Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 28 February |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Tymoteusz Trojanowski
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

St. John of the Cross: Advent quotes for the Christmas blues

John of the Cross

Josefa de Óbidos | Public Domain

Tom Hoopes - published on 12/14/20 - updated on 12/11/23

The great Spanish Carmelite has wisdom to help us through the tough parts of the season.
Without donors, Aleteia's future is uncertain.
Join our Lenten Campaign 2024.

Depression at Christmastime is a real thing, whether it comes from financial stress, busyness, loneliness, grief, or estrangement.

The wisdom of the great Spanish Carmelite mystic St. John of the Cross, whose feast is celebrated December 14, can help you cope.

Praying in Darkness

“The endurance of darkness is the preparation for great light.”

This one is true of both the Advent darkness everyone feels, and the specific darkness you feel in your depression. Hold on. Christ is coming!

“It is best to learn to silence the faculties and to cause them to be still so that God may speak.”

A great reminder that, when you have nothing to say to God, he still wants to talk to you. In fact …

“What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.”

… the deprivation of the senses you feel in depression can be offered to God, fruitfully.

“Contemplation is nothing else but a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of God, which if admitted, will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love.”

If you have trouble praying, don’t worry. Just find a moment for God to offer him your silent love.

Waiting in Loneliness

“Take God for your spouse and friend and walk with him continually, and you will not sin and will learn to love, and the things you must do will work out prosperously for you.”

If you are single by choice or by circumstances and Christmas is hard, remember what St. John says here.

“If you purify your soul of attachment to and desire for things, you will understand them spiritually. If you deny your appetite for them, you will enjoy their truth, understanding what is certain in them.”

This is for all those who aren’t expecting to get much for Christmas!

Read more:
How St. John Henry Newman’s meditation helps me through depression

Living For Others

“Beloved, all that is harsh and difficult I want for myself, and all that is gentle and sweet for thee.”

Words for a Christmas mom to try out, if no one is helping like they should (but don’t be afraid to let them know how they should help).

“It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.”

A reminder to avoid gossip at the office Christmas party!

“In the dark night of the soul, bright flows the river of God.”

If you are depressed at Christmas, think of God as the Christmas star — or string of lights — whose light is out there whether you see it now or not.

“In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone.”

Christmas is a time to give — gifts, time, and love. And giving remains a great antidote to depression.

Read more:
St. Therese of Lisieux and fighting the Christmas Blues

Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.