lifeissues | Moral Loneliness

Ξ December 14th, 2006 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Misc |

    Where we are most alone is in the moral part of our souls, namely, at that place where we feel most strongly about things and where all that is most precious to us is held, cherished, and guarded. It is precisely in this place, a point-vierge, that we feel violated when what is precious to our integrity is attacked.

    Rarely does anyone penetrate that dwelling, whether in love or in violation. Why? Because we are rightly very cautious about whom we admit to the place where all that is most precious to us lies. Since this is the place where we are most deeply vulnerable, it's also the place where we are most deeply protective. Thus, most often, in that place we are alone. A fierce loneliness results, a moral loneliness. More deeply than we long for a sexual partner, we long for moral affinity, for someone to be with us in that deep part where all that is most precious to us is cherished and guarded.

    Our deepest loneliness is for someone to sleep with morally, a kindred soul, a soulmate in the truest sense of that phrase. Great friendships and great marriages always have moral affinity as their real basis. Persons in these relationships are "lovers" in the deepest sense because they sleep with each other where it most counts, irrespective of whether or not they have sexual union. In the experience of moral affinity we have the experience of "coming home". Sometimes this is coloured by sexual attraction and romantic feelings and sometimes it is not. Always though there is the sense that the other is a kindred spirit, that he or she holds precious what we hold precious. Biblically, we are feeling what Adam felt when he first saw Eve: "At last, flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone!"

    Most of us spend our lives looking for this and perhaps, like Simone Weil and Therese of Lisieux, we never quite find it, despite a good marriage, a healthy family, and close friends. What's to be done? Therese of Lisieux suggests that, in the end, we are all "exiles of the heart" and that we can only overcome this separateness through a certain mysticism, that is, by sleeping with each other in charity, joy, peace, patience, goodness, long-suffering, faith, fidelity, mildness, and chastity.


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