Burnout in Pastoral Work

Burnout, as a form of depression, in pastoral or ministerial work. 20 minutes video. The International Classification of Diseases, has included burnout as an occupational phenomenon, but not as a medical diagnosis.

Let’s go for a while to the time of Jesus living on earth. The disciples of our Lord where happy to give themselves for their Master, but they needed to rest. Jesus says to those who follow them: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (See: Navarra Bible).

We can summarize in a few words how we will tackle the subject we are about to discuss: the antidote for fatigue and lethargy in ministerial work is to go to Jesus, to rest in the one who gives the mission, the source of peace and serenity.

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Burnout is an unhealthy aftermath of a prolonged stress at work. Burnout literally means to be burned, and it used to be identified with a mental fatigue or surmenage. Like so many other psychological problems, it can be seen from a distance, as if it were a brewing storm.

The very person who is at risk of burnout can perceive the warning signs inside himself or herself: especially, in the greater frequency of negative emotions, which are contagious or attract each other, such as anger, feelings of frustration, sadness and discouragement.

There is a Latin phrase, frequently used in sundials: sine sole sileo. Without sun I shut up. Thus, only with a clear meaning in pastoral work, or in any profession, is it possible to work with joy and help others.

Wenceslao Vial

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