About Prayer in Discouragement
Discouragement is an emotion that we all experience at some point in our lives. It can stem from various sources such as failure, rejection, disappointment, or a feeling of being stuck in a particular situation. However, when discouragement creeps into our spiritual life, it can be especially challenging to overcome. In moments like these, we may feel like we have lost our connection with God, and that our prayers are falling on deaf ears. But it is precisely in these moments that we need to turn to prayer the most.
St. John Neumann, the fourth bishop of Philadelphia and the first male American citizen to be canonized, knew all too well the dangers of discouragement. He faced numerous obstacles in his life, including a hostile seminary environment, but he didn’t let these challenges deter him from his faith. Instead, he turned to prayer in discouragement, seeking solace and guidance from God.
One of the prayers that St. John Neumann wrote during his times of despair is the Prayer in Discouragement. This prayer can serve as an inspiration and guide for those who are struggling with discouragement in their spiritual life.
This prayer expresses the deep anguish and despair that St. John Neumann felt during his moments of darkness. It is a raw and honest cry for help, a plea for God’s mercy and forgiveness. It is a reminder that even great saints struggle with doubt and discouragement, and that it is through prayer that we can find the strength to persevere.
When we find ourselves in a state of discouragement, we should follow St. John Neumann’s example and turn to prayer. We should pour out our hearts to God, expressing our doubts, fears, and uncertainties. We should ask for His guidance and mercy, knowing that He will never abandon us. And we should remember that even in our moments of darkness, the light of God’s love is shining, waiting for us to turn towards it.
Prayer in Discouragement by St. John Neumann
My Jesus, relieve me of my discouragement.
My devotion has vanished; spiritual thoughts no longer soothe my troubled soul.
Even the remembrances of Your passion and of Your Blessed Mother grow dim before my vision.
O Jesus, do not forsake me.
Help me, help me!
I am resolved not to omit a single one of my devotions.
Hear me, O my God, strengthen and increase my faith.
Keep me from yielding to temptation. You said, “My yoke is sweet; my burden is light.”
Have mercy on me, for wheresoever I turn I see only obstacles and difficulties.
Were my faith strong I would accept my trials; but alas, I feel only impatience, doubt and discouragement.
My soul, hold fast to Jesus. How faint-hearted and childish I am!
All my comfort, all my joy must come from You.
Bring me closer to You when temptations assail me.
Help me not to fail.
O Lord, my God, I cast myself entirely into Your Hands.
Worn out by the struggle, I will rest beneath Your cross; pray for me in my desolation of soul.
Jesus, be merciful to me. Amen.