The members of the Society of Prayer are from a variety of backgrounds, educationally and culturally. Those that are privately vowed have their own hermitage and live a hermit or semi-hermit type of spiritual life. Some are single, and some are married, leading their entire family along a path of dedicated prayer. Sometimes, this can be an isolating process and path. Those who are called to pray are not easily understood in today's society.
But you do not have to be a hermit to be reclusive enough to be lonely. I have been on the internet in one form or another for many years. The most recurring problem that I hear from people, regardless of their situation, is this. The main complaint I hear from people is one of loneliness.
Loneliness, please understand this, has little to do with being alone. Many people who are married and have busy lives and several family members living with them are extremely lonely. Loneliness is an extreme feeling of disconnection and is almost always a situation of perspective and a lack of the ability to cope. Loneliness can also be the result of the weight of regret and the inability to find a way out. It is sometimes the feeling that you are fighting the entire world...all alone.
Here is a confession. All of us, no matter who we are, get lonely. All of us have moments when we feel like no one understands, and no one is there for us.
The good news is there is some comfort to be had here. We all suffer as humans from occasional disconnection and isolation. But we have, as Christians, as believers, especially as people of prayer, a friend who is always there for us. This friend is often ridiculed as a fake and invisible force, something unworthy to believe in, especially in a rational and modern world.
I disagree. We need, now more than ever, this help, this divine assistance. I invite you to pray. I invite you to a life of prayer. I encourage you to fill your hours with less negativity, provide time for good things that lift your spirits, instead of depressing you. Learn to appreciate your own desires and weaknesses. Learn to be comfortable with you...because you have to spend a lot of time with that person...that is...you.
Accept yourself, the good and the bad. Stop destroying yourself with doubts. Stop attacking you.
Reach out and show love to others. Displaying love works wonders in getting your mind off possible selfish desires.
And finally, lean on the arms of Jesus Christ. The Lord loves you so very much. There is acceptance, forgiveness and understanding.
Many times loneliness results when we attack ourselves. We must learn to not only forgive others, but also to forgive ourselves.
And most importantly, remember that you are not alone.
Psalms 147:3 tells us He heals the brokenhearted.
1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all our anxieties on Jesus...because He cares so very much for us.
Do not be afraid. God loves you and I love you.
Sr. Bernadette Maria