Loneliness is one of the most universal sources of human suffering today…By running away from our loneliness and by trying to distract ourselves with people and special experiences, we do not realistically deal with our human predicament. We are in danger of becoming an unhappy people suffering from many unsatisfied cravings and tortured by desires and expectations that never can be fulfilled….To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into a garden of solitude. This requires not only courage but also a strong faith. As hard as it is to believe that the dry desolate desert can yield endless varieties of flowers, it is equally hard to imagine that our loneliness is hiding unknown beauty.
Henri Nouwen – Reaching Out