SAY YES TO SOLITUDE
One very important part of being able to be in community is being able to be alone. As Christ took his time away from the crowds for time alone with the Father, we must do the same to know His will for us and to know ourselves. This quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer says it all:
"Let him who cannot be alone beware of community. He will only do harm to himself and to the community. Alone you stood before God when He called you; alone you had to answer that call; alone you had to struggle and pray; and alone you will die and give an account to God. You cannot escape from yourself; for God has singled you out. If you refuse to be alone, you are rejecting Christ’s call to you, and you can have no part in the community of those who are called..."
If we are to truly find community with the poor, we must take time away in silence as a means to a necessary end: to be strengthened in Christ in order to share His love and healing with others. Start with 15 minutes a day in a quiet place that you consistently visit at a planned time. Ask the Lord to bless that time, being with you as you allow the reality of your thoughts and feelings to surface and helping you to be open to His will.
Time alone with the Father will center you and help you to feel comfortable in your own skin. It is through being alone that you will find yourself better equipped for community.
YES North America Program Director