February 8

Reflection

“Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place,
where he prayed.”
Mark 1:29-39

There is a silence we choose. We retreat into solitude so that we might be quieted enough to feel the Holy Spirit blowing through our lives and observe the effects of the Spirit all around us. We retreat in hopes of tasting the good, the true, and the beautiful, to clearly see the truths concealed by the helter-skelter of a too-busy daily life. Here we can finally breathe freely while silently seeking understanding. Without solitude, we cannot fathom just how enslaved we are. We simply cannot live our whole lives in full view of others—in the crowd. In a silent and solitary place, we hunker down in obscurity. It’s just us and God. We don’t have to impress anyone. We are who we are. This silent space affords us the opportunity to take a good, hard look at ourselves. We force ourselves to forego the pursuit of seeking affirmation from others. Eventually, our internal unrest is stilled.
Marlena Graves, adapted from A Beautiful Disaster

Prayer

Lord, teach us to pray.
Luke 1:1

 Action

From time to time, try to make some space in your life for solitude, quiet reflection, and prayer.

Suggested Reading

Rising very early before dawn, he left
and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
Mark 1:29-39

Solitude is very different from a ‘time-out’ from our busy lives. Solitude is the very ground from which community grows. Whenever we pray alone, study, read, write, or simply spend quiet time away from the places where we interact with each other directly, we are potentially opened for a deeper intimacy with each other.
Henri Nouwen

Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.
Barbara de Angelis

The thoughtful soul to solitude retires.
Omar Khayyam

It is only in solitude that I ever find my own core.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart… and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together…. I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude.
Helen Hayes

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.
K.T. Jong

To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.
Victor Hugo

Jesus retreated to the holy detachment of a solitary place. Solitary places are not always easy to find. But once we’re there, it’s much easier to find God.
Karen Barber

 

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