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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Loving Isolation

I remember one of my Jesuit friends in Chile telling me, when we were giving a directed retreat to 18 Religious and he became ill with fever,how hard being alone had been for him when arrested and put into solitary confinement. His lawyer got a Bible to him and that saved him. In the meantime, we had 18 persons for an 8-day individually directed retreat and this was the second day and I was the only director left. A priest was found for Mass, I saw the Sisters for only a half hour each and had a really great experience. It all came back when I remembered my friend's solitary confinement.
I have been solitary for months and have come to love many aspects of my solitude (not the solitary Christmas dinner!) As it continues, I thought I would share some of my reflection with you.
This room, a lovely bedroom, often seems full of people even when I am alone! Of course, Jesus and Mary are always here, but on many nights I have sensed the presence of the whole Communion of Saints. Sometimes it is a small group of friends, often the faces of family members long gone to God but who gather round me now to offer me support. My parents come and sit with me in silence. And then there is St. Philippine urging me to use this precious time well and to visit each continent in prayer! Yes, I love solitude, but am grateful for all the prayer that will help me to get well and back to my community in Miami.

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