Beyond the Clouds by Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, S.A.C. - Page 24

Often, people do not realize that they have fallen into depression, as it can appear in many disguised forms. When there is no more joy in living, no freshness of the dawn of a new day, and no wonder before a beautiful flower, it indicates that the person has begun only to exist, and not to live. It is not his fault. He was neither able nor equipped to handle the pressure, and- without help- left to surrender. That is a dangerous sign. What I wish to say is that when we come to a condition of not being able to observe ourselves and identify the movements within us, we lose our ability to be in touch with reality. Yes; it can be a rainy, cold, dark day in this part of the Alps. But let us be aware that even when we cannot see a ray of light through the thickest fog, there is still another world of sun and blue sky waiting above the clouds. + Many times, we come across people who produce strong vibrations of negativity; the world is bad, the Church is corrupt, the community is dead… there is no good morning! It is continuous mourning and bragging. Let us not judge or condemn them. The danger is that the person is not able to recognize that his inner world is totally dark, like the lungs of a chronic smoker. It can be extremely painful to live with such persons, especially as people of this nature make a strong community among themselves; hence the challenge for others becomes even harder. If there is a real psychological problem of this nature, that needs professional help. But for most of us normal people, what is most important is the observation of ourselves, our attitudes, our values, and our actions. In spiritual terms, this process can be known as what St. Ignatius of Loyola called, “discernment of the spirits.” Being able to be conscious of the movements of both the good spirit and the bad spirits constitute an essential part of Ignatian discernment. 24