Drawing away from people to be alone is another of the spiritual disciplines little discussed today.

I don’t mean to suggest becoming like my heroes, the Desert Fathers of the second through fifth centuries. Some of them went a bit overboard with the solitude thing.

I can actually find solitude at a local coffee house. People and commerce and noise surround me. Yet, I know no one. I am alone in my little corner contemplating or writing. There is an energy for an introvert being around activity but not being part of it.

Alternatively, I pack a coffee and laptop and head for a park. Alone. Surrounded by trees and creatures (hopefully no larger than a raccoon or opossum). A few hours there refreshes the soul and my outlook on life.

I have been told of Catholic monasteries that will accept people who are not Catholic for a period of solitude and reflection. That’s something I’ll have to try someday.

However you can withdraw for a bit on a regular basis, do it. Your soul needs that as part of the rhythm of being alone and serving with others.

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