“It is solitude and solitude alone that opens the possibility of a radical relationship to God that can withstand all external events up to and beyond death. …In solitude, we confront our own soul with its obscure forces and conflicts that escape our attention when we are interacting with others. Thus,
Solitude is a terrible trial, for it serves to crack open and burst apart the shell of our superficial securities. It opens out to us the unknown abyss that we all carry within us . . . [and] discloses the fact that these abysses are haunted.
We can only survive solitude if we cling to Christ there. And yet what we find of him in that solitude enables us to return to society as free persons.” Dallas Willard, quoting Louis Bouyer
“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.” Genesis 32:24
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Are you able to be alone with God for an extended period of time? Does it seem difficult to do that? If so, can you explain why?
- Dallas Willard stresses the utmost importance of solitude. If you don’t make a habit of time spent alone with God, he would say, you have to practice something else that has the same benefits. Can you think of another practice that confronts your own soul “with it’s obscure forces and conflicts that escape your attention we you are interacting with others?” that bursts apart “the shell of your superficial securities?” that forces you to “cling to Christ?”
- Do you have anyone with whom to share your spiritual journey? to encourage you in something like the practice of solitude?
For More: The Spirituality of the New Testament and the Fathers by Louis Bouyer
The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)