Saturday of Week 6 – Hebrews 11:1-7; Mark 9:2-13
I like solitude. In the garden or the empty church. That time (sometimes an hour or so) have something of Tabor about it. No vision or ecstasy. The old Church Father’s school advises avoiding them. The meaning of solitude is perseverance and delight. Although . . . . can we talk about solitude if this time is filled with Presence? Deep calls to deep, silence speaks to silence, the Presence nourishes a physical absence.
Solitude cannot be gained without community. This is why Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him. This is why the ancient hermit monks built their hermitages close to each other. So that the gaze of a brother, full of criticism and love, would protect against illusions. After all, faith is about seeking God. Yet, no one ever knows when this search for God ends, and the search for self begins. God most often answers the question with silence. The questions of a brother is sometimes the last life belt of for a person drowning in the sea of pride.
Listen to Him. Remain in solitude and with questioning brothers. Solitude without the brothers is tainted with the mark of running away. Brothers deprived of solitude become like the grass that is green and flourishes in the morning but in the evening dries out and withers.