it to Christ. I think for hermits, it is the most trying of temptations. The noon day demon is what it was called by the desert fathers. They just had to learn to bare it. And in doing so, came to understand its value.

But in our day and age, we have so many available distractions that we turn to just so we Won’t have to feel that same emptiness that they felt. It wasn’t just for emptiness sake. That would not make much sense. But when the time for prayer came, the Psalms they prayed then ever more deeply reflected their interior state in ways that our reading of the psalms today without that intensity just never seem to. 

I find there is a power in the Psalms if we allow them to penetrate us deeply. They are especially enriched when prayed during The Divine Office. But it takes a certain willingness and vulnerability to live that deeply in the Lord’s presence at all times, in order for them to have their most efficacious and transformative effect on our souls. 

A Blessed Peace, THERESA+ – Hermit of the Holy Cross

About Theresa - HHC

Many names, symbols and forms can be used as conveyances for or expressions of the Essential Truths and Intuitive Wisdom of one's personal spiritual path, or even of the one universal spiritual path all share as beings in Time and Space. With respect for all forms and names, religions and cultures, I simply present the way that was given to me for which I am deeply grateful...
This entry was posted in Disability, Hermits of the Holy Cross, Spirituality & Prayer, Thoughts in Solitude and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE

  1. moinillon says:

    Divine Office is definetely a MYSTERY and … a battlefield.

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  2. anchoritelady says:

    I was just at a Book Study last night and the topic for the evening was the Psalms. I have prayed the Liturgy of the Hours for several years and find that just hearing some refreshing words of encouragement as I did last night, can help one to forge on. We can’t give up on the Psalms even when they don’t seem to speak to us. The Saints for example St Teresa of Avila, had many dry spells in her prayer life and we will too! However if we keep in mind that just because God may not be speaking to us today in the Psalms, he may next week or month or year. God uses our prayers as He wishes – distributes the graces where He wishes. He knows best and we can trust in this when we think we are not seeing the results of our prayers. As long as God is present, that is all that really matters! God bless…..

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    • THERESA says:

      Psalms reveal the hearts of all humankind at every conceivable juncture of the journey. Sometimes for persons with chronic illness and pain, the best encouragement Psalms might offer is simply to know that one’s sufferings are as much a part of the journey of humanity as one’s joys. Simply to be with one’s pain then becomes an avenue to share in the pain of all human kind simultaneously.
      The Psalms of heartbreak and near despair are often over-looked by the majority in favor of finding the ones that will better lift people’s moods..But the suffering borne in peace for the good of others which is at the core of our Ministry is keen and experienced deeply, sometimes without the consoling words of the brighter Psalms even being sought.
      May I thank you for sharing your journey with us!
      Blessings – THERESA – HHC

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      • anchoritelady says:

        Interesting you mention “psalms being overlooked” because I was just speaking about that here with a friend. I think several Psalms have been removed from the Liturgy as well as being prayed at home by whomever is called. As you say, the Psalms touch each of us individually and we need the prayers of Lamentation, Chastisement, Conversion not only Praise & Joy! This gives one a sense of artificial joy if they are not truly soul searching themself or the world and Church. When one first begins to pray the Psalms, they may not experience anything however suddenly one word, verse or a whole Psalm can touch one very deeply to bring enlightenment and understanding in a personal way – God speaking to them. St Teresa of Avila and many other Saints told us that they often had dry spells but they encouraged us to continue in Praying the Psalms. Very small portions of the Psalms are presented at the Masses and then people go home and forget about them. Psalms are a meaningful and fruitful way of communication with God. I hope we return to more Psalms and not less! Tks for your sharing and God bless!

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