From Ashes Part 5: “…all things are wearisome…”

Vanity of vanities, the Preacher saith,             All things are vanity. The eye and ear             Cannot be filled with what they see and hear. Like early dew, or like the sudden breath Of wind, or like the grass that withereth,             Is man… (Christina Rossetti, “The One Certainty”) Some years ago, the greatest comfortContinue reading “From Ashes Part 5: “…all things are wearisome…””

From Ashes Part 5: “…all that I have written is but straw”

…if the evil which is the cause of sorrow be not so strong as to deprive one of the hope of avoiding it, although the soul be depressed in so far as, for the present, it fails to grasp that which it craves for; yet it retains the movement whereby to repulse that evil. If,Continue reading “From Ashes Part 5: “…all that I have written is but straw””

From Ashes Part 4: Sorrow’s Weight, Sorrow Wait

…a hurtful thing hurts yet more if we keep it shut up, because the soul is more intent on it: whereas if it be allowed to escape, the soul’s intention is dispersed as it were on outward things, so that the inward sorrow is lessened. (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Part I-II, Question 38) Deep, deep theContinue reading “From Ashes Part 4: Sorrow’s Weight, Sorrow Wait”

From Ashes Part 2: Black Bile and Tears

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, Raze out the written troubles of the brain And with some sweet oblivious antidote Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff Which weighs upon the heart? (William Shakespeare, Macbeth) Melancholy, though it so weakens and disorders the mind, asContinue reading “From Ashes Part 2: Black Bile and Tears”

From Ashes Part 1: Melancholy and Silence

  When I announced, both on my blog and on Twitter, that I would be writing a series of pieces on significant Christians’ struggles with mental illness and asked for suggestions, I had thought I was onto a good thing. I had in mind as a starting point the stories which had brought me greatContinue reading “From Ashes Part 1: Melancholy and Silence”