Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Brief Word from the Pope

The following was taken from the Palm Sunday Homily of Pope Francis today:

"Jesus is God, but he humbled himself to walk with us. He is our friend, our brother. Here, he enlightens us on the journey. And so today we welcome Him And here the first word that comes to mind is “joy!” Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy that comes from having many possessions, but from having encountered a Person: Jesus, from knowing that with him we are never alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them! It is at this time that the enemy comes, the devil comes, often disguised as an angel who insidiously tells us his word. Do not listen to him! We follow Jesus!
We accompany, we follow Jesus, but above all we know that he accompanies us and carries us on his shoulders. This is our joy, this is the hope that we must bring to this world of ours. Let us bring the joy of the faith to everyone! Let us not be robbed of hope! Let us not be robbed of hope! The hope that Jesus gives us!"


  1. "A Christian Can Never Be Sad" can be a dangerous belief when dealing with those who suffer from clinical depression.

  2. I see your point, but I think what the pope says is still true. Here is why: sadness is contrary to Christian joy (sadness, but not sorrow). When someone is clinically depressed, the sadness they experience is not a free act of the will. Whereas in the non-depressed person, sadness is freely yielded to. Maybe a poor analogy: "A True Christian helps the poor." Certainly, this is true. But, that is not to say that the person who is confined to a bed in a nursing home is not a true Christian. Maybe not a perfect analogy, but I'm attempting to make the point that there is a distinction between the person who is clinically depressed who yields to sadness and the person who is afflicted by an illness whose symptoms include sadness. The sadness of depression does not make somebody less of a Christian just as the manic state (although it mimics joy) is not true joy. That's my attempt--maybe not the best--to address that one.

  3. Thank you for your insights. Unfortunately so little is know about depression and the mind / body / soul connection. There are many discussions on Christianity and depression found on the internet and while some of the material has to be taken with a grain of salt, I think there are some interesting thoughts on the subject.