Wow, Thanksgiving is gone and over with…. Nativity is on the way, Praise God!
Though what happens way to often, some of us become ‘depressed”, sullen, sad, under-joyed. Why? Spent too much money, commercialism, lonely?
Isn’t this the time of the year to be joyous, happy, filled with good-tidings, friendships, and thoughts of the Birth of Christ?
According to Lisa DeLuca, “Much of the post-holiday blues and Christmas depression that occur in the United States may have something to do with the way Americans celebrate Christmas. The Orthodox Nativity fast may be the remedy many people need. When people are suffering in their lives with things like divorce or other losses, financial stress, aging or illness; the sudden onset of pre-Christmas cheeriness may leave them feeling even more isolated and deprived, because the rest of world is portrayed as happy and fulfilled in stark contrast to how they feel. Others who do embrace pre-holiday celebrations often feel let down and weighed down by food and debt shortly after Christmas day. The novelty of the new material things wears off quickly, friends and family go home, and people may be left feeling blue. This is the feeling known as post-Christmas let-down. The Orthodox way of celebrating Christmas can yield completely different results.” You can read her entire article here: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/43144.htm
Can Orthodoxy really change your life and bring Joy? YES! Orthodox Christmas (Nativity) is the Opposite of Depression.
Participating in the Life of your Church, the Sacraments and the Divine Liturgy is the way to happiness, in other words — to save your soul.
“We come to the Church and we remain in the Church in order to save our souls, and nothing else. Church is not a hobby, a game, a private interest, a pretense, or even a community. It is our soul’s salvation. We achieve this by first being ourselves and then being the best of ourselves. If there is anything else, it is all secondary. We must never lose this perspective. If we do, then we are out of perspective and on our way out of the Church.
In order to save our souls, we first have to know ourselves, searching out and discovering our own faults, sins and failings. Then we have to take issue with them and fight, however slowly and weakly, and begin to tame them and never give up this battle. We will know when we are not doing this, it is when we start dwelling on the faults of others.
If our personal pride is hurt in the course of Church life, thank God. That is what we are there for, to become humble.” From: http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/brorthoc.htm
As I stated, Church life is the way to the Truth and Happiness. A way out of depression, especially this time of the year. Divine Liturgy, Confession, partaking of the Eucharist, and fellowship with your fellow Orthodox believers. This is the route to your Joy!