So, I have my low moments.
On Saturday night I came across this reel on Instagram which well articulated how I was feeling. I found it comforting, in the same way that I like Leonard Cohen’s songs which many people find miserable! It helps me to understand and gain distance.
That morning I had read my friend Jamie’s discussion of accidie (acedia), that rang many bells with me. It’s good to be reminded of the perennial struggle with our demons, and accidie is certainly one of mine. So perhaps the demon of despair had been roused to attack because Jamie’s post had let some light in past the accreted crust of accidie. There was certainly no reason in what had happened that day for me to feel low, quite the opposite in fact.
Anyhow, on Sunday morning, during the intercessions (read by a colleague) I was reflecting on the struggle, and just at the time when I was doing so the intercessor prayed for those ‘close to despair’, and I laughed (inwardly, of course, I am English). It was as if the Lord was channelling Delboy and saying ‘you plonker Rodney!‘
I don’t believe in coincidence. Either all is meaningful or nothing is. So the Lord gave me a poke, and blessed be the name of the Lord.
Something quoted in Jamie’s post: Finally, the essential remedy is perseverance, in Greek hypomonē, which is a very active thing. It is an appeal, an increase of fidelity. When you are in a tunnel and you see nothing at all, it is advisable to remain near the handrail; otherwise, without noticing it, you will wander off and get turned around. The handrail is fidelity to one’s rule of life. Perseverance sometimes consists of remaining without doing anything, or else, on the contrary, doing everything that one did not think one had come to do. But ultimately, little matters. What does matter is to endure. As another saying puts it: “If you are hungry, eat; if you want to sleep, sleep; but do not leave your cell!”
The handrail is fidelity to one’s rule of life. Once more unto the breach, dear friends! Once more!