Isolation

August 22, 2016

“We live in an age when families no longer eat dinner together, and children watch TV, play computer games, and text their friends from their bedrooms. People sit in a cafe with friends, all the while texting or talking to someone else on their cell phones. We have become a people living together in isolation…Even in our spiritual lives we tend to live in isolation. Many reserve their prayers for issues revolving around finances or their health or that of a family member. They rarely think of the importance of corporate prayer with family and friends, apart from the Sunday Liturgy. Prayer is a private matter for them, rarely shared with others.” (Abbot Tryphon)

 

“Loneliness is the absence of communication and relationship- the inability to develop and maintain associations with others. Contemporary culture and the structures of society…lead to social alienation, political estrangement and personal isolation. The individual person begins, early on, to be possessed by an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy, to lose the meaning and purpose of life, to live without principles and discipline, to be constantly suspicious and in doubt…In his isolation man is plagued relentlessly by egotism and pride which are the natural parents of his loneliness.” (Monk Moses)

 

“We all need to belong. When people are less connected with others, there is a higher occurrence of depression and isolation, impacting overall day-to-day functioning…We are bound together in God and are by nature social persons. We are not meant to live our lives in isolation from others. Rather, we are meant to be in relationship with others.” (Melissa K. Tsogranis) 

 

“Godly life is joyful. Secular life is sorrowful…Not surprisingly, the more secularized we have become, the more sorrowful we have become. Now here is an amazing disconnect. Why is it that America has never been so Christian and yet so joyless? A greater percentage of our population self-identifies as Christian than at any time in our nation’s history, yet we are by all observable phenomena radically depressed. How are we to explain such an anomaly?... While there are many contributing factors to this epidemic of joylessness, I would like to suggest the primary cause: isolation.” (V. Rev. Josiah Trenham, Ph.D.)

 

“The path to overcoming isolation from God begins, continues, and ends with repentance [and prayer]. The first word spoken by our Savior in His public preaching was:"Repent!” (St. Matthew 4:17). Likewise, His last words to His Apostles prior to His Ascension were that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations” (St. Luke 24:47)…There is no joy without repentance, and there is no true repentance that is not followed by, and indeed infused with, great joy…Prayer is aliveness to God. Prayer is strength, refreshment, and joy. Through the grace of God and our disciplined efforts prayer lifts us up from our isolation to a conscious, loving communion with God in which everything is experienced in a new light.” (V. Rev. Josiah Trenham, Ph.D., Orthodox Prayer Book)

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