The value of solitude


“Solitude is the place of conversion, the place where the old self dies and the new self is born, and the place where the emergence of the new man and new woman occurs.” Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart.

 You just can’t know the benefits of a silent prayer day unless you have tried it.

 Does God speak to us more deeply and clearly if we take a prayer day away? Yes and no.

 No, in the sense that at any second He is nearer to us than our own breath. He does live within. Christ in you the hope of glory. His presence is the goal of each day. I love the translation of Romans 13:14 that says “Clothe yourself with the presence of Christ.” He is with us and within us. We don’t have to perform in order to have him at our side. It is an end product of the work of Christ on the cross.

 Yes, in the sense that when you go spend time in the desert, you become more sensitive to the stirrings of the Spirit. I did not say the voice of God, because I can’t say that I have ever heard the voice of God. But I have heard His stirrings, and deep impressions of Him speaking to me. We so want God to speak on command! We want a God on a leash. He continues to be mystery, but that curtain of mystery rolls away a bit when we go into solitude. “The lover of silence draws close to God. He talks to him in secret and God enlightens him.” St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent.

 Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and unsearchable things that you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3 The Old Testament was the visitation culture. The New Testament is the inhabitation culture.

 What keeps you from taking some solitude for an hour, a half day, or a full prayer day? Please leave your comments.

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One thought on “The value of solitude

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