National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Prayer Consoles

BY The Editors

January 3-16, 2010 Issue | Posted 12/27/09 at 12:25 PM


According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, major depression affects around 5% to 8% of the adult population. That’s a lot of Americans walking around with an interior wound — around 15 million, to put a ballpark figure on it. The organization’s home page explains the condition this way: “Unlike normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss or passing mood states, major depression is persistent and can significantly interfere with an individual’s thoughts, behavior, mood, activity and physical health.” The good news for Catholics: A new poll from the alliance shows that patients using prayer to fight back against depression rated the practice highly helpful. And then there’s Christ’s forward-looking promise in the beatitudes: “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” No small consolation, that.