true solitude

Prayer should not only draw God down to us: it should lift us up to God. It should not only rest in God’s reflection (which the soul, still resting in the house of the body, finds within itself). It should rise out of the body and seek to leave this life in order to rest in God. This is true solitude, unimaginably different from any other solitude of body or of soul. But it is hard to find and the pressure of desires that make us heavy and anchor us to earth when we are immersed in the active life of a community.
– Thomas Merton, Journal entry – September 3, 1952


(Photo: Monastery of Christ in The Desert, Abiquiu, NM – September 2018)


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