Monday, February 25, 2013

The Benefits of Solitude


To go in search of solitude, even for a short time, will make a difference. It is so important in spiritual growth.  You can throw out all other  kinds of discipline as long as you 'stay in you cell' (stay with yourself).  ...The ancient wisdom is to stay in your cell and it will teach you everything ... The hermit living in the desert is free from a threefold strife: the strifes of eyes, ears and tongues.  One strife alone remains, the strife of the heart... In solitude it is the heart which comes to the top, with its innate discord;  sold to sin (Rom 7:14), but already indwelt by God and the prayer of the Holy Spirit But it is sin which in solitary prayer comes first to the surface.  Daunting, overwhelming....Solitude sets me off from everything and takes me back to my own nothingness... Every superficial prop, every distraction, has gone... A person stands naked and defenseless before God, that is to say, in that poverty and weakness which are his only asset,  Before solitude brings me to the encounter with God, it shows me my own limitations and insignificance... I uncover in myself sin and frailty... The effect of solitude gives release from many false ideas and illusions.  It teaches how to be an ordinary human being , frail and in need of help... It is in the struggle with sin and evil that God intervenes  to strengthen the solitary... and here one begins to find one's true heart... This solitude is by turns wilderness and paradise, the tomb of sin and the womb of the new world, the Passover of Jesus.
                                                        Andre Louf  Teach Us To Pray

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