Sunday, July 22, 2007

Loneliness of Soul

There are three schools of suffering, each with its own special blessing to bestow: physical, mental, and the inner school which lies behind them both: loneliness of soul. Physical suffering makes for tenderness of heart and a patient judgment. Mental suffering gives a deepened sympathy, an active influence that, when "lifted up, draws all things to itself."

But loneliness of soul does more than this; it gives independence and strength. Even in the natural plane, it secures liberty of spirit, it develops clearness of judgment, and it enforces power of will. But this is by no means all....Loneliness of soul gives wisdom-- that breadth of vision that belongs to him who sees the entire valley from the hilltop. Loneliness of soul gives understanding-- that further power of seeing beneath the surfaces of life. Loneliness of soul gives counsel to sustain another, and fortitude to endure its own burden. All the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit come through and are fostered by loneliness of soul.

~ from Spiritual Excellence by Alban Goodier Share


Anonymous said...

I marvel when others capture it and make it holy, somehow. You're so good at doing that, that I am sitting here awash with the thought that in the great loneliness of soul, too, we are invited to share in the blessed Final moments of Jesus' suffering. It is not something we'd welcome, but where else might we endure it except at the Cross? Even in His greatest lonelinesses that were sustained away from Mary, His Mother--the one whose heart bears such sorrows--God the Father gifted Jesus with the brief flash of Eden-good, restored hearts that were even now a fruit of what He was doing for us.. there was little Mary the penitent near His feet as always, the beloved disciple standing as priest and ready to receive the torch, there was Veronica, Eve's sweet daughter, and Simon who didn't know just how broad his shoulders were, too, and of course, Dysmas. Dysmas, who was 100% humanly helpless. His loneliness was about to end, for he had seen what we only see with eyes of faith, and had heard Love's promise right in his very ear.

:-) thank you, Elena. And I have wanted to say also that some of the greatest love on earth has emanated from Carmel, and I thank you for your part in that.

elena maria vidal said...

You are quite welcome, JustMe and thanks to you for your beautiful words. Truly, I do not think anyone has ever had loneliness of soul like Our Lord, even before He was on the Cross. He was born with loneliness of soul.

Anonymous said...

Oh I'd say so, too.. 33 years of it. Whew.. Along with His suddenly being found missing from their caravan acting as sobering reminder of His upcoming mission, do you suppose the 12-year old Jesus was trying to determine how much He could or couldn't share when He asked Mary and Joseph, "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?" Loneliness, yes, clearly: "Can you not watch with Me for an hour?" Thankfully, some watch with Him now for their whole lives.


elena maria vidal said...

Yes, I think that loneliness of soul is a special vocation of reparation in this noisy, bustling world.