St. John Neumann knew discouragement in his life. The president of his seminary was not a counselor to him. Instead he was an obstacle. He antagonized John and discouraged him. And the atmosphere at the seminary in general was not one which nurtured the development of a faithful priest. St. John wanted a spiritual director and confessor, but found himself very much on his own instead. In his despair, he turned to our Lord for aid.
Discouragement can be a great danger in the spiritual life. Sometimes it seems so much easier just to give up. It is said that the hardest day to pray is the day after you stopped praying. So when you feel like it is all just too hard, follow St. John Neumann’s example and pray from your despair.
Prayer in Discouragement by St. John Neumann
My Jesus, relieve me of my discouragement.St. John Neumann
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.