Feeling down in the dumps? Feeling like nobody really understands nor
really cares? Feeling dreary, dark and bewildered and confused? Feeling as if life does not have any real
meaning and purpose? Feel like just throwing
in the towel and saying: I have had enough!
Feeling like your mind, heart and soul is swimming in a dark, long,
endless tunnel in which there seems to be no escape?
St. Ignatius of Loyola would call
this a state of DESOLATION! One of the
most common manifestations of desolation is that of loneliness—you feel alone
in the world and nobody really seems to care about who you are and where you
are heading in your life.
DANGER! If we do not know how to cope properly with
this state of desolation then this state can wreak havoc in our lives and do
irreparable damage to our spiritual life and even our natural life. One wrong decision made in a state of
desolation could be life-determining!
How many young people today have recourse to violence toward others and
turn on themselves when swimming in an apparently endless sea of
This state of desolation—manifested
through a deep sense of loneliness—is all pervasive in all societies and
situations today now more than ever!
However, we are a people of hope.
“Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth!” St. Paul reminds us with these encouraging
words: “If God is with us who can be against us…” and “When I am weak then I am
strong…” (The strength being of course God).
The Psalm calls God a ROCK, as well as our LIGHT AND SALVATION.
To overcome the state of crushing
loneliness that we all experience in
some periods of our lives, let us have recourse to this simple but efficacious
practice that can be carried out anywhere and with minimum effort!
PSALM 23: THE PSALM OF THE GOOD
SHEPHERD! When the dark clouds rain
down their torrential storm upon your lonely and forlorn soul open up your
Bible, rewind back to the Old Testament to the most famous of all Psalms, Psalm
23 the Psalm 23
1The Lord is
my shepherd, I shall not want.
2He makes me
lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
He leads me in right paths
I walk through the darkest valley,
a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
goodness and mercy shall follow me
and I shall dwell in the house of the
SILENCE! Find some place of silence so that you can
read, pray, meditate, listen and allow God to speak to the depths of your
heart. God does indeed speak in the silence of our hearts if we allow Him!
“The Lord is my Shepherd,
there is nothing I shall want….” Allow these words at the beginning of Psalm
23 to speak personally and intimately to you and to your lonely and abandoned
soul! Pray these words slowly, calmly
and with a truly open spirit. Pray them
a second or third time. Then something
powerful may happen! God’s gentle but
powerful grace will touch the depths of your soul with this knowledge: I really
am not alone; I never have been alone in my life; I never really will be alone
for this simple but profound reason: “The
Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want…”
CONTEMPLATIVE SCENE. Then from there create a contemplative scene
with you alone walking with Jesus the Good Shepherd in the verdant, aromatic
pasture. Stop and look into the eyes of the Good Shepherd who truly loves you
as the precious apple of His eye. You
are of great importance to Him now and always!
He came to the world to save you, your immortal soul as if you were the
only person in the whole created universe!
UNLOAD! Now is the time to open up your wounded,
lonely, sad and depressed heart and to talk to Him! Of all the people in the world, the Good
Shepherd is the best of listeners. Not
only does He listen to our words but can also read the deepest secrets of our
hearts! There is no need to put on a
mask with Him. He knows you even better than you know yourself! If ever there were a mind-reader or a heart
reader, it would definitely be Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
DO NOT BE AFRAID! St. John Paul II insisted at the outset of
his inspiring pontificate that the world at large as well as individual hearts
should not be afraid to open the door to Christ, in other words to open up
their hearts to Jesus, the Good Shepherd of their lives!
WHAT AND HOW TO SAY IT? Use the most simple words; the Lord is not
picky or demanding in language proficiency! Tell Him all. Remember the words of
the Apostle St. Peter: “Cast your cares upon the Lord because he
cares for you.” Are you fearful of the future and what it holds for you?
Tell the Lord this! Are you doubting
about the past due to the number and seriousness of your past sins? Cast your
sins into the Heart of the Good Shepherd. He did not come for the saints but
for sinners! Is your heart severely
wounded even from infancy? Fear not!
Jesus is the wounded Healer! The
Prophet Isaiah teaches us about Jesus’ wounds:
“By His wounds you are healed.” Are you suffering some form of sickness that
seems to have no healing remedy? Never
forget that Jesus healed the blind, the lame, the deaf, the paralytics, the
lepers; He even brought the dead back to life. He is the WAY, THE TRUTH, AND
THE LIFE! Let Jesus be the Doctor of
your woundedness and your sicknesses!
Are many fears and doubts looming up before your eyes? Then call out
with all of your heart: JESUS I TRUST IN YOU!!!
THE GOOD SHEPHERD’S LISTENING
HEART! In all that you say to the Good
Shepherd He listens most attentively and with a kind, compassionate and loving
Heart. Furthermore, the Good Shepherd is
never impatient with anybody. No, He is the epitome of patience. Still more,
the Good Shepherd is never too busy to walk with us, listen to us, talk to us
and to console us!
In sum, in moments of crushing
loneliness do not turn to the false gods of this world—drinking, drugs, porn,
illicit sexuality. These will only cast
you into a pit of deeper loneliness.
Rather, turn to the Good Shepherd and open up your lonely heart to Him
because in truth “The Lord is my Shepherd
there is nothing I shall want…”