Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Loneliness that leads to prayer

The thirst for companionship, which drives us so often into error and adventure, indicates the intense loneliness from which we suffer. We are alone even with our friends. The smattering of understanding which a human being has to offer is not enough to satisfy our need of sympathy. Human eyes can see the foam, but not the seething at the bottom. In the hour of greatest agony we are alone. It is such a sense of solitude which prompts the heart to seek the companionship of God. He alone can know the motives of our actions; He alone can be truly trusted. Prayer is confidence, unbosoming oneself to God. For man is incapable of being alone. His incurable, inconsolable loneliness forces him to look for things yet unattained, for people yet unknown. He often runs after a sop, but soon retires discontented from all false or feeble companionship. Prayer may follow such retirement.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 352

<idle musing>
He sure pegged modern society, didn't he? We're surrounded by social media, yet we have a flood of loneliness and depression. But we won't turn to God in prayer. Why? Pride? Ignorance? Sense of unworthiness?

Yet, if we cast aside all those, we find that God welcomes us with open arms. That's Good News!
</idle musing>

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