LONELINESS


Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner. …The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner.’” (Gen 2: 18, 20)

Adam is lonely, already in his prelapsarian state (before “the fall”). Adam is not created as a self-sufficient being, but as one in need of community and companionship. This is not a “deficiency,” but part of Adam’s God-like nature. Adam is created in the image and likeness of God, Who also exists in community; in the Community of Three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And God provides us with community in different ways, throughout Salvation History.

So loneliness is a powerful emotion, particularly because it is “natural.” My God-given need for community, like all my “natural” needs, is a major challenge and motivator on my spiritual journey. It motivates me to come out of myself, reaching out to God and other human beings. It motivates our creativity, inspiring great works of art and other forms of self-giving. Conversely, however, the human need for community can drive us to sin, when we search for it in the wrong places.

Today let me approach with gratitude the “hole in my heart” that is loneliness, recognizing Who it is that put it there, from the beginning. It is God, “Creator of heaven and earth, all things visible and invisible,” Who calls me, through loneliness, to community and communion, with Him and other human beings.

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