In a Distant Country

In a Distant Country

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Psalm 130:1

It is important to learn to move from a “first loneliness” to a “second loneliness.” The first loneliness is a kind of emotional loneliness: needing friends, family, and home.  But when all those needs are more or less met, you learn there is second loneliness. God is calling you to deep, personal intimacy, an intimacy that is wonderful and very demanding. God asks you to let go of many things that are emotionally, intellectually and affectively very satisfying. You must grow into the trust that this deeper loneliness is not to be overcome, but lived. You must live it with trust, standing tall. You must try to say, “Yes, I am lonely, but this particular loneliness sets me on the road to intimacy with God. It does not pull me away from God or my deepest self, but brings me closer to the source of love in the depths of my being.”

It’s very important for us to dare to welcome the fullness of our second loneliness because it relates to the oldest mystical traditions about the spiritual journey. The “dark night of the soul” is another expression of the second loneliness. In a way, this loneliness opens us to personally know the true God. When we touch the darkness we know that God cannot be owned or grasped within the affections of the human heart. God is greater than our hearts, greater than our minds, always alive, always longing for a response.

O Everlasting God, lead me from fear to love and from loneliness to communion with you.

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