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May 23, 2024 306 Father Robert J. Miller
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Are You Lonely?

If you feel you’ve lost all value and purpose in life, this is for you.

In my 40 years of being a priest, the funerals for people who committed suicide have been the toughest of all. And this is not just a general statement, for I recently also lost, in my own family, a young man just 18 years of age to suicide, because of unfortunate events in his life. 

With suicide rates increasing these days, the measures put in place include medication, psychological remedies, and even family systems therapy. However, out of the many things that are often talked about, one that is not spoken enough about is a spiritual remedy. One of the core psychological and philosophical issues behind depression, even suicide, might be a lack of a spiritual meaning and purpose for life—the belief that our lives have hope and value. 

A Father’s Love

The love of God our Father, the anchor for our life, moves us out of those dark places of loneliness. I’d even argue that of all the gifts that Jesus Christ gave us (and gosh, there are so many), the best and most valuable is that Jesus made His Father, our Father. 

Jesus revealed God as a loving parent who deeply loves and cares for His children. This knowledge affirms us in three special ways:

1. Knowledge of who You are 

You’re not your job, your social security number, your driver’s license number, or ‘just’ a rejected lover. You are a child of God—made in the image and likeness of God. You are truly His handiwork. That is our identity, it’s who we are in God. 

2. God gives us Purpose 

In God, we realize why we’re here—there’s a plan, purpose, and structure to the life that God has given us. God made us for a purpose in this world—to know, love, and serve Him. 

3. You have a Destiny

We are destined not to be in this world but to be with our Father forever and receive His inexhaustible love. Knowing the Father as the author of love invites us to receive, respect, and give the life that God wants us to have. It inspires us to grow in the sense of who we are—our goodness, uniqueness, and beauty.

The Father’s Love is an anchoring love: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

God’s love does not consider the fact that we’re perfect every single day or that we never get depressed or discouraged. The fact that God has loved us and sent His Son as an offering for our sins is an encouragement that can help us counter the darkness of depression. At His core, God is not a condemning judge but a loving parent. This knowledge—that God has loved us and cherishes us no matter what anyone around us does—anchors us. 

This is indeed the greatest human need we have. We’re all a little lonely; we’re all searching and seeking something that this world cannot give. Sit still in the loving gaze of our God every day and just allow God to love you. Imagine that God is embracing you, nurturing you, and pushing out your fear, anxiety, and worry. Let the love of God the Father flow through every cell, muscle, and tissue. Let it drive out the darkness and fear in your life. 

The world is never going to be a perfect place, so we need to invite God in to fill us with His hope. If you’re struggling today, reach out to a friend and let your friend be the hands and eyes of God, embracing and loving you. There have been several times in my 72 years where I have reached out to friends who held me, nurtured me, and taught me. 

Sit contentedly in God’s presence as a child on his mother’s lap until your body learns the truth that you are a precious, beautiful child of God, that your life has value, purpose, meaning, and direction. Let God flow through your life.

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Father Robert J. Miller

Father Robert J. Miller is an author, speaker, historian, and a pastor in the Chicago Archdiocese who has ministered in 200+ parishes. Article is based on the talk given by Father Miller on the Shalom World program “Words of Wisdom.” To watch the episode, visit: shalomworld.org/episode/gods-love-as-the-anchor-of-life-fr-bob-miller

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