Contemplative Monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

Called to Solitude



Photo: Bob Holmes

Contemplative spirituality is not about retreating from life but about savoring it fully. ~Carl McColman

Sometimes it gets so urgent I can cut it with a knife. Especially when I get going twenty-four/seven. It’s the call of my heart, the cry of my spirit and the yearning of my soul for the rest and retreat, in the stillness of solitude. Maybe you feel it too. Where most people thirst for more, I yearn for less…so that I can have more space, more openness to wonder and grace. All my type A friends see it as a retreat from the world, but I see it as a opportunity to savor, to heal and to restore my broken life in the solitude of God.  It happens when I’m neglecting the important for the immediate.

We tend to see it as an ‘either or’ choice, but it’s a ‘both and’ lifestyle. Think of your hand closing and opening, engaging and releasing. This is what builds our strength. Our engaging life and our releasing to God organically strengthens as well as integrates our spiritual life. In western culture, we’re taught to ‘never let go.’ It’s the consumer imperative. But in God we know who holds us.  We exercise our freedom and our trust when we let go and release. This is the nature of solitude, and why we need it so much. Because when we release, it makes room for God.

There are things we need to unlearn as well as to learn, and solitude is a wonderful place to begin.

Unlearning: The Art of Letting Go

Rest: Sacred Rest

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