- On December 11, 2018
The Quiet Epidemic of Lonely Catholics
The more I listen to the experiences of Catholics, the more I get the sense that we are facing a quiet epidemic of loneliness.
- It is found in the young people who fly to sex addiction, because they fear real people who may break their hearts.
- It is in spouses who stop communicating because of the pain, wounds, and repeated isolation they feel from one another.
- It is in the man who has never had other men he bonded with over more than sports or suface-level things that don’t really matter.
- It is in the woman who can’t find other women that she can be vulnerable with, because she thinks she doesn’t measure up.
- It is found in the priest, who is put on a pedestal by some in the parish (when they are face-to-face with him), only to be ripped down because nobody will trust a priest in the modern culture.
- It is found in the 30-something who feels like every one of their friends is now married, except them.
- It is found in the addict who escapes into drugs, alcohol, gambling, video games, social media, etc.
- It is in those stuggling with mental illness who feel all alone and that nobody understands their pain.
- It is in our homes, workplaces, and parishes. We need to own this loneliness and isolation and do something about it, if we are to be better disciples of Jesus and help renew the Church.
Lonely Catholics are a sign that the Church is lacking something substantial in community. Why? Because Christianity isn’t meant to be done by yourself! This means that we need to re-learn what it means to find friendship, community, and relationship with one another. Without these things, we are incomplete, because we are meant to live life with each other.