• Michael Haldas

Quotes of the Day for June 2, 2020 – Thoughts on not giving into despondency

“The Greek term acedia–whence pastoral concepts of despondency originate–literally means an absence of care. In despondency, we grow hopeless, care-less, apathetic. In our despair, one would assume we’d naturally settle into a pattern of comfortable non-responsiveness. But somehow, this one-to-one connection doesn’t sit right with me. As I look around at all the energy that is being poured into protests and activism right now, I can’t help but sense a sort of aimless, frenetic desperation. An anxious clawing–at something, anything, whatever we can grab hold of to turn the tide. Not always, but sometimes this “activism” seems like a form of inverted acedia.” (Nicole M. Roccas)


“ ‘ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart’ (John 16:6). Sorrow here means “extreme grief leading to despondency or despair,” which is a sinful passion…This sin is constantly referred to in the writings of the Desert Fathers. When the world persecutes the believer or when God seems to be absent, Christians are called to fight against this despondency, taking comfort from the presence of the Holy Spirit (vv. 5–15). (Orthodox Study Bible, John 16:6)


“Great is the tyranny of despondency…‘But now I go to Him that sent Me, and no man of you says, Where are You going? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow has filled your heart’ (John 16:56). It was no slight comfort to them to learn that He knew the excess of their despondency.” (St. John Chrysostom)


“…despondency is our enemy...Holiness requires struggle, and the despondent person is unable to see the possibility of victory, so she surrenders to despair. The first step toward victory is simple. We just get up again. If you fall a second time, get up a second time…There is a spiritual law of ups and downs of our moods. When despondency strikes do not give yourself over to it too much. Remind yourself that after sorrow gladness will come...” (Abbot Tryphon, Archbishop Averky)


“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 ll. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head.” (Saint Seraphim of Sarov)


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