On Loneliness and Real Communication13 September 2021
Don’t be afraid to be alone. People are alone if they don’t know God, even if they have dealings with a large number of other people. Even in a densely-populated society, people like this would say- and, in fact, some actually do say- ‘I’m bored. I don’t know what to do with myself, everything’s a burden’. Those are souls empty of God, husks without a pit, ash without charcoal. But you’re not alone, because you’re close to the Lord and the Lord’s close to you.
Saint Paul was apostle to the whole world. Listen to what he says when, at one time he’d been abandoned by everybody: ‘At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth’ (2 Tim. 4, 16-17). Do you see the holy manner in which the servant of Christ, Paul, thought and spoke in those first days, when there wasn’t a single Christian church in the world, nor a single Christian ruler. Yet today the whole earth is adorned with Christian churches and Christians number in the hundreds of millions.
So don’t be sad because you feel all alone in your own place. If, as you write, you feel you’re in the wilderness, you should know that many people have been saved in the desert. All of these, God’s desert-dwellers, ascended into the great company of God and his angels. There were people who didn’t see another human face for fifty years or more but who never said ‘We’re alone’. Because God was with them and they were with God. You can live without anyone and without anything, but you can’t live without God. This was their experience, which they bequeathed to the Church as their legacy. We don’t know if an atheist could live for fifty years in the wilderness in complete isolation. Nobody’s ever done that in the history of the human race. To people like that, it’s wearisome to live in human society, yet more monotonous- even impossible- to live outside it. Because the godless seek out people in order to pierce their heart with atheism and to nourish themselves on the pain of others. But who would they find in the wilderness to feed off, except themselves? And whose pain would nourish them if not their own?
So, let your thoughts soar to the spiritual heights where he dwells who is better and more gentle company than any human society. Serve him, keep company with him, talk to him, strive for him, love him with all your heart, with all your mind. He’ll find ways to open the eyes of your neighbors and their minds so that he can manifest to them living faith in him. Then, in the place where you live, the glory of God will be hymned not only by a soloist, as it is now, but by a choir.
Peace and health from God.