by Bishop Arsenius (Zhadanovsky) –
One must not delay in warring against despondency, for the next step after despondency is despair – which leads to perdition.
Despondency from Physical Ilnesses
Despondency springs from various sources, primarily from our physical illnesses. In this case, despondency is suppressed by spiritual inspiration, spiritual interests. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, it says in the Scriptures. The holy Apostle Paul was beset by a physical infirmity: [T]here was given to me a thorn in the flesh, he says, …to buffet me (II Cor. 12:7). Saint John Chrysostom takes “thorn in the flesh” to mean a severe headache. However, the same Apostle Paul testifies, …when I am weak, then am I strong (II Cor. 12:10), because he was wholly caught up in serving the Lord. Our bodily infirmities and the resultant despondency can be overcome only by the strengthening grace of God. [Read more…]