This Most Terrible Poverty — Loneliness

Most of us feel lonely sometimes and sometimes often.

The other evening I went to see the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” with my son David. He is outside of a relationship at the moment and sometimes feels lonely, though his life is full and vibrant in lots of other ways. Still, to have a “primary other” in his life would be wonderful for him and, I think, spectacular for whoever the “her” is. And if you have seen the movie, it is all about exiting relationships and entering them.

Watching the movie David felt lonely. In response to his experience he sent me this wonderful YouTube video. It is lovely, focused and meaningful to a depth we don’t often plumb. It is called “How to Be Alone”.

Thinking about loneliness, I remembered what Mother Teresa said: “When Christ said: ‘I was hungry and you fed me,’ he didn’t mean only the hunger for bread and for food; he also meant the hunger to be loved. Jesus himself experienced this loneliness. He came amongst his own and his own received him not, and it hurt him then and it has kept on hurting him. The same hunger, the same loneliness, the same having no one to be accepted by and to be loved and wanted by. Every human being in that case resembles Christ in his loneliness; and that is the hardest part, that’s real hunger.

In another writing she said, “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”