Solitude builds up

Solitude builds up, affords a conscious setting in which significant growth in the life of the Spirit can take place. Solitude is a gift of time without accompanying distraction, an opportunity to keep company with one's own soul. It is where the Spirit can help one harness one's own cross in such a way that it can be carried without too great strain... Solitude is conducive to journaling, reflection, meditation and is indispensable to contemplation.


God wanted me empty, alone, silent and watchful

I watched ice form on the river outside my window one Sunday afternoon and felt loneliness more intense than any I could remember since childhood. The day had grown incredibly still -- so deep it seemed poised at the edge of eternity... Nearly empty, I could not hope to fill myself -- certainly not with human companionship -- and I began to sense that this was exactly as it should be. God wanted me empty, alone, silent and watchful. I was suffering from both sever laryngitis and a lame leg, and had to laugh at myself, wondering if I was really so dense that God had to resort to these extremes in order to get me to shut up and be still.

~ from THE CLOISTER WALK by Kathleen Norris

To move toward the desert

To move toward the desert where interior prayer and interior transformation can take place means a willingness to go into the desert, to learn to shut the door, and to move into the necessary solitude which prayer and the deeper levels of worship require.

~ Douglas Steere

If we cannot be still

If we cannot wait,
we cannot know the
right time to move.

If we cannot be still,
our actions will have
gathered no power.

~ Unknown

Solitude is a return to one's own self

Solitude is a return to one's own self when the world has become filled with people and too much of a response to others. Solitude is as much an intrinsic desire in us as our gregariousness. Hermits, solitary thinkers, independent spirits, recluses, although often stigmatized in the modern world, are healthy expressions of our dialogue with ourself.

~ from LONELINESS AND LOVE by Clark E. Moustakas

We have only to be still

Silence reminds us that we have only to be still and let the waters of grace refresh us and the sunlight of peace shine upon us.

~ S. Wendy Beckett

Solitude and loneliness are not the same thing

Solitude and loneliness are not the same thing. Loneliness is the sign that something is lacking. The purpose of solitude is to bring us home to the center of ourselves with such serenity that we could lose everything and, in the end, lose nothing of the fullness of life at all. When you are alone, are you lonely or are in solitude? If loneliness is what it's about, what you may need most is the cultivation of the richness of solitude.

~ from IN A HIGH SPIRITUAL SEASON by Joan Chittister thanks to Patricia Prescott

The spirit of the wilderness is solitude

The spirit of the wilderness is solitude. We go alone to meet the divinity within us. The wisdom of the wilderness comes from God interacting through creation to touch our very soul. We emerge from our journey with a new identity grounded in God. Transformed, we discover we have been given back to ourselves.

~ from WISDOM FROM ANOTHER WILDERNESS by Debra Donnelly-Barton

Alone in silence?

When I retreat at home, I am alone in silence. But I am also with thousands of others around the world, sitting quietly, all of us bonded together in our effort, our solitude, and our prayers... We are opening our hearts, alone but all-one, joining others throughout the centuries in timeless realms.


A silent listener awaiting Being

On a clear winter morning, just as the sun rises high enough for its slanting rays to shine horizontally through the trees ~ I lay my track through the snow -- a silent listener awaiting Being. And Being responds. I move so silently and swiftly that deer, rabbits and weasels are surprised and caught in their inner lives; so swiftly and silently they do not flee but stand out in their beings... The earth more present, the sky more present, I, the human, more present in total awareness.

~ Dolores La Chapelle
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