It was dark, cold, and silent. In limited space, 23 of us clustered together in a cave underneath of the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. As we reflected on the Gospel about Jesus’ imprisonment the night before his Crucifixion, tears fell from my eyes. “Lord, please forgive me” were the only words I could utter. Standing and praying in the very cell believed to be the spot where Jesus stayed pierced my heart. If He were to look up, all He would see was darkness. The cave was so far underground. No sound other than water dripping every few seconds. He was abandoned. He didn’t deserve any of this… and this was just the beginning of His walk to Calvary.
Loneliness is a bitter pain. We all know that Jesus experienced it and had us on His mind throughout His entire Passion. What I experienced in that cave created a new profound hunger in my heart to willingly accept loneliness. My heart was placed into His perspective, and left me continually seeking moments of solitude. In this moments, He’s all I have on my mind. The mere understanding of suffering with Him brings me the comfort I need in order to be victorious.
As we journey through the start of the holiest of weeks, may we deeply embrace suffering and solitude by reflecting on the loneliness and agony Jesus bore in the Garden.
Merciful Lord, help us to see loneliness as a gift, that it may only draw us closer to You. Amen.