Solitude

The father of prayer is silence; the mother of prayer is solitude.

– Savonarola

We are surely social beings, relational.  But healthy relationships are self-differentiated relationships.

The inability to inhabit one’s own interior life with magnanimity leads to the incapacity to create and maintain deep and lasting relationships with others, including God.

Not all forms of solitude are life-giving…positive.  Solitude is neither isolating nor obstinate.

Solitude is frightening because it is a reminder of the radical solitude of death.  Solitude is essential to every genuine relationship.  Our ability to love others exists in direct proportion to our ability to accept and experience our own solitude.  It is the single greatest indicator of our psychological maturity, this capacity to be alone (Winnicott).

Solitude provides the courage to look ourselves in the face.  Solitude is the task to be our selves. You cannot avoid this responsibility by seeking refuge in others.

Christ experienced the isolation that accompanies betrayal; he also presents himself to us personally in the gentle indwelling of the Holy Spirit creating a solitude of discernment…a liturgy on the altar of the heart.

It is most difficult to find Christ in the midst of a crowd.
In solitude, if the soul is attentive, God lets himself be seen.

– St. Augustine

Solitude is only difficult for those who do not thirst for their inmost selves and, as a result, are unaware that they have an inner self, it is supreme happiness to those who have tasted this intimacy.

– Marie-Madeline Davy

Solitude is the crucible of love.

You cannot be a Christian and not nurture solitude.

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