Tagged: loneliness

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Loneliness Today, Part VIII: Loneliness and Solitude

The previous installment of “Loneliness Today” touched on the potential spiritually beneficial aspects of loneliness. It discussed the literary or symbolic place (topos) of the “desert” and cited Simone Weil’s controversial assertion that Christianity seeks a supernatural use for suffering...

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Loneliness Today, Part VII: Going into the Desert

Initially, this installment of “Loneliness Today” was going to be about either the loneliness faced by parish priests (who, in the age of COVID-19, I’m sure miss public celebrations of the Mass just as much as we do) or the...

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Loneliness Today, Part VI: The Spring of Social Distancing

I didn’t originally plan to write about the phenomenon of social distancing in this series; indeed, I wasn’t even aware that the term existed when I began writing these essays about loneliness. However, three months into the “Loneliness Today” series,...

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Loneliness Today, Part V: The Uncoupled

When Pope Francis promulgated the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia in 2016, much of its teaching was widely ignored in favor of what would become years of arguing over a single footnote that potentially opens the sacraments to some Catholics who...

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Loneliness Today, Part IV: The Invitation to the Feast

In this installment of the “Loneliness Today” series, I would like to talk about loneliness among disabled people.[1] This is a topic that a few regular commenters have brought up in the comment sections on previous essays in this series;...

Loneliness Today, Part III: The Loneliness of the Old

The 1970s country-western song “Pancho and Lefty” was written by Townes Van Zandt, and is most famous in the form of a cover by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. (For what it’s worth, I personally prefer the Van Zandt original,...

Loneliness Today, Part II: Youth Un(der)employment

I work as a substitute teacher at a public school district in Western Massachusetts. It’s one of the more cash-strapped districts in a relatively affluent rural area in the Northeast. In this position, I have had the responsibility to, on...

Loneliness Today, Part I: More on the Youth Encounter

This is the first in a projected series of essays dealing with the phenomenon of “loneliness,” beginning with a discussion of the loneliness described to Pope Francis in the “youth encounter” in Tokyo, and moving from there into a broader...

A Testimony to Loneliness

One underreported event during Pope Francis’s recent trip to East Asia was a meeting with three Japanese young adults, who delivered personal testimonies to him. These testimonies shed further light on some of the themes of the trip overall. Such...

Youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old: Serious social evils

“The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other,...

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