Glendalough Hermitage

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A Personal Experience of Solitude






Sometimes in a lonely cell
In the presence of my God,
I stand and listen.
In the silence of my heart
I can hear God’s will
When I listen.
For I am but a servant
Who is guided by my King
When I listen.

(St. Columba)

AutumnI don’t see spending time with God in quiet as an escape from the world – the same God is at the heart of the world’s struggles. I am regularly urged by God to leave the ‘Egypt’ of my unloving behaviours and negative attitudes and to journey towards my best self. My longing for times of solitude grows apace with my intolerance for noise. The solitude, peace and quiet help me to grow. In fact, most of my profound experiences have been at the heart of silence. Sometimes I find it risky because there is the possibility of ‘transformation.’ I may be changed and I am never sure what that change might be.

“God of the Exodus, I know you are near,
Grant me the courage to change,
Whether that change is an inner or an outer one.
Deepen my awareness of your faithful presence
And bless my pilgrim heart. Amen.”

(Joyce Rupp)

I need ‘time out’ so that I can get in touch with my inner self and rest in God. I need time to ‘be’ and to leave aside the ‘to do’ list. I need to breathe, entrust myself to God and enjoy the silence.

“Silence is the special sacrament of God’s presence.”

(Edward Farrell)

I am not fully aware of how God works in my midst. I see and hear on the surface level but I do not always perceive the underlying meaning.