Solitude and Loneliness

(By Bishop V. Phalana)

(Psalm 46:10; Mk 6:46-47, 46-47; Jn 16:32-33)

Lonely people are at times desperate, angry and passionate.
Their passion at times lacks compassion.
Lonely people want to fill their emptiness with anything, anywhere and anyhow.
Lonely people have no boundaries;
They use people and love things.
Lonely people are not in control,
They lack objectivity and cannot see things as they are.
They have a distorted vision of reality.
Lonely people hate silence and fear being by themselves.
Lonely people are confused, anxious, disorganized and superficial.
People of solitude are full of compassion and love of self.
They are comfortable to be alone with the One.
They do not use people but have friends with whom they can share.
They have the ability to share on a very deep level.
They can share their joys, successes, failures, dreams and sorrows.
They know how to turn loneliness into solitude.
They can share love without crossing boundaries.
They are deep, since still waters run deep.
They see life, reality, God and the world with the eyes of love.
They can choose, decide and act; they are not driven or controlled.
People of solitude know their own pains and struggles;
They feel the pain of humanity and want to make a difference.
They enter into communion with God and enjoy his intimacy.
They are wise, intelligent and open.
They learn from nature, life, books other guides on the journey.
They take the long journey inside,
struggling to be authentic and integrated.
They are not victims of loneliness;
They love people sincerely, genuinely and without pretense.
They withdraw to pray and fill their lives with light and peace.
They ‘get away’ to find themselves and to focus and gather energy.
They have made peace with silence and aloneness.
They are relaxed and are free from stress.
They do not seek unnecessary attention.
They do not want to be surrounded by noise and sound all the time.
They listen to their bodies, their feelings and their thoughts.
They are awake and aware, fully present to the present moment.
They are in harmony with self, God, others, life and nature.
They choose to go into solitude while others want to get out of loneliness.
They choose solitude and are not grasped by loneliness.
They know how to be creative in solitude, not miserable in loneliness.
They do not escape loneliness by going into sensuality.
They are active contemplatives, not activists without spirituality.
They know that solitude can lead to humility and then –
To solidarity with those who grieve.
That is why I pray:
Make me a person of solitude Lord.

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