REFLECTION: Alone but never lonely PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 12:30

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

We all, from time to time, need to be alone. Many of us do so because we want some space, some rest, some escape from what we consider as drudgery of life, or from some problem that we want to sort out, or simply that we want to ruminate...

Very often, we want to be alone just to be by ourselves, which is actually a dangerous thing to do. That’s because we are and should be never alone. The objective reality about ourselves is that, whether we are aware of it or not, we are always with God and with others. That’s how we are designed by nature. We should try our best to correspond to that truth about ourselves.

It’s certainly wrong to think that we can be by ourselves. That would start the process of building our own world, our own fantasies, our own reality that becomes detached from the reality outside.

That’s when we put ourselves to be easy prey to the tricks and wiles of our wounded flesh, our doubts and fears, and the many erratic and unreliable conditionings around us. That’s why we need to do everything to avoid falling into this predicament which can come to us sneakily and easily.

These days, for example, we have to be wary of our tendency to be carried away by all kinds of interests that cause obsession, activism and workaholism that practically snuffs out our desire for prayer, contemplation and spirit of recollection. This tendency would push us to self-centeredness.

Our need for solitude is actually meant for us to be alone with God, our Father and Creator, who is the source of all good things. It’s when we are with God that we can be with ourselves andwith the others in the proper way. About this we should have no doubt.

That’s why we have to strengthen our conviction that toget and to keep in touch with God is not only possible but also highly doable. What’s more, it is necessary and not meant to be optional in our life.

We have to hone up our skills in maintaining a living contact with God, aware of his presence always and somehow also aware of his will for us and his ways with us.

To be sure, to be alone with God does not detach us from our temporal and worldly affairs and concerns. On the contrary, it will make us more aware of them and of what we can do about them.

It will make us more identified with God’s will and ways,his wisdom and power, his charity, justice and mercy, his abiding love for us. It will sharpen and deepen our knowledge of persons, events and things.

That’s what we see in the example of Christ. Before starting his public life, he spent 40 days and nights in a desert to pray and to be alone with his Father. Throughout his public life of preaching, he would often go to an isolated place, waking up early in the morning just to pray.

He would come out of this solitude invigorated and eager to do the tasks ahead. Just before his passion and death, he went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. He begged his Father to “let this cup pass by me,” but eventually rectified himself by saying, “not my will but yours be done.”

We can somehow do all this if we follow Christ in seeking that solitude to enter into intimate communion and conversation with God. We have to learn how to organize our day such that we can find time to be alone with God.

To be sure, to be alone with God does not mean that we leave behind our reason and our senses and the other natural human powers and faculties we have, as some people claim. No. Rather we will feel the need for the full use of these powers, but infusing them with faith and devotion.

That’s when we can see things in a much better perspective and with greater depth. There we can make more considerations that often are ignored when pure reason and mere senses and emotions alone are used.

When our reflections are soaked with faith and piety, we can see many other consequences and implications that our reason and senses cannot get. In fact, many times, not only are they ignored. They are most likely also rejected and ridiculed.

We have to disabuse ourselves from the thought that spending time to be alone with God is a waste of time.