September 2, 2020


I met you a few years back at the Catholic Men's Conference at Seton Hall University in NJ.  What a talk you gave!  Truly inspiring and entertaining for sure!  I'm reaching out to you in regards to my brother in law. He's a policeman in a suburban town in north New Jersey, and has been having a real hard time dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.  He has a deep fear of catching the virus and bringing it home to infect his family.  He is 36, married with 3 kids.  He's also a latino, so I wanted to get your advice due to your similar ethnic/police officer background. 

He is currently off on medical leave for 8 weeks because it became too much for him to handle.  I'm trying to get him to meet with his pastor who wants to come see him.  His pastor said he wants to give him a blessing, so I hope he goes to the rectory to meet him. He asked me if there was anything he could read that could help him.  Of course I said the Bible (do not be afraid is written everywhere!) but he was asking if there was another book dealing with this type of fear?  Any help is greatly appreciated. 


Demons have the ability to fracture our thoughts, place images, ideas and thoughts in our mind, they have access to our emotions - fear is one of the 11 human emotions.

Depression Teaser Summary

The Problem of Depression

-          1 out of every 5 women and 1 out of every 9 men.

-           Affects adolescents and even children, not to mention elderly adults.

Different Types of Depression

-           Major Depression

-           Dysthymia -mild chronic depression; "I thought she had just been in a bad mood for thirty years, but the doctor called it dysthymia".


-           Can range from feelings of sadness and hopelessness to becoming suicidal

Spiritual Toll

-          Attacks virtues of hope and peace

-          Deteriorates our relationship with God

-          Disconnects us from our Church community

What it is and its Causes (very real disorder)

-          Chemical imbalance

-          Can be genetic

-          Environmental stressors, mostly having to do with loss Spiritual Factors that contribute to Depression

-         Part of a spiritual war!

-         World is disfiguring image and likeness of God in us causing us to veer away from God’s plan for our lives

*********There is hope!

12 Step Guide for Catholics

1.     Confession – Sacramental grace enables us to get rid of cycle of guilt and sin in our lives.

2.     Forgiveness – letting go of grudges, forgiving self

3.     Acceptance of God’s Plan for our Lives – accepting reality of negative things in our life and the fact that this does not take away from God having a beautiful plan and purpose for each one of us (and how the negative aspects play a big role in this beautiful plan)

4.     Believing in God’s Love For Me – God loves me with and unconditional constant love even when I am depressed (He is with me). 1817. "Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.'

5.     Gratitude – key to defeating pessimism. “Every morning we arise afresh in Christ our light. Ancient Christian writers warn against ‘morning demons’: yesterdays worries and grievances returning to poison the new day” (Magnificat, July 2014, vol 16, no.5, p.92).

6.     Prayer – Constant conversation with God the Divine Therapist, holds us accountable.

7.     Eucharist – Source of healing, Divine Medication.

8.     Community – Brother’s and sister’s in Christ (our support group)

9.     Service – Fights against isolation and egocentric negativity.

10.  Integration of the 5 Aspects of Our Being – Spiritual (most important), physical, mental, emotional, social.

God created and loves every part of who we are and wants us to be whole. Can’t neglect one aspect.

11.  Living in the Present – Not dwelling on past, not worried about the future (God of Eternity)

12.  “Measuring Up” (not down) – Judging ourselves from God’s mirror and not from the world’s standards.

Above taken from a CD set called “10 steps to overcome depression for Catholics” by Alicia Leyva, M.A. MFTI

Also Recommend: “The Catholic Guide to Depression” By Aaron Kheriaty M.D. by Sophia Institute Press.

An interesting review of an article on over-diagnosis of depression and thus the over-prescribing of antidepressants. Over the past two decades, the use of antidepressants has skyrocketed. One in 10 Americans now takes an antidepressant medication; among women in their 40s and 50s, the figure is one in four. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/12/a-glut-of-antidepr