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Monday, January 3, 2011

Our Loneliness...only Jesus Can Satisfy...

"History is full of men who have claimed that they came from God, or that they were gods, or that they bore messages from God - Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Christ, Lao-tze, and thousands of others, right down to the person who founded a new religion this very day.  Each of them has a right to be heard and considered.  But as a yardstick external to and outside of whatever is to be measured is needed, so there must be some permanent tests available to all men, all civilizations, and all ages, by which they can decide whether any one of these claimants, or all of them, are justified in their claims.  These tests are of two kinds: reason and history.  Reason, because everyone has it, even those without faith; history, because everyone lives in it and should know something about it.

Reason dictates that if any one of these men actually came from God, the least thing that God could do to support His claim would be to pre-announce His coming.

Reason further assures us that if God did not do this, then there would be nothing to prevent any impostor from appearing in history and saying, "I come from God," or "An angel appeared to me in the desert and gave me this message."

(History have shown) whom but Christ have these Prophecies found their fulfillment?"

 - Fulton Sheen

 One of the least talked about sources of human suffering in the world today is loneliness.  In the chaotic and busy society of today, we find ourselves acutely aware of our own human loneliness.  In the hussle and buzzle of the new year, we quietly become aware of our loneliness within.  Why is it that many Christmas gatherings and New Year parties, even social get-togethers often leave us feeling empty and restless inside?

We are amidst people yet, we feel alone inside.  We talk to people yet, we are not trusting enough to open ourselves or let others into our lives.  We choose to keep a safe distance.  We work with people yet, there is always a sense of competition to outwit the other, claim victory.  We take home big paychecks, yet money cannot seem to buy us anything worthy enough to satisfy the restlessness within.  We make new year resolutions yet, the years come and go and we continue to ask ourselves, "How far advanced am I?  Who am I?"  We socialize at gatherings, make friends, but how many of these are sincere and faithful during the times when we are in need, when we are broke, when we need a shoulder to cry on, when life threatens to end abruptly.

 "When we have no project to finish, no friend to visit, no book to read, no television to watch, or no record to play, and when we are left all alone by ourselves we are brought so close to the revelation of our basic human aloneness and are so afraid of experiencing an all-pervasive sense of loneliness that we will do anything to get busy again and continue the game which makes us believe that everything is fine after all."
- Henri Nouwen

 I, too, often pose myself this question, why do I choose to blog?  More than anything, I like to read and drown myself in spiritual books.  I find that despite all the so-called progress in the world today, we have still not progress much in terms of enlightenment and spiritual wisdom.  Brilliant minds of the past, the early fathers, saints and mystics have shed much wisdom through their reflections and literary works.  These thoughts, perceived as "old fashion" have long been "opportunity costed" out in the name of the extent that the new generations forget to stop and ponder deeply..."Who am I?".

Naturally, the journey I have begun, continues regardless.  In the words of an early desert father, John of the Ladder back in the 7th century, after living for 40 years in solitary at Mount Sinai...

"If some are still dominated by their former bad habits and yet can teach (blog) by mere words, let them teach (blog)...  For perhaps, being put to shame by their own words, they will eventually begin to practice what they teach (blog)."

I know that I will journey to become a more "spiritually conscious" person if I continue to persevere, reflect, share and express my thoughts via this blog, simply giving a small voice to the quiet imperfect whispers of my heart and hopefully, this little "light" will reach out and touch a restless soul somewhere to offer a bit more strength for them to continue this journey a little while longer, the burden a little lighter, the path a little brighter.  More importantly, it also serves as a journal for myself as I walk this lonely path through life towards the heavenly home.

Loneliness and the awareness of the fragility of life is not something to be feared.  The secular world does not like to confront these thoughts, as evident by the constant stream of "activities", "tasks"and "technology devices".  Blogs and Facebooks only reveal our outer more popular physical selves most of the time...attracting more "friends", "followers" and "noisy internet traffic".

Our human condition constantly seek solace, solitude, affection, a sense of belonging, even escapade from the challenges of life...desperately piggy-bagging our lives on the influence of new-age gurus, motivational authors, self proclaimed pastors and speakers.  False expectations, temporal attraction, mental anguish, struggle for power syndrome in these flavours-of-the-month often frustrate us, confuse us.  Each time we seek something new, we hope it will be different.  We keep on experimenting on this journey through life.  Is there not something more genuine that can satisfy this hunger, give everlasting peace, solitude, compassion and hope to this life?

Saint Augustine reminds us, "Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee."

As the new year commences, we are reminded to empty our lives from the distractions of worldly material pursuits and fake focus instead on seeking Him who gives healing, rest, peace and hope; turning loneliness into solitude of heart, even amidst the crowded city, busyness at work, self inflicted deadlines and active life.  Simply cultivating this quiet solitude of heart enables us to understand the world from the quiet center of our being, living attentively in communion with our God, the Creator.

"And you shall be my people: and I will be your God." (Jeremiah 30:22 - Douay-Rheims Bible)

This year, let us call out the Holy Name of Jesus Christ and invite Him into our lives to quieten our restlessness, bring hopeful meaning to our lives and truly satisfy our deep spiritual hunger. May He make us all a channel of His this we journey home to eternal life...

Bishop Fulton Sheen goes on to say, "There is no such thing as living without a cross.  We are free only to choose between crosses.  Will it be the Cross of (Jesus) Christ which redeems us from our sins, or will it be the double cross..." (of the secular world we live in?)

Respond...this new year...make the beautiful words in the Nicene Creed come alive...

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
of all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
not made,
one in Being with the Father.

Through Him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
He came down from heaven;
by the power of the Holy Spirit
He was born of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake
He was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered died, and was buried.
On the third day
He rose in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son
He is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.


  1. I am glad you are writing. Food for my soul! I am on a journey to live more simply, and I am blogging about my journey of the process that has brought me to my current life in which I now live with more purpose and focus. I enjoy your blog. Thank you!

  2. Thanks so much for your encouragement. This space has provided me with the avenue to jot down my reflections along the journey. It may or may not appeal to many who are still very much distracted by the 'noises' and 'seduction' of the world. Not that we are called to become hermits or monks up on the hill in some god-forsaken place but through living a simple life, one is able to sense with a higher degree of awareness, the life of Christ living in us.

    Actually becoming simple is not as easy as it seems. It is actually a very 'expensive' affair...some will say that it costs a lot to live this cheap!

    It is a constant journey to find God in life and be in union with Him. It is not a question of either renouncing the world and choosing Jesus. In the words of Merton, it is a "plain life as lived by a a spirit of is Christ's life... When you eat breakfast, Christ is eating breakfast. When you go to work, Christ is going to work. When you meet your brother...Christ meets Christ."

    Again, I value your comments and look forward to your sharing your journey with this simple community.