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Mar 19, 2019

Depression, Sexism in the Church, Candy During Lent, and Posting on Facebook

Fr. Josh Johnson

Fr. Josh answers questions about why God allows depression, sexism in the Church, choosing a good Lenten sacrifice, and posting religious images and quotes on social media.

If you have a question, comment, or response for Fr. Josh, email us at askfrjosh@ascensionpress.com. You may hear your question or comment in an upcoming podcast episode!

Snippet from the Show

Healing happens in many ways …. The goal is to keep struggling to find the healing grace that Christ has in store for us during our walk toward eternity.

SHOWNOTES

Glory Story (1:07)

Fr. Josh shares a story about a seminarian friend who began practicing communal penance with a few of his close friends. Whenever one of them fell, another friend would do a penance for him to show how each of our sins affects the rest of the body of Christ.

Listener Feedback (4:44)

Depression (9:12)

Hello Father Josh. I really love your podcasts, just started listening to them last month, and they have helped me follow the path to sainthood. So I have graduated from university, but life after that has been different. Even though university had good times, there were times where it was worse than bad. One of which was not graduating with a good grade, where I had to do exams again 4 times, which brought my confidence down low. Another bad time was losing everyone that I met. I’m used to not making any friends because of my social difficulties, but the moment I started university, I felt promised that I would make new friends, but at the very end, they all just disappeared from my life. It felt more like I was being befriended than making friends for life, and I become very jealous when I do not get invited to uni (university) friend catchups, as if they forgotten me.

There are other bad memories from uni that I cannot seem to forget, that this overall left me broken. I haven’t been diagnosed with depression, but now can have episodes of low mood and on few occasions thoughts of suicide. Now on the religious side of things, I pray to God and Jesus, and attend Sunday Mass, and feel quite moved by homilies, speeches, etc. But despite the happiness of them, I live in a world when I can be full of hopelessness at times, where I can’t seem to hear His Voice, and where I can’t seem to receive good enough blessings (more jealous where some of my Christian friends state on social media that they received blessings from God). It’s as if God can forsake me, just as He forsook His Son when He was on the Cross, and I felt that moment when I failed an exam.

My questions are why does God allow me to be sad and hopeless, and to allow me to have bad thoughts of suicide and forsaking? Why did he put me in a state of pain and brokenness, especially creating depression? How can I heal the wounds of the past, and be more self confident and confident in Christ? God bless you.

-Mark

Candy During Lent (18:17)

Hi Father Josh, I have a question … it may seem like a silly question, but I’ll ask anyway. Is it okay to eat sweets during Lent? The reason I am asking is, I remember reading about someone who said they didn’t want to have sweets because it was Lent. I am guessing it’s because they gave up sweets for Lent, but I thought I would check anyway. Thank you very much, Father Josh.

-Bob

Posting on Facebook (22:25)

Dear Fr. Josh, first up, a deep thank you for this ministry. I’ve been experiencing and working toward a daily conversion for the last little while, and honestly I’d likely have given up were it not for you and some of the other Catholic podcasts out there. I live in Los Angeles and work in entertainment so as you can imagine it’s hard to be faithful.

Now on to my question. I’m never pushy about my faith but I do like to share on social media quotes, cool prayers (man, thanks for turning me on to litanies!) and religious pictures. I’m not pushy about my faith and usually keep it to myself preferring to not use words to preach the gospel, but my deeds and life (as the apocryphal saying goes). Also, admittedly, part of that is out of fear of confrontation out here (I’m weak).

Anyway, when I do share those things above as mentioned (images, quotes, prayers, etc.) inevitably someone will point to Matt 6:5. I don’t feel like I’m walking down the street dressed in a sackcloth and shouting, but I’m not sure how best to respond – because I want to share the gospel, but at the same time when someone confronts me like this I kind of just want to be like Matt 10:14 and shake the dust from my shoes. How are we called to be open about our faith and share the gospel and at the same time not share? Thanks man, and I’ll continue to pray for both of our daily conversions.

-Patrick

Sexism in the Church (26:31)

My question has to do with something that was said in one of my university classes last year. It was an intro to sociology class, a huge class of about 400 people and the topic that was being discussed was sexism. Now the professor asked a question along the lines of “Where is sexism prevalent in today’s society?” One girl raised her hand and answered, “The catholic church” and I couldn’t help but sort of chuckle under my breath that she thought that that is true. Now, I can understand from an outside perspective why she thought that. All she manages to see is a hierarchy of men in fancy robes telling their followers what to believe. Obviously there is so much more to it than what meets her eye. Now I know that what this girl said is not true, but how could one go about explaining why this isn’t true to someone who may not know anything about the Catholic Church or the faith while also highlighting the importance of the role women and religious sisters play within the Church?

-Valentina

Universal Points (31:40)

(Please note that these are a summary of the answers Fr. Josh provides in the podcast.)

  1. Depression – Healing happens in many ways. The goal is to keep struggling to find the healing grace that God has in store for us during our walk toward eternity.
  2. Candy During Lent – Remember with Lenten penances that you detach from one thing to attach to Jesus.
  3. Facebook Quotes – Keep in mind your intention.
  4. Sexism in the Church – Jesus loves the Church. We cannot separate the Church from Jesus. Be careful when you talk about the Church because whatever you say about the Body of Christ will be said about our Savior.

Resources

Want to browse the previous resources Fr. Josh has recommended? Click here to select an episode and view the shownotes.


Meet Your Host

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. One day, in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest. Now, Fr. Josh is the pastor for Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Louisiana, and he is a presenter in two of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, and YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body and author of Broken and Blessed.


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