Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Solitude...

I've just revised and expanded the page 'Solitude ' on The Mercy Site ...

I've been thinking a lot about the solitary life recently. I've always been deeply moved by Br Ramon's writings (mainly in A Hidden Fire (Harper Collins 1985) and The Flame of Sacred Love (BRF, 1999)) and I've often wondered how and to what extent a longing for solitude with God could be reconciled with a 'normal' life, with family, work and all the other commitments and interests that go with it.

Haven't come to any conclusions yet, but
interestingly, the Third Order of the (Anglican) Society of St Francis has recently issued a supplement to the Manual entitled 'Solitude and Contemplation', discussing the tension in Francis' own life between the contemplative and the active life, and the way that all his life he took periods of retreat that re-energised and re-envisioned him, and ultimately led to renewal throughout the Church in his time. I personally feel that the supplement does not go far enough towards considering the potential integration of the contemplative life with life in the world (cf. The Elder Joseph's essay on the 'Prayer of the Heart for the Faithful Living in the World '), but then perhaps this is outside the scope of a supplement dealing with solitude and contemplation!

I'm planning, with God's grace, and in the time I can find with Jan still seriously ill, to work through The Mercy Site, pruning and reformatting (and sometimes revising) all the pages - some of them have been up for five years now without any work on them, and I think a little sprucing up is in order... I'll post here when each page is done, in case anyone wants to have a look...

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