Depression is hard enough to live with without the added burden of feeling that we can't pray, that God doesn't care, that we are alone in this.
The Surviving Depression Retreat will help you spend some quality time on your own terms with God.
Those who suffer from depression know best how difficult it can be to pray. When you are suffering with depression, it can seem impossible to muster any energy, interest, or motivation to invest in talking with God. At times God seems so far away, and it appears useless to try to get God’s attention. “And he probably doesn’t care anyway,” we can conclude.
During your experience of depression, your prayer will be different from your prayer at other times in your life. God may all of a sudden seem to have disappeared. If your depression follows on an illness, the death of a loved one, or an accident, you may feel God has betrayed you. At later stages of your depression, God may seem closer to you in your suffering than he has ever been before. You may have a sense of God’s care and consolation.
This retreat is constructed for those who suffer in a particular way with the difficulties of finding God and believing in God's love. In my own experience of depression I learned that sometimes all you can do is be moved by beauty, or listen to someone else's inspiration, or be led in prayer by a friend. The Surviving Depression Retreat was made for you because it is at this moment that God IS close to you, and these pages, these pictures, these words will help you touch the hand of the One who is reaching out to you in the darkest valley of your life.
This is a retreat you can start and do on your own terms. You may have to leave it aside for a while. That is okay. Even the feelings with which you react to the prayers are sacred ground. The stability that comes from starting and then coming back to the retreat, however, will help you open yourself up to God’s healing love.
I hope we can share these days of retreat together.
Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP, author of Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach