Daily Meditation: January 21, 2014


The Voice in the Garden of Solitude

Solitude is the garden for our hearts, which yearn for love. It is the place where our aloneness can bear fruit. It is the home for our restless bodies and anxious minds. Solitude, whether it is connected with a physical space or not, is essential for our spiritual lives. It is not an easy place to be, since we are so insecure and fearful that we are easily distracted by whatever promises immediate satisfaction. Solitude is not immediately satisfying, because in solitude we meet our demons, our addictions, our feelings of lust and anger, and our immense need for recognition and approval. But if we do not run away, we will meet there also the One who says, “Do not be afraid. I am with you, and I will guide you through the valley of darkness.”

Let’s keep returning to our solitude.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

Text excerpts taken from Bread for the Journey, by Henri J.M. Nouwen , © 1997 HarperSanFrancisco. All Scripture from The Jerusalem Bible ©1966, 1967, and 1968 Darton, Longman & Todd and Doubleday & Co. Inc. Photo by V. Dobson.

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2 Responses to Daily Meditation: January 21, 2014

  1. Kathryn M says:

    I have often wondered how we recognize the difference between being lonely, being alone and being in solitude. I work from home and spend a lot of time alone, but the busy ness of one thing and another, especially these days with the computer, makes it not feel like true solitude. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of the attitude we bring to the aloneness? — I feel like my time alone is often a sacred time, and good for reflecting, but not all if it is that way. So I’m just curious to hear how others differentiate, and identify alone time as being true solitude.

  2. Lata Hall says:

    Four years ago when I read this meditation, I printed a sentence, which said, “You are not alone even in your thoughts or in this place, your Heavenly Father is with you. Tell him you feel lonely.” I put that on the mirror in the bathroom, my bedroom, near the computer, on the fridge. I was surprised how quickly, there was either a prayer on my lips and my loneliness became a place to communicate with our Heavenly Father. Since than, when my fears or demons want to take over my life, my day, my hour, I remind myself that I am not alone, I am always with my Saviour. It is time to be with the One who is always with me, and loves me, no one else can love me the way He does. Henri Nouwen’s writings just have the best way for me to keep me connected.

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