(This post is from DepressedandCatholic)
” I gradually worked myself into real despair…I could no longer cross the street without wishing that a car would run over me…and I would not come out alive…”
These are the words of Edith Stein, otherwise known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross describing one of her more serious bouts with depression. She had the right to suffer this condition as one most probably genetically disposed and her continuous experiences of hardship and failure.
She was a woman ahead of her time. In 1917 at the age of twenty-five she graduated with a PhD in Philosophy yet because she was a woman she was repeatedly turned down for prestigious university teaching positions. When she finally did attain a position she was forced to resign because of Hitler’s edicts against Jews. Talents, ambitions, career, and how she thought she was going to contribute to the world all disappeared because of her gender, race, and the historical times in which she lived.
In her early twenties she suffered a serious bout of depression that lasted an entire year. Depression can suck the faith out of anyone, especially if there isn’t much faith to start with. You see Edith Stein began her adult spiritual life as an atheist. She chose that route on purpose at the age of fourteen.
What is telling about St. Teresa Benedicta was her persistence in seeking God. Rather than throw up her arms and remain an atheist because of depression she continued seeking Him. She didn’t find God for another nine years, meaning that when she felt better she didn’t abandon the search like most of us probably would! So if you are in serious doubt, hang in there!
On August 9, 1942, Edith Stein and her sister Rosa, both Carmelite nuns, were gassed in Auschwitz along with 12,000 others that day. Her last public words reflected her lifelong steel-faced persistence in spite of opposition, prejudice, and depression. They were to her sister as they were escorted down the street after being taken from their convent home by Hitler’s solders. “Come, we are going [to die] for our people.” Her words were reminiscent of Isaiah.
The Lord GOD is my help therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ASaint_Edith_Stein.jpg (source of picture)
(this is a post from depressedandcatholic)