Awakening: Solitude in the World

A Weekly publication of The Awakening Institute for Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction, and Soul Care.

Hi Everyone, I pray blessings upon you, that you are experiencing the presence of God in every moment of your days. Now is a good time to be still and let God speak in your heart.

This week we continue to explore solitude and silence in the contemplative life, with a third aspect of solitude. In week one, we considered personal solitude, week two solitude together in Christian community and now in week three we consider solitude in the world.1

The journey thus far proposes that personal solitude open and prepares us for solitude in Christian community, which in turn prepares us for solitude in the world. In the world discernment, humility, and a disdain of controversy can be very difficult. Practicing solitude in the world is akin to contemplation and action. I define a contemplative in action as; “a person who prayerfully remains open, non-defensive and in the moment, in union with God, living life at the feet of Christ, following Christ, growing into Christ’s image moment by moment; while simultaneously actively living life, in this same state, for the glory of God and the benefit of others, by both being and doing God’s will in the world.”

True solitude is deeply aware of the world’s needs. It does not hold the world at arm’s length.

Thomas Merton,

Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, p.10

The Russian word for solitude means “being with everybody”

This being with everybody and still being in solitude comes from the understanding that the best way to be with anybody, including ourselves, is to be with God. The closer we are to God the closer we are to one another because God is closer than we can ever be to everything. In other words solitude cannot be practiced in any form without practicing God’s Presence combined with a deep desire to know God with us, thus know ourselves, our religious community and the world through the eyes of God. In this we learn that the solitary in the world is not out to change the world as much as they are interested in being their true self, close to God, so that God may uses them to change the world.

“I let God change me instead of first trying to change others”

Mother Teresa

With the practice of personal solitude, sanctified by the Lord in Christian community we come to a heightened awareness of God’s presence as we learn to present to ourselves and to other people, which manifests in active compassion for the world around us, in all its various expressions.

Next week we continue our consideration of solitude and silence with three parts on the contemplative practice of Holy Silence. Over the next three weeks we will consider 1) Hearing Sheer Silence, 2) Contemplative Silence and 3) Five Dispositions for Inner Silence. This will be directly followed by a series of Advent readings and meditations for this year’s upcoming Holy Season.

1 Excerpted from The Awakening Institutes five week study on Contemplative Listening. For more details and a free syllabus feel free to email… , or visit our website

Free Seminar!

November 11th 2016


At Epworth UMC

7651 Johnson Street

Hollywood, Florida

Registration Required

To register for this free seminar titled

“Contemplative Prayer for Every Believer”

Simply email or call: 321-298-8801 and leave your name, phone number, and a note saying, “I will be there.”

Featured Posts
Recent Posts