There are times when we are tempted by what has been called the Noonday Demon, and give ourselves over to depression.  This tendency can often find life in an almost chronic habit of complaining. We complain about our health to the extent that it becomes the chief focus of our life. Money worries lead us to complain about what we don't have, or what we might lose. We may become known as the office complainer and find that people want to avoid us. Being a complainer can give fodder to the Noonday Demon that leads to depression. 
Depression is, of course, sometimes a matter of a chemical imbalance that may need the attention of a physician. However, it can also be a case of setting ourselves up as an idol, worshiping self. We avoid a relationship with God, focusing instead on our own needs. Ignoring the needs of those around us, we build a wall around our own personal city, with a temple dedicated to self. Being alone in this City of Self, we wonder why we sink into an ever deepening depression.
Yet when we give ourselves over in service to others, the self focus disappears. In service to others, we are once again able to see the unfathomable love our God has for us. With this heavenly vision of love, there can be no room for hopelessness, despair, or despondency. The Lord united our nature with His Divine Nature, and we are forever changed. We are made the children of the Most High, and our sins are washed away by His Blood. The sorrows and burdens of this world, if we but endure in this life, will lead to inexpressible and incomprehensible joy in the next life. 
When we set aside self, and see the beauty of the world around us, and the image of Christ in our neighbor, we can put aside all despair, pain, and depression, and the Noonday Demon can be banished. The giving of ourselves over to depression only empowers the enemy of our soul, for in doing so we forget the power of darkness has been destroyed by the storming of hell by Our Lord's descent. Death is conquered by death, and the Lord's resurrection becomes our own.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: The Youth Group of Seattle's Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption , headed by the rector, Father Dean Kouldukis, and Father Michael Johnson, spent Saturday afternoon working on the monastery's newest project, the garden area between the enclosure and the Saint John the Wonderworker Chapel. A number of adults accompanied the youth, and all enjoyed Father Moses' famous Lenten chocolate cake, and our Monastery Blend Coffee.