Thursday, September 14, 2023

Nouwen: fleeing loneliness

Thursday, September 14, 2023
    Feast of the Holy Cross
    [Jesus:] “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.”
    —Luke 21:34 (NIV)
    Our culture has become most sophisticated in the avoidance of pain, not only our physical pain but our emotional and mental pain as well. We not only bury our dead as if they were still alive, but we also bury our pains as if they were not really there. We have become so used to this state of anesthesia, that we panic when there is nothing or nobody left to distract us. 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 J. M. Nouwen (1932-1996), Reaching Out, Zondervan, 1998, p. 6 (see the book)
    See also Luke 21:34; Isa. 24:9-11; 56:10-12; Matt. 4:1-2; Mark 4:18-19; John 12:4-6; Eph. 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:7-8
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I dare to be alone with You.
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