Among church leaders and missionaries there is a turning phenomenon today described slackly as ‘burn-out or depression ‘ . The job is acquiring to be really serious. Briefly, it involves a rhythm of letdown, anxiousness and depression, failure, and insecurity that leads to more letdown, deeper anxiousness and depression and more failure. Peoples caught in this rhythm are unable to interrupt lose. Burn-out and depression is really existent and onslaughts busy, painstaking leaders who enter into ministry with high hopes and an undeniable love of God.

Although the Bible is really sensitive about the psychological demands of human existences, church leaders can themselves be notoriously slow to pattern what they preach. Bing a curate, missional or leader can sometimes be really difficult with long hours and many force per unit areas. By looking at history we can absorb old wisdom by reading, larning and digesting from the Masterss. In this essay I will be turn toing the prayer life of Francis de Gross saless and his life long conflict with depression. Even old Masterss such as Francis de Gross saless with first-class repute and firm religions have fallen victim to it, and get the better of it by the pattern of supplication in the thick of the hum of ministry.

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Francis Recognized the Need to Pray:

This tendency otherwise known as depression or the darkness of the psyche, describes a malady that the greatest of Christians have suffered from clip to clip ( Demarest, 2003:23, 24 ) . It was the trouble that provoked David to soak his pillow with cryings. It was the problem that earned for Jeremiah the rubric, ‘The Weeping Prophet. ‘ It was the job that so afflicted Martin Luther that his melancholy threatened to destruct him. This is no ordinary tantrum of depression, but it is a depression that is linked to a crisis of religion, a crisis that comes when one senses the absence of God or gives rise to a feeling of forsaking by Him. The presence of faith gives no warrant of the absence of religious depression ( Baxter, 1974:71 ) .

Abraham dealt with depression when he did non see the promise of a kid in his married woman Sarah in Genesis 15. Jonah was depressed because the metropolis of Nineveh repented and turned to the Lord in Jonah 4. David, King of Israel, holding committed criminal conversation was depressed until he confessed his wickedness. He said in Psalm 32:3-4, “ When I kept silent, my castanetss grew old through my moaning all the twenty-four hours long. For twenty-four hours and dark Your manus was heavy upon me ; my verve was turned into the drouth of summer. ” Besides in Psalm 38:6, 8, “ I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly ; I go mourning all the daylongaˆ¦I moan because of the convulsion of my bosom. ” The Bible is filled with illustrations of persons, though greatly used by God, dealt with periods of depression in ministry and household state of affairss.

In many instances, curates do n’t cognize or understand that they are depressed. They may believe they have been firing out, but do n’t understand the all right line between burnout and depression, a line that can be crossed unwittingly. A study taken in 2008 showed that in surplus of 80 % of curates and their married womans were covering with depression ( Dobson, 1998 ) . Even though Francis de Gross saless lived many old ages ago he has a really relevant message for us today, his parts to the church and his counsel of psyches are as seasonably today as it was in St Francis ‘ clip ( Demarest, 2003:47 ) . In one specific country, viz. depression and facing enticements, he is a wise supplication maestro. All of us have experienced enticements and feelings of depression and emotional ‘downs ‘ , hence, about everyone can associate to this sensitive human being and saint ( Demarest, 2003:23,24 ) .

Francis Lived a Life of Prayer:

His personal touch and his capacity for familiarity attracted many to seek his counsel. He kept in touch with them personally or through letters. He helped them to populate the Gospel in the ordinary events of mundane life ( Cox, 1985:178 ) . He laid great accent on the demand to be cognizant of the presence of God in us ( Forsyth, 1971:27 ) . All our activities, both religious and worldly, will go holy through the consciousness of the presence of God in our lives, making everything ‘in supplication ‘ for the love of God ( Cargas, 1988:271.

St. Francis de Gross saless is admired throughout the Church for his great holiness, supplication, acquisition, missional ardor, gradualness, and apprehension of the human bosom. Scholar, author, curate, religious usher for psyches, diplomat, bishop, and Doctor of the Church, he is best described as a Christian Humanist, a powerful religious force for making a spiritualty laudably suited to those in every walk of life, particularly the common individual. No 1 could hold imagined at the clip of his decease that the wisdom and instructions of this astonishing homo being would populate on to touch the lives of infinite people today. Known as “ The Gentleman Saint, ” his spirit of optimism, hope, freedom and assurance in God ‘s love prompts the Oblates of St. Francis de Gross saless to delight God by making everything, large or little enthusiastically and good ( Gross saless, 2002:27 ) .

Francis Sustained his Religious Life through Prayer:

The focal point that Francis gives is non on the definition of supplication, because his purpose was to assist people to turn in God ‘s love ‘through supplication. ‘ For him all the good developments of the will, proper attitudes and temperaments, and good ideas, ‘are supplications, ‘ because supplication is life ( Nouwen, 1978: Introduction ) . Through supplication we come to cognize God ‘s will in our day-to-day life ( Pennington, 1988:337 ) . St. Francis was a adult male who could pray at all times and in all topographic points. One does n’t hold to curtail supplication to Church ( Gross saless, 2002:26 ) . One can pray in their auto whilst drive, traveling for a walk, or even when 1 is engaged in making some serious work. These supplications need non be formal supplications. In any circumstance one can at least believe a sanctum idea, say ejaculatory supplications, and in some manner become cognizant of the all embracing presence of God as Francis did!

Francis was a Prayer Warrior:

To function the many people entrusted to his attention, Francis became a prolific supplication warrior and author. Two of his books have become religious classics: “ The Introduction to the Devout Life ” , and “ The Treatise on the Love of God ” ( Flemming, 1978:276 ) . In “ The Introduction to the Devout Life, ” Francis offers profound advice for the individual life in the thick of the universe and wishing to prosecute a holy life. Francis felt that all people in all walks of life are called by God to a devout life and that this type of life was possible and fantastic. Through a series of carefully written chapters Francis offers practical suggestions for voyaging through the enticements presented by the universe and for doing true advancement on one ‘s religious journey in the thick of the hum of ministry. His penetrations on the nature of supplication, the value of the sacraments, the function of friendly relationship, the character of virtuousness, and the importance of devotedness are timeless in their relevancy ( Holmes, 2002:106 ) .

Francis Relied on God:

One would conceive of that his keen attention in the prima and guiding of people came from his Sweet and natural temperament and personality. Far from it! Francis confessed that he had to conflict with his restlessness for over 20 old ages. What appeared to be natural was instead grace and supernatural strength that he drew from supplication and trust on God.

No one knew better the deepness of desperation and the manner recovery was effectual than Francis. No 1 can steer others better than the individual who is both knowing and can place with the one being guided ( Flemming, 1978:226 ) . Francis is a maestro working particularly with those who are most in demand of religious waies and counsel. He understood physical and religious transitions and mending. His comfortable household upbringing and natural, Gallic, temperament received in Savoy did n’t precisely fix him for the virtuousnesss he needed ( Cox, 1985:177 ) . He spent old ages seeking to command his pique. It was a changeless battle. His continual supplications for many old ages eventually enabled him to derive command over his ego and his restlessness ( Peterson, 1989:47 ) .

Francis Prayed Continuously:

Prayer is the beginning and terminal of Francis de Gross saless Spirituality. Without terminal, without step, and without modesty shows the enormous accent that St. Francis de Gross saless laid on Prayer. He sees prayer as an act of court to God. The ultimate end of supplication is brotherhood with God. The main purpose of supplication is unifying of the psyche with God ( McGeal, 1988: 648 ) . So, Francis sees the highest undertaking of adult male is in giving their whole personality with all strength to God and allowing love bloom.

For St. Francis de Gross saless, supplication included every act of a individual ‘s life. For him, his ain life was a supplication, and supplication started with dawn and continued until the following dawn, and so on ( McGeal, 1988: 647 ) . And yet there are certain Acts of the Apostless of worship and Communion, which stands out as methods of supplication. In Francis ‘ system, private supplication takes the first topographic point. He insisted that, one who strives for flawlessness should give an hr a twenty-four hours for speculation and contemplation ( Flemming, 1978:353 ) . His orientation to interior supplication has influenced the Catholic Church since his clip. Some people argued that laymans would non be capable of speculation and contemplation, unlike priests and monastics. But Francis was certain and certain that this method of supplication is come-at-able even for the rawest psyche ( Cargas, 1988:268 ) .

Francis Meditated:

First and first St. Francis de Gross saless belonged to God. From the really beginning of his apostolate, he belonged to God and adult male at the same time. For him content of supplication included every facet of his life and everything he did. All his personal clip he spent for survey, supplication and speculation ( Flemming, 1978:357 ) . Everything he studied was an of import content of his supplication. For him survey was supplication and supplication was survey. When he prayed he studied and when he studied he prayed. Bible was his primary content of supplication. He meditated on Scripture endlessly. For Francis, the content of supplication included everything that he did from early forenoon until he retired to bed, tardily in the eventide ( Cargas, 1988:269 ) .

Francis Prayed for Mercy:

As a pupil at the Jesuit College of Clermont in Paris, he suffered from terrible depression when he was approximately 18 or 19 old ages old, that cast a long and straitening shadow over his life and about led him to desperation of his redemption ( Cox, 1985:244 ) . These assaults lasted longer than he could of all time conceive of. He admits that it was merely by the power of God through his continual supplications, that Francis received the grace to digest and get the better of these atrocious feelings of hopelessness ( Green, 1979:126,127 ) .

Francis had to ‘reign in ‘ or look into his feelings when it came to feelings of hopelessness. Feelingss of desperation, letdowns, declinations and temper swings are ever with us. Tests, trials and enticements of life are a continual challenge for all of us. We can be certain that Jesus was tempted by adversities, sex, human appetency and power more than the Gospels stated. Bible mentions his enticements merely before his public ministry. However, it would n’t do any sense if he had them before his public ministry, when entirely in the desert, and did n’t hold them when he was face to face with existent, unrecorded state of affairss and with people. The ulterior state of affairss were more alive, active and immediate to his senses. To cover with this battle, Francis resorted to religious aspirations or ejaculatory supplications drawn chiefly from the Psalms, which we are told, he wrote down from memory in order to quiet his frights.

Francis Prayed against Worry and Anxiety:

When we experience depression or enticement, possibly reading and beging Francis can assist us. If we feel like giving up on life, entirely, or are ‘down ‘ often, we might contemplate on his life and Hagiographas. He can surely tie in and vicariously sympathize with us in both of these common troubled countries. His enticements lasted many old ages and they were changeless. Worry and anxiousness can be dominant traits or failing for us. Most of us experience or are guilty of chronic concern or anxiousness. The current coevals suffers from extraordinary concern or anxiousness. Why? It is our universe, the gait of life, the timetables and deadlines we have caused or imposed upon ourselves. We produce much emphasis to run into our ends and aims. We are dying animals to a mistake and many of us worry needlessly. Some of us thrive on force per unit area. It drives us and motivates us. We believe that we have to be active to accomplish. However, we must retrieve that the illustration of the prayer life of Jesus and Francis has a really of import lesson for all.

Francis tells us that there are no irritations every bit troublesome as when we are occupied with trifles. We worry over the littlest, and frequently, undistinguished issues because of our natural inclination. Francis would rede us to get the better of one ‘s nature by pleading in supplication for God ‘s higher, supernatural gifts ( Green, 1977:105-106 ) . All of the Masterss of the religious life assure us that the bigger the job, enticement, test, cross or adversity, the greater the graces and gifts that God bestows ( Flemming, 1978:247 ) . If we trip or autumn spiritually and it is unwilled and non consider, it truly does n’t count. However, we need to acquire up once more.

Francis Prayed against Discouragement:

Discouragement is the dinosaur of the religious life because we get ‘down ‘ when we fall so often. As Francis tells us, it ‘s the bounciness that counts. In the religious life and those who are taking to be like Jesus, possibly disheartenment is the most deteriorating and destructive occurrence. We give up our ends, our dreams and our career when we lose bosom. Since brotherhood with God can be compared to mounting a mountain, we need to be prepared for a long, backbreaking journey that requires bravery and stability. Merely supplication, love, bravery, friendly relationship and God can pick us up when we are down ( Cargas, 1988:270 ) . God ‘s aid and support is ever available but we must believe and transport out our responsibilities and duties daily. Serving God is n’t ever easy. However, supplication enables and empowers us to bear it gracefully.

Francis found Hope in Prayer:

From the long, upseting shadow of desperation that hung over him, Francis comes to see through speculation and prayer the bright visible radiation of the truth about his humanity, about God and about the humanity of others ( Green, 1977:96 ) . He was urgently seeking for the Truth that is at the same clip beauty and goodness. His battle in Paris led him from the deepnesss of desperation to the highs of hope to manner an optimistic and positive spiritualty. It is an optimism Born of battle and hope, in the face of the shady side of our human being and helps to manner an encouraging and positive thought of human flawlessness “ flawlessness consists in fighting against our imperfectnesss ” ( Introduction to a Devout Life, I, chp.5 ) .


As we noted, his self-understanding is inextricably joined to his construct of God. True self-knowledge leads to the beginning of the cognition of God. The biblical transitions that he latched on to, while swimming in a sea of a not-so-quite despair, were those that proclaimed God ‘s goodness, clemency, and forgiveness instead than his justness and judgement. This led him to condense his apprehension of humanity in a contact, positive and comprehensive mode: “ Man is the flawlessness of the existence. The head is the flawlessness of adult male. Love is the flawlessness of the head and charity is the flawlessness of love. ” ( Treatise, Bk.10, chp.10 ) .

History is full of saints who battled with darkness and depression. Francis was no different. His Hagiographas are particularly design for people and leaders ‘in the busy universe ‘ to capture the brooding spirit of Jesus. His advocates on supplication are a safety usher for us to follow as we face the hum of ministry in this twenty-first century.

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