“In the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35. NRSV).
If Jesus who was God among us, needed to withdraw in solitude and spend time in prayer, what makes us think we do not?
More times than not, the person(s) who make a prayerful relationship with God most difficult, is ourselves. We allow ourselves to be so taken up with things that can only get us so far; while our relationship with God gets its own compartment to be opened for our convenience. Though we may place God in a chest to be hidden and forgotten, God never places us in anywhere else but as “the apple of God’s eyes.”
Time spent in solitude, praying the Psalms with God in the cell of the whole of ourselves is how God gets to occupy us. When we spend time in Centering Prayer and Contemplative Prayer, we seek union with the God who is already within us; calling to us to love God and be with God; never to let ourselves be so consumed by anything to the point where God becomes nothing more than another phone app to be used and set a side. When we spend time with God in silence and solitude, the seed is planted for a new tree of life to grow from within us, that becomes the very Essence from which we live all of life.
“Benedictine Spirituality is a sacramental spirituality. It holds all things,,,,,, as sacred.” (Joan Chittister, The Monastery of the Heart: An invitation to a Meaningful Life, p.115).
“1. Sit in your cell as in paradise.” (The Rule of St. Romuald).
“Let them prefer nothing whatever to the love of Christ, and may he bring us all to everlasting life.” (RB 1980: The Rule of Saint Benedict in English. Chapter 72:11,12).
Have you taken time in solitude lately to spend time with God?
Peace be with all who enter here.
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB
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