88 – Solitude, Silence and Prayer – Intention on the Spiritual Journey

One day I am going to make a survey of what writers claim is the “most important” spiritual practice.  That’s not for today but I suspect I would find prayer, silence and solitude as high on most lists. You might even think of those three as the “Holy Trinity” of spiritual disciplines.

For today I want to point you to something Henri Nouwen wrote in The Way of Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry,

“Solitude, silence, and unceasing prayer form the core concepts of the spirituality of the desert…. Solitude shows us the way to let our behavior be shaped not by the compulsions of the world but by our new mind, the mind of Christ. Silence prevents us from being suffocated by our wordy world and teaches us to speak the Word of God. Finally, unceasing prayer gives solitude and silence their real meaning. Thus we enter through our heart into the heart of God, who embraces all of history with his eternally creative and recreative love.  But does not this spirituality of the desert close our eyes to the cruel realities of our time? No. On the contrary, solitude, silence, and prayer allow us to save ourselves and others from the shipwreck of our self-destructive society. The temptation is to go mad with those who are mad, and to go around yelling and screaming, telling everyone where to go, what to do, and how to behave. The temptation is to become so involved in the agonies and ecstasies of the last days that we will drown together with those we are trying to save.”

What gives your life perspective and stability?


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