The Venerable Bede on Spiritual Depression

On Proverbs 31:6-7

“Give strong drink to those who are sad,” etc. “Let them drink and forget their want, and remember their sorrow no more.” He calls the consolation of supernal divine wisdom “strong drink” and “wine” in this place. For it is exhibited in their hearts that they flee to the lowest things to be consoled; and whatever occurs in the present, they bear alone, “bitter in mind,” for they do not yet see the celestial joys by sticking to them with their whole mind. They are together with him who said, “My soul refused [negavit] to be comforted; I remembered God, and was delighted….” (Ps. 76:3-4/Ps. 77:2-3, Vetera Latina)

Likewise, “Give strong drink to those who are sad, and wine to those who are bitter in mind,” etc. For those who are depressed by sadness and grief for an abundance of old deeds, pour out copiously the cheerfulness [jocunditatem] of spiritual knowledge, just like the wine which “cheers the human heart.” (Ps. 103:15/Ps. 104:15; cf. Sir. 40:20) And with the words of salvation, warm back to life from their hangover [crapula] those like this, lest they should be swallowed up by a more abundant sorrow, overwhelmed by the continualness of their grief or by lethal desperation.



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2 responses to “The Venerable Bede on Spiritual Depression

  1. joy

    I sent you an email about this. I comment thusly because you often forget to check your email.

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