solitude

There is no effort that we can make to still ourselves

There is no effort that we can make to still ourselves. True stillness comes naturally from moments of solitude where we allow our minds to settle. Just as water seeks its own level, the mind will gravitate toward the holy. Muddy water will become clear if allowed to stand undisturbed, and so too will the mind become clear if it is allowed to be still.

~ from 365 TAO: DAILY MEDITATIONS by Deng Ming-Dao
365 Tao: Daily Meditations
By Ming-Dao Deng

The glory of being alone

Language... has created the word "loneliness"
to express the pain of being alone.
And it has created the word "solitude"
to express the glory of being alone.

~ from THE ETERNAL NOW by Paul Johannes Tillich, thanks to Liz Stewart
Eternal Now (scm classics)
By Paul Tillich, Luther Wiegle, David H. Kelsey

Dignifying the name of solitude

At the empty nest turning point of middle age, something arose in me, and my journal became full of entries about being alone. I discovered that two entries written 10 years apart were almost identical. I had not yet learned to dignify "alone" with the name of Solitude, but I knew what I wanted, what I needed—as if my life was depriving me of something as essential as the air I breathed.

~ from LET EVENING COME by Mary C. Morrison
Let Evening Come
By Mary C. Morrison

Time spent in holy solitude

Time spent in holy solitude can silence the noisy world ever at work in our minds.

~ from LUMEN CHRISTI...HOLY WISDOM by Nan Merrill

The strong grows in solitude

The strong grows in solitude where the weak withers away.

~ Khalil Gibran

Vocation to Solitude

Vocation to Solitude — To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over that land and fills its silences with light. To pray and work in the morning and to labor and rest in the afternoon, and to sit still again in meditation in the evening when night falls upon that land and when the silence fills itself with darkness and with stars... to belong completely to such silence, to let it soak into the bones, to breathe nothing but silence, to feed on silence, and to turn the very substance of life into a living and vigilant silence.

~ from THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE by Thomas Merton
Thoughts In Solitude
By Thomas Merton

January 2005 (Vol. XVIII, No. 1)

"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"

A blessed New Year, dear fiends! Winter is a natural season for seizing moments, if not hours or days, of solitude seasoned with silence. Here we come closer to eternal truths as we keep company with our indwelling Divine Guest. Here, we hear Love welcoming us home.

The vocation to solitude

Vocation to solitude: To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, to entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over the land and fills its silences with light. To pray and work in the morning and to labor in meditation in the evening when night falls upon that land and when the silence fills itself with darkness and with stars. This is a true and special vocation. There are few who an belong completely to silence, let it soak into their bones, breathe nothing but silence, feed on silence, and turn the very substance of their life into a living and vigilant silence. [Yet each of us is blessed when we offer our silence to the world as we can.]

~ from THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE by Thomas Merton
Thoughts In Solitude
By Thomas Merton

Solitude is not necessarily physical isolation

A state of being alone, of inwardly directed consciousness, solitude is not necessarily physical isolation. In solitude, a person claims value for one's self as a free being. The value found in turning inward is the value of self-determination and responsibility. We find self-worth in solitude, in the core of our freedom. Solitude is necessary for spiritual and professional growth; solitude gives us the ability to face ourselves, others, and God.

~ S. Anna Polcino

Let nothing disturb thee

Let nothing disturb thee,
nothing affright thee;
All things are passing;
God never changeth;
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things;
Who God possesseth,
In nothing is wanting;
Alone God sufficeth.

~ St. Teresa's Breviary
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