We all know there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. One can be alone but have the fullness of a world of love in their heart, while another can have the world and still be devoid of love.
Mother Teresa tells us: "The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved." This woman who worked with the poorest of the poor, who understood poverty as few of us can, knew that lack of possessions cannot compare to lack of companionship. Loneliness is a malady of the spirit - it touches our very core. Will anyone care if I am lost or sick? Will someone share my tears, my pain, my joys - just be there to hold my hand? Society holds no cure; it has lost its human touch. We cannot connect with a real voice on a telephone, small children come home to empty houses, even a trip to the bank produces just another interaction with a machine.
"Do not wait for leaders," Mother chides us, "do it alone, person to person." Someone near is in need of a warm word or a friendly gesture. Make contact with the loner at school or the elderly neighbor; go to a nursing home and meet with a resident who has no visitors. Human beings were not meant to be solitary creatures - we were meant to be held in the cherished embrace of community modeled by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The real miracle happens when you find that the step you took to reach out to another brings you into the arms of God.
Bl. Mother Teresa, pray for us!