In the Season of Lent elderly people may come to feel their isolation more. Especially those who are living alone. The last three weeks were difficult even for me, due to sickness in my social circle, the death of dear friends, and general feelings of unrest, not being able to pray easily - feeling kind of lost. Usually, with the help of Jesus, I have been able to overcome these reactions but lately I've felt so isolated.
Looking for guidance in Scriptures, I found Psalm 34:17-20 (RSVCE): "When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken."
According to the above Scripture, 'crying for help' is to pray for relief - not just for oneself, but for all who ask for prayer. When we do this, the Lord hears. He is always with us and saves those who are feeling isolated, sick, brokenhearted in spirit. "He (Jesus) keeps all his bones; none of them is broken" - that's important - that tells me that as long as I keep being loyal to Jesus, the isolation will be healed. And it always does go away after a time, a time of prayer and suffering, which eventually leads to joy.
Prayer and Suffering is not just a Lenten exercise. It happens all year long. I'll have to admit that I feel it more now that I am in my seventies than I did 20, 30 or 40 years ago. It doesn't help that we're reminded of suffering almost every day. Some people are suffering mentally, and others both in body and in spirit. As Lent, continues (tomorrow will be the 3rd Sunday of Lent) we continue to pray for each other, especially those most in need of relief from feeling "down." The Lord knows who needs lots of help, or who needs just a little help. Ask Him for help and He will make you well.
The Blessing of St. Francis:
"May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May He show His face to you and have mercy on you;
May he turn His countenance to you and give you peace.
May the Lord bless you."
F. S. Schaeffer, ofs
March 22, 2014