(The 3rd of a three-part posting about seeking times and also locations of solitude in the middle of our busy lives)
“I need to execute myself a favor and also memorize this line: To reach for God is to reach God….I need to trust that God is present to me anytime I stretch out my feeble little bit spiritual arms.” -Fr. Mark Thibodeaux, SJ (from “Armchair Mystic”)
“To reach for God is to reach God.” Those are words of hope and also optimism. For when it pertains to prayer, we deserve to occasionally think, “I simply don’t recognize where to start,” or perhaps, “What if I’m doing this wrong?” Fr. Thibodeaux’s quote is a great reminder that we can’t go wrong, if we just just reach out. God will certainly see our effort and also attract us the rest of the way to his existence.
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So finding solitude in the midst of our busy stays is, initially and forethe majority of, constantly an intentional activity. We have to select to go amethod to a location in the country, to a retreat home, to a to a chapel, to a walking trail. Or we have to pick to produce a space of spiritual solitude within our daily resides, which is wbelow we discover ourselves a lot of of the time. Those are the places that I write about this particular day.
I have my areas of solitude. In the colder months, my place of solitude is my armchair alongside the fireplace in the living room, a candle burning beside me to remind me (and also others in the house) that this is a spiritual time and area. In the warmer months (can’t wait!) I make my method outside to the ago deck, which looks out over a small stand of woods in between my house and also the ones throughout the means. It’s still suburbia, but I’ve made the space holy by entering it through the attitude of obtaining ameans and also opening myself to God. Perhaps a hermitage in the middle of the Kentucky woods or a walk on the beach would be better, yet we must find spaces that are close by and also easily accessible to us all year ‘round.
And as I have actually composed before, I have adjacent places wright here I walk and discover silence and solitude, entering the cover of the trees as if it was the roof over a covert chapel. Walking this winding route via the woods permits me to see myself and the human being in a slightly various light each time I walk it. Same path, various light.
As our desire for solitude and a silent place to pray grows in us, we will certainly discover that we have the right to discover these areas all about us, if we however only look. I have found it by simply choosing to drive to job-related with the radio off. I have actually uncovered it on a business expedition when I choose to take on the quiet of the hotel room instead of turning on the television.
Back in the days as soon as I was receiving chemotherapy, I even discovered solitude in the middle of the transfusion room. Tbelow I uncovered that solitude is as much a state of mind as it is a location and also time. We make solitude when we remove ourselves from the noise of the people and place ourselves ever before so gently in the arms of God.
Like any kind of great blogger, I should include a “optimal ten list” in my entries from time to time. (Or else they can take away my blogger’s license…) So here it is, ten ideregarding take home through you…ten ways to begin to produce and also usage your very own “lonely space” to quiet the human being, still your soul, and also attach via the living God that is easily accessible to us all if we just take the time to listen.
1. Kcurrently that solitude is vital for your as a whole wellness and also for your partnership with God. It’s not a deluxe and not an “include on” thing to your currently busy life. You need and also deserve it.
2. See solitude, favor your connection through God, as main to your life, a fountain from which whatever else flows. We end up being better friends, better partners, much better authors, much better friends, when we take the time to enter into solitude and also make ourselves more spiritually healthy and balanced.
3. Make and take the time for solitude. You will never before “find” the moment if you don’t.
4. Find a place or areas wright here you can be silent and also alone. You can’t reinvent the wheel eextremely time you want to go be alone. Create your very own space and ritual.
5. Separate your require for solitude (and also communion through God) from the principle of being lonely or alone. This is prayer.
6. Know that solitude is not simply for lonely or introverted civilization. Nor is it for the overly pious or for those that already seem to have actually their resides all together. It is for all of us. It is what healthy and balanced civilization carry out who desire to know themselves much better and strengthen their connection via God.
7. Disaffix from the digital world. Turn off the phone, iPad, iPod, whatever.
8. Don’t worry around “accomplishing” something during your times of solitude.
9. Don’t issue about “experiencing God” throughout times of solitude. You might attain something or endure God, yet don’t make your time of prayer all about acquiring the answers to concerns or having actually a mystical endure because you might come to be dismayed as soon as things don’t take place. Just be through God.
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10. Remember that the goal of solitude is presence – being authentically existing to ourselves and also to God. Nothing else matters or is forced.