Loneliness: A Deadly Disease

Loneliness–A Deadly Disease!

John 15: 1-8
“. . .I have loved you the way my Father has loved me, make yourselves at home in my love.”

Loneliness is an epidemic in our society,  it is a deadly disease. From it comes destruction, severe depression, and death.

Several years ago I testified in a trial where a young man had killed an older man who came on to him. I remember the older man standing in front of the bar on Polk on Christmas and Thanksgiving, looking and acting so lonely. Through the years he had picked up young men and taken them home for sex of course, but sex is one way of trying to cure loneliness, and then washed their clothes, fed them let them spend the night. He once told me he hated to be alone. This time he made a dreadful mistake.

During the holidays  I am busy with texts and phone calls from people suffering from loneliness.

We all suffer from deep loneliness. Dorothy Day  said the only cure for loneliness is “community.” We have little community in our day. Personally, we find more community on the streets, than in mainstream society. Community is needed for survival.

Let us offer each other community, across our racial, economic, gender, and sexual identity boundaries, put down our phones, walk a way from our games, and talk to one another, let us give each other community.

Closing with Fr. Henri Nouwen who gives us the ideal answer to fellowship and loneliness.

“Listen to your heart. It’s there that Jesus speaks most intimately to you. Praying is first and foremost listening to Jesus who dwells in the very depths of your heart. He doesn’t shout. He doesn’t thrust himself upon you. His voice is an unassuming voice, very nearly a whisper, the voice of a gentle love. Whatever you do with your life, go on listening to the voice of Jesus in your heart. This listening must be active and very attentive listening, for in our restless and noisy world God’s so loving voice is easily drowned out. You need to set aside some time every day for this active listening to God if only for ten minutes. Ten minutes each day for Jesus alone can bring about a radical change in your life.

You’ll find it isn’t easy to be still for ten minutes at a time. You’ll discover straight away that many other voices, voices that are very noisy and distracting, voices that do not come from God, demand your attention. But if you stick to your daily prayer time, then slowly but surely you’ll come to hear the gentle voice of love and will long more and more to listen to it.
Henri J. M. Nouwen

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min .D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

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