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A reflection on loneliness, by Henri J M Nouwen:
‘Sometimes it seems we do everything possible to avoid the painful confrontation with our basic human loneliness, and allow ourselves to be trapped by false gods promising immediate satisfaction and quick relief. But perhaps the painful awareness of loneliness is an invitation to transcend our limitations and look beyond the boundaries of our existence. The awareness of loneliness reveals to us an inner emptiness that can be destructive when misunderstood, but filled with promise for those who can tolerate its sweet pain. The Christian way of life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and cherishes it as a precious gift. The wound of loneliness is like a deep incision in the surface of our existence which has become an inexhaustible source of beauty and self-understanding.’