Thursday, February 07, 2008

Opening a Door into Prayer
A reflection on solitude during Lent, excerpted from Small Surrenders: A Lenten Journey.

Emilie Griffin

We are responsible for our own solitude. Precisely because our secular milieu offers us so few spiritual disciplines, we have to develop our own.
—Henri Nouwen

Solitude is a human need, a need for everyone. Never mind about who is an extrovert or an introvert. Solitude offers an opportunity for reflection, for sorting things out. There are days when I feel driven out of the workplace (simply because it is the workplace) into another place: a coffeehouse, a bench outdoors, a porch swing, a chair in the library. Such places, as much as a church pew, provide openings to grace.

How do we use this solitude? For me, at first, this time is no more than a straightening up process. I open my briefcase to find countless jumbled papers: receipts, odd assortments of cash and coin, appointment slips, ticket stubs, a worn calendar, a half-filled notebook, a pen and pencil case, a cell phone. The state of the briefcase reveals the chaos of my life, my state of mind. I'd better turn the cell phone off, for now. It is time, in the middle of everything, to come into quiet as best I can.
the rest

(I am using this book as part of my Lenten reading and I can't put it down! I re-read the daily devotional just to make sure I haven't missed any nuggets. Emilie Griffin writes with great spiritual insight combined with a lovely, almost poetic style that draws you invitingly to journey with her toward Easter. Amazon has it as well as -Pat Dague)


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