Feeling Isolated?

By Marc Massery

Are you feeling lonely lately? 

As human beings created in God’s image, we were made for union and communion with one another. Unfortunately, social distancing measures continue to make socializing difficult. Many in our country and around our world, especially those who are immunocompromised, have been forced by these circumstances into isolation. 

There are few things more distressing than being unable to visit family and friends. Thankfully, St. Faustina’s Diary gives us some perspective on loneliness. Jesus told her:

Even among the sisters you will feel lonely. Know then that I want you to unite yourself more closely to Me. I am concerned about every beat of your heart. (Diary, 1542).

As you’ve likely experienced yourself, it’s possible to feel lonely even when you’re with family and friends. Different from physical suffering, loneliness is an existential feeling, a spiritual struggle, that can strike any of us. However it may come about, loneliness is a cross to bear, perhaps a cross more difficult than physical pain. 

Sometimes, Jesus allows us to struggle so that amidst our trials, we might turn to the Lord and grow closer to Him. That’s why He allowed St. Faustina to feel this way. C.S. Lewis once said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” It’s not in God’s nature to allow us to suffer without reason. He frequently uses our pain to form us more into the people He created us to be. 

If you’re feeling alone, spend a little more time with the Lord in prayer. Maybe He’s preparing you for something or trying to tell you something. Whatever His reason is, trust that it’s for your good, because He cares for you. 

Also, in your loneliness, consider offering up your suffering for the conversion of souls. Though offering your suffering as a sacrifice for others isn't likely to make your suffering go away, it at least gives it more meaning. Sometimes, a sense of meaning can go a long way in making your suffering more bearable. 

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Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

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