September 03, 2008

Seeking solitude

Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

The Love of Solitude and Silence

Seek a suitable time for leisure and meditate often on the favors of God. Leave curiosities alone. Read such matters as bring sorrow to the heart rather than occupation to the mind. If you withdraw yourself from unnecessary talking and idle running about, from listening to gossip and rumors, you will find enough time that is suitable for holy meditation.

This advice from Thomas à Kempis was written at a time when there was very little available communication technology. The main form of communication at the time was the spoken word. The only other form of communication was the printed word, not nearly as available to most people as many would imagine.

How much more important is his advice in a day when we are distracted by regular postal mail, e-mail, magazines, newspapers, billboards, radio, telephone, cell phones, pagers, iPods, Blackberries, the Internet, blogs, etc. We have so much noise and so much distraction and so fewer places where we can find solitude.

I think it makes it that much more important to "find enough time that is suitable for holy meditation."

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