We know that God is everywhere and that we are surrounded by the cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 12:1. But almost everyone feels lonely at times. Mother Teresa said, “Material poverty you can always satisfy with the material. The unwanted, the unloved, those not cared for, the forgotten, the lonely: this is a much greater poverty.”
Who are these lonely people? The elderly whose children no longer visit? The physically and mentally handicapped? Those who are not called to the religious or married life and so live alone? Or does loneliness affect all of us, and too often?
Statistics show that families today make less effort to eat dinner together. People attend less clubs or meetings than in the past. Friends are not even invited over as often as before. Is this the result in developments in technology? We communicate with text messages and email. We prefer solitary entertainments, electronic games and social media, to face-to-face activities.
Are we creating a society of lonely people?
How aware are we of the cloud of witnesses that surround us? Can turning our attention away from self-gratification and toward the spiritual realities be a remedy for loneliness? Can it rid us of loneliness and help us find our purpose while inspiring us to reach out to others?
God is everywhere, and He calls us into the Communion of Saints. We are not meant to find our meaning or satisfaction strictly in the things of this world. We are pilgrims on earth. Other members of the Communion of Saints stand before the face of God, contemplating God himself and praying for us. We have not been forgotten by them. And we should not forget those around us still struggling on this pilgrimage of life.
“Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all graces, and the life of the People of God itself.” (CCC 957)
Theresa Linden, author of Roland West, Loner