Trust in Him

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Loneliness

I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.

Of all the trials that one faces in this life, loneliness causes the greatest destitution and despair. As humans, with hearts and intellects, we desire to have an impact on others. We want to know how we are affecting others, and we want them to acknowledge us and our actions. We are also created for love, and humankind is, in general, social and intended to live together. Loneliness shows itself in many ways, and it impacts us most greatly when we are not really alone. When we feel unappreciated, different, or manipulated, we experience a loneliness which resides in the silence of our hearts and festers hurt.

I have not yet met the person who has not, as some point in his life, felt alone in his sufferings. For a mature Christian, this loneliness is a gift... because when Christ needed His friends the most, they were all sleeping. We desire to share His loneliness and bring some comfort to Him in His agony. But most people, even those who offer their sufferings to Jesus for this purpose, become weary with the side effects of this loneliness. Destitution, purposelessness, doubt, and fear often accompany loneliness. Why? Because when we are lonely, we forget those we trust, and why. We tend to forget that we can do good, because we do not feel that we are recognized by anyone, including God. Truly, those who feel alone and in pain are the ones most susceptible to despair.

It is not natural for most to accept their sufferings without complaint, or without seeking a cure. When we become lonely, we seek refuge in work, hobbies, books, writing... all manner of things to get our minds off of the sentimental pain that resides within us. The very wise seek God when they are lonely, but I will not attest to God's efficiency in curing loneliness. It seems that this is one of the trials He offers most often to His saints. However, recognizing God's presence, and not failing to pray often, will definitely gain many graces for the suffering person and ultimately result in great consolation. When you seek company in your sufferings, spill your hearts to Him.. and He will hear you.

When we are lonely, we should admit to ourselves that we are lonely, and then try to live our lives with as much purpose as possible until the loneliness has passed. Meanwhile we must be careful not to let ourselves become confused, mislead, or threatened by this feeling. If we remember that there truly is a God, and truth, and eternity... then even if we feel alone in these beliefs, we will find some comfort in them. Also, the more lonely we become the more we should strive to give to others in Charity, for the times of our greatest empathy are those times when we ourselves feel heartache. If we cannot feel loved, we can love. If we cannot find consolation, we can offer it to others. In thus doing we can find peace with the world and with ourselves in this trial, and become saints through it.

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