With Sighs Too Deep for Words

Grace and Depression

A. Robert Hirschfeld

Jun/2020, 128 Pages, PAPER, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640652606

A meditation and prayer companion for Christians who struggle with depression

The stigma around mental illness in our culture has had a damaging effect on those who suffer from its grip. As a priest and bishop, Hirschfeld has quietly and secretly been in treatment for depression for decades but now shares his own experience publicly. In this book, he offers short meditations, prayers, and suggestions of how one can follow and call upon Jesus for strength and peace during times of emotional upheaval.

Christians often feel that their experience of depression or mental illness is a reflection of a deficit in their faith. As a result of seeing depression as a moral shortcoming or spiritual failure, we risk more damage to ourselves and even hurt those around us by denying what is really going on. This book, with its prayers and practical suggestions for spiritual and creative practices and resilience, can be a companion for those who suffer so that they may know more deeply the resilient love of Jesus.

Audience: Adult education and support groups; clergy; mental health professionals; general readers

A. ROBERT HIRSCHFELD served as a parish priest in academic communities (Yale, University of Connecticut, the Five Colleges of the Amherst, Massachusetts region) until becoming the Tenth Bishop of New Hampshire. His studies in literature and existential philosophy have informed his interpretation of the scriptural themes of alienation from God and the restoration of human dignity in Jesus. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College (Bachelor of Arts in English, 1983) and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale (Master of Divinity, 1991; Doctoral Degree, 2013). He lives in Concord, New Hampshire.

Chapter 1: Depression and Joy

Chapter 2: A Peculiar Kind of Pain

Chapter 3: Mystery

Chapter 4: Waiting for the Beauty of the Ruins

Chapter 5: A Ruin in the Woods

Chapter 6: The Practice of I AM

Chapter 7: Moving the Immovable

Chapter 8: Tormented

Chapter 9: Parochial Anorexia

Chapter 10: Opening the Mind

Epilogue: Living in the Realm of Nonetheless




  • depression
  • faith
  • resilience
  • pastoral care
  • spiritual counseling

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