Our gatherings usually bring something good and establish support and friendship. However, at this very moment, our physical closeness and connection as a community do not bring good, but an alarm or a threat. We are fighting an invincible opponent that undermines our health and peaceful well- being.
Many of us are frightened and are at a loss. To be alone is a daunting and challenging task for a society, which is used to the fast lane of daily life. Silence is a fearful thought for many. We immediately turn on our TVs, music apps, or cell phones when we are by ourselves. It is hard to find silence in this bustling world filled with constant noise.
We can take this opportunity to listen to that inner voice that tells us of the necessity of our soul. It is called solitude. Unless we are tested in solitude, it is not realistic to expect answers that are really our own. We are used to always look for answers and solutions rather than carefully listen and discern to questions.
We are such fragile and vulnerable creatures. If something happens around us, in a spark of a second, our life, concerns, plans, and everything in us, including our vanities, also dramatically change.
Having a sense of solitude helps us evaluate or reevaluate our priorities, question our materialism, and perhaps the endless cycle of consuming.
Solitude brings our fellowship with God and with others to greater heights. In his work about solitude, Thomas Merton wrote, “What is the use of praying if, at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?”