Prayer Consoles

Patients using prayer to fight back against depression rated the practice highly helpful.

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.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.