Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt:

Mark 1:32-37

“That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!'”

More thoughts for meditation:

Throughout the written stories of Jesus we see that he continually makes an effort to find solitude. He is not a desert mystic who removes himself from community to seek solitude nor is he an over extroverted healer on his way to burnout. Instead, Jesus seems to have had some sort of rhythm that created a flow of give and take where he would regularly commune with the Creator and regularly heal the sick and teach his listeners. This must have been what allowed him to respond so beautifully to those around him.

Wendell Berry says this about what solitude gives us:

“…we enter solitude, in which we lose loneliness.

 

Only discord can come of the attempt to share solitude.

 

True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without

human obligation.

 

One’s inner voices become audible. One feels the attraction

of one’s most intimate sources.

 

In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives.

The more coherent one becomes within oneself as a creature,

the more fully one enters into the communion of all creatures.

 

One returns from solitude laden with the gifts of circumstance.”

Suggestions for action:

Think about Berry’s line, “In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives. The more coherent once becomes within oneself as a creature, the more fully one enters into the communion of all creatures.” In what ways are you responding clearly to the lives around you? In what ways are you unable to respond well? How are both of those answers connected to your practices of solitude and your coherence of what is going on within you?