“Good evening,” said the little prince courteously.
“Good evening,” said the snake.
“What planet is this upon which I have descended?” asked the little prince.
“This is Earth; this is Africa,” the snake answered.
“Ah! Then there are no people on Earth?”
“This is the desert. There are no people in the desert,” said the snake.
“Where are men?” The little prince at last resumed the conversation. “It is a little lonely in the desert…”
“It is also lonely among men,” the snake said.
Was the snake right? Can you feel lonely among people? What if the little prince came down to our planet today? Could he feel lonely among billions of people? We could get a cellular phone for him so that he can call and text people. We could register him on Skype and definitely get him a Facebook profile. Obviously, we would need to give a smartphone or a laptop to the little stranger, and show him how they work. And do you know what? I think that for a long time he would pretend that he doesn’t understand anything, as long as we stay and talk to him as much as possible, and do not leave him alone at the computer screen.
Was the snake right? Can you feel lonely among people? Maybe you, too, have several dozen contacts in your phone and hundreds of friends on your Facebook profile, but when evening comes, everything gets quiet and you are finally alone, don’t you feel strangely lonesome?
Since there are over 7 billion of us on this earth, nobody can say that he is alone. But what about those thousands of lonely people (in our technologically advanced world) who try to soothe their loneliness through drugs, sex, work, sports and many other activities, which never remove their interior discomfort anyway?
So the snake was right… You can feel lonely among people. To escape from loneliness, a person needs another person, but the truth is that loneliness will not disappear until, next to our contact with others, we start a relationship with Jesus.
What would St Faustina say about it? Did she ever feel lonely?
In her Diary, she wrote: “Although the earth is so filled with people, I feel all alone, and the earth is a terrible desert to me…” Diary 918. “Today, I feel such desolation in my soul that I do not know how to explain it even to myself. I would like to hide from people and cry endlessly. No one understands a heart, wounded by love, and when such a heart feels itself abandoned interiorly, no one can comfort it.” Diary 943
Faustina, just like any other person, sometimes felt a painful loneliness, but it did not lead her to breakdown, depression or despair. She knew where to look for help and even when she felt lonesome, she knew that she was not really alone! She discovered that the loneliness in her life was a space for the meeting. She was aware that life has its hard moments, times of not being understood by others, but she was not afraid of these moments because in her own heart she discovered a continuous presence of the One, who is love and mercy itself.
“I know God is in my heart. (…) With Him I go to work, with Him I go for recreation, with Him I suffer, with Him I rejoice; I live in Him and He in me. I am never alone, because He is my constant companion…” Diary 318
So maybe the loneliness is not so scary at all? When evening comes, everything gets quiet, and you are by yourself and you feel lonesome… Do not run away from this feeling, do not get hold of the phone, don’t turn on your laptop. Remember Faustina – the patroness of the lonesome. And maybe your loneliness is the invitation for … the meeting?
s. M. Emanuela OLM