August 20, 2011
Loneliness is a state that ebbs and flows in my consciousness. At times its presence is keenly felt, while at others it recedes to a duller awareness in the background of my life. Though I’m trying to not dwell myopically on my own self, I am going through a lonely sort of time. I have family around me, and good, true friendships, yet I still have periods of feeling very alone, isolated, unconnected.

While waiting for sleep one night, I wondered if Our Lady ever felt the same way. There would have been no one in her life who understood her circumstances. She had experience and insight unlike anyone else. She would have known like no one else could, the significance of events happening around her, which must have set her apart from her own family and friends. While I know that she lived an ordinary life in that she kept house and raised her boy, I can’t picture her sitting over a coffee with Elizabeth discussing the inherent challenges in bringing up a prophet and the Son of God. Did she ever feel the loneliness of that apartness?

The greatest gift our God has given us is free will. We have the freedom to choose where we look for our contentment, our fulfillment. He didn’t leave our perfect happiness to chance, however, for every helping of free will is seasoned with a longing for Him. I think it is that longing which prompts the loneliness. We know we are incomplete and look for ways to fill ourselves up.

In our humanity we often turn to temporal – and temporary – fillers: the people and devices and activities in our lives. As women, we have a particular need for connection. We focus on the personal, the relational element in our transactions, but so often our circumstances increase our feelings of isolation. We are busy with work, with family and home; maybe we live alone and experience loneliness in a very real and painful way; or perhaps our circumstances are somewhere in between the extremes and we don’t understand why we still feel lonely.

Once again, we can look to the Blessed Mother for an example of how to be, as women. Mary was perfectly united to God, her will perfectly conformed to His. She was able to go right to the Source of all hope, all joy, all love. We are (most likely) not yet so perfectly united to God. It is natural that we seek the consolation of connection, long for belonging, hope for fulfillment in the here and now.

God knew what He was doing when He created us. He knew what we would struggle with. Our human needs are not wrong, but we should keep watch over how we satisfy them. Are we turning too much to our friends, or hobbies, or work, or ministry, to fill up our emptiness? Are we afraid of silence? Do we leave enough emptiness in our depths so that we are always aware of that longing for completion which only God can satisfy?

Loneliness, or the loneliness of God has nothing to do with being single or married, old or young. It is something quite different. There is no one who loves God who is exempt from his loneliness, because it is one of the deepest ways by which God calls a person to share his loneliness, and in sharing his loneliness, to become what he truly is – a creative restorer – one who brings beauty and new life to his fellow man.
What are we all hungering for? Let us use that word – ‘holiness’ – that is what we are hungering for – holiness . What is holiness? Holiness is the forgetfulness of oneself for others. Deep down in our hearts all of us wish we could really be holy. The way to holiness is loneliness.
~ Catherine Doherty, In the footprints of loneliness

1 comment:

  1. Being alone and feeling lonely are not the same.. I have been with another and known the greatest of all loneliness… and may be alone now and not feel lonely… if we wish to fill the void that God alone can fill.. all this attempt at filling up is compensating..
    We should perhaps be weary of anything that has 'too' in front of it as already indicative of something being out of balance…
    I think it is necessary to be comfortable in your own company so as to be able to love silence, .. and not be afraid of the void, the aloness..
    'Do I leave enough emptiness in my depth' what thoughts this provokes.
    I think it is not that I seek emptiness so much as that I become aware more profoundly of all that is still unaware of His love and all that needs to surrender to His love and will and that I embrace the truth of my solitude.
    Each of us are alone and in that great solitude… it is just that not everyone has the realization, the courage to acknowledge this truth, are perhaps not ready to acknowledge this truth. And in this awareness, at that very moment, He already takes the place of 'the emtiness'. Isn't it said that there is no such thing as 'empty - nothing', it's either God or the Devil.
    God may have given me my other half, the soul mate who completes me and fulfills me to be my companion in this life.. because it is not good for man to be alone as we read the story in Genesis.
    But the call to holiness, to be holy as our heavenly father is holy, this wholeness, this becoming…. as he has desired for me to be, that great mystery.. that call is personal. And knowing that I will not be whole and complete until I am with him in all eternity. .. this realization of all that still is incomplete in me.. all that still separates me from him, is the great void I cannot cross .. this truth, that by my own will I cannot cross over… that is crisis, that is fear…a good fear as it called forth living faith and trust in Him, so I live in Faith, I live in Hope, I live in Love.



What is a woman? What does it mean to be feminine? There is softness and hardness, compassion and ferocity. There is contentment and adventure, freedom and service. We're conundrums, especially to ourselves, but we all, in some way, possess beauty, creativity, intuition and love. We were made for love, and we are loved, cellulite and all. Here we aim to show every woman the richness and beauty of her own femininity and explore current issues relating to women in our world. We also wish to share our own experiences - exploring the joys and challenges of stay-at-home moms and single professionals and everyone in between. Welcome! So glad you're here!


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