Heat of the Summer Dark Night of the Soul IV

III. DNS Not Depression

Aaron Kheriaty is a tremendous voice of faith and reason. I follow him on Telegram. I confidently use his book as a reference. So many gems remind me of the truths Sara & I have shared over the years are found between the covers of his book.

Depression means englobement (the act of enclosing within, or as if within, a globe ) in a world without hope, even more unrelenting and unrelieved than Dante’s passage through hell or the postapocalyptic world of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

Depression means losing grip on simple human hope. It means losing the basic tendency or appetite to expand, to rise. It is to be trapped and sinking.[1]

There can be a tendency among some to have a shallow understanding of the human person, not attending to the hylomorphic composition of both body and soul

The body is corruptible and thus can physically produce symptoms

The soul is also wounded by sin and ignorance. Teresa of Avila suffered from melancholia. Therese of Lisieux tended to neurosis and her father (St.) Louis suffered from mental illness

After several strokes that year, Louis Martin began to suffer quite severe memory lapses, difficulty in speaking, fixations, unwarranted fears, periods of depression and exaltation, and desires to run away and hide. Causing great anxiety to the family, he would disappear from the house without telling anyone where he was going. Later, his condition was diagnosed as progressive vascular brain disease, an arteriosclerosis throughout his brain that evolved over a decade.[2]

Louis experienced a trial of body and soul and both elements need to be addressed to be truthful about the human person.

Ignatius of Loyola 1500’s discern whether a problem of body or soul, modern medical arrogance

Aaron Kheriarty sees mind & body connection, in a spiritual element must be taken into consideration.

Lord sometimes only healed body, other times rid them of demons.

Doctors treat the physical but not a spiritual oppression. Don’t want to judge wrongly. Incredible to be both matter and soul.

[1] The Catholic Guide to Depression, How the Saints, the Sacraments, and Psychiatry Can Help You Break Its Grip and Find Happiness Again, Aaron Kheriaty, MD & Fr. John Cihak, STD (Sophia: Manchester, NH 2012) x

[2] https://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/c022rpLouisMartin01.html  accessed July 7, 2023