Despair and Disillusionment

This very special DESPAIR & DISILLUSIONMENT thread commemorates the greatest psy-op ever attempted against Heaven’s beloved, mankind.


holy-saturday-grief


Here we are again

Imagine being Peter, seeing the miracles, the honor given to his teacher, the wild popularity with the people, and then, Jesus explains all of this is going to change.

31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Mark 8:31-33

Peter feels he must help his teacher out. Jesus must be tired and have made a mistake. It’s hard to imagine the intensity of the sting of that rebuke from Jesus. Peter, soon to be the rock of the church, had been the mouthpiece of satan? Ouch.

But Jesus then pivots and turns this into a teaching moment Peter would never forget.

The Way of the Cross

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 3What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
Mark 8:34-38

And then the ministry starts to get really busy. I wonder if Peter forgot those words in the whirlwind of activity, or did he in quiet moments would revisit that stinging encounter and try to make sense of it all?

Later on, Jesus would tell the parable of the tenants.

“A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.

“He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ “But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
Mark 12:1b-8

Would that story haunt Peter’s dreams?

Then, in Bethany, a woman pours a very expensive perfume on Jesus’ head, scandalizing all present, excepting Jesus. Again Jesus patiently explains what is coming.

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Mark 14:6-9

This is when Judas snapped. He’d been following a madman. How could the Son of God be talking of defeat and death this way?

But Jesus did indeed suffer humiliation, torture, and death. Afterwards his closest disciples are ashamed at their lack of courage and in deep grief. His betrayer, Judas, hangs himself in despair.

The disciples of Jesus have taken a gut punch. The women following Jesus have proven to have much more courage than the men. What embarrassment! The only leadership shown was by Joseph of Arimathea, not in the inner circle at all,  who boldly goes to Pilate and asks for the body of Jesus and gave some dignity to him in his death.

The disillusionment stung. The grief nearly unbearable. Such a dark fog of evil swirling around them, that they can’t even remember the promise he gave to rise on the third day.

While Christ is plundering hell, his disciples grieve.

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grandmaintexas

For Christians, despair is a sin. It separates us from God, as Judas Iscariot learned.

I find that I am having to reaffirm my basic Christian beliefs and understanding. It is very helpful.

Yes, Christ plundered Hell. Wonderful sentence.

grandmaintexas

Well, it’s a Catholic understanding. To despair is to basically reject the theological virtue of Hope. I can’t research it right now, but it may be a Thomas Aquinas thing.

grandmaintexas

Yes. We are on the same page, I think.

Despair almost always precedes suicide, which is a mortal sin. Now, despair can also put us out of our right mind such that a person may have lost his ability to reason rightly and therefore God’s mercy kicks in if despair ends in suicide.

We cannot judge the state of the individual, of course.

singingsoul1

For me I learned to walk through loss not deny or turn away but face it. I found that is where I meet Christ. I approach all in life that way .
I also do not allow myself to get carried away to put all my emotions into situations I have no control over. Ultimately God is in control and I might not like it. My faith and hope is always in the Divine not in people.

geneticallycatholic

I researched a bit…here’s a short essay on it.

Despair, ethically regarded, is the voluntary and complete abandonment of all hope of saving one’s soul and of having the means required for that end. It is not a passive state of mind: on the contrary it involves a positive act of the will by which a person deliberately gives over any expectation of ever reaching eternal life. There is presupposed an intervention of the intellect in virtue of which one comes to decide definitely that salvation is impossible. This last is motived by the persuasion either that the individual’s sins are too great to be forgiven or that it is too hard for human nature to cooperate with the grace of God or that Almighty God is unwilling to aid the weakness or pardon the offenses of his creatures, etc.

It is obvious that a mere anxiety, no matter how acute, as to the hereafter is not to be identified with despair. This excessive fear is usually a negative condition of soul and adequately discernible from the positive elements which clearly mark the vice which we call despair. The pusillanimous person has not so much relinquished trust in God as he is unduly terrified at the spectacle of his own shortcomings of incapacity.

The sin of despair may sometimes, although not necessarily, contain the added malice of heresy in so far as it implies an assent to a proposition which is against faith, e.g. that God has no mind to supply us with what is needful for salvation.

Despair as such and as distinguished from a certain difference, sinking of the heart, or overweening dread is always a mortal sin. The reason is that it contravenes with a special directness certain attributes of Almighty God, such as His goodness, mercy, and faith-keeping. To be sure despair is not the worst sin conceivable: that evil primacy is held by the direct and explicit hatred of God; neither is it as great as sins against faith like formal heresy or apostasy. Still its power for working harm in the human soul is fundamentally far greater than other sins inasmuch as it cuts off the way of escape and those who fall under its spell are frequently, as a matter of fact, found to surrender themselves unreservedly to all sorts of sinful indulgence.

https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04755a.htm

grandmaintexas

Excellent. Thank you. You clarified things.

geneticallycatholic

YW

Wolf Moon

Oh, that is really good stuff!

geneticallycatholic

I too was unaware….

Tonawanda

Despair is a sin against the Holy Spirit, and is the one unforgivable sin, IIRC.

cthulhu

I was going to launch in with “despair is not just an emotion”, but I see that several others have been here before me.

Wolf Moon

“You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

This cuts right to the core of Christ’s teachings, IMO, Even Peter was not prioritizing correctly in that moment, though he would indeed later. One could argue that Pilate recognized the situation in his moment better than Peter in his, although that all gets very tricky. Bottom line – we have to think about – and I hate to quote Comey, but there we are – higher loyalties.

cthulhu

Comey is quoting to mock. Look to the deeper references.

Wolf Moon

Wow – is he cabal? YIKES! That would make sense.

WSB

How quickly we forget!

Rodney L Short

If you pray and leave it at the cross there should be no doubt in a believers mind…
God’s got this, he hears the prayers of his children all around the World, right now there is no room for doubt….

yucki

Latma: Passover under Corona clouds – Let this virus go!
1320 BC in Egypt “We have never been in a worse situation”

Wolf Moon

LOL. I had almost forgotten about toilet paper!

pgroup2

An excellent composition.

smiley2

very beautiful, gudthots. 💟

and profoundly reassuring.

it’s our nature to feel despair and to be disillusioned, at times…and to grieve perceived losses…esp for people we love and respect…and need…in our lives.

sometimes we might be in shock, to a certain degree, by the iniquity and betrayals that accompany or even cause personal losses….with no accountability…

life on this earth just isn’t fair…in fact, it often seems more favorable for the damned.

it is hard to take.

it is hard to fathom…impossible to process…it defies reason.

it infuriates us….we lose patience…we lash out…

we need accountability…justice…resolution…closure

it starts to confuse, distract and eventually derail us.

…and we veer off the path…and into a dark woods…

and, in our anger and panic, we sin.

unless we cling to our Savior…He is The Path…He is The Way…He suffered, He endured

and He is Victorious.

there are many truly fine Christians…as well as Catholics…here at this site.

Christians who are clearly lead by The Spirit.

we can see that in the quality of their Comments and the threads they author…like this one…and all the rest…

personally, I just want to say Thank You for the inspiration, guidance and insights you have given…to a sarcastic backslider like I am.

Keep The Faith.

Our Lord and Savior knows exactly how we are feeling.

Last edited 1 month ago by smiley2
mollypitcher5

Very nice Gudthots. Thank you.