Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
A term used by spiritual writers to describe a state of despondency during which a person feels inadequate, tends to withdraw from others, lacks response to normal stimulation, and is pessimistic about the future. Theologians of asceticism warn about giving in to moods of depression, which they describe as the characteristic of temptation of those who strive after sanctity.