Loneliness vs Solitude

The reflection below is worthy of your pondering. It speaks about the fact that there is a spiritual battle within us that can make us feel lonely. Loneliness is negative and un-useful. Solitude is finding a place within ourselves to be at peace. It’s usually found in quiet spaces, but a sense of solitude can also come up when you realize that what you do to connect with God is rare and not often promoted or announced. There is solitude in knowing that your relationship with God is hard to explain to others. It should give you peace and a sense that you are particularly special…there is only one of YOU, you are not replicated and have never been or will be replicated.

May you seek time to increase solitude in your life so that you have the spiritual energy to fight off the temptation of loneliness. May your solitude increase your awareness of your connection to this world and promote a compassionate response to all whom you meet.

L'Arche Foundation Logo
Friday 12 April 2013

Loneliness seems to be an essentially human experience. It is not just about being alone. Loneliness is not the same thing as solitude. We can be alone yet happy, because we know that we are part of a family, a community, even the universe itself. Loneliness is a feeling of not being part of anything, of being cut off. It is a feeling of being unworthy, of not being able to cope in the face of a universe that seem to work against us. Loneliness is a feeling of being guilty. Of what? Of existing? Of being judged? By whom? We do not know. Loneliness is a taste of death.

– Jean Vanier, Becoming Human, p. 33

Who is Jean Vanier?


One thought on “Loneliness vs Solitude

  1. M.

    I like this relevant quote about the WWJD example for solitude: “Jesus’ filial prayer is the perfect model of prayer in the New Testament. Often done in solitude and in secret, the prayer of Jesus involves a loving adherence to the will of the Father even to the Cross and an absolute confidence in being heard.” Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever


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