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Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
All my life I’ve been alone but I’ve never really cared
Just a face inside a crowd a stranger everywhere
Everyone I’ve ever known has disappointed me
I live and breathe only for me
No one’s ever been inside the wall surrounding me
I depend on me myself to keep me company
No one cares about me so I take good care of me
I’m in a world all of my own
Oh a one man band plays all alone, he plays to a song of his own
—“One Man Band (Plays All Alone)”- Ronnie Dyson
I came across this song recently on YouTube. It’s from early 1973 and was a fairly successful pop tune. I played it on my daily radio program at KDTH in Dubuque, Iowa. I do remember I was preparing to transition from being a postulant to preparing for the novitiate with the Dominican order in Dubuque. I was confident in my decision, but I was leaving someone in the “daily world” who was struggling to understand my decision (and, yes, so was I). And, to make a long story short, my ultimate decision a few months later was to be “in the world, but not of it.” I was taking the teaching of St. Benedict to heart before I knew as much as I do now about him.
There are wars, there is inflation, there is discontent, and, yes, among all age groups, but especially, our younger population, a sense of disconnection, of loss, yes, of loneliness. Those who have been raised in the faith have moved into their own void of “nothing”. Well, you have that, but, you have.. nothing. And, you can’t move.
I recently had a long visit with a friend in Kansas City who has been successful in both business and in academics. They project a solid presence, and they are super as a teacher and as a learner. Yet, finding out they are still struggling with what had been a difficult personal choice to end a marriage (for many reasons, as is almost always the case), they seem “frozen” in that event and in those moments.
I shared some of those same issues in other parts of my life that still lurk in the shadows of the past. Am I “over” those events? Do I have “closure”, that made-up term? Absolutely not, but, as I told my friend, you can see yourself being “stuck”, or you can spend the time in prayer, asking God’s guidance in making sense out of non-sensible events, and seek His guidance and a way forward.
My prayer as this summer continues and we look to fall is that our brothers and sisters, especially those who spent much of their waking hours surrounded by technology (which gives artificial comfort) see their way forward, and seek God’s graces to be “part of the band,” so they can sing their own song, feel God’s warmth and His healing, and be part of contemporary Catholic life again.
We need you!