April 22, 2020, Wednesday Community Service SOLITUDE
SOLITUDE April 22, 2020 Lead by Diane Uebelhart, OSB
Jesus knew solitude. He lived it in public and in private. Jesus invited His disciples to share times of solitude with him. “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’. So, they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place” (Mark 6:31-32).
In each of the Gospels we see examples of Jesus’ solitude cited: Matthew 14:23-24: “When he had sent them away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray, remaining there alone as evening drew on”.
Mark 1:35: “Rising early the next morning, he went off to a lonely place in the desert; there he was absorbed in prayer.”
Luke 5:16: “He often retired to deserted places and prayed.”
John 7:10: “After his brothers had gone up to the feast, then [Jesus] also went up, not publicly but in private.”
In a more contemporary setting, the late Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote extensively about solitude. Our gathering tonight is now going to focus on several of her memorable quotes. The format I suggest is that a volunteer read a quote, share their thoughts and then open the discussion for others to share.
1. “It is a difficult lesson to learn today-to leave one’s friends and family and deliberately practice the art of solitude for an hour or a day or a week. And yet, once it is done, I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.”
2. “I want first of all-in fact, to be at peace with myself. I want singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out obligations and activities. I want to borrow from the language of the saints-to live ‘in grace’ as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony.”
3. “When we start at the center of ourselves, we discover something worthwhile extending toward the periphery of the circle. We find again some of the joy in the now, some of the peace of the here, some of the love in me and thee which go to make up the kingdom of heaven on earth.”
4. “I must try to be alone for part of each year…and part of each day…in order to keep my core, my center…Women must be still as the axis of a wheel in the midst of her activities. She must be the pioneer of achieving this stillness, not only for her own salvation, but for the salvation of family life, of society, perhaps even of our civilization.” (This concept, of course, extends to men also.)
5. “Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to the others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best refound through solitude.” We are in the middle of our own solitude as the result of this worldwide pandemic. This is our opportunity to pray, meditate and to enjoy our relationship with ourselves and our God so that we are refreshed when we come together again.
God bless all of us.
Would someone like to close with a final thought or prayer.