Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Reflection - Seeking Solitude

When I lived in El Salvador I learned many things. Water was in very short supply and I learned how to appreciate water and how to conserve it so that others could share. I also learned how to live with no car, television or radio.

I lived in a small village called Milagros (the Miracle), there was very little in the way of printed news. I missed books the most -it has been my lifelong habit to read two or three books a week. I had no books in English available to me - except one - the Bible. I spent hours reading it every day. At first, because it was there and I had nothing else to do to fill my evening hours. But the more I read I discovered that the Bible is filled with some amazing stories. Yes, I had some knowledge of the Bible before I went to El Salvador but I found the Bible to be an exciting and enjoyable read and I learned a lot.

While there, I became very comfortable with solitude. Some have a fear of being alone but being alone and being lonely are really two different things

I learned to appreciate the gift of having long hours of silence and being alone with my thoughts. I came to understand why Jesus often sought solitude.

This is mentioned several times in the Bible:

Right after Jesus was baptized he was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted. (Mt 4:1-11) As Jesus began His ministry he knew the importance of having that time with God.

There were other occasions:

- He spent the night in prayer before choosing the disciples (Luke 6:12-13)

- When He heard John had been beheaded he withdrew to a solitary place (Mt 14:13) (where 5000 people went ahead of Him to hear and he fed them all)

- After feeding 5,000 he sent his disciples off and went up on a mountain to pray alone. (Mt 14:22-23)

- The Scripture says, "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." (Luke 5:16)

- And it was alone with His disciples nearby that He prayed in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane just before being betrayed (Mt 26:36-46)


There are few things that are as powerful as solitude to help you get in touch with your inner self – especially when that solitude is accompanied by silence – no television, newspapers, magazines, cell phones or computers, etc. Get comfortable with being alone. We all need time to recharge every now and again, not only to nourish our spirit, but so that we have new energy to give to others.

On this first Sunday in the year of 2011 I plan to spend the day in reflection of the events that happened during the past year and on the joy of expectation of the new year to come.

Solitude, meditation and prayer can give you peace of mind, serenity and the opportunity to connect with your soul.

Give it a try -why don’t you?


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