Transcendence and plenitude

“Only God is capable of overcoming solitude: religion only implies a relationship, and, as such, can only be secondary and transitory. transcendence and plenitude, as well as the purpose of existence, are only manifest in God. There is a tendency to overlook the fact that God is the primary consideration, that religion can prove an obstacle to man’s communication with God…

“But religion can also be a Revelation, the voice and incarnation of God…

“A distressing and painful sense of solitude can therefore be experienced in the very heart of the Church itself. Man may find himself infinitely more alone in the midst of his co-religionists than in the midst of men of totally different beliefs and persuasions…

“Such a state of affairs is extremely distressing and tragic, and demonstrates the fundamental duality of religious life. An increase of spirituality can only aggravate the sense of solitude, for it may be accompanied by a total rupture of man’s social relationships in the objective world. But there is no way of avoiding such ruptures, however painful they may be …”

-Nicholas Berdyaev, Solitude and Society

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