Litany for Solitude

As I read this week's Lectionary passages, a couple of moments jumped out into my awareness:


He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. (1 Kings 19:11-12)

and this:

And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. (Matthew 14:23-25)

God was in the "sheer silence." And Jesus was alone before he walked on water. Take those for what you will, but I think they are pretty deep.


Oneness of All Things.
We know we must withdraw
Into silence
Into solitude
And yet we resist…

Because if no one is around then there is no one to validate us;
No one to reassure us that we are acceptable.
No one to reflect our fears back to us.
No one to ask for an opinion.
No one to distract us from our shadows.
No one but you and sheer silence (1).

It is only in solitude, which is to say, oneness with you
That we learn that we can walk on water (2).
Or heal sick people.
Or feed multitudes.
Or be raised from death.
Or bring heaven to earth.
In solitude we learn who we are.
In oneness with you we learn to be with others.

Help us to resist the pull of other things:
Responsibilities and possessions,
Noise and distractions,
Achievements and reputations,
Entertainments and addictions -
Things that lie to us, telling us they are more important.

Help us to draw ever deeper
Into the Center of All Things,
Into the Peace that Passes Understanding,(3)
Into the Love That Knows No Bounds.



(1) 1 Kings 19:12
(2) Matthew 14:23-25
(3) Philippians 4:7