There have been numerous Saints in the history of the Catholic Church who have shared their thoughts on the importance of interior life and the value of solitude as a means of attaining peace within our hearts. It is quite interesting to be writing about the idea of solace in solitude amidst a society that seems to promote and value noise and chaos as a means of truly `living`. One seems to be bombarded by the concept of constant company and perpetual activity in order to attain happiness and peace. In my opinion this does not at all add to ones happiness or peace, but rather aids in ones avoidance of self and will eventually lead to further brokenness. We must be alone to encounter our Lord. Many find the idea of prayer and meditation to be completely ridiculous. Potentially they may fear the power of the Lord in those moments, or they may ultimately fear the places within themselves that remain unvisited and unexplored. St. Catherine of Siena had parents that for whatever reason saw the threat of her quiet prayer and meditation, attempting by the use of distraction to take this peace away from her. How foolish to wrestle with the will of our Lord. St. Catherine took this resistance that faced her and further drew toward the Lord. In doing so we read about this ``interior oratory`` where she would retire and dwell, even amidst the most pressing of circumstances. Today, more than ever there seems to be an emptiness in so many people. There is a constant seeking for ``peace`` through means that are not at all inviting of a peaceful product. For those of us in faith we recognize this constant outward search for peace as an inward cry for our Lord. Our thirsting, our hunger, and our desire for peace can only be found in Him who is peace. In order to truly know this we can not fear the silence and solitude. We must not turn away from the importance of creating our ``interior oratory`` but, rather we must seek ways to build this place within our heart where we may encounter Him. A place where we can retire throughout our days and feel the warmth, love, and presence of God. A resting place, welcoming for our Lord to dwell. While on retreat, I came across this wonderful reflection written by an unknown 13th century monk. It is potentially one of the most comforting things that I have read. It is after reading this that I was truly able to understand the importance of the interior life, the reason for hardship, and the real presence of our Lord at all times. I find it particularly comforting that this unknown blessed monk speaks here to a woman. I pray that each of you find comfort through this. (C.C.)
`Reflection by an unknown 13th century monk`
"In me, in my most interior Jesus is present. All outside of our heart is only to discover the treasure hidden interiorly in the heart. There is found the sepulcher of Easter and there the new life. "Woman, why do you weep? Whom do you seek? Whom you seek you already possess and you do not know Him? You have the true, eternal joy and still you weep? It is more intimate to your being and still you seek it outside! You are there, outside, weeping near the tomb. Your heart is my tomb. And I am not there dead, but I repose there, living always. Your soul is my garden. You are right when you believed that I was the gardener. I am the New Adam. I work and supervise my paradise. Your tears, your love, your desire, all this is my work. You possess me at the most intimate level of your being, without knowing it and this is why you seek Me outside. It is outside also that I appeared to you and also that I make you to return to yourself, to make you find at the intimacy of your being, Him whom you seek outside."