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Christ's Loneliness

I enjoy walks in the country, and for the past few months, I have gone for a walk almost every day. Stepping onto a gravel road beside my place, I feel both very hidden from the world and exposed all at the same time. This provides the perfect environment to let my thoughts run freely into the wind. Loneliness has been appearing in my heart. The loneliness of walking on a gravel road, the loneliness of a cold winter day, and the loneliness even when you are not alone. As someone who is not particularly fond of these colder months, it is far easier to feel the weight of loneliness. 

During Lent, we are invited to enter the desert with Jesus. There are the 3 pillars, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, which are to aid our relationship with the Lord as we prepare with him to enter his passion, death, and resurrection. I have experienced thus far that entering the desert means entering Christ's loneliness. 

Nothing quite reminds me of the loneliness of Christ than the agony he experienced in the garden. We read in Luke 22:44, 

“And being in an agony he prayed earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.”

Jesus is in agony, feeling the weight of all that is to come, and he is praying. He does not just sit within his loneliness but with great passion; he cries out to the Father and pours out his love. 

I have moments of loneliness and I know that there are temptations that are calling me to avoid it, trying to draw me into noise and distraction, whether it is social media, scrolling, binge-watching, etc. Servant of God Catherine Doherty, in her meditations “In the Footprints of Loneliness,” speaks of loneliness as not something to sit in, but to enter into with Jesus. She writes:

“You might be in Gethsemane where he was so very lonely. Or you might be anywhere-on a streetcar or bus, in Ottawa or Paris or Berlin, on some path leading to a rural area. You can share his loneliness at any time, and he will share yours. The result will be that there will not be any loneliness, because when you have entered into the mystery of Christ's loneliness, it ceases to be loneliness.” (In the Footprints of Loneliness. Page 27) 

Jesus has experienced the loneliness of the garden, so when we are in our garden, wherever that may be, we can unite our loneliness with the loneliness Christ experienced in his agony.


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